Aermacchi 175cc Chimera (Dream)
Aermacchi’s first four-stroke
With Phil Aynsley
For a famous and enduring engine design, the Aermacchi four-stroke horizontal single had a somewhat fraught start!
The 175cc Chimera (Dream) was Aermacchi’s first four-stroke design and was the product of the company’s new technical director, Ing. Alfredo Bianchi, who had been hired in 1956. The original concept was from a sketch of the “ideal motorcycle” penned by noted car stylist Count Mario Revelli.
The Chimera was first displayed at the Milan Show in late 1956 and the advanced design featured bodywork made from both die-cast alloy and steel pressings. The 172cc motor made 13hp and propelled the bike to a top speed of 105km/h, total weight was 144kg.
The 175 entered production in 1958 but only 119 were built before production ceased in 1961. A 250cc version was also made from 1958 to 1964, but again the numbers were small – 177.
While the Chimera design failed to excite the buying public its engine went on to power a large number of models over the subsequent years before its final appearance in the 1974 350 Sprint.
The unrestored example seen here is fitted with several period accessories such as the red translucent hand grips, lever covers and the front guard jet ornament (a tribute to Aermacchi’s long history as an aircraft manufacturer).
The bike is missing the large metal tank badges however. The images taken of another, fully restored 175 Chimera in the Barber Museum show the badges.