In 1960, Harley-Davidson bought 50% interest in the Italian Aermacchi factory, taking it over entirely in 1974. The Italian-bred two-stroke roadracers, re-badged as Harley-Davidsons, went on to earn three consecutive 250cc World Championships (1974 through 1976) with racer Walter Villa aboard the RR-250. Villa followed up his quarter-liter success by earning the 350cc title for Harley in 1977.
Harley also attempted a return to macadam scratching in the AMA Superbike ranks in 1994 with the VR1000. Developed with design and engineering assistance from Porsche, it proved an expensive undertaking that produced mediocre results. Riders Miguel Duhamel, Doug Chandler, Pascal Picotte and Chris Carr campaigned the bike but never won a race.
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