Help support TMP

"Martian warfare: could motorcycles be used in war?" Topic

11 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Victorian SF Message Board

Areas of Interest

19th Century
Science Fiction

Featured Hobby News Article

Top-Rated Ruleset

Volley & Bayonet

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Profile Article

Report from Gamex 2005

Our Man in Southern California, Wyatt the Odd, reports on the Gamex 2005 convention.

Current Poll

Featured Book Review

260 hits since 16 Oct 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 10:08 p.m. PST

"This probably sounds like a ridiculous question but it is actually very simple. It seems possible to me to modify a motorcycle to be weaponized and indeed very deadly here on Earth (if you had the technology to put machine guns or a missile on the front), it seems like a motorcycle is a good way to rush in and send in a few shots against the enemy and turn around before they have a chance to hit, now I don't think they are a very good option here on earth but I am wondering what this community thinks about having them on Mars.

So simply if I am to include military motorcycles with a combat role on mars in my world I have to be convince that they are tactically useful, maybe some unconventional ways to use this unconventional tool would be appreciated; aka are they useless or useful?

Edit: For those who are wondering I have considered ATV's, please stop mentioning it as an alternative to motorcycles. The ATV is obviously quite useful, and I am going to use it, I a simply wondering whether Motorcycles would be worth the effort in a military situation on mars…"
From here


Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 11:20 p.m. PST

Quads would be a lot safer, unless their spacesuits are tear-proof. Not likely.

A little fall on Earth results in broken bones, internal injuries, scrapes and cuts.

On Mars, when your suit depressurizes you are screwed, e.g. dead, or suffering from frostbite, or a heat blast burn, in short order..

Covert Walrus17 Oct 2020 2:30 a.m. PST

Thresher, the Mars under discussion has a more hospitable atmosphere, so suits aren't so much of a problem.
Even if it was, a spacesuit is surprisingly robust, or at least the modern "semi-rigid" Shuttle style suts were, so they could be at least the equivalent of riding leathers.

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2020 3:36 a.m. PST

An infantryman's defense against machine-guns is to be stealthy and to use whatever cover the terrain provides. Put that infantryman on a motorcycle and he can't sneak and he can't take cover. Lots of armies had motorcycle recce troops going into WW2 – note that nobody retained the concept after the war. From time to time during the Cold War one would see various attempts to resurrect the notion, but again note in real shooting wars you never see motorcycles on the front lines. As couriers and liaisons yes, but not as weapon-carriers.

But history suggests that the glamor of the cycle will continue to appeal to young men, so it is certainly quite plausible that Martian militia will enter the conflict riding them. Just expect very heavy casualties against automatic fire!

Stryderg17 Oct 2020 9:06 a.m. PST

They're quick, but they are noisy. So while riding, you can't hear the engines of the tank that's just over the next rise.

They are also bumpy (at least in combat conditions), so it messes with your vision a little and you can't pick out those details that might help keep you alive.

Now, get a radium powered floater cycle and we're in business!

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2020 11:15 a.m. PST

Motorcycles are probably better as terror weapons against an unarmed civilian population.

Wasn't that one of Marlon Brando's early movie roles?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2020 12:15 p.m. PST



Zephyr117 Oct 2020 8:57 p.m. PST

Now if you had them pulling chariots… ;-)

chironex17 Oct 2020 9:16 p.m. PST

Australian SAS still use them for long-range recon missions.

TheBeast18 Oct 2020 9:18 a.m. PST

Covert Walrus: Actually, the original discussion was current-to-future Mars; Tango misplaced his post. Your answer is perfectly correct given THIS forum.

However, continuing as this string is now here…

Cavalry in set-piece battles was pretty much dead, but could be useful into the mid-twentieth century for ambush, hit-and-run, and the like.

Compare cavalry during WWII in Abyssinia and Poland to the major coups that the Soviets accomplished.

If Robida could give us bicycle cavalry, though I shudder at pedaling one of his forward-shield contraptions into a head wind, I think we can allow the possibility of motorcycles.

Stryderg has a good point on noise, but has included the possibility of other than petrol motors. Other-other-hand, IF you could quickly get them started, noisy motors could have some terror factor in a Victorian surprise attack.


joedog18 Oct 2020 7:58 p.m. PST

Motorcycles should be fine for recon, messengers, or for getting dismounted riders (dragoons) around before the shooting starts.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.