Are you still looking for a winter project? This one won’t take up too much space and it should be bickety-bam and you’re done. Well, it’ll be more work than that, but not too much more. This is a 1965 Harley-Davidson M-50 and it’s on eBay with a current bid of $660 and the reserve isn’t met yet. Hagerty lists a #4 “fair” condition M50 as being worth $3,000 so this one won’t be real inexpensive, but compared to your ’63 Split-Window Coupe or your Nash-Healey projects, yeah, it’s inexpensive. The M-50 was priced at $225 when new and this one is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Speaking of pricing, Hagerty lists a #1 “concours” M-50 as being valued at $6,000, but one in perfect condition – which is what I thought the “#1 concours value” was with Hagerty – sold for $22,000 last January at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction. $22,000! Auction fever, free adult beverages, plus a couple of bidders going for the same thing had to have played a role there. Wow! These bikes are, of course, Italian-made Aermacchi models which Harley used to try to have something to compete with the flood of small, Japanese motorcycles on the market. They only made the M-50 for 1965 and 1966 so they are fairly rare, which explains the prices. If they’re cool enough for Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke), they’re cool enough for me.
The seller says that this bike has only 3,127 miles and is 100 % complete and 99% original. I’m not sure what isn’t original on it, but 99% is probably more than anyone could ask for on a Mercedes Gullwing restoration, let alone an Italian-made–Harley-Davidson-badged 50 CC motorcycle. This one will most likely end up being nut-and-bolt restored and displayed in someone’s office; just a guess. I’d want to lock this bike up if I were to ever ride it and park it anywhere unattended. With that much value and only weighing 113-pounds, I’d be worried about ne’re-do-wells just lifting it up into their pickup and making off with it. This one will need work but they’re little jewel boxes when they’re restored. And, yes, the seller has the missing and hard-to-find tail light lens.
This is a 50 CC two-stroke single-cylinder and we all know that they aren’t made for freeway duty, they’re meant for bopping around your neighborhood. But, I would love to take something like this to Sturgis someday, just to see the reaction. Hey, it’s a Harley, why not? The seller says that this “bike was in dry storage for many years I have cleaned the gas tank and cleaned and replaced some seals in the carburetor and mixed a tank of fuel up and she fired right up.” I think this would be a great winter project, and depending on the reserve price, you would never lose money on it. I’m guessing that it’ll sell for around $2,000 or so, what do you think? Would you have the guts to ride this Harley in public? You know I would.