Featured Apes Are A Pain

Discussion in 'Other Bikes' started by Iron, May 24, 2022.

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  1. Iron

    Iron First Class Member

    Dec 29, 2021
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    #1 Iron, May 24, 2022
    Last edited: May 25, 2022
    Found some photos lurking in a drawer. This is the Admin Staff on the '76 Cobra framed Harley on our way home from the Bulldog in 2007. There wasn't anything from 1976 on that bike :neutral:. I'd added the fat apes, they weighed a ton, and they were just awful to ride with. It underwent another reincarnation later that year and then was left to go rusty in the garage. I gave it away a few years later.

    1.jpg

    It was really hot that year so lots of fluids were required. I think the Damned and the Quo were live that year. There was more aggro than usual, people get the hump when it's hot.

    1a.jpg

    Not a good year, it had a sort of feeling that something wasn't right.:confused:
     
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  2. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Yeah, 2007 was a precursor to a lot of sh*te to come in 2008...and beyond. :(

    And about that bike, those were certainly some sky-high apes, @Iron! What model was that bike?
     
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  3. Iron

    Iron First Class Member

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    #3 Iron, May 28, 2022
    Last edited: May 28, 2022
    It was a 1976 AMF HD/Aermacchi SS 250 although nothing much was left of that. :) A proper 'bitsa' and a money pit. Even though the apes look high they only came to my shoulders as it's quite a small bike. It managed to carry two of us around for a while with that grunty 1340 Evo. It used to have an open primary that ate most of my trousers. :p
     
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  4. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Thanks for that info on your old bike, @Iron! :) My Harley history is decent but not great. I knew about the AMF "era" and about the Harley & Aermacchi "collaboration" but didn't know that those two happened during the same years. I've always heard that the AMF years were an embarassment with poor quality machines but that the Aermacchi bikes were decent to good. What're the honest-to-goodness facts of the matter?
     
  5. Iron

    Iron First Class Member

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    #5 Iron, May 29, 2022
    Last edited: May 31, 2022
    @Sandi T - Some motorcycle manufacturers had a sort of hissy-fit in the late 60s when they were resting on their laurels, not making as much money as they thought they should be, and discovered that there was money to be made from smaller engined bikes.

    BSA basically had a management retarded death wish and burned both themselves and Triumph to the ground.

    HD also had a stroke and sold themselves to AMF in 1969 as they had no money of their own (American Manufacturing Foundation/Federation/Funding - something like that :)). AMF manufactured sporting goods and made loads of stuff that they could now label Harley Davidson (that good ol' boy US flag waving bald eagle dream machine).
    You could buy HD golf carts, HD snow mobiles - they even brought out a bike called "The Fat Boy"! who ever heard of such a thing :confused:. They even produced a commemorative "Confederate" bike with a Johnny Reb Stars and Bars flag on the tank. (I don't think that went down too well with the Yellow Bellied Yankees :p).

    HD were already producing smaller engined bikes (65cc/100cc/125cc etc) through Italian Aermacchi from 1960, AMF continued and increased that. In the late 70s AMF sold them to Cagiva cause nobody wanted noisy two stroke Italian bikes made from Russian steel when you could get shinier noisy two stroke Japanese bikes made from Korean steel. Also, people pointed and laughed if you were riding a clown sized two stroke Harley while wearing a cutoff and a bandanna.

    AMF were doing to HD what BSA were doing to Triumph, they were insisting on increasing productivity while re-using old machinery and not investing in either the factories or the workforce. Maximising profits for short term returns.

    In 1980 along comes Willy G and his beret (it was actually the HD CEO Vaughn Beals) and buys HD back for $80M - "Hooray!" shouted all the HOG chapters.

    In 1983 along comes John Bloor looking at an old factory that was for sale for housing development and ended up buying the Triumph name for £150,000 - "Hooray!" shouted all the 59ers.

    2-1513981958457@2x.jpg

    This is a 1976 AMF 250 SS that was converted/rebuilt/thrown away :p to build the first incarnation of the chop above. Harleys are expensive and one has to improvise somewhat.
     
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  6. Dartplayer

    Dartplayer Crème de la Crème

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    Great history Iron, I enjoyed the pix and facts :p
     
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  7. garethr

    garethr Well-Known Member

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    #7 garethr, May 30, 2022
    Last edited: May 30, 2022
    My brother briefly owned an Aermacchi SS250. It was utter rubbish.

    Joint holder of the title "most vibratory bike ever ridden" (together with an oil-in-frame BSA A65).

    Wouldn't say no to a "Harley Davidson" Sprint 4-stroke, mind - especially a short track racing version (with the addition of lights and brakes :)).

    [​IMG]
     
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