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 Aermacchi - Chimera
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Aermacchi D2-492-89-16
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 175
Model : Chimera
Production : 1956 - 1961
Category : (R) Street Bike


Chimera – 1956

Tomorrow's styling today

Aeronautica Macchi of Italy, had a long, distinguished history of building planes, from trophy racers to WWII fighters that defended Italian honor around the pylon circuits and – on the front lines. After WWII, Aermacchi, as the firm became known, searched for a new, peacetime industry since it was no longer allowed to build aviation products because of the war settlements. In 1950, Aermacchi began manufacturing motorcycles, offering economical transportation.

The Dream

One of Aermacchi's first creations was its Chimera, or "Dream," model. The intriguing body styling was created by well-known car designer Conte Revelli and was made from lightweight cast aluminum, which showed off the firm's roots in aviation technology. The bodywork completely covered the engine and gas tank as well as serving as the rear fender; like Piaggio and Innocenti's brilliant Vespa and Lambretta scooters, the Chimera provided protection from the elements.

The Dream Lives On

But the Chimera was an odd case of too much, too soon: the motoring public simply was not ready for the eccentric cycle, and by 1959, Aermacchi canceled its production. But one element of the Chimera lived on and 'established the Aermacchi legend. The phenomenal four-stroke horizontal single-cylinder engine created by Alfredo Bianchi was carried over into the firm's new line of motorcyles, including the Ala d'Oro, or Gold Wing, and continued on to power Harley-Davidson's great Sprint line in the 1960s.


Engine: 172.4cc (60x61 mm) air-cooled horizontal single-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 13 hp

Valves: overhead valves driven by pushrods

Fuel System: Dell'Orto carburetor

Transmission: 4-speed gearbox

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm (rear)

Brakes: drum brakes (front & rear)

Wheels: wire laced 18 inch (front & rear)

Weight: approx. 200 lb

Maximum Speed: approx. 60 mph

Something really new

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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