It’s been a little over a week since The Batman’s theatrical debut, which has given the car/bike community enough time to voice its opinions on the vehicles that keep Gotham’s protector rolling. And, wherever we look on the internet, we see aficionados applauding the new Batmobile, but also the fresh Batcycle. At first glance (e.g., the official trailer), the bike isn’t as prominent as the car, but we’re here to change that with fresh images and details from The Batman digital artist Ash Thorp.
Director Matt Reeves and Production designer James Chinlund selected Ashley Livingstone Thorp as the designer of these machines (as expected, the production team for the go-fast tools is considerably larger). And this shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Thorp doesn’t just have plenty of superhero and sci-fi creation/directing work on his resume, but is also an enthusiast through and through, as his renderings easily showcase. We should also tell you he’s De Tomaso’s designer.
Now that the motion picture, which tells the story of Bruce Wayne’s second year in the role the Dark Knight, is out, the artist has shared images of the new Batcycle on his Instagram page, while providing insights on how the beast was created.
The 2022 Batcycle brings a mix of styles
While the Batmobile appears to be an all-American machine that draws inspiration from the OG muscle cars of the 1960s and early 1970s, the inspiration sources for the 2022 Batcycle seem to have been more diverse.
At first sight, the two-wheeled monster’s massive appearance and sturdy style might make one think of U.S. icons such as Harley Davidsons. However, once you take a look at the details, it becomes obvious that the more sculpted design elements present on the vehicle come from other parts of the world.
For one, the extended wheelbase is a nod to custom Suzuki Hayabusas, with this offering high-speed stability and also helping with those cool drifting scenes. Then there’s the exposed frame paying homage to Italian producer Ducatti, which makes some of the most exotic bikes the world has ever seen.
“I chose a lengthened wheelbase similar to the style of modified Hayabusa bikes so that the Batman could track down anyone at high speed. I also wanted to match the brutal and blunt designs from the Batmobile with a solid rear swingarm that would then connect to an exposed lattice-type frame found in some of my favorite Ducati bikes,” Thorp explains on his Instagram page—you’ll find the complete story over there, including the exchange between the artist and the director and production designer.
An ode to all the builders out there
As is the case with the Batmobile, the Batcycle’s appearance tells people this is something Bruce Wayne could build for his Batman alter ego. Thus, there’s a more relatable design. For one, the saddle looks like something one could attach to the frame in a shop rather than a piece assembled by a highly-paid team of craftsmen.
Now, if we zoom in on the engine of the new Batcycle, this appears to be a flat-four with the crankshaft sitting perpendicular to the swingarm. We weren’t the only ones to notice this, with a user asking Thorp about the layout of the motor in social media.
The designer’s answer? “I believe the film bike is electric but I could be wrong,” Thorp states. And given that the Batmobile did receive one electric version for certain scenes (we won’t go into further details to avoid spoilers), we could see why EV propulsion was selected for the actual Batcycle, or at least one version of it.
Bruce Wayne’s more understated presence is achieved via a Drifter Bike
Robbert Pattison might’ve grabbed the handlebar of the massive Batcycle when portraying Batman, but the star also used the saddle of the Drifter Bike when playing Bruce Wayne.
To keep a low profile when on the move, Wayne used a much sleeker Drifter Bike. This might just be easier to place into a category than the Batcycle, since it gives strong cafe racer vibz.
And Thorp provides additional details, as well as images on his ALT Creative website (just scroll down to the Drifter Bike section of The Batman work).
Oh, and while we’re discussing the connection to the real world, there’s one more aspect we need to mention. With the more realistic look of the vehicles put to Gotham’s service in The Batman, these also appear better prepared for scale model transition. In fact, during our usual web surfing, we’ve already seen more than one toymaker taking the opportunity and we expect more to follow in the future.