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Little Green Wing - Aermacchi Ala Verde

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I have been interested in the early 60's Aermacchi European models for a long time, prior to Harley Davidson aquiring the controlling share of Aermacchi in 1960 the Italian bike builder had a range of 175cc and 250cc models all based on the same horizontal single four stroke.
Prior to the now familiar single Aermacchi produced a range of small discplacement bikes under the design lead of none other than Lino Tonti.

After Tonti left for FB Mondial it was Alfredo Bianchi that designed the familiar horizontal single. The first motorcycle to carry the lovely single was the futuristic 'Chimera'

as cool as it was, described as a jet engine with a wheel at each end sales were dissapointing. Bianchi redesigned the motorcycle by stripping off the futuristic cowling and ditching the single sided swing arm to offer the 'Wing' range of bikes, 175cc Ala Rossa (red wing), 250cc Ala Azzura (blue wing), 250 cc Ala Verde (green wing) and the over the counter race bike 250cc Ala d'Oro (gold wing).

In 1961 Harley Davidson imported the Ala Azzura (blue wing) under the name Wisconsin, in 1962 it was sold as the Sprint

The Ala Verde was not imported to North America, it had a long steel tank, clip on handle bars, 17" wheels and a sporty hump back seat.

I am building a replica of the early Ala Verde, as lose to stock as possible. Ala Verde parts are very hard to find.

I am starting with a 1966 Harley / Aermacchi  frame and swing arm, this bike had been in a fire and came with no engine and a rear wheel from a 350cc moto cross model. I won't be using the original Sprint gas tank, the big rear wheel or the flat wide seat pan.

I found a H motor for a 1965 a couple years ago and fully rebuilt it, found the correct carb and heel / toe shifter. I am on the hunt for an engine side cover that has 'Aermacchi' cast in the side along with 'Harley Davidson', I saw one a year ago on Ebay and should have bought it then :thewife:

I was lucky to find Leslie Bull of Moto Italia in California, Leslie supplied me with an Ala Verde gas tank, the foot pegs, a rear wheel from a 1961 Sprint and the lower forks castings unique to the 1961 . I found the upper fork shrouds and tripple clamp on UK Ebay.

These forks are not correct they are off a post 67' Sprint and are for an 18" front wheel.

These are the correct forks and tripple and are for a 17" wheel,I put them together this afternoon

I cut down the 67' forks by 32mm in my lathe and re-cut the lower snap ring into the tubes and bored out the base of the tubes for the damper rod stop. I made new replica chrome lower shrouds from 304 stainless steel thin wall tube,

Trimming the stainless tube over an aluminum slug and a wrap of copper sheet to protect the stainless surface

the stainless slid perectly over the fork lowers and a wee bit of epoxy will permanently secure them once the parts are painted.

The headlight is NOS and model crrect from Santo di Motorcycle, the Benelli go to guy on Ebay,

I found a used Aermacchi Ala Verde seat base on Italian Ebay this week and I had previously sourced a correct repro seat cover from Italy as well. I found a repro Ala Verde header and muffler in Italy and the correct decals for the tank and tool box.

The rear fender I have is not quite correct and will need to have the brackets repositioned and some holes filled in, new ones made. The front fender is very hard to find, I am going to start with a Benelli front fender of similar vintage and style and rework the fixings.

I don't realy like the handle bars bars I found, too narrow, I will cut them in half, weld in a slug and widen them.

The front hub is off a Honda CB450 Black Bomber 2ls brake and a popular upgrade in the day for racing an Aermacchi, I will have Buchannans supply spokes and a new rim.

Many, many things to find, build and repair, its going to be a slow process.

I'm ALL in for this build, Jim. 

Those early Aermacchi bikes are a real special soft spot for me.  A friend in Knoxville (the one that got my old HD Sidecar body) had a complete 61/62 that drove me nuts for years.  He would not let me own it.   Maybe your bike can bring me some vicarious resolution.  I know it will be fantastic.  I'll be watching.....

Michael Moore:
You might enjoy a couple of photos of my friend Jim's Tony Foale-framed 350 racer that were taken at Willow Springs


share images free

Lucky man ! I love those machines but sadly nearly everyone that comes up for sale over here is well above a reasonable price. I'm going to follow this rebuild like all of you previous immaculate ones !


--- Quote from: Michael Moore on September 17, 2021, 09:34:13 PM ---You might enjoy a couple of photos of my friend Jim's Tony Foale-framed 350 racer that were taken at Willow Springs


Wow that is one special Aermacchi, amazing frame on that red rocket! Thanks for the pictures.
--- End quote ---


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