harley davidson z90

Harley Davidson Z90 – A Brief History and Overview

Not only was the Harley Davidson Z90 motorcycle a part of an exclusive production, but it is also one of the most beloved small-sized motorcycles among its series. Not to mention that in 1976, this iconic bike made its onscreen debut in “Bad News Bears”, further popularizing it with bikers and movie buffs alike. The Z90–built by Aermacchi for Harley Davidson–is certainly no stranger to fame.

Aermacchi and the Harley Davidson Z90

In the 1950s, Aermacchi emerged as a renowned Italian aircraft manufacturer who not only created aircraft but also specialized in crafting innovative motorcycles and scooters. Though they offered various models of bikes, the company is most remembered for its association with Harley Davidson during the 1960s and 1970s. The firm collaborated with Harley to design smaller motorbikes such as their Z90 introduced in 1973 – an iconic model that still bears recognition today.

Harley Davidson Z90 Specifications

The Harley Davidson Z90 is equipped with a 90cc single air-cooled engine and 4-speed manual transmission, plus an advanced Dell’Orto concentric carburetor and 2.4-gallon fuel tank. Offering superior on/off road capabilities, this motorcycle was designed to bring you everywhere – from country roads to city streets. In the marketing campaign it was even advertised as “your invitation to on/off road adventure…for exploring the country anywhere!”

The Harley Davidson Z90 and “Bad News Bears”

The 1976 movie “Bad News Bears” featured a cultural icon, the Harley Davidson Z90. Played by Jackie Earle Haley, Kelly Leak’s choice of bike was ideal for his character as it was an agile and lightweight motorcycle that could be ridden on or off roads easily. Even today, viewers associate this small but mighty bike with the film.

Production and Availability

The Harley Davidson Z90 is a highly sought-after motorcycle, as it was only manufactured between 1973 and 1975 – making it quite rare. Despite its rarity, there are still some of these bikes available for purchase today; thus, they can be the perfect addition to any enthusiast’s collection. The limited edition design makes this bike an interesting piece of motorcycling history sure to turn heads wherever you go.

Restoration and Customization

If you’re fortunate enough to come across a Z90, it’s worth considering restoring or customizing it. Owing to its straightforward construction, the bike is easy to work on and repair parts for your Z90 can be sourced online with plenty of resources available for those looking to customize their rides.


The Harley Davidson Z90 is an extraordinary motorcycle that was only manufactured for a small amount of time. It was one in a series of mini motorcycles produced by Aermacchi for Harley Davidson in the 1970s, and it has been immortalized in popular culture through its association with the film “Bad News Bears.”

Embracing versatility, the Z90 was designed to conquer both on-road and off-road adventures. This legendary motorcycle is a rare find that will bring excitement – as well as plenty of restoration and customization options – into any collection. With its invitation to journey, owning one can be an enriching experience.


Below are some FAQs related to the Harley Davidson Z90 motorcycle:

When was the Harley Davidson Z90 produced?

The Z90 was designed and released for a brief period from 1973 to 1975, making it an exclusive production.

Who manufactured the Harley Davidson Z90?

Aermacchi, an Italian aircraft and motorcycle producer who tied up with Harley Davidson in the 1960s and 1970s, designed the Z90.

What engine does the Harley Davidson Z90 have?

The Z90 is equipped with a powerful and efficient 90cc single air-cooled two-stroke engine.

What type of transmission does the Harley Davidson Z90 have?

The Z90 offers a smooth and responsive 4-speed manual transmission for thrilling, engaging driving.

Is the Harley Davidson Z90 a rare motorcycle?

Indeed, the Z90 was only produced for a brief period of time, making it an exceptionally scarce motorcycle in modern times.

What was the Harley Davidson Z90 marketed as?

The Z90 was marketed as “your invitation to on/off road adventure…for exploring the country anywhere!”

What is the fuel capacity of the Harley Davidson Z90?

The Z90 comes with a 2.4-gallon fuel tank, allowing you to venture farther on your next adventure.

What is the significance of the Harley Davidson Z90 in popular culture?

Featured in the iconic 1976 movie, “Bad News Bears,” Jackie Earle Haley’s character Kelly Leak rides a Z90 that has since become an unforgettable cultural symbol. The Z90 gained immense popularity and recognition from its role in this classic film.

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