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Series / Street Hawk

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"This is Jesse Mach, an ex-motorcycle cop injured in the line of duty, now a police troubleshooter. He's been recruited for a top-secret government mission to ride Street Hawk, an all-terrain attack motorcycle designed to fight urban crime, capable of incredible speeds up to three hundred miles an hour...and immense firepower. Only one man, federal agent Norman Tuttle, knows Jesse Mach's true identity...

The man... the Machine... Street Hawk."

A fairly trope-heavy 1985 series centered around Jesse Mach (played by Rex Smith), a police troubleshooter enlisted by the government to fight crime undercover on the superbike Street Hawk. Notable for its soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Has a kickass opening theme song.

A single season of thirteen episodes was made. A lot of interesting information on the series can be found at the Street Hawk Online website.

The franchise provides examples of:

  • Big Blackout: In one episode some roadwork near Command Center damages the building's electrical feed and all of the high-tech wizardry inside it (especially the computers that help with Hyperthrust) is unavailable for the duration. Norman spends the whole sub-plot struggling with jackass workers, too.
  • Cool Bike: The titular Street Hawk, capable of high speeds (300-plus Miles Per Hour) through hyperthrust and packing a nose-mounted particle beam (changed to a lightning gun in the Canadian version), and eventually machine guns and rocket launchers.
  • Cool Garage: Command Central, comes complete with a gym and a secret exit.
  • Cool Helmet: Jesse wears a black helmet that not only masks his face, but has a built-in camera with various vision modes and zoom function. It also serves as a communication interface with Mission Control so he has Tuttle's support who sees everything Jesse sees with it on.
  • Cowboy Cop: Jesse. His Establishing Character Moment is risking himself (and a very valuable bike) on a motorcycle stunt done for kicks, and Da Chief chews him out as a result. After his knee injury in the pilot episode leaves him transferred to desk duty, he becomes a Cowboy PR guy as a result.
  • Da Chief: The Chief of Police, to whom Jesse reports while not fighting crime on a motorcycle.
  • Dirty Cop: Multiple examples throughout the series, but the pilot episode stands out because the Big Bad has somehow strong-armed the Police Commissioner to be his goon (before the episode starts. He does some additional threatening on-screen when the Commissioner tries to do a Screw This, I'm Outta Here mid-episode as a result of him killing a cop).
  • Dueling Shows: Went up against Knight Rider. You can probably guess how that went. Unless you were in India at that time.
  • Equipment Upgrade: The particle beam is a powerful weapon but impractical, so a pair of cut-down machine guns and rocket launchers were added to the Street Hawk in only the 2nd episode.
  • Evil Counterpart: The episode "A Second Self" featured an old friend of Jesse's who turns out to be an assassin who does his killings with a tricked-out car.
  • GPS Evidence: The pilot episode had the Big Bad racing around using a tricked-out "monster truck" of a pick-up, which had an unusual kind of paint on it. After Jesse pulls some chips off the bike of his deceased friend (and a lot of legwork), the heroes manage to find the one body shop in town that made that specific kind of work (still, the Big Bad paid cash-only and there was no name... but the Commissioner's recently-scratched car was there and the shop's manager remembered that one man knew the other...)
  • Mission Control: A special agent, Norman Tuttle (Joe Regalbuto), was able to see through Jesse's eyes via cameras on the helmet and bike and communicate with him via radio. Norman was also responsible for monitoring the motorcycle's systems, providing Jesse with intel on missions, and navigating the bike during 300 MPH "hyperthrust" mode.
  • Odd Couple: Standard Action Duo of worry-wart brainiac that takes care of the high-tech gizmos and is the Voice with an Internet Connection (Norman) and devil-may-care field guy that charges into action with said gizmos (Jesse).
  • Opening Narration: See page quote.
  • Operation: [Blank]: "Project Street Hawk", a secret government operation to create and field-test a revolutionary urban attack motorcycle for eventual release to law enforcement. It's super-secret (and thus a two-man operation) because the government obviously thinks being blatant about an attack motorcycle would draw some negative press.
  • Overdrive: Known as "Hyperthrust." Interestingly, it's computer-controlled, which is required with a countdown and a prepared route for the bike to avoid collisions. It also means that on a Big Blackout episode the computers aren't reliable and thus Hyperthrust is not available.
  • Secret Identity: The entire premise of the show is a crime-fighting superhero by night who's really just an ordinary guy by day, and only one man knows his identity.
  • Shout-Out: The secret exit to the Cool Garage is suspiciously similar to the one in The Green Hornet, complete with an ad billboard that slides apart to let the vehicle through, and also has enough electronics to compete with the BatCave.
  • Superhero: Jessie has the typical elements, such as a Secret Identity, a Code Name, his riding outfit comes with a Cool Helmet masking his face, Cool Garage and his bike is like nothing ever created.
  • Super Prototype: The Street Hawk motorcycle is this and the original point of Project: Street Hawk is to test it out. The pilot episode has a concession to the reality to that with the bike's monitoring system beginning to flash a warning to Mission Control that it was overheating during Hyperthrust and Tuttle orders Mach back to base. Presumably, Tuttle corrects that specific problem since it does not come up for the rest of the series.
  • Translation Matchmaking: In Argentina, the show was released as The Fantastic Motorcycle, implying it was part of a franchise that included The Fantastic Car (Knight Rider) and The Fantastic Helicopter (Airwolf), series which had absolutely NOTHING to do with one another!
  • Vehicle Title: "Street Hawk" being the name of the motorcycle (and project, and eventually Jesse's vigilante moniker).