Aermacchi Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint

22 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Aermacchi Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint отключены
Aermacchi Spirit 250

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Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint

Years 1969-74

Claimed power: @ 7,000rpm (1969)

Top speed: (period test)

Engine 344cc air-cooled OHV single

323lb (w/half-tank fuel)


Price then: (1969)

Price now: 

It made perfect sense in With the Japanese invasion hold, Harley-Davidson needed competitive in the small bike The options: further development of 165cc two-… single or a new design — or buy a turnkey

Aermacchi, of Varese, Italy, fit the to a tee: they built a and competent 250cc bike from Alfredo Bianchi’s 175cc Chimera of 1955) good performance and lots of potential. Better yet, parent company, Aeronautica wanted to focus on its airplane and was keen to divest its bike Harley bought a 50 percent

The sporty Aermacchi Ala d’Oro Wing) featured a four-… single with horizontal and four-speed transmission, with the suspended from a spine It looked like a good overhead valve four-strokes something H-D dealers were with — no fancy cams or ring-ding oil smoke

The first Aermacchi Harley-Davidson went on sale in the U.S. in The speedy 250 quickly became in production racing, and was gradually over the years.

A 350cc proved potent in GP racing, culminating in the 1968-1970 race when Aermacchis made up of the top 10 places in the Isle of Man Junior TT year and grabbed a pair of place finishes in 1969 and

Unfortunately, little of the race (such as the five-speed transmission and cylinder dimensions) made it to the bikes, although H-D did boost the to 350cc for 1969.

Meanwhile, the engine got a cosmetic with the cylinder, head and box blended together. Two versions of the Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint appeared: the SS a one-into-two exhaust and low pipes, and the oriented SX with a high high fenders and knobby

This was a time of rapid in the motorcycle market, however. The for power and performance was well led by hi-tech cammy Hondas and frantic two-… twins Bridgestone, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Race versions of Yamaha’s were already challenging the big Grand Prix bikes and winning.

Could a 350cc single with its roots in the Fifties hold its own? four-… singles had pretty disappeared from the streets, and riding was dominated by lightweight and Japanese strokers.

In 1970, magazine lined up a six-way that included the  Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint SS, Honda and Yamaha R5 350. In terms of the SS was outclassed by Honda’s twin and the turning the standing quarter-mile at seconds/80.6mph, compared with the 15.2seconds/85.4mph and the R5’s 14.7seconds/87.8mph. The bike in the test was the Kawasaki A7, 14.4seconds/91.6mph.

The Sprint was also slowest the test track, although it did the best gas mileage, 47-58mpg on conditions.

The Sprint’s equipment was too: just four in the gearbox (not five, to the ad at left), no turn signals, suspension components and, 1973, no electric starter. The of electric start wasn’t by the reversed placement of the kickstarter on the side of the bike, and the kickstand gear shifter) on the right.

problems showed up in street too. Power pulses intrusive at low revs, and vibration it almost impossible to keep and hands in place on the pegs and at highway speeds.

The buzzing highlighted some assembly with fasteners backing off and coming loose in use.

So why you want one now? In spite of shortcomings, the Aermacchi singles are quite well made. mechanically durable, easy to fix and just about bulletproof.

And so many were (and are) raced, parts is surprisingly good, and there’s a knowledge base on the Internet. Sprints aren’t too hard to and even restored bikes seem like good MC

350cc rivals to the Aermacchi 350 Sprint

1968-1973 Honda

• 36hp @ 10,500rpm/90mph

325cc air-cooled SOHC twin

• 5-speed

Aermacchi Spirit 250

Drum brakes front and

• 371lb (wet)


• Price $800-$2,500

It’s fair to say the CB350 was Honda’s first motorcycle. Engineered and styled to U.S. tastes, it instantly the Dream and Superhawk look and dated, while upstaging own awkward and over-sophisticated CB450. cues were plainly from the popular British though the engine was brand combining performance, sophistication and of maintenance.

The short-…, SOHC, parallel twin featured a rev limit for high performance, gear primary drive for quietness and efficiency, eccentric arms for easy valve Keihin CV carbs for fuel rubber-grommet top engine mounts to vibration — and electric The price for all this technology was $735 in 1971.

From a perspective, the CB350’s success was its The CB350 and its variants sold in large numbers (more 600,000 in the U.S. alone) became ubiquitous. They often ridden to high with little or no maintenance, and unceremoniously dumped when expired.

And because they had little or no value, few were afforded in collectors’ garages; finding one in condition now can be a challenge, and prices to rise.

1970-1972 Yamaha R5

36hp @ 7,000rpm/91mph

• air-cooled two-… parallel

• 5-speed

• brakes front and rear

306lb (dry)

• Price now:

Piston-port predecessor of the reed-valve the Yamaha R5 350 twin was still a big over Yamaha’s first 350cc machine, the YR1of For one thing, the R5’s power was much broader than of the peaky, race-derived YR1, it much more pleasant to It also featured Yamaha’s system, pioneered on the 1964

Even with Honda’s two strokes still dominated the market, and the R5 was arguably the best of the Cycle magazine liked its of starting (kick only), sweet-working clutch, supple-though-firm and lack of vibration.

In Cycle ’s 1970 350 shootout, the R5 was close to the equal of its competition in performance terms, and was the best all-rounder mostly it was lighter, and therefore quicker, the CB350. Summarizing, Cycle testers wrote, “… if you that a motorcycle should the best from the maintenance, detailing and transportation points of then your overall will be our overall pick: the R5.”

R5s were — and are — less numerous the six-speed, reed-valve, disc-braked that came along in 1973, but they’re also less expensive to purchase. MC

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