1972 AerMacchi M65 Leggero


We ran across this Aermacchi as we were sifting through piles of crashed bikes looking for a suitable donor bike for the Pastrana Sporster. Peeking out between a quad and some type of small Chinese scooters that had caught fire was a faded pink gas tank with an AMF/Harley-Davidson sticker stuck on the side and 70’s era fluorescent orange flair. A site to behold. We immediately forgot about the sportster and started the process of digging it out and finding out what it was. The model is an M65 Leggero and she’s a peach. As luck would have it, she ran and was in pretty decent shape for a 72. $700 later she was in the back of the van on the way to her new home at RSD.



She sat around the shop for the last 5 months as we dreamed about cleaning her up or maybe giving her a face lift. Talk of a turning scooters into café racers has been a topic for quite some time, so as Born Free approached we thought why not bring something completely different out to show off. On the Monday prior to the show we commenced ideation and the building process. Faced with a tight deadline and lack of time to powder coat the rusted spoke wheels we turned to the wheel graveyard and dug out two sketchy 70’s era Morris Mag’s complete with tires. They ended up being the cornerstone of the build. While we don’t recommend racing around a 600 lb. chopper on 40yr old mag wheels, well take the chance with a 150lb. scooter. We made our own clip ons and rear sets complete with TZ 250 racing footpegs. Extended the swingarm to fit the new 21” morris rear wheel and made hubs to accept a TZ 250 race spec. rear discs and juice brake from a motocross bike. Next we fabricated a new expansion chamber, relocated the original tail light and plate holder, inserted a little mesh screen in the carb and stripped off some excess do dads. Final piece was the aluminum number plate on the right side. Total cost of the build, $300 bucks. Yes, she’s a little rough around the edges, but that’s the beauty of it.