Three interesting motorcycles make appearances in the movie…
The running joke is that Batman’s only superpower is his vast wealth, but we all know the truth: his real power is all his wonderful toys. Beyond the utility belt and Batmobile, one of his most iconic gadgets has always been The Batcycle. The fact it made an appearance in the 2022 film The Batman was no real surprise. But the fact we were treated to two other customized bikes in the film made the event that much sweeter.
Each one of these rides is unique, but all three fit perfectly within the dark, gritty backdrop of this Gotham City.
We’ve seen many iterations of the Batcycle in movies and even the 1960s television show, but this one is different on several levels. Dreamt up by digital artist Ash Thorp, who has collaborated with Ken Block, it’s grounded in reality. The end result is something Bruce Wayne could have built himself in the Batcave.
Replete in the design are cues hearkening to American muscle cars, giving the Batcycle a connection to the film’s Batmobile. Thorp says he was going not only for something real, but a design which would scare the bad guys. Considering that’s Batman’s whole thing, it makes sense.
The end result is an exposed trellis frame, inspired by the Ducati Monster. That huge engine is made out of two BMW boxers taken apart and put one of top of the other. Using the Suzuki Hayabusa as inspiration, Thorp extended the swingarm and fitted a huge rear tire, giving the bike a more aggressive, athletic stance, even if it’s not entirely practical.
Many of the Batcycle’s parts are custom-made, like the tank, seat, and tail. A Ducati of some sort donated the front forks and cowl. In the end it’s not a thing of great sleekness and beauty like you might be used to seeing from Hollywood, but instead it’s a gritty, more grounded thing a man on a mission for vengeance might build.
Yes, it’s a ridiculous name, but that’s what a lot of fans call the motorcycle Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz, uses in the film. If you can get over the name, the bike itself is pretty interesting. Right off, you’ll note it uses a twin-cylinder boxer engine, but from there everything about this ride is pretty custom.
Some have rightly pointed out the Catcycle and all its customizations looks pretty similar to a BMW R Nine T Highway Fighter build done by Cherry’s Company out of Japan. Well, there’s a good reason for the similarities since Warner Brothers hired Kaichiroh Kurosu to build Catwoman’s motorcycle. If you don’t know, Kurosu is the genius behind Cherry’s Company. The movie studio was so impressed with his Highway Fighter they wanted him to do a less polished version of it for The Batman.
All the bodywork on the Highway Fighter is aluminum formed by hand, with the design inspiration coming from 1970s racers. However, in movies there are always multiples of the same vehicle, so it’s likely fiberglass was used to speed up the production process.
To fit with the dark tone of the movie, the build literally has no luster. Matte black paint and nothing in the way of brightwork or BMW badges keeps it looking like what someone who doesn’t want to be seen as they sneak around in the night would use. Also, luggage panniers were added, giving it a more utilitarian feel. After all, Catwoman needs somewhere to stash her plundered loot.
Used by Bruce Wayne in the film when he takes on the undercover persona of the Drifter and not Batman, this café racer is all about speed without any flash. Like the billionaire’s more subtle dress, this bike looks worn and weathered, almost like a thing which has been discarded by society, allowing it to blend into the more rundown parts of Gotham.
Building off the same concept used for the Batcycle, this ride uses a trellis frame and L-twin engine. While it doesn’t look like much to the passing eye, further inspection indicates this custom motorcycle should be fast enough to help run down any bad guy who doesn’t want to be caught.
Photos via IMDB