Motorcycles feature in some of the greatest and most exciting chases in Sci-Fi history. For all you Sci-Fi petrolheads, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker Bikesure takes a look at some Sci-Fi bikes that have graced the comic strip or screen.
- Dredd (2012) is based on the British comic book character “Judge Dredd”, who first appeared in the 2000 AD comic anthology. In the film, Karl Urban plays the character Judge Dredd, a law enforcer given the power of judge, jury and executioner. Urban insisted on performing his own motorcycle stunts on the “Lawmaster” motorcycle. The Lawmaster is a modified 500cc motorcycle, with a large fairing added over the bike with machine guns, an extended wheel base and the largest functional tyres possible.
- The movie, Tron (1982) depicts fictional vehicles called Light Cycles, futuristic two-wheeled vehicles which resemble motorcycles and create walls of coloured light in gladiator-style battles. The Light Cycles boast incredibly speedy acceleration and lightning-fast top speeds. Tron Light Cycles have become science fiction turned fact as a road legal version has been made and can be seen in action in this YouTube video< .
- Ghost Rider (2007) is an American supernatural superhero film based on the Marvel Comics. Motorcyclist Johnny Blaze becomes the “Ghost Rider”, the devil’s legendary bounty hunter, charged with finding evil souls on earth and taking them back to hell. For the stunt riding Cage rode a Buell motorcycle. As Ghost Rider he rides a customized chopper named “Grace” which transforms into the “Hell Cycle” complete with hell-fire.
- Terminator Salvation (2009), the fourth of the Terminator films, is set in 2018, where Skynet has destroyed most of humanity. Survivors have been hiding underground from an army of machines, known as “Terminators”.The Harvester, an enormous robotic hunter-killer, stores MotoTerminators, automated motorcycles, in its lower legs and releases them to round up fleeing humans and make them easier to capture. Ducati designers were hired to create the MotoTerminators, inspired by the Ducati Hypermotard. Hypermotards were used for the stunt riding in the film and can be seen in action in this YouTube video.
- Post-apocalyptic thriller, Priest (2011) follows a futuristic motorcycle riding priest who is hunting down vampires who have kidnapped his niece. The impressive Priest bike can be seen in action in this video from MCN. Scott Stewart, director of Priest, said “We wanted these bikes to feel like you’re sitting on a jet engine.” And it looks like it too! The bikes started off as a Suzuki Gladius, Wired.com takes a look at how the transformation was made.
- In the comics Batman has the Batcycle, a modified street-bike with a 786 cc liquid-cooled V-4 engine, computer-controlled carburetor and bulletproof wind-guard. In the film, Dark Knight (2008) he has the Batpod, which ejects out of the Tumbler’s front end, making the Tumbler’s 20 inch tyres those of the Batpods. Because the Tumbler is ordered to self-destruct, the Batpod allows Batman to continue his pursuit, powered by the water-cooled engine from a Honda CRF450R. The hardtail Batpod has a number of quirky design features: The bike doesn’t have any exhausts, the exhaust gases are routed through the hollow tubing used for the bike’s frame, steering the Batpod is done using shoulder movement rather than with the hands with the rider’s arms protected by shields, and the riders feet sit on stirrup-like foot pegs 3 ½ feet apart on either side of the tank, with the rider almost laying down on the tank. In true superhero style, the bike is decked out with grappling hooks, cannons and machine guns. A gallery of images of the Batpod can be found on batman.wikia.com.