Return of the Cafe Racers - Priest movie motorcycles

Priest movie motorcycles

The movie Priest which came out in cinemas earlier this year is the story of an alternate futuristic world where man kind has been battling with Vampires for centuries. The film follows a priest who has disobeyed his church to hunt down the blood thirsty Vampires that have kidnapped his niece on his turbine…




The movie Priest which came out in cinemas earlier this year is the story of an alternate futuristic world where man kind has been battling with Vampires for centuries. The film follows a priest who has disobeyed his church to hunt down the blood thirsty Vampires that have kidnapped his niece on his turbine powered motorcycle (!).

While the film’s storyline may not be of interest to you the motorcycles they designed and built for it might. The two companies responsible for building the bikes, Cinema Vehicle Services and Ghostlight Industries started with the Suzuki Gladius as a base. Here’s a nice one in pink…

The builders took the initial artists sketches and made adjustments that would allow them to create fully functioning, useable vehicles for on the set of the film. The most striking thing about the concept bikes (apart from the huge turbines at the front) are their extended length and the low ride height which both pose significant challenges. 

Alloy swingarms were fitted to the rear of the bikes with a strengthened suspension setup similar to that used on sidecars. The front wheels were also extended out from the bikes using completely custom designed front ends. The low stance was then achieved by building custom fuel tanks that could be relocated to beneath the seat in the extra space created by the massively extended swing arm. 

Once the builders were satisfied that the chassis of the motorcycles were visually correct and safe to ride work began on the bodywork. Using foam and wood the extreme styling from the concept sketches was shaped over the heavily modified Gladius. Casts were then taken and fibreglass panels were produced for each of the six motorcycles built for the film. The final touches including paint, age effects and the weapons were then added by the productions art department before filming began.

All the motorcycles produced for the film too around 6 weeks to produce. The priority of all the work done on the Suzuki’s was their functionality and one builder was quoted as confidently saying that the motorcycles could be road registered and ridden daily. Some of the motorcycles still remain after filming had ended and are fully functional, Vampire killing machines. Maybe one day you’ll have a chance to pick one up on eBay?

If you think these are cool check out the build of the Tron Light Cycles here.


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