Since 1851, Kiehl's Apothecary in New York City has been committed to the adventurous spirit of American men and women who live and love in the great outdoors. A visual statement of this commitment is the drug store's collection of vintage motorcycles. Kiehl's displays these pristine machines at their retail establishments around the world for travelers and customs to admire and enjoy.
How do I know this, and why should you care? I Googled it, of course. Until I literally bumped into this '67 H-D M-65 from Kiehl's collection at the duty-free store at Taiwan International Airport last March, I'd never heard of the high-end face cream, nor seen the MoCo's diminutive two-stroke street bike. Exfolliants and Italian minibikes make strange bedfellows, but when you're 6,800 miles from home, you take your two-wheeled diversions any way you can.
Some of you may be familiar with Harley's foray into family motorcycling. For a time from the 1960s into the late '70s, diverse, low-cost product offerings from Japanese marques had H-D scrambling to broaden its product range to satisfy value-conscious and/or size-averse motorcycle buyers. Harley commissioned the Aermacchi Motorcycle Co. in Varese, Italy, to produce these machines, most of which were rebadged small-discplacement 4-stroke Euro street bikes or 2-stroke-powered minis like the M-65 seen here.
How an Italian moped in H-D livery licensed for operation in the state or California passed through a Big Apple drugstore on its way to becoming a POP display in a Chinese airport is anyone's guess. I Googled it for an hour and came up empty-handed. What I can tell you is this:
Fewer than 2,000 M-65's were imported from Aermacchi by Harley-Davidson in the 1967 model year, and at least one owner of these fine machines is a serious mouth breather (cue soundtrack on accompanying YouTube video.)
Taiwan is littered with motorcycle relics from many bygone eras, and some day we'll do a photo feature on the best of them. On this trip I was so preoccupied with real business, I didn't have time to comb Taichung's dark alleys for photographic proof of the country's sketchiest scooters. There are over 30 million pint-sized putters in Taiwan, and sometimes it feels like 50 percent of them are revving their stinkers outside my hotel room. Kiehl's stylish display paints an antiseptic picture of The Flower Island. The streets of Taiwan are greasier than the clapped-out skooters that ply them.
For now, let's give thanks to Kiehl's Apothecary for their love of motorcycles, and to Harley for selling an affordable entry-level motorcycle… even if it was 43 years ago.