The Original 1966 TV Batcycle

 

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 (YDS-3) 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 bike was designed by Tom Daniel and built in 5 days in April 1966 by Richard "Korky" Korkes & Daniel Dempski, doing business as "Kustomotive."  Yamaha gave them three black motorcycles, so they could build one "hero" bike and two copies.  The basic design of the fairing came from a Yamaha racing fairing that was modified with Filon sheets.  Filon sheets were also used to create the sidecars wing.  The distinct round, red light on the sidecar also flashed as well.  The "hero" bike had three rocket tubes on the back of its sidecar and the copy bikes did not.  There were two "Speedline" patterns used on the sidecar in 1966.  One was shaped as an "S" and the other was shaped as a "Z." The hero bike had a gas powered go-kart that deployed from the side car.

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

 

Robin's Go-Kart

Specifications (Hero kart) 

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.

Here's Bill Cushenbery Jr. (driving) and his sister (side-car) hanging out with the kids in their neighborhood in 1968

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 one of the duplicate touring Batcycles.  Notice the side cart does not have the three rear pipes and the go-cart does not have a motor. 

Photos courtesy of John Stacks

Aurora Batcycle

Aurora Batcycle with Robin's detachable go kart model!

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.

The California Highway Patrol with an original 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 Batcycle with the molds and "positives" that were created.

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