It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. …..That’s how the press note from Warner Brother reads – It’s no rocket science that the new movie will open to record breaking box office numbers, but if early reviews are to be believed, the movie is getting a mixed bag where critics are concerned.
We, at Badbikegang, are not debating whether the movie is good or not, but have chosen to focus on the Bikes that the movie has inspired and also give our readers some interesting facts about Chris Nolan’s Magnum Opus (What the hell? We’ll put in a few spoilers for good measure also). Let’s focus on Bikes as that is the whole agenda of this blog is…..Bikes (Duhhhh!).
Please note, we will only focus on Batman’s Bikes not Robin’s; he may get a mention here and there, though. The first time a Batcycle was glimpsed in the cartoon was when Catwoman stole Batman’s utility belt and unwittingly pressed the button activating the Batcycle’s autopilot in the Batcave. From then on, the Motorcycle has been a regular part of Batman’s arsenal. With regards to broadcast, the Bat Bike featured extensively in the 1960s American television series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The bike was built by Dan “Magiera” Dempski, who used a donated Yamaha 250cc. The bike was customized with a front steering assembly (the part with scallops on it). The windshield was made out of plexiglass which had to be specially molded and custom blown. The sidecar was also a go-cart that would break away from the cycle itself – note Batgirl who also featured on the show had her very own bike (check the amazing retro shots). The next round of swanky bikes came featured in “Batman & Robin”, it was Batgirl’s vehicle when heading to the Gotham Observatory at the film’s climax. Robin also has a motorcycle (Applause Robin has been mentioned) that looks like that of Batgirl’s, unfortunately it is technologically inferior to the one Batgirl rides, I do remember the bike being called the “Bat Blade”…. (don’t know which idiot thought of that).
In the last 2 decades there have been many Batman motorcycle sightings with regards to movies, animes and games but none as memorable as featured in Nolan’s depiction of the caped crusader – The Dark Knight. The movie featured one of the coolest bikes I have ever seen and even better bike sequence – check the video below, The Batpod definitely kicks some serious ass!!
Like he took the character to the next level, Nolan also took his gadgets and vehicles to the absolute next level, the Batpod is a mean looking machine; it looks like a beast ready to charge at full stride. Interestingly, only stunt driver Jean-Pierre Goy has ever piloted the intimidating Batpod — the giant tires, crude suspension, and prone riding position make it more dangerous to ride than almost anything on wheels — Few people know that Christopher Nolan was actually very hands on in building the Batpod, production designer Nathan Crowley and he took a month to assemble a foam-and-plastic model for Batman’s new ride. This was then made into a fully functional bike later.
You have to understand a few things to actually appreciate this juggernaut of a bike. In order to give Batman the ability to manoeuvre under low clearances, the Batpod can physically lower and elongate itself. On set, the front forks extended and the chassis hugged the ground, positioning Goy parallel to the ground–and that’s before pulling a 360 (That’s just whack!). The saddle is free to rotate; it allows you to do all kinds of odd movement within the frame of the bike. Another cool design element – those footrests which are actually the bike’s radiator. But like the exhaust, the normal components had to be hidden to keep the bike’s profile true to the original concept. The engines are actually built into the tires so the bike has an unreal aerodynamic look. To top all this, the bike features .50-cal. machine guns and 40 mm cannons built directly into its frame. Then the bike one-ups them with its iconic grappling hooks, which flip an 18-wheeler over in one key shootout. It would not be fair if we did not showcase a video at this point in time featuring the technology of the Batpod, so here you go….
Now onto the current film, Dark Knight Rises – we debated putting an early review, but that would spoil a lot for people reading this post, instead here is a guide of things you must know before you watch the movie, it will definitely enhance the movie watching experience.
The Dark Knight Rises takes on from The Dark Knight, only 8 years later…
Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman; she will be seen riding the Batpod, Batman’s bike in the film.
Christopher Nolan reportedly chose Bane, played by Tom Hardy, in The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan wanted Batman to go up against his strongest advisory yet, both physically and intellectually.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard who play significant characters in the film were all seen together in the 2010 film Inception which was also directed by Christopher Nolan.
The very first words spoken in The Dark Knight Rises are in voiceover from Commissioner Gordon, who kicks things off by saying, “I knew Harvey Dent…”
If you are a comic book fan here are 5 comics that will prepare you for The Dark Knight Rises: Batman Legacy, Batman Incorporated Season 2, Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score, Batman: No Man’s Land and Batman Knightfall. On the Spoilers bit, I don’t have the heart to put them up just yet, suggest you go and watch the movie it will definitely answer all your questions; if it does not, come back to the blog next week for some in-depth analysis and spoilers. Keep an eye out for the Batpod in the movie; the very hot Catwoman also rides one this time around…..Do check the gallery below for some crazy fan art inspired by The Dark Knight Rises. As usual, do share any interesting basis the movie or bikes in comments….
Note: Badbikegang does not own or claim to ownany of the images featured in this article