Aermacchi M65 Leggro Cafe Racer

“We ran across this Aermacchi as we were sifting through piles of crashed bikes looking for a suitable donor bike for the Pastrana Sportster. Peeking out between a quad and some type of small Chinese scooters that had caught fire was a faded pink gas tank with an AMF/Harley-Davidson sticker stuck on the side and 70’s era fluorescent orange flair. A sight to behold. We immediately forgot about the Sportster and started the process of digging it out and finding out what it was.”

“The model is an M65 Leggero and she’s a peach. As luck would have it, she ran and was in pretty decent shape for a ’72. $700 later she was in the back of the van on the way to her new home at RSD. She sat around the shop for the last 5 months as we dreamed about cleaning her up or maybe giving her a facelift. Talk of turning scooters into café racers has been a topic for quite some time, so as Born Free 4 approached we thought why not bring something completely different out to show off.”

“On the Monday prior to the show, we commenced ideation and the building process. Faced with a tight deadline and lack of time to powder coat the rusted spoke wheels we turned to the wheel graveyard and dug out two sketchy 70’s era Morris Mag’s complete with tires. They ended up being the cornerstone of the build. While we don’t recommend racing around a 600 lb. chopper on 40yr old mag wheels, well take the chance with a 150lb. scooter. We made our own clip ons and rear sets complete with TZ 250 racing footpegs. Extended the swingarm to fit the new 21″ morris rear wheel and made hubs to accept a TZ 250 race spec. rear discs and juice brake from a motocross bike.”

“Next we fabricated a new expansion chamber, relocated the original tail light and plate holder, inserted a little mesh screen in the carb and stripped off some excess do-dads. The final piece was the aluminum number plate on the right side. The total cost of the build, $300 bucks. Yes, she’s a little rough around the edges, but that’s the beauty of it.”

Specs list:
Intake: RSD stainless steel mesh
Exhaust: RSD handmade stainless steel expansion chamber
RSD fabricated steel rearsets
TZ250 Roadrace Footpegs
TZ250 Roadrace – modified brake & shifter tips
RSD fabricated steel Clip-Ons
Rear Caliper: Yamaha WR450 Nissin 2 piston
Front Wheel: 21 x 2.15” Morris Mag – Vintage
Rear Wheel: 21 x 2.15” Morris Mag – Vintage
RSD fabricated steel struts
Original AMF paint – naturally faded red with orange stripes

Jose Gallina photography

While many builders were pulling out the big guns with their entries into the Born Free 4 show, the crew at Roland Sands Designs had something a little different in mind…and when I say little I mean 65cc’s little. The RSD Aermacchi M65 Leggro was built for a total cost of around $1000 USD and was pieced together in the week leading up to the show. The 1972 built, 2 stroke Leggro was destined for a Cafe Racer conversion ever since it landed in the RSD workshop and it was obviously a good idea as the pint-sized pocket rocket took out the award for best Cafe Racer at the show.