The latest instalment of the Batman movie series directed by Matt Reeves is due to hit US cinema screens in March 2022. Robert Pattinson, best known for his role in the Twilight movie series, is the latest actor to portray the caped crusader. During the film, Pattison will be seen piloting the superhero’s orthodox collection of outrageous Bat-vehicles including at least 2 custom motorcycles. There is one other character in the film though whose motorcycle we find particularly interesting.
Actress, singer, model, Zoë Kravitz will appear alongside Pattison in The Batman movie portraying Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catwoman. During the lead up to the release of the film, Warner Brothers have published trailers and promotional imagery featuring Catwoman on her own custom motorcycle – or should we say Catcycle?
Catwoman’s latest motorcycle is powered by a familiar-looking air-cooled twin-cylinder boxer engine. Beyond the engine, however, the bike is almost entirely custom. What makes this particular movie motorcycle interesting to us is that it was built by a custom motorcycle builder rather than a prop company and it’s a dead ringer for a motorcycle we’ve featured here in the past.
The 2022 Catcycle bears an uncanny resemblance to the Cherry’s Company Highway Fighter which was built by Japanese motorcycle artisan Kaichiroh Kurosu. The reason for this is that Kaichiroh-san was commissioned by Warner Brothers to build a special version of the same bike for the 2022 Batman movie.
In 2014 Kaichiroh-san was invited by BMW Motorrad along with a shortlist of pre-eminent Japanese builders to modify the brand’s R nine T roadster. His creation named the Highway Fighter was a standout and as a result, made a big splash online. So renowned was Kaichiroh-san’s R nine T that when the art department of the 2022 Batman movie was tasked with finding a steed for Catwoman, someone in the crew knew exactly who to contact.
Judging by how alike the 2 motorcycles look we can only assume that Catwoman’s motorcycle was built using the same approach as the original R nine T Highway Fighter. For the BMW project, Kaichiroh-san found his design inspiration by researching 1970s racebikes. This led to the creation of all-new handmade bodywork formed from aluminium. For ease of reproduction and to reduce costs (since Kaichiroh-san likely had to produce several Catcycles for the film) we can assume that the bodywork of Cat Woman’s bike is fibreglass.
Concealing the R nine T’s modern radiator is a mesh panelled cowl. The rest of the Boxer twin aside from its horizontally opposed cylinders is also hidden out of sight by the new bodywork. The rear end features a Honda CR750 style cowl and the fuel tank is a cover that sits over a concealed fuel cell.
Other stylistic modifications Kaichiroh-san applied to the BMW R nine T include a smoked perspex front fairing that conceals a hidden LED headlight, solid alloy wheels, a custom made 2-into-1 exhaust system and low slung clip-on handlebars. Beyond the aesthetics however the R nine T remains relatively untouched. This would no doubt have been ideal for the Batman production crew as it meant the motorcycle could easily be operated by the actors of the film.
Although structurally identical to the Cherry’s Company Highway Fighter, Cat Woman’s BMW R nine T has undergone a few aesthetic tweaks. The most obvious is the all-encompassing matte black paintwork and the removal of any BMW branding. The exhaust routing also looks to have been slightly revised which may have been to help accommodate the bike’s luggage panniers.
Whether or not the new Catwoman motorcycle features any concealed weaponry or accessories (aside from those god awful panniers!) is yet to be known but we will be waiting eagerly for the film’s release to find out!
CHERRY’S COMPANY HIGHWAY FIGHTER | THE BATMAN MOVIE SITE