1973 Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson SX 350


This 1973 Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson SX 350 belongs to Ken Marter, a New Zealand customer. This picture was taken outside of The Chateau Tongoriro on Mt. Ruapehu. For a recap of the trip that this picture was taken on, look to the testimonial below (previously published) written by Ken Marter.


THE weekend began when I switched my alarm off on Thursday night. I woke a relaxed and happy bike rider, ready to head north via Welisford on the Aermacchi 350.

The road was clear, dry and almost empty of cars or trucks but that changed as I hit Highway 1, and the traffic.

North of Whangarei I dropped into fourth gear round the corner, and as I accelerated I heard a pop as the clutch cable broke; still, it’s not bad for a 23-year-old bike. Kaitaia Motorcycles fixed me up, so I headed back to Takahue, where the Ride is based, for coffee and a hot meal before the briefing.

Saturday was another overcast but fine day as the road section headed south, through the Mangamuka gorge and spectacular forest views and past the permanent ‘Anti 1080’ protest camp.

Just past Okaihau we turned East, to ride tiny back roads to Kerikeri.

A loop took us down to the old stone store and the cafe there for a break, before heading North through Kaeo to Mangonui, where we took a bit of a scenic detour before heading North again; through Coopers Beach with its views of Doubtless Bay, through Cable Bay where we failed to spot the overseas telephone cable, and finally to Awanui where we turned north. Here you can stop at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom to see great chunks of giant, 30,000 year old Kauri trees which were dragged from a swamp, and can see the furniture made from them.

North again, with a detour at Houhora heads and harbour, to stop at Te Kao General General Store for a petrol and lunch break. Here we met up with the adventure route and had the opportunity to chat with other riders, ranging from lads in their early twenties to the over sixties; men and women and Trail Bikes to Superbikes to a 1950 Vincent Black Shadow, which I followed to the Cape.

After a look around at Cape Reinga we headed back to Awanui for more petrol, returning to Takahue after 284km of very good roads to sign off and get our badge.

Riders trickled in for hours, cleaning up and joining the throngs chatting, drinking and eating the excellent meal (with dessert) before the prize giving and the band.

Sunday it was clean up, pack up and go home. What a let down, I’ve got to go to work tomorrow.

The bike averaged 45 miles to the gallon and cost a clutch cable but that’s it, so thanks to Kaitala Motorcycles, the Takahue Team, Kiwi Rider and BMW for a great weekend.

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