Aircraft manufacturer Aeronautica Macchi delved into 'The Fifties' in the emerging mass motorization market went and started making scooters and then motorcycles. The first result of this approach were the Aermacchi Corsaro 150, from 1955 and the exuberantly plated Chimera 175. In 1957 it was time for new times. There was a 250 cc version of the Chimera plus three 'naked bikes': the Ala Bianca 175, the AlaRossa 175 and in 1959 the Ala Azzurra 250 and the Ala Verde 250.
Bought by Harley-Davidson
Because Harley-Davidson bought shares in the 1960s and the Italian company eventually took over, the motorcycles also became known as "Aermacchi-Harley-Davidson" and ultimately as "Harley-Davidson". In 1971, AMF bought Harley and the Aermacchi became Harley-Davidsons AMF / Harley-Davidsons. The grip to the power of the Americans was not bad for Aermacchi at the time. The Italians lacked space because they had to share the factory with their aircraft-making colleagues. With more space, more motorcycles could be made. And that part of it went to the States? And that the motorcycles in the States only had 'Harley-Davidson on the tanks? "Nessun problema!" “No problem!” The marriage of convenience failed of course due to the inequality of the participants and the difference in passion between the Italians and the Americans.
Production racers par excellence
After the arrival of the Ala Rossa and the Ala Verde, Aermacchis were highly sought after as racing motorcycles for amateurs and Aermacchis came to the start in national competitions throughout Europe. The Ala Verde was the sporting version of the tourist Ala Azzurra. Just like the Chimera, the Ala Verde had an air-cooled single-cylinder head valve motor with push rods. The cylinder of the block was almost flat for an optimum center of gravity and ideal cooling.
There was a multiple wet plate clutch at the left end of the crankshaft and the primary transmission to the four gearbox was with gears. That gearbox was first on the left heel-toe gear. Breathing did the block through a Ø 24 mm Dell'Orto carburetor and in the gas tank went 17 liters. The machine had a backbone frame with a central tube and a front fork telescope was mounted. Behind was a normal swing arm with two spring / damper elements.
A serious update was introduced in 1963. The lubrication system was improved and an optional five-speed gearbox became available. The clutch was made more heavy, the electrical installation was improved and the front fork became stronger. The steering wheel, the side covers and the exhaust were also redesigned. The new short stroke engine was presented for the 1964 model year.
In 1967 new changes were made to the tank, the mudguards, the passenger seat, the headlight and the front fork. The wheels, which in all "customer engines" up to that time 17 inch sizes, were replaced by 18 inch copies. That was the most convenient solution to the problem fast riders had noted: the heel / toe pedal limited the ground clearance in turns.
The last change followed in 1970, where a new tank was mounted, while the electrical controls were also renewed. The power increased to 18 hp and the fifth gear was now standard. The front wheel was even bigger grew to 19 inch.
In July 1972, the production of the Ala Verde 250 was terminated. The new "sporty" Aermacchi became the TV ("Turismo Veloce") 350.
Our photo model
This horrifyingly beautiful Aermacchi was found in Brummen and comes from a foreign private collection. The engine block is compact and radiates power. The 24 mm Dell'Orto carburetor stands perky on the cylinder head. The float chamber has a hint of old gas spray from flooding when flooding before the cold start. The aluminum intake cup is hungry open like the mouth of a cuckoo boy waiting for its food. The exhaust bend does not look anorex either. The muffler looks just like it sounds: round and cool.
Is that brake original?
At the time, the front brake of an Ala Verde was usually an 180 mm drum with an ascending and descending brake shoe. Our Ala Verde has an 2LS –twin leading shoe, a brake with two ascending shoes - a brake. Whether he came out of the factory like that or was he ever "upgraded"? You never know that with Italian production. The slender Italian flaunts its front and rear with its beautiful aluminum rims. The safety wires on the chain tensioners on the rear fork are worth a poem.
Such an Aermacchi is therefore small and slender
But still a very real motorcycle. A sporty motorcycle that the owner can use to set quite fast times on the Posbank or Vaalserberg. It is not for nothing that many 'Ala's' have been running around on a circuit somewhere in their lives. Being stunned ... And what is the most addictive dynamic? That is the inlet and outlet noise.
You won't find Aermacchis in Italy anymore for the famous 'little'. Think now of amounts between € 5.000-10.000.