(Click on tumbnail to see enlarged photo)
This powerful little motor bike was made in Italy (by Italians) at what once was "Aeronautica Macchi" until 1961 when HD bought 50% to create "Aermacchi Harley Davidson". This may well explain why the kick stand is on the right side and the kick starter is on the left. As we all know Italians are almost all left handed (and legged to be sure).
While heading Bridgestone's US bicycle division, Petersen was able to express and evangelize his passions for traditional good designs. A passion that had been fed by old world cycling traditions from Europe and spread with the bike boom of the 1970's. But was endangered by the marketing and flash culture surrounding the rise of the mountain bike. Petersen was able to use Bridgestone's massive production capacity to make inexpensive, high quality bikes that were aimed at a market that valued long term use as well as performance. So the Bridgestone team took the inherent advantages of the steel frame, mated them with well thought out components and produced bikes that supported longer rides, greater comfort, durability, everyday use and of course style without sacrificing performance. They looked back at the Fin de Siecle bike boom and promoted the classic aesthetics of that period. The bikes, which had always been nice now began to look nicer, riders had the opportunity to sport Bridgestone manufactured classic wool jerseys with nut buttoned shoulders and classic looks.
The bikes became better and better, new designs were less flashy but better thought out than the rest of the market, especially among major producers, which Bridgestone was. However, at some point things began to go wrong. The Bridgestone ideology began to undermine sales. Quiet quality will sell bikes to educated consumers but for any number of reasons a shiny cheap bike will sell as quick. Bridgestone finally disappeared from the American market when the rising yen made profitability impossible.
HISTORY OF BRIDGESTONE
HISTORY OF CUSHMAN
Scooters trace their ancestry back to France with the Auto-Fauteuil mark in 1902, 1903 in the USA, where Cushman and Salsbury created some of the first motorized two wheelers with the traits that have come to embody scooters. Cushman's light, compact, and rugged scooters were used by the United States military as ground vehicles for paratroopers during World War II.
Cushman Motor Works of Omaha, Nebraska, established its reputation by building motor scooters, such as its famous Auto-Glide model. In 1949, Cushman redesigned its 50 series scooter to look like a miniature version of a Harley-Davidson Big Twin or an Indian Chief. The newly named Cushman Eagle motorcycle became the firm's best seller ever.
Harley Davidson introduced their first F head, or inlet over exhaust engine in 1903 and would remain faithful to the concept until 1929 when the last F head twins left the factory to be replaced for the following season by side valve models. Although in the company did employ other valve configurations in the period between 1903 and 1929, Harley's success in the first three decades of their existence was largely due to their faith in a valve configuration that had largely been abandoned by European manufacturers during the pioneer period. In part this adherence to what is often regarded as an obsolete valve configuration came about due to the designs suitability when applied to North American roads. Unlike Europe, where (comparatively) high revving medium displacement engines would run at constantly varying revs, the States long straight roads resulted in engines running at constant revs for sustained periods. Harley Davidson sought and attained reliability through capacity, their first 1000cc twin had been placed on the market in 1912, coupled to low revs and easy maintenance with continual development and refinement improving the product year on year.
HISTORY OF HARLEY DAVIDSON
HISTORY OF DUCATI
When Ducati began manufacturing motorcycles, they were single cylinder engines. Ducati produced single cylinder motorcycles from 1950 to 1974. Chief Engineer Fabio Taglioni developed a desmodromic valve system in these years, a system that opens and closes the valves using the camshaft, without the need for valve springs. This valve system has become a trademark feature of Ducati motorcycles.
In the 1960s, Ducati earned its place in motorcycling history by producing the then fastest 250 cc road bike available, the Mach 1.In the 1970s Ducati began producing large-displacement L-twin (i.e. a 90° V-twin) motorcycles and in 1973 released an L-twin with the trademarked desmodromic valve design. In 1985, Cagiva bought Ducati and planned to rebadge Ducati motorcycles with the lesser-known Cagiva name (at least outside of Italy). By the time the purchase was completed, Cagiva kept the "Ducati" name on its motorcycles. In 1996, Texas Pacific Group bought for US$325 million a 51% stake in the company and in 1998, bought the remaining 49% and became the sole owner of Ducati. In 1999, TPG issued an IPO of Ducati stock and renamed the company Ducati Motor Holding SpA. TPG sold over 65% of its shares in Ducati. In December 2005 Ducati returned to Italian ownership with the sale of Texas Pacific's stake (minus one share) to Investindustrial Holdings, the investment fund of Carlo and Andrea Bonomi.