Author Topic: Jackie Earle Haley on a 1975 Harley Davidson Z90 in The Bad News Bears  (Read 14247 times)


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The Bad News Bears movie was released in 1976. Jackie Earle Haley played, Kelly Leak, the tough kid in the movie who smoked and rode motorcycles. Kelly Leak rides a 1975 Harley Davidson Z90 single cylinder 2-stroke motorcycle, which was really made in Italy by Aermacchi. In the 1970's Japanese motorcycle companies were exporting mostly small displacement motorcycles into the United States. To complete with these motorcycles, Harley Davidson purchased a controlling interest in Aermacchi and had Aermacchi build small displacement motorcycles for Harley Davidson. This is why Harley Davidson sold small displacement motorcycles during the 1970's. If you watch the motorcycle scenes carefully you will notice they use a Honda XR75 as a stunt double for the Harley Davidson Z90. My guess is they had trouble pulling wheelies on the Z90 and needed a torquer, wheelie friendly, motorcycle. The Harley Davidson Z90 was manufactured from 1973 to 1975.

I always thought most of the Italian Aermacchi motorcycles looked odd, and I never understood why Harley Davidson didn't force design change's to make them more appealing. I guess that's all subjective though.... Look at the last photo and notice how the bracket for the headlight is attached to the steering stem crown and protrudes out the front and connects to the headlight. The headlight only has one attachment point. Notice the exposed battery secured to the right side where you would normally see a side panel. Looks like a hazard if the bike falls over.  Also notice how the intake manifold is angled to the right rear causing the carburetor and air filter to protrude toward the right side of the motorcycle. The frame main pipe, or part of it, seen in the photo seems to cause the problem with the battery and the angle of carburetor and air filter.

Rent or buy The Bad News Bears on Amazon:

Video clips of The Bad News Bears:

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Finally uploaded my own content to YouTube (10/29/2019), so I no longer have to depend on another YouTube channel keeping their video public. Notice in the movie clip how they used a Honda XR75 motorcycle as a stunt double for the Harley Davidson Z90. I don't think the Z90 was very torquey and it made it difficult for the rider to ride a wheelie, so the XR75 took its place.

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Photo's of the Harley Davidson (Aermacchi) Z90:

Jackie Earle Haley on a 1975 Harley Davidson Z90

1973 Harley Davidson Z90

1974 Harley Davidson Z90

1975 Harley Davidson Z90
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 07:16:40 PM by adminjoe »
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