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Old 08-27-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
earlyWiz OP
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Ashtray Aermacchi 350(circa 1971)

There was a reason for buying this particular motorcycle. I wanted a training platform for preparing to own and operate my 1968 Laverda 750 once it returns from Centralia, Washington as a fully operable vintage cafe racer. Training platform? You might well ask in these modern times.


Let me go back in time to when a good friend invited me to take his Matchless single around the block. Following eight or so years road riding and road racing motorcycles manufactured by Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, and BMW, I wasn't ready for a change from left-foot shift/right-foot brake. The Matchless needed just the opposite, and a light tap on the "brake" netted me a spectacular downshift in traffic on Hwy 99E out of Oregon City, Oregon. The explanation I have offered to the question, "So, what happened then?", is that my bung kissed my navel upon discovering that we were still intact.

I had been poking around on Craig's List looking for a small British Single to use as a daily driver. That would allow me the economy of not driving the pickup back and forth to town for my daily two-shot espresso, and, at the same time, allow me to develop the transition to right-foot shift/left-foot brake. Lo! I found something even more desirable! This 1971 Aermacchi 350SX (Harley-Davidson "Sprint"). When one's favorite motorcycles happen to be European, and most especially Italian, it was time to part with a small sum of home-improvement funds to satisfy the craving. Welcome to Jason Winn's comments as he rebuilds his gem into my jewel.

earlyWiz screwed with this post 11-24-2009 at 04:47 PM
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:02 AM   #2
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Ashtray Aermacchi


Earl,
As we talked about on the phone. I'm including a couple of progress shots for your album.
VBR, Jason

After the motor work is accomplished, I will start on stripping the frame and get it off to be powder coated. It should look nice and flashy in "Fire Engine" red.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:09 AM   #3
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Buy some loctite. :)


(My first bigger displacement bike was a Harley-Davidson Aermacchi 250, purchased from a honda dealer [one of the few of the day] who knew less than I did about the cycle, its history, and the short-term purchase of Aero by HD. Clip-on bars, a road racing seat of 2x4 covered with naugahyde, and a carburetor which was not happy unless it was vibrating its bolts loose. Seriously, I think the bolts loosen even when it WASN'T running.) But it was all I had for transportation, so even today, with most of the awful memories of being stranded throughout the Chicago area gone, I smile at the images of the bike.)

Best wishes.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:15 AM   #4
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Ashtray Aermacchi


I'm glad the motor needed my attention. It will need at least, a couple of bearings in the transmission. I might have them in my parts stash.

I will be ordering bearings tomorrow. The bearings normally take only a day to come in at the bearing shop.

Nice to have things in reserve like..., transmission shafts, bearings, gears, spacers, shift forks, shims and etc.
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:45 PM   #5
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Welcome to the 'macchi club! Yep, loctite everything and youll be okay!

Dont know if you know about Moto Italia for parts, I have no affiliation with them, just have had good luck finding the oddball stuff! http://motomacchi.com/

the Yahoo Aermacchi forums are great, some real knowledgeble guys on there!
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:16 PM   #6
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Quickv4

Yup, I flail my browser all over the place. Found MotoItalia, while I was at it. Of course, Jason has been involved with the vintage Aermacchi for longer'n pasture-land has been attractive to real estate speculators. He jus' holds my hand and points me that-a-way. I am told that I may become right friendly with this nice establishment too; http://www.aermacchisprint.com/
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:10 AM   #7
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Ashtray Aemacchi


More progress pictures of your little darlin'. Don't be alarmed by the dark areas inside the cases. You probably already know that it is only discoloration caused by old oil and it's byproducts.


The final image shows the "Blind Hole" bearing I was attempting to describe. Patience, heat, drop the case on wooden blocks. Repeat. After awhile the old bearing is out, the case is cleaned and made ready for the new bearing. Cool bearing, heat case, drop bearing in. (An old Italian bearing recipe? Cool and serve with sauce and fresh bread. earlyWiz)
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:41 AM   #8
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Ashtray Aermacchi

Hello again, Mr. Wizard,
I will pull the plugs on the big end pin and clean and inspect it. These bikes seem to collect deposits in the hollow crank pin and disrupt oil flow to the big end bearing.

From the feel, it won't be an issue, but you must always look. A shot of the crank shaft with out plugs.


You will see a shot of the crankshaft plugs waiting to be "parted off" on the lathe.


The crank is very smooth and tight. Well within spec.


I want your bike to be just as nice as possible. While I'm on the subject, I went ahead and replaced all of the bearings but one of the mains. At the relatively low price of the parts, and the fact that I was already there, it didn't make sense not to replace them if they were at all questionable.
VBR, Jason
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:02 AM   #9
AlfromMI
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So does a Macchi of that era start OK? I had a 250 Ducati way back then and it wouldn't start worth a damn.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:19 AM   #10
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Goooooood-looking machine!
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:53 PM   #11
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Ashtray Aermacchi

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfromMI
So does a Macchi of that era start OK? I had a 250 Ducati way back then and it wouldn't start worth a damn.
HMMMmm! Truthfully? I, uh, am familiarizing myself with the starting drill by reading lots of books... Oh, and listening to countless narratives about how, "Muh Triumph/BSA/Ariel/Harley/Velocette/horse/cow/mule/girlfriend kicked me..."
Mayhap when all is completed and back together, I will share the experience of starting. (Helpful Hint: Books say it not start like two-stroke. Jason say same thing. Now all that's left is for my aging joints and fallen arches to submit their report.)

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Old 09-03-2009, 10:33 PM   #12
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Haven't seen one of those in years. My first bike was a 250 straight off the Harley dealers floor. Don't remember the drill, but seem to remember some little tickler button on the carb that you pushed to give a couple of squirts.
I do know that if you crash through a barbwire fence and pop the only fuse out of the headlight shell they are real hard to kick start.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:56 PM   #13
earlyWiz OP
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Ashtray Aermacchi

Mr. Wizard,

I will make new end plugs and press them into place...as the originals must be destroyed to remove them. You will see a shot of the crankshaft plugs waiting to be "parted off" on the lathe.


I want your bike to be just as nice as possible. While I'm on the subject, I went ahead and replaced all of the bearings but one of the mains. At the relatively low price of the parts, and the fact that I was already there, it didn't make sense not to replace them if they were at all questionable.


The real fun begins when the motor goes back together. The crank shaft must be pulled into the main bearings, and thus into the crank case halves. Before any of this can take place, all of the transmission, shift drum and shift shaft end play must be properly shimmed.
Very Best Regards, Jason
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:31 PM   #14
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I receintly recieved a 1965 Aermacchi 250 in boxes. Its great to see your progress, so I know what to expect when I crack the engine open.
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:19 PM   #15
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As the owner of a rancid old Ducati Scrambler, I remember the Dell'Orto starting drill well enough. This is for the non concentric float Dell'Orto's

Turn the pet cocks on,, (Don't leave the petcocks on overnight, seems like the floats leak worse than most Japanese carbs.) There's the little "tickler" next to the fuel line in on the float top, it's a little spring loaded plunger that depresses the float to flood the carburator.

Don't over do this, just a few seconds while it dribbles gas onto your hand.
I never understood this, why they decided that the owner should have a gas stinky hand.


Crack the throttle an 1/8th open and give the kickstarter a healthy prod. I don't know about other folks but my bevelhead always caught on either the first or second kick. For a 250 it always seemed to me that the Ducati required a healthy leg effort. A freind's Honda XL250 was like kicking over a 125 in comparison.
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