First Year Harley Mini — 1973 Harley-Davidson X-90

In America, Small Displacement by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

Produced for only three-years, Harley-Davidson’s X-90 was one of the smallest machines to ever bear the bar and shield logo. Built by Harley’s Italian subsidiary, Aermacchi, the X-90 was powered by an air-cooled, 90cc, two-stroke single married to a four-speed gearbox. The successor to 1972’s “Shortster”, the ’73 X-90 featured full road-going lighting, and suspension and brakes fore and aft.

The basic idea behind these H-D minis — in addition to making a nice profit — was to attract riders while they were young, in hopes of establishing brand loyalty and life-long Harley customers. Supposedly some 7,000 X-90 units were produced prior to the plug being pulled at the end of 1975 — the rarest of the three X-90 model years. Despite several thousand units being produced, the vast majority were kid-owned machines and were consequently treated (or rather abused/neglected) as such, making clean examples pretty darn rare.

According to the seller — who is reportedly the second owner — this particular X-90 example was purchased new, briefly used, and then thrown into storage where it sat for the next three decades. In the fall of 2018 the current owner began a very extensive “open checkbook” restoration.

Everything on this bike was replaced with NOS Harley parts, every surface was repainted, polished, or powder-coated, the engine — which had its case polished — was torn down and rebuilt by a supposed two-stroke specialist, the chassis was adorned in a fresh coat of gloss black, all rubber grips and pegs were replaced, brand new decals were slapped on, and so on. Honestly it’s a little wild just how much was done to this mini, but check out the entire ad to fully appreciate the extent of the rebuild.

The odo only shows 15 miles (presumably after the restoration), and the bike wears a cool little (fake) New York “SHRTSTR” vanity plate. While the asking price for this ’73 specimen may appear to be on the steeper side, it’s not unusual to see clean, restored examples fetch around $5K or more, like this example Abhi featured a while back. If this example’s price is too rich for your blood however, there’s also currently another 1973 Harley mini — of the unrestored variety — also on Craigslist in New York with a much more reasonable asking price.

You can find this restored 1973 Harley-Davidson X-90 minibike for sale here on Craigslist in Putnam County, New York with an asking price of $6,000.