Little Big Man: 1965 Harley-Davidson M-50

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-madeHarley-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.


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  1. scooter8

    and get bickety bammed ! no way! LOL

  2. JCW Jr.

    In some parts of some cities you would not want to ride this anymore than I would my King Midget. In my small town of Butler Pa it would be fine to ride all over the place. Thing is you have to look out for every nut that tries to drive while not paying attention.

  3. michael streuly

    Two wheeled junk.

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    When these were in their prime, I saw quite a few of them out west. I actually thought they brought some competition to the Honda 50 Cub. I also thought they looked better. But these just didn’t hold up so they lost out. Interesting enough, the larger Aramachi bikes did quite well.

    Would I ride one of these? Hell, yeah! Some years ago I bought a Honda Spree, a 50cc scooter, for my youngest boy to commute to work. That venture (both the job and the novelty of the scooter) didn’t last so I took it out to the local reservoir where there was a small lake resort growing up and I had a lot where I parked my 5th wheel RV. A whole bunch of us used it to ride over to the showers/convenience store. Even though it wasn’t a moped, we still called it: ‘FLAME,’ in honor of Jim Stafford’s song, ‘Cow Patty.’

  5. JoeR

    Wow, I threw one of these away for trash week back in the 80s. It was in pieces, and someone had painted it monochrome blue, but still….

  6. erikj

    That’s amazing that they are getting that kind of money. I also had a Honda cub along with the many other Honda 50s,70s,90s and now I have a 110. I bet I had at least 50 of these Hondas I still love them and look for them. I did not know Harley made these little 50s. Even though I had so many Hondas.
    Oh, forgot, I have a trail 70 somewhere in the shed,real rough,I wonder what its worth now!

    • M/K

      I ain’t sure about other parts of the country but here in southwestern Oregon your little 70 and any of those “mini bikes” are almost valued with crude oil and gold.

  7. Woodie Man

    I’d feel like a real badass driving this!

  8. Skloon

    Impress the boys at the local biker bar with your Harley

  9. Troy Matusow

    I owned one exactly like this when I was 13, used it everyday on and off road during summer holidays, always got me home, great first bike for a kid at the time! I think I paid 75.00 for mine.

  10. Dan

    I had a 1972 “Shortster” that had this same engine. fun to ride, but dang it needed a lot of work to keep it bolted together. Still, it gave me and the wife bragging rights “Yeah, we used to have an old Harley Kathy would ride”.

  11. Jeffro

    Imagine the biker gang that rode these Harley Davidsons. Instead of saddle bags…they had pocket protectors! Omg…I need a drink. Anyone care to join?

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I’m still laughing. Set ’em up, Jeffro….

  12. waldon herdman

    3,127 miles on a big mini bike seems like a lot of miles to me.

  13. Russell


    I like it and will think hard about bidding. Need an excuse to go to Vegas anyway.

    Like 1
    • cyclemikey

      There’s a really nice one of these, in light blue, in the Mecum auction in Vegas next week.

      Like 1
  14. the one

    I love these small bikes have had several Puch mopeds. I currently own a ’67 Sears Campus 50 but with a 3 speed 50 cc Puch motor is not a Moped.
    there are people out there with frikken Mopeds that go 70 MPH! My brother has a couple. checkit out..

  15. Andrew

    One can always go the 1960’s Dutch way…..

    Like 1
    • Andrew

      ……..and another Dutch way to travel back in the 1960’s.

      • Andrew

        …..clogs are optional.

    • Dennis

      I have mine yet I bought in 1970. Paid 35 dollars for it. I put a large rear sprocket on it for trail riding. The only think about it,in low gear it went so slow, it was hard to maintain your balance, lol… Had a lot of fun with it. One day I couldn’t get it started, kicked and kicked , pushed it down hills to jump start it, nothing. I took the muffler off, heard something rattling inside. I tipped it upside down and out came some piston rings. I was in 8th grade at the time. My older brother helped me take it to the Harley shop to get it bored and over hauled. Now at 63, I’ll see if it runs yet….

  16. C Brand

    Andrew, Pic 2 & 3 are hillarius (little kid in #2..really looks po d) I spit my drink all over the place from laughing….Thanks

    • Andrew

      Yeah, well, I had to sit in one of those baskets too as a kid. It’s really scary when banking to the left, when you lay on your back, but my mom was a good rider. Yes, funny today, but occasionally you can still see this scenario in Europe.

  17. T-bone

    Ahhh you gotta love Mecum and Barrett-Jackson, where the rich have a few to many drinks and spend way to much money on cars and bikes, because they can, all the while driving up the prices to where the normal, hard working guy can’t afford them. And….(I know someone this happened to) it makes Ole Farmer Brown think that his 69 Z-28 with a 4 inch wide and 10 foot tall sapling growing up through the trunk is worth 15k, because one on tv sold for 75k…lol! But I love the little Harley 50….cheers!

  18. Brian Joseph

    I bought on of these in 1969 for 50 bucks. I rode it to high school from March to June. I was slow,top speed about 45 mph, but I rode from Columbus Ohio to Cleveland one sumner,had to take back roads, but made it.
    I remember going to AD FARROW Harley Davidson to buy parts, they had a good laugh. .oh well.

  19. Neil

    Here is my 1970 Honda PC50 Moped

  20. Mark

    I love these! If I hadn’t just bought a Triumph Scrambler, I would consider this. My neighbor Don has one in the loft of his garage sitting about 400 feet from me right now. I’ve tried to buy it for the last 7 years with no luck.

    I thought I would put up a photo……..


  21. Edward Finnesey

    I would not be embarrassed to take this to Sturgis it would draw a lot of attention.

    Like 1
  22. william steinborn

    i have been riding my m 50 since iwas 9 or 10 at 57( special occasions now) it was my uncles at the time and only used for deer hunting 866 miles tells the story it has a over sized sprocket on the back that bolts right on ( for hill climbimg) and a piece of plywood behind the seat for strapping deer on, has been a fun machine and is inside the house ready to ride out the back door , and youd have to be a tiny person to not proudly ride this thing where ever you want it is a classic and mine is not for sale , i would however considering a a matching m 50????? to have a pair

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