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Bikes are cool, and Power Floats, so logically a motorbike that hovers over the ground must be both powerful and cool!

This is a trope where a personal transportation vehicle that is operated vaguely like a conventional motorcycle is fully locomotive without contact with the actual ground. Regardless of how it is justified in-story, this trope is primarily driven by Rule of Cool: a low-flying vehicle can give a much greater impression of speed than a ground vehicle can, the exposure of the operator gives a greater impression of danger and excitement, and shifting weight and listing during turns can give a very dramatic impression of motion.

This trope applies primarily ground-hugging low-flying vehicles, and is likely to be found in a Science Fiction milieu that would justify the mechanical design required. The trope can marginally apply to similar higher-flying vehicles, but if a vehicle is made to fly higher primarily that is more likely to be a Rocket Ride. It exists in a middle ground between the smaller Hover Board and larger Flying Car. It is a technological-themed Sister Trope to its more fantasy-oriented equivalents, the Magic Carpet and Flying Broomstick.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Cubix: Robots for Everyone: Hover bikes and hover scooters are a staple vehicle in the series. One of Cubix's transformations is a hover bike.

    Comic Books 
  • They appear in the far future sections of Grendel. Grendel Prime in particular likes using them.
  • The title character of Mother Panic rides one of these.
  • After a dimensionaut successfully returns to Earth in Black Science, recovered technology makes hovertrikes a common sight.

    Films — Animation 
  • Heavy Metal. In the segment "Harry Canyon", the goons Rudnick sends to follow Harry's cab ride on flying devices that fly about 20 yards off the ground and presumably could go higher.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • Return of the Jedi: Speeder bikes, also known as Swoop bikes, feature prominently in the second act of the film, with Imperial Scout Troopers using them to traverse the giant trees and undergrowth on the forest moon of Endor. Han Solo, Luke, Leia and some Ewoks ensure they don't reach the Imperial base to warn it.
    • Attack of the Clones: Anakin Skywalker goes on a search for his kidnapped mother on his native planet of Tatooine using a swoop speeder bike. Count Dooku uses a Flitknot speeder bike to flee the Separatist headquarters on Geonosis as they are losing the battle that starts the Clone Wars.
    • Revenge of the Sith: Jedi Master Stass Allie and two clone troopers patrol with speeder bikes on Saleucami. Then the troopers receive Order 66, fall back behind her and blast her speeder to pieces, killing her.
    • The Force Awakens: Rey's one-seat speeder can qualify.
    • Solo: A Star Wars Story: The Cloud Riders gang led by Enfys Nest uses flying swoop bikes.
  • These can be seen briefly in Back to the Future Part II, when some police cycles appear at the courthouse when Griff and his gang smash through the windows.
  • Judge Dredd. Dredd flies a Mark IV Lawmaster (Improved Model), which is a flight-capable version of the standard Lawmaster motorcycle. The members of the Council's guards fly similar vehicles while pursuing him.
  • Black Panther (2018): We don't see any, but they get a mention when Shuri is trying to coach Ross on how to fly a Wakandan plane.
    Shuri: It's just like riding a hoverbike.
    Ross: Wait, you guys have hoverbikes?

  • Galaxy Zack: In "Hello, Nebulon!", when Zack invites his new Nebulite friend, Drake Taylor, to go bike riding with him, he discovers Drake has a hover bike that goes faster than his own regular bike. It makes him want one of his own.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Thunderbirds made frequent use of these if the main characters had to move around in the danger zone. In reality, this was done to avoid the problem that the puppets couldn't realistically walk on screen.
  • Star Wars streaming series:
    • The Mandalorian sees Din Djarin riding a speeder bike frequently on Tatooine to cross the vast dune seas between his ship's landing port and his destination
    • The Book of Boba Fett's second episode has Boba single-handedly thrash all the members of a swoop gang on Tatooine and steal all their bikes to employ in a plan to help his adoptive Tusken tribe overcome a speeder train that frequently terrorizes them while traversing the Tusken tribe's territory. He later hires an entire swoop gang, the Mods, who have decorated swoops and show off their skills riding them while hunting down someone.
  • Power Rangers: Dino Thunder featured the Hovercraft Cycle as the second Cool Bike of the season. Unusually for this franchise, the Blue Ranger got this bike instead of the Red Ranger, who normally always gets all of the best upgrades.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Several examples in Warhammer 40,000:
    • Eldar in particular make common use of them. Both the Craftworld and Dark Eldar have their own models, with the Craftworld Eldar using back-leaning seats while the Dark Eldar favor forward-leaning pilots. Some also use larger varieties, like the two-seated Vyper jetbikes that mount heavier weaponry or serve as staff vehicles for the Eldar equivalent of officers.
    • Sammael, Grand Master of the Ravenwing, of the Dark Angels Space Marine chapter, rides an Ace Custom Imperial jetbike, one of the very few models the Imperium still has.
    • The Adeptus Custodes have the Gyrfalcon pattern jetbike.
    • The Hernkyn Pioneers from the Leagues of Votann (the reintroduced form of Squats) use their own jetbike technology to zip around the battlefield and stake their claim on valuable resources.
  • Champions campaign "The Great Super Villain Contest". The Crimson Claw's servants ride hover scooters that can travel up to 72 m.p.h. while flying a few inches off the ground.
  • Traveller, Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society #14 article "Civilian Vehicles for Striker". The Grav Cycle looks like a motorcycle with skids instead of wheels. It's fusion powered and can fly at up to 2,000 kilometers per hour.
  • Hoverbikes are available in Deadlands: Hell on Earth, although they are rare and expensive to operate. The most famous rider of one is Cole Ballard; Junkyard's resident badass Law Dog. He (and the bike) appear on the front cover of the base book.
  • These are popular rides in Rifts North America(and to a lesser extent Russia). They can often be armed with light lasers and mini-missiles.

    Video Games 
  • Assault Retribution has a "Get Back Here!" Boss where you must pursue with a hoverbike while shooting at it, while avoiding shots fired at you.
  • Burning Force features Space Harrier-style gameplay on a hoverbike. In the final section of each day(stage), an attachment is bolted on to turn the bike into a Space Fighter.
  • During the Dramatic Chase Opening in Flashback, the protagonist tries making a daring escape on a hoverbike only to be shot down over the Hungry Jungle of terraformed Titan.
  • Cyber-Lip dispenses a hoverbike each time you lose a life, which you can control and fly around to kick some ass with it. You gain some Mercy Invincibility while on said bike as well, for a few seconds, but unfortunately it disappears after a while and throwing you back on foot.
  • Halo has the Ghost, a Covenant one-manned hovercraft which, while not resembling a bike in the traditional sense, is small, quick, and nimble, and is primarily utilized as a scouting and fast-attack vehicle. While lightly-armored, it sports a pair of rapid-firing plasma cannons which can rain hell on infantry and light vehicles, and has a boost function which can be used to scoot out of a tough spot, or build up speed to flatten unsuspecting footsoldiers.
  • Mazin Saga: Mutant Fighter will occasionally throw enemies on fast-moving hoverbikes into the area, who attacks you by trying to ram you over.
  • Mega Man X: The Ride Chasers are bikes without wheels that just hovers slightly above ground. They also feature an energy cannon at the front, at least in X4-X5 you can do a "wheelie dash attack" that decimates everything in front of it, and as shown in X4 it can double as a jet ski.
  • Downplayed in Full Throttle. Ben does not trust anything that does not run on wheels, but he needs to make a long stunt jump over a large canyon when the bridge is out. He has to nab a hover module from a hover car and attach it to his bike. It still runs on the ground, but the hover module gives him enough airtime to make the leap.
  • In Cave Story, Kazuma and Professor Booster use a hoverbike to travel from one end of Bushlands to the other—and they leave the player character behind, so you have to traverse the level on foot. They crash the bike off-screen, and you find the wreckage at the level's end.
  • Ratchet & Clank
    • In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, the hover bikes are used for racing. There are 2 planets that houses these kind of challenges, and Ratchet has to compete against 20 racers at once.
    • Later in Ratchet: Deadlocked, the hover bike is given more mobility and is mounted with a machine gun. It can only be accessed by certain missions that requires it to be used.
  • Rodina features gravbikes that you can use to travel quickly on any terrain, including in space.
  • Star Fox Adventures: Hovering bikes are used by the villainous SharpClaw tribe. The game features a few racing sections in which Fox commandeers one.
  • Ganryu has a stage where Musashi rides a skycycle above the skies of Kyto, and have to shoot his way through enemy ninja on similar aerial bikes.
  • Released in the After Hours DLC, the Oppressor Mk2 from Grand Theft Auto V is a clear example of this. The player can choose between machine guns, explosive machine guns, and even missiles for weaponry. But to fully utilize this vehicle, the player has to shell out at least an extra $2,950,000 to buy a nightclub and the Terrorbyte with a specialized workshop, which makes the $3,890,000 vehicle note  even harder to afford.
  • Fighting Force Enemies drop down from these in the later levels.
  • Harmful Park is a shump where instead of spaceships, have your playable heroines kicking ass on weaponized sky-cycles.
  • Crash Nitro Kart has Emperor Velo and his champions use these in their boss races. It returns in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled's Gasmoxia Grand Prix as the "Velo Chopper" and can be used by everyone else.
  • Saints Row: The Third features the Specter, a prototype hover bike by STAG using the same technology of their VTOLs (and thus having both a flight and hover modes), the Specter can be choosen to be unlocked after a certain mission. Also, the Money Shot DLC has the Ultor Interceptor, a similar hover bike manufactured by the Ultor corporation.
  • Starcraft: The Terrans get the Vulture hoverbike, a frag grenade-launching Fragile Speedster which can deploy robotic mines to ambush enemies and piloted by a biker clearly less than happy to be taking orders. It's replaced by the (wheeled) Hellion in Starcraft II, and while Jim Raynor is a fan, The Engineer has nothing but contempt for it.
    Swann: Those goofy mercs are still using Vultures, can ya believe it? Damn things are death traps even when you ain't got people shooting at ya.
    Raynor: Careful now, Swann. My old Vulture saved my skin more times than I care to remember. I ain't gonna listen to you trash talk a classic piece of engineering like that.
    Swann: 'Classic?!' I suppose you could call 'em that. 'Course most folks like a bike that don't explode on them when the repeller seals freeze up, or when the fuel cells start leaking radioactive waste - but hey, who cares if it's a 'classic,' right?
    Raynor: No one likes a smart-ass, Swann.
  • Time Slip have numerous stages (all of them Auto Scrolling Levels) where your protagonist leaps on a hover-cycle and speed your way ahead, while shooting everything in the way using your cycle's swivel-turret that can shoot in multiple directions.
  • Time Warpers: You get a Hover Bike in zone 70 which lets you move automatically (the speed at which it rides above ground can be increased with upgrades) and stay invincible while you're riding it, essentially turning on idle progression.
  • In Data East vertical shooter Gondomania, your heroes lead an invasion of the land of the Gondos on "airbikes", an armed Hover Bike with forward-firing main guns while your pilot can throw weapons at any of the 8 directions against enemies.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has a great many options for personal mounts, and most of those are some form of speeder bike. Some of the planetary taxi services use bikes as well. Later versions of the game added a recurring event where you can join in the swoop races.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in The Simpsons season nine episode "The Joy of Sect". Bart and Lisa are Deprogramed by tempting them with literally hovering bicycles. Turns out they were just staged with fishing wire and Flanders blowing through a comb. They don't even get to keep the non-hovering bicycles as Marge says they're just on loan from the store.
  • The first episode of Loonatics Unleashed is "The Ice Vikings", which has the heroic team summon five motorcycles by remote control. While astride these vehicles, they reconfigure into hover-bikes that are able to intercept and attack the villains' flying longboat. This is the sole appearance of these dual-drive vehicles; thereafter, the team relies mainly on jet packs to get around.
  • In Code Lyoko, Ulrich uses a monocycle called the Overbike as his primary method of transportation in Lyoko. It normally travels along the ground, but built-in rocket thrusters enable it to fly.
  • In Vytor The Starfire Champion, Princess Skyla owns a hover bike called, Windchaser. Which is piloted by a sophisticated A.I. system. Though Skyla can deactivate the A.I. and fly the vehicle manually whenever she wants.
  • Ready Jet Go!: "Chore Day" introduces the hover scooters (or "ka-flooples"), which are basically scooters that have a large platform, no wheels, and can hover. Jet doesn't want to test them out at first, but ends up enjoying it. The hover scooters are seen in later episodes such as "Space Race."

    Real Life 
  • Paul S. Moller has been working on them since the 1960s, but the main fruit of his labor has been an SEC complaint
  • Hoverbikes exist, but they're still in the prototype phase, though, and they'll set you back a good $85,000.
  • The Apollo jet bike and the Jetpack Aviation Speeder are real life examples that have been flight tested.
  • Recreational hovercraft will indeed traverse water, mud, ice, and turf, but the air gap is not very visible. They run $15,000 and up.