The Batcycle, from the cover of Detective Comics vol. 1 #993 (November, 2018)
Art by Mark Brooks
|First appearance||Detective Comics #233 (July 1956)|
|In story information|
|Element of stories featuring||Batman|
The Batcycle, Batblade, or Batpod is the fictional personal motorcycle of the DC Comics superhero Batman. In the comic book universe, Batman's personal Batcycle is a modified street-bike with a 786 cc liquid-cooled V-4 engine. It contains a computer-controlled carburetor and bulletproof wind-guard.
In other media
Batman (TV series)
The Batcycle made its first appearance in 1966 in the Batman TV series. It was a 1965 Harley Davidson with a side car, but it was taken on lease and was only used for the first season episode "Not Yet, He Ain't".
Later that year, a new Batcycle was introduced. It was produced by Kustomotive, conceived by Dan Dempski, designed by Tom Daniel, and built by Dan and Korky Korkes using a Yamaha Catalina 250. It was leased to 20th Century Fox starting on April 18, 1966 for $50 a week with an additional $350 up front. The new Batcycle was first used in the 1966 film Batman and continued to appear in the rest of the TV series. Hubie Kerns and Victor Paul did most of the stunt work with the motorcycle throughout the series. The total amount paid to Kustomotive was $2,500. When the series was canceled, Kustomotive used the Batcycle in car shows, paying royalties to Greenway, 20th Century Fox, and National Periodical Publications. Kustomotive built four replicas of the Batcycle for tours.
The Batcycle appears in the series Batwoman as Batwoman's personal vehicle.
Batman & Robin
The Batblade was built on the body of a drag racer: the rear tire comes not from a motorcycle, but from a car. Originally, the equipment for fast pursuits was conceived, and, with the help of the special effects, it functions also on smooth underground and under most extreme weather conditions.
The Dark Knight Trilogy
The Batcycle is known as the Batpod for The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). The bike has 20" front and rear tires and is powered by a high-performance, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine - geared toward the lower end for faster acceleration and with no exhaust pipes: the exhaust is routed through the hollow steel/aluminum/magnesium tubing used for the frame of the bike. The Batpod is steered by the shoulders instead of hands, and the rider's arms are protected by shields. The two foot pegs are set 3½ feet apart on either side of the tank, which the rider lies on, belly down. The engine noise was designed around the Shepard tone, for which sound effects came, in part, from the sound of the Tesla Roadster's electric motor. The Batpod ejects out of the Tumbler's front end, with the Tumbler's front wheels becoming the Batpod's front and rear wheels. Because the Tumbler is ordered to self-destruct, the Batpod allows Batman to continue his pursuit. For the film, the bike is armed with grappling hooks, cannons, and machine guns. Six models were constructed for the film's production to anticipate some of them crashing. One action sequence in the film shows the wheels rolling against their normal axes, seemingly for added stability in sharp turns or other maneuvers. This also allows for instant changes in direction - if the driver approaches a wall, the Batpod's central frame will rotate to keep the driver upright (the inspiration for this useful chassis feature may well have been the innovative wheel configuration on a Killough Platform into omnidirectionally mobile chasses). The Batpod's chassis also elongates, allowing the rider to pass under low-hanging obstacles, as when Batman slaloms underneath a tractor trailer the Joker is driving. The term "Batpod" is mentioned by Alfred Pennyworth only once in the movie.
The Batpod is used again in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). At first, it serves as Batman's primary vehicle. Later, Selina Kyle uses the Batpod during the final battle against Bane's forces for the fate of Gotham. Batman uses the Bat to fight Bane's stolen Tumblers from the air while Selina uses the Batpod to open a tunnel to allow Gotham civilians to escape, to shoot Bane, and to destroy at least two of Bane's Tumblers while tracking the nuclear bomb Bane and Talia al Ghul intended to use to destroy the city. During filming on August 9, 2011, a stunt performer collided with an IMAX camera while filming a chase scene involving Kyle's Batpod.
DC Animated Universe
The Batcycle was one of the many vehicles used by Batman and Robin in Batman: The Animated Series. The Batcycle was themed to look like Batman's other vehicles, the Batmobile, Batwing, and Batboat. Batman would use it in certain episodes, as would Robin. Perhaps the most important part the Batcycle played in the series was in the movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, where Batman jumped off the Batcycle so it would crash into a giant fan that was being controlled by the Joker. The Batcycle saw a little more use from Robin, particularly in the episode "Robin's Reckoning." Robin would continue to use a variation of the Batcycle in later seasons after he had become Nightwing. Batman always donned a helmet, modeled to accommodate his cowl's ears, before driving the Batcycle.
The Batcycle makes only a few appearances in The Batman. The first is in the episode, "The Cat and the Bat," in which Catwoman steals Batman's utility belt and inadvertently sends the Batmobile careening out of control on autopilot. Batman uses the Batcycle to catch-up with and retrieve the other vehicle. The Batcycle's second appearance on the program is in the episode, "RPM". The Batmobile is wrecked during a pursuit of Gearhead, and Batman must use the Batcycle to continue the battle against the villain when the rebuilt Batmobile is not fully operational in time. The Batcycle ends up destroyed after Gearhead infects its computerized system with a nanotech virus during this same episode.
Robin uses a variation of the Batcycle featuring his own colors in The Batman. Robin also has a similarly styled bike in the Teen Titans animated series.
- Batman & Robin (Robin drives the Redbird, and Batgirl drives the Batblade)
- Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (the Batcycle and the Nightwing Cycle are unlockable 3D Models in the Trophy Room)
- Lego Batman: The Video Game
- Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes
- The Dark Knight (canceled)
Art Asylum created a toy version of the Batcycle for C3 Sets Wave 2 of Minimates in 2005. LEGO paired the Batcycle with "Harley Quinn's Hammer Truck" for their LEGO Batman line. In 2008, Mattell's Hot Wheels line released a 1/50 scale of the 1966 Batcycle, and in 2009, released a 1/12 scale of the same model. Both featured detachable sidecars. An upgraded 'Elite' version of the 1/12 model is also expected, with even greater detail. The Batblade has also been mentioned as a candidate for the 2010 series of 1/50 Bat-vehicles.
- "Batman Television". Batman YTB. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "Batman & Robin - Bikes > Batblade". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- SuperHeroHype. "Superhero Hype". Superhero Hype. Archived from the original on July 24, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "Movies - The Dark Knight - Gadgets - The Batpod". Batmanytb.com. Archived from the original on 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- The Dark Knight Special Features: "Gotham Uncovered: Creation of the Scene" featurette
- "Dark Knight's Bat-Pod Took Up-Armored Road From Garage to Set". Popular Mechanics. 2008-07-17. Archived from the original on 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- Stax (2007-06-18). "Behold the Batpod!". Movies.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- Blanco, Sebastian (2009-04-15). "The Dark Knight's BatPod was driven by the Tesla Roadster". Autobloggreen.com. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- Carpenter, Susan (2007-06-18). "Wholly high-tech, Batman". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-06-17.[dead link]
- Batman & Robin - Bikes
- Television - Batman: The Series - Gadgets - Batcycle
- Character Profiles - Gadgets - Batcycle
- Television - Batman: The Series - Batgirl's Batcycle
- Dark Knight Batpod
- Fan made 1:1 scale Batpod replica - build log
- Internet Movie Cars Database: