Lot number


Estimated price




Frame no.: *66S6801*

Engine no.: *P942*

Aermacchi was an Italian aircraft manufacturer.  Formerly known as Aeronautica Macchi, the company was founded in 1912 by Giulio Macchi at Varese in northwestern Lombardy as Nieuport-Macchi, to build Nieuport monoplanes under licence for the Italian military.  After WWII the aircraft factory began building three-wheelers with horizontally opposed twins. In 1956, the rare Chimera 175 OHV made its appearance.

In 1960, Harley-Davidson acquired 50% of the Aermacchi factory and assumed complete control in 1974. Harley-Davidson purchased Aermacchi in 1961, to produce small bikes for the American market, in an attempt to capture a piece of the youth market back.

In 1965, Harley-Davidson brought a smaller two-stroke Aermacchi on the market, the Zeffiretto. The name “Zeffiretto” was used for the Italian market. This 48cc machine came as a moped, the 48NP (P for pedals) and without pedals, a no-ped, hence 48N with no P. The engine is 38x42mm, plain piston-port, CR 8.5:1, with 3 speeds actuated by a hand shift. The 48NP was built until 1965, whilst the 48N continued until 1972.

In the United States Aermacchi sold these motorcycles as the “Harley-Davidson M 50 and M 65”. The Zeffiretto / M 50 and M 65s were virtually unmarketable in Europe and in America, despite large advertising campaigns. In total only 200 examples of this rare Aermacchi Zeffiretto Sport 48 S (M 50 S) were built.

Harley-Davidson sold Aermacchi in 1978 to the Castiglioni brothers, who built Cagiva from it, which in 1985 bought Ducati, and later Husqvarna and Moto Morini.

All the lots in this sale will be sold ‘as is/where is’ and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Engine: Single cylinder OHV 2-stroke

Starter: Kick-starter

Bore & stroke: 39 x 42 mm

Compression ratio: 1 : 7.5

Engine Capacity: 47.75cc

Maximum power: 1.5 bhp [HP] @ 4,500 rpm

Valve: OHV (Overhead Valves)

Valves per cylinder: 2

Carburettor: Dell O’rto 14/9/2

Cooling system: Air cooled

Ignition type: flywheel-magneto

Lubrication: Wet sump forced circulation with mechanical gear pump

Transmission: Gear primary, chain final

Clutch: Cable operated with multiple wet disk in oil bath

Gearbox: 3 speeds handlebar mounted selector

Throttle: Cable operated

Frame type: open cradle frame and pressed steel

Front Suspension: telescopic fork and shock absorbers

Rear Suspension: Swingarm with hydraulic shock absorbers

Front Brake: Drum Ø 104 mm

Rear Brake: Drum Ø 104 mm

Wheelbase: 1,110 mm

Front tire: 2.00 x16”

Rear tire: 2.00 x16”

Seat: Dual seat

Fuel tank capacity: 9 litres

Fuel consumption: 1.5 liter/100 km

Top speed: 40 km/h (25 mph)

Weight: 58.5 Kg

Price: 114.000 Lira

Production numbers: 5,292 units are built


Litt: Legend Bike Magazine

Volume 12. no. 132, September 2003,

page 40 – 42

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