Concept of the Week

Batman's Two-Wheeled Beast

Batman's Two-Wheeled Beast

By Stuart Schwartzapfel

Batman fans and motorcycle enthusiasts have something to look forward to in the "Batpod," the infamous superhero's new set of wheels. In next summer's The Dark Knight, Batman (played by Christian Bale) will catch criminals on a motorcycle, not a car.

But the Batpod is not your typical bike. Rather, it looks like something Wes Craven and Jesse James might have come up with. Think of it like this: If Hummer or Jeep made motorcycles, they might create this two-wheeled beast.

Many liken the Batpod's aesthetic to the Dodge Tomahawk, a V10-powered motorcycle concept first shown at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. Despite the lack of the Tomahawk's hulking Viper power plant, the Batpod — with the machine guns up front — has an impressive look.

Did you notice a kickstand holding this thing up? Not necessary. The front and rear tires are both 508 millimeters, more than wide enough to self-balance. Also apparent is the lack of a motor in the traditional location. That's because motors (possibly electric) have been placed in the hubs of each wheel. Traditional handlebars have no use here—the Batpod features a more involved steering and suspension setup. The arms are slipped into sleeve shields that control the Batpod's direction and steering, requiring strenuous effort to maneuver the bike. The two foot pegs are set 3.5 feet apart on either side of the tank, on which the rider lies, belly down.

Nathan Crowley designed Batman's new ride for The Dark Knight. He was also the pen behind the "Tumbler," the vehicle in Batman Begins.
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