What Kind Of Motorcycle Did Fonzie Ride?
Happy Days was one of the cult sitcoms that took over the 1970s. It ran from 1974 through until 1984. There was no more popular character on the show than Fonzie, or we can use his full name Arthur Fonzarelli if you prefer. He was the cool cat who got the girls and more importantly looked cool riding motorbikes.
There is quite often the debate amongst the dinner table about which type of motorbike Fonzie rode. This confusion is understandable however, as there were a number of different bikes which Fonzie rode throughout the series.
Let’s take a look at a few of them and hopefully put to rest the question of “What kind of motorbike and Fonzie ride?”, at least for a while.
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Fonzie was a Harley Davidson man in the early days. Although we do not have specific information on the exact bike, it is highly likely that there were a couple of different bikes.
Harley-Davidson Chopped Knucklehead
Other possibilities: Harley-Davidson Sportster, Harley-Davidson Panhead
Triumph And British Motorcycles
Throughout the majority off the series, at least after the first season, Fonzie grew a passion for the British bikes, in particular the Triumph. But just like was the case with the Harley-Davidson motorcycles, we can confirm only one of the Triumph motorcycles which Fonzie rode, however it is also highly likely that there were several other models as well that Fonzie put a leg over at one time or another.
1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 Scrambler (photos below) - This is the motorcycle that we know the most about as it came up for auction not too long ago. This particular motorcycle which was rode by Fonzie was owned by Bud Elkins, a famous stunt driver. The bike was customized with new bars, a stripped front fender and was given a spray job. The story then goes that in 1995 Bud Elkins sold Fonzie’s motorcycle to his friend named Marshall Ehlers. It is believed that Marshall Ehlers purchased this motorcycle on the basis of it being in excellent condition, however he had no idea that it was connected to Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli. We may never know whether or not this story is true, however it has a nice quality about it, so we won’t question it!
Other possibilities: Trophy 650cc , BSA
Fonzie / Fonze / Arthur Fonzarelli
Fonzie was never expected to be a main character on the TV show Happy Days, however his appeal to the audience quickly saw him rise to fame. Today we are writing articles on “What kind of motorcycle did Fonzie ride?”, however, I don’t see any articles asking what sort of golf clubs Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham) played with, despite him being a major character from day one.
Fonzie was the central character in the “Jumping of the shark” incident, which is now an idiom used to express that a show’s best days are over (or the happy days are over, if you enjoy puns). In this particular episode our much loved Fonzie jumps over a shark while waterskiing, still wearing his ever present black leather motorcycle jacket. Things had been taken a little too far.
Henry Winkler And Motorcycles
Here is where the story of Henry Winkler (aka Fonzie) and the character is interesting. Fonzie was very different to Henry Winkler. In fact, not many people would have guessed that Henry Winkler before he started on the TV show “Happy Days” knew nothing about motorcycles, let alone riding them as a primary mode of transport, Henry wasn’t a dropout like Fonzie either! This is such a surprise as from his acting you would have no idea that he was nothing like the cool and uneducated motorcycle rider Fonzie.
Such was Henry Winkler’s inexperience with motorcycles, it is believed that he crashed motorcycles on multiple occasions while filming the show.
We have hopefully now answered the question of “What kind of motorcycle did Fonzie Ride?”, however there will always be a shadow of doubt over some of the additional bikes which may have appeared on set from time to time. We are always happy to be corrected, so let us know!
What was your favorite motorcycle that Fonzie rode, or Fonze moment? Tell us in the comments below.
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