The Original 1966 TV Batcycle's

 

YAMAHA "BATCYCLE" TO BE LATEST WEAPON OF CAPED CRUSADERS

One of the most phenomenally successful television shows in recent years is ABC's "Batman."  One of the interesting aspects of this show is the unusual and exciting vehicles in the pursuit of deadly evil criminals.  From the batcave emerges a batcar, a batcopter and many, many more imaginative vehicles, all styled in the Batman motif.

Tying in with the extreme popularity of sportcycles, Batman has inevitably utilized a sportcycle--the Batcycle--in his efforts to thwart the forces of evil.  The Batcycle itself is a real showpiece.  Built from a Yamaha Catalina 250, the Batcycle features a side car with a portable go-cart resting on it for Batman's invisible aide, Robin.  As Batman slows down or stops the Batcycle, Robin is propelled off of  the side car and becomes mobile in his own right in the go-cart. The entire Batcycle and side car are handsomely customized in black and white colors with a batshield molded into the fairing and fender guard.  Not only is the Batcycle a hugely modified Yamaha Catalina 250, but Robin's cart, which is an integral part of the Batcycle rig, is powered by a 55cc, electric start, Yamaha three speed engine.

The Batcycle will soon be seen in a feature length Batman motion picture.

June 1966  article

 

The Batcycle was the idea and creation of two builders, Daniel Dempski and Richard "Korky" Korkes of Burbank California and doing business as Kustomotive. It was designed by Tom Daniel and built in 5 days in April 1966.  The first Batcycle (Hero bike #1) was built from a modified 305cc Yamaha YM1 with a customized side-car and a gas powered go-kart.

Dan and Korky used the basic design of the scalloped fairing from a Yamaha racing fairing that was modified with Filon (fiberglass) sheets.  Filon sheets were also used to create the sidecars large scalloped wing which was finished off with 3 rocket tubes. There were two "Speedline" patterns used on the sidecar.  One was shaped as an "S" and the other was shaped as a "Z."

The sidecar had a removable gas-powered go-kart that was deployed by Robin. It was custom built and powered by a 55cc Yamaha engine. It had motorcycle controls and a chrome moly steel frame.

Thanks to the success of the Batcycle, Dan and Korky built 3 copies.  Yamaha was happy to supply them with 3 more black motorcycles for free.  One was seen in two episodes of the Batman TV show and included a working gas powered go-cart (Hero bike #2).  The other two had a similar design, but had a non-working “Bat Kart.”  All the Batcycle’s toured the U.S. and Canada to promote the TV show and bring in extra money for Kustomotive.

 

The Batcycle was seen in the following Batman TV episodes

"The Penguin Goes Straight" (1st Batcycle- Harley Davidson)

"1966 Batman movie" (#1 hero Batcycle- Yamaha)

"Come Back Shame" ( #1 hero Batcycle driven by Bruce Wayne and Dick Greyson)

"A Riddling Controversy" (#2 hero Batcycle- Yamaha YM1)

"Batman's Waterloo" (#2 hero Batcycle with a "Battering Ram")

"The Joker's Flying Saucer" (#1 hero Batcycle-reused airport scene from the Batman movie) 

Richard "Korky" Korkes 1966 Dan Dempski in 1966
 Richard "Korky" Korkes  Dan Dempski
Batcycle Batcycle Batcycle Batcycle Batcycle
Batcycle Batcycle Batcycle Batcycle Batcycle
Batcycle The Dynamic Duo Batcycle Batcycle Robin on his go-cart
Go-cart Robin's cart Robin's cart #2 cart The two side-car patterns in 1966
Stephanie Rose in 1967 Hawaii December 1966 Hawaii in 1966 #2 Hero Batcycle

 

Robin's #1 Hero Go-Kart

Specifications

The cart was auctioned on May 15, 2011 through Profiles In History.

Engine 55cc Yamaha
Carburetor Mikuni
Transmission Manual 3 speed 
Ignition Electronic w/ push button start
Front wheels 5" Gar-Bro Wheel Co. 
Rear wheels 5" Azusa 
Tires Firestone Micro "500"  3.50-5
Brake  Airheart rear disc
Chassis construction Steel
Dimensions 55" x 25"
Weight 150+ lbs
2011 2011 2011 2011 2011
2011 2011 2011 2011 2011

1966 photo

A 1966 photo of the original Batcycle sidecar frame

Bill Cushenbery Jr.

Bill Cushenbery Jr. (driving) and his sister (on go-kart) hanging out with the kids in their neighborhood in 1968 with the #2 hero bike 

Bill Cushenbery Sr. was a well known car customizer who worked on the original modifications from the Futura to the Batmobile in 1965.

 

At the Aurora factory At the Aurora plant At the Aurora plant

Pictured is Batcycle #3.  Notice the side cart does not have the three rear pipes and the go-kart does not have a motor. 

Aurora Batcycle

Aurora Batcycle plastic model with Robin's detachable go-kart

Built by Chopper

Here's a built-up Polar Lights (reissue of Aurora kit) Batcycle model custom built by Chopper

 

Dan Magiera and Bob Butts

The CHP with an original Batcycle

Dan Dempski (Magiera), creator of the Batcycle, and customizer  Bob Butts with the #1 hero bike.

The California Highway Patrol with the #1 hero Batcycle and the '89 Batmobile

 

The original Batcycle The Original Batcycle Being prepped to take molds from
The original Batcycle with the molds that were taken The original Batcycle with the molds that were taken The original Batcycle

One of the original Batcycle's in 1991 being prepped for duplication.  Shown is the #1 hero Batcycle with the molds and "positives" that were created.

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