Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Happy Days’ Henry Winkler Once Wrecked Fonzie’s Motorcycle After Driving 5 Feet

‘Happy Days’ Henry Winkler Once Wrecked Fonzie’s Motorcycle After Driving 5 Feet

Henry Winkler once revealed that his maiden voyage on Fonzie’s motorcycle on Happy Days was also his last. Of course, Winkler portrayed Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, the breakout character of the popular sitcom for a decade. During a 2023 appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show, he revealed that he experienced the thrill of riding his character’s iconic motorcycle… once. Let’s just say it didn’t go as planned.

“I rode it really for 17 seconds, in the beginning, going up the hill. That was it,” Winkler told Hudson at the time. “And there was a moment when they had me on soundstage 5 at Paramount. I was on the bike and all I had to do was rev it and move it five feet. I revved it and [I’m] so dyslexic I had no idea where the brake was, where the gear was, and I shot forward.”

However, it wasn’t just the Fonz that was in danger. Henry Winkler recalled coming close to running over the cinematographer with Fonzie’s motorcycle. “He leapt out of the way,” the Barry star recounted. “I put the bike down. We slid under the truck on the soundstage, and they came running. Everybody was, like, in a panic that the bike was fine because it was rented. And then they [said], ‘How about you? Are you okay?’”

The ‘Happy Days’ Crew Had to Fake Henry Winkler Riding Fonzie’s Motorcycle

Henry Winkler never rode his Fonzie motorcycle again and still harbors a fear of bikes. “They scare me, actually,” Winkler admitted. “They put it on a board with four rubber wheels, [and] attached it to a truck.”

However, Winkler’s fear didn’t detract from his character’s cool demeanor. “Did I not lean on that bike like it was my bike?” he quipped.

Of course, Fonzie, the beloved biker character, gained fame with his one-liners, iconic hairstyle, black leather jacket, and cherished 1949 Triumph Trophy 500 motorcycle. Happy Days ran for an impressive eleven seasons and 255 episodes, from 1974 to 1984.

Bud Ekins, a renowned motorcycle racer and Hollywood stuntman, custom-built Fonzie’s original motorcycle. The bike captured the authentic essence of a 1950s custom design. Fonzie’s 1949 Triumph Trophy 500, the last remaining, sold at auction in 2021 for $231,562. It now resides at the San Diego Automotive Museum, alongside the iconic leather jacket worn by Winkler in his role as the Fonz.