Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Drive In And See Andrew Probert's 'Streethawk' Motorcycle Designs

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - by Maurice Mitchell 0

The hi-tech motorcycle for the 1985 show Streethawk was designed by veteran artist Andrew Probert (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Back to the Future, Battlestar Galactica) and here are some illustrations from his site.

Streethawk was one of my favorite shows as a kid. Not because it was any good, but I loved the motorcycle. While I was doing research for a post called Ten 'Knight Rider' Knock-Offs That Failed Miserably, I discovered Andrew Probert did the designs!

I had to see them and, thankfully, he posted a bunch on his site. Here are my favorites along with his commentary of each design stage.
Design Development
...of a new type of motorcycle that would have the capability of traversing rough terrain as well as reaching a speed of 300 miles per hour.

Research

The first thing any designer does is research the item to be designed. I soon suggested that this multi-role machine would need two real-world bikes to be the muscle underneath. I further suggested a Honda shaft-driven street bike and one of their dirt bikes.

The  Bike was constructed by Gene Winfield's 'Rod and Custom Construction, Inc.'and when they got a dirt bike, I asked it I could take some shots of it and a rider so I might have something, in my design process, from which to sketch.  That's Gene, himself, holding the bike and my rider-model.

First Concept

I wanted to give this bike a look to suggest that it could (somehow) generate enough power to propel it's rider to 300 mph, as required in the show's premise.  This is the earliest sketch, in the series, that I could find..apparently not having documented my usual initial scribbles..

Second  Concept

This is mostly a refinement of that first direction.  Right away, I was concerned about incorporating streamlined wheels, and a back section of the seat that would rise up, at high speeds, in order to support the rider.  I also designed the back wheel support in a way that it might cover the (proposed) two different drive systems.  I imagined that the bike would morph between the two extremes,. high suspension/handle bars and chain for dirt, morphing down to low suspension/handle bars and shaft for high speed street work.


Weapon-1

The bike's main 'beam' weapon was required for a variety of uses & missions, so I came up with the idea that it could pop out and then swivel into whatever position or angle that was needed.


Final Design

The producers unexpectedly fell in LOVE with a set of wheels they'd seen in some magazine and just had to have them on Streethawk.  I explained that it relegated the 'super-drive' system to a standard chain drive and they didn't have a problem with that.  Subsequently, this next & final design included their special wheel & brake system and was approved.  From that point a 'line' version of the drawing was blown up to full size and used to construct the body of the show vehicle.



Here's the opening which gives you some views of the cycle in action.


Check out the rest of Probert's STREETHAWK_Designs including the dashboard and exhaust system at his site ProbertDesigns.com

PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE: COPYRIGHT © UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, ANDREW PROBERT

About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

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