Road Dirt Reader Dale Obermeier Shares The Story Of His Prized and Rare Harley-Davidson/Aermacchi M-50 Sport
Let’s just start by saying this- My 1966 Harley-Davidson M50S “Boy Racer” represents the best of my childhood (or the end of).
It was the summer of 1970 and I was fourteen years old. 1969 was the year of Woodstock and the man on the moon. I was too young for a drivers license, too old for parental rule, and too cool for school. I didn’t have a real job, but I earned some money working a paper route. My whole (young) life I wanted a minibike. If you were rich, you could buy a new Honda Trail 70, or maybe a Rupp minibike. If we could scrounge up enough parts, maybe we could build a minibike, but home-built minibikes always broke down. Our best bet was to buy a small, used motorcycle. I found this 50cc Harley and I had $50 to buy it. My first Harley-Davidson and freedom at a bargain price. A new one was $225, and a Honda 70 was over $300.
*Interesting note: This was and is the smallest displacement motorcycle to ever wear the name Harley-Davidson.
I was singing Steppenwolf – “Born to be Wild.” We weren’t allowed to ride on the city streets, but across the street was an empty lot, and an alley that led to the athletic park. We could ride around the football field that had a high fence surrounding, and it felt like racing. We wore a groove in the grass. There were also two baseball diamonds and a large parking lot. THAT was our super straight-away.
Since the Harley had a two-cycle engine and three speeds with high gearing for the street, I would literally “smoke” the competition (because you had to mix the gas and oil).
If you really wanted to “hear me roar” I could take out the baffle from the muffler with one screw.
The police left us alone, but we chose to believe they could never catch us. With every ride we got bolder and braver. Soon we took to the open road, a black top highway. We mostly rode many trails through the woods and fields, sand and gravel pits with plenty of hills and mud. I don’t remember wearing helmets, but sunglasses, boots and gloves were optional attire to have that “being cool” factor.
We never would drink and drive, but I remember sneaking cigarettes and smoking an occasional small “Swisher Sweets” cigar. Girls and motorcycles were not a thing, yet.
Life changes fast especially during high school, due to cars and girls.
Time is relative to change. The more change, the faster time seems to pass. Maybe that’s why grandpa used to say, “The days go slow, but the years went fast.”
Here’s a little bit about the bike:
I call it my little Harley “Boy Racer” as opposed to the girls’ bike M-50.
- Original paint
- Paid $50 dollars with money earned from a local paper route
- Picture of me in 1970 – 14 years old
- Odometer shows 132 miles. Something happened and it stopped working a long time ago
- It was licensed for the road for a short time
- “Sonny’s” of Lowell, MA, went through the engine in 2008
- The gas tank was cleaned and sealed
- Motorcycle has been stored inside it’s whole life
- Even now the old bike resides in the house. It is truly part of the family.
And now a little about me:
I am now 64 years old
A retired industrial mechanic
married 38 years
resides in Georgia
a motorcycle enthusiast since five-years-old.
I recall getting a ride on my dad’s new 1965 blue and white Harley dresser. I was hooked. I can still remember riding in the front of my dad, kind of sitting on the tank, holding the handlebars. A dog was chasing us. We tipped over on a muddy, gravel road that was full of sink holes. The dog ran away, and we were okay. Funny how some distant memories stay with you. As I stated above, I was 5 years old.
Dad actually owned two motorcycles, the other being a black 1964-65 Honda 150, the kind with the Bentley-style square fenders. In 1969, my dad bought a new red and white Honda 350CL scrambler (high pipes). I learned to ride it in a hay field.
So you might say I inherited a love for motorcycles at a young age from my father. Motorcycling defined my childhood and teen years. I suppose it’s defined my entire life. And this little M-50S remains a connection to my youth, one I plan to pass on to those family members who come after me.
*Thank you Dale for sharing this priceless family heirloom with us, and your story behind it as well.
Do you have a “family heirloom” motorcycle in your life? We’d love to see and hear about it. Share in the comments below, or on our social media pages.