The Hydra Bike is a classic example of movie design. I worked the most time on it of all Hydra vehicles, though what you see in the final film is a quick sketch from my very last day on the show. Film making is an organic process, things change every day, which is a great challenge.
The top left image (registration DS 0912) was the final thought of a sturdy upright Hydra bike. It is based on Joe’s vision for a very long wheelbase on an easy to get modern Harley Davidson V-Rod frame. Features that started appearing in all design stages are a massive engine cover with integrated leg rests, a car-like gear shifter and an abstraction of a leading link fork. Another feature that Joe added were six grenades that the rider could easily grab, and two tank-mounted guns, blended into the fairing. A windshield also became necessary to cover the modern fork structure of the donor bike. Proportions on vehicles are extremely sensitive, so I always start very early to juggle volumes in 3D. That allows the director to look at it from all angles and it helps me to adjust the position of the rider – a crucial deal on a bike.
We worked for the longest time with a Harley Davidson chassis in mind and I carefully translated Joe’s visions of a long wheelbase onto that package. With filming schedule coming closer, the production decided for an Enduro-Offroad bike as the base, in bike design terms the most opposite of a Harley. The script asked for action that would have been difficult for stuntmen to perform on a long bike. I translated our long wheelbase design onto the purchased enduro bike which led to the final design. The more the film script developed, the more Hydra bikes had to be build for shooting. We needed a much simpler design now to manufacture in high numbers on schedule. So on my very last I sketched a simplistic bike without compound surfaces (drawing left) that still covers most of the underlying bike and that drawing went straight to the workshops, resulting in the bike you see now on film (left below and top banner).
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