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did you know Harley actually made a moped?

This is a discussion on did you know Harley actually made a moped? within the Motorcycle Discussion forums, part of the General category; Back in 1976, my wife and I saw an old, discarded moped, by the dumpster, so we took it home ...


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Old 09-26-2008   #1
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Default did you know Harley actually made a moped?

Back in 1976, my wife and I saw an old, discarded moped, by the dumpster, so we took it home to play with it. Believe it or not, it was a Harley Davidson moped! It had a Sachs 2-stroke engine (49cc) and pedals. It had a high tank (as opposed to the girlish dropped tank) and was decaled Harley Davidson AMF. Well, we never got it started, and frankly were never going to ride a 'moped' in public (beneath our 'biker' status to ride such a vulgar bike). So we gave it away. Wonder what that thing is worth today? Anyone ever see one and know what I'm talking about?
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Old 10-02-2008   #2
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When Harley-Davidson was owned by AMF they made a range of bikes from about 50cc to 350cc in the late 60's to late 70's.They were produced by Aermacchi in italy. You should have lowered your standards and kept it. Be worth a bit now.
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Old 10-03-2008   #3
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Bummer! Oh the things we discard, not knowing what they might be worth to someone else. Then again, if they were in production back when we found that one and my wife and I had never ever seen one before or since then, then I would believe that yet again AMF should have stayed with bowling pins and left bikes to bikers.
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Old 10-07-2008   #4
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Read more about AERONAUTICA MACCHI (soon abbreviated to Aermacchi) here:

http://tinyurl.com/3qqnad

This is one of the Mopeds branded with the HD name -



John.
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Old 10-09-2008   #5
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Thanks John for the links to Aermacchi. I found the articles most informative and insightful. It still begs the question as to 'why' H-D felt the need to provide lightweight bikes they didn't or wouldn't produce themselves. Buying into a foreign manufacturer to produce a line that their customers wouldn't identify with, then marketing a new breed wearing familiar colors, served to significantly damage the almost idyllic brand loyalty that had up until then carried H-D through the Great Depression and two World Wars. Certainly, the perceived competition from the new kids on the block (Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki) not to mention the upsurge of scooters like the venerable Vespa and the legendary Lambretta, probably fueled the non-bike riding corporate panic to reach out to the non-existent untapped customer base. It had to be an AMF initiative. I cannot fathom the Harley brothers seeing this as anything other than shear lunacy. I can still remember the old paper commercial for Honda showing two primmed and proper, shaven and well dressed California teens smiling an animated while riding their shiny new Honda Dream. Harley never had that crowd, shouldn't have ever wanted it until society changed, a generation later.
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Old 10-09-2008   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olds13 View Post
Buying into a foreign manufacturer to produce a line that their customers wouldn't identify with, then marketing a new breed wearing familiar colors, served to significantly damage the almost idyllic brand loyalty that had up until then carried H-D through the Great Depression and two World Wars. .
Now? Yes, then? Not really.

AMF wold try anything, but 'ya know HD bought Aermacchi before AMF got into the frey. What they were attempting to do was to fasttrack a product to market that the Honda buyers could get behind. Over the years HD had made small displacement machines, like the Harley Davidson Hummer:

http://www.harleyhummer.com/

The site is quite an eye opener...

But did it work? Yes it did. Back in the day (when I was going to school and working at an HD dealer) we couldn't keep the SX-175 and 250's on the floor. They went out like beer at a ball game. A slick looking two stroke lightweight people liked.

Today? HD bought into Buell, sport bikes with an attitude (pretty good - I have one and think it's great) and just recently MV Agusta - so HDI is trying to divest itself from the nuvo bad-ass bikers and skew sales to a younger upscale clientelle.
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Old 10-10-2008   #7
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Again, thanks for the link. The Harley Hummer site is quite a read indeed. Pictures sent me back to my younger years. Damn they look old now! How things change.
As far as H-D using Buell and MV to diversify their current line. Bravo. Or is that Woooo Hooooo!!! ? I've been not so silently admiring the V-Rod. A bold step into the 21st century for them. It'll be interesting to see if they dress it for touring and other elder attractions (like myself).
thanks again for your back and forth. Most enjoyable indeed!
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