Aermacchi H.-D. Ala d'Oro 125 - 250

 

 

 

Aermacchi H.-D. Ala d'Oro 125 1970

Aermacchi was a great advocate of high-performance four-stroke engines. But in 1967 the company followed the current fashion and built a racing motorcycle with a two-stroke engine.
At first the object was to produce a new vehicle that would be competitive in the 125 class for loyal customers who raced in the Italian Junior championship.

The Ala d'Oro 125 was inexpensive to buy and maintain, and it offered a level of performance superior to that of the four-stroke Morinis and Motobis that dominated racing at the time.
But the small motorcycle, with its 20 h.p., proved from the time it was first raced-—in 1968—to be competitive in professional racing as well.

Eugenio Lazzarini and Silvano Ber-tarelli rode the 125 during the Senior season against the Villa brothers and Giuseppe Mandolini, whose motorcycles were powered by single-cylinder rotating-disk engines. Bertarelli won  the championship, and the Ala d'Oro, which up to this time had been sold primarily in Italy, became a popular racer even with foreign drivers. One of them, the Australian John Dodds, won the 1970 West German Grand Prix on the Niirburgring track during very bad weather. Much of his success was due to the great maneuverability of the small vehicle.

Motorcycle: Aermacchi-Harley-Davidson Ala d'Oro 125
Manufacturer: Aermacchi-Harley-Davidson, Varese
Type: Racing
Year: 1970
Engine: Aermacchi-HD single-cylinder, two-stroke, with cross-port distribution. Displacement 123.1 cc. (56 mm. x 50 mm.)
Cooling: Air
Transmission: Six-speed block
Power: 25 h.p. at 10,800 r.p.m.
Maximum speed: Over 115 m.p.h.
Chassis: Double cradle, continuous, tubular. Front and rear, telescopic suspension
Brakes: Front, central drum, four shoes, four-cam; rear, central drum

Aermacchi Harley-Davidson 250 1972

When Renzo Pasolini severed his ties with Benelii at the end of the 1970 season, he went back to Aermacchi, the company he had raced for before joining Benelii. Pasolini started out his racing career with Aermacchi and won his first races with the rod-and-rocker Ala d'Oro.

Aermacchi and Harley-Davidson now worked together. One of the many projects that they were considering was a particularly interesting plan for a 250-cc. engine, two-stroke, consisting of two paired Ala d'Oro 125 cylinders. Pasolini had his eye on that model as an instrument of revenge, and Aermacchi consented to build it for him in the hope of regaining lost ground in speed racing.

The Aermacchi 250 two-cylinder, two-stroke prototype was ready in the spring of 1971. Although the first version was very heavy and the cylinders were made of steel rather than aluminum, the initial tests were excellent. The racing team was so enthusiastic about the new 250 that an enlarged 350 version was readied.
In 1972 Renzo Pasolini rode a vehicle very similar to the prototype to win three Grand Prix races. He lost the 250-class world championship by a single point. In the 350 class he came in third, behind Giacomo Agostini with MV Agusta and Jarno Saarinen with Yamaha.

Motorcycle: Aermacchi-Harley-Davidson 250 Two-cylinder
Manufacturer: Aermacchi-Harley-Davidson, Varese
Type: Racing
Year: 1972
Engine: Aermacchi-HD two-cylinder, two-stroke, with cross-port distribution. Displacement 246.3 cc. (56 mm. x 50 mm.)
Cooling: Air
Transmission: Six-speed block
Power: Over 50 h.p. at 11,400 r.p.m.
Maximum speed: Over 140 m.p.h.
Chassis: Double cradle, continuous, tubular. Front and rear, telescopic suspension
Brakes: Front, central drum, four shoes, four-cam; rear, central drum, double cam