Lightcycles are the primary mode of transportation on the Grid. Since their conception in the early 1980s, they’ve undergone many revisions and modifications. This data file seeks to provide a reference material for all lightcycles currently known to exist.
The first lightcycles to exist were part of a gaming program written and designed by Kevin Flynn. On the Grid designed for them, light cycles are incredibly fast when moving, and leave behind a solid jetwall in their wake. They move in straight lines and only turn in 90° angles. With their brakes disabled, this creates a hazard whereby one light cycle could be forced to crash into the jetwall of another, causing the victim to derez along with their light cycle. This is the primary method of Lightcycle combat. Outside the Light Cycle Grid however, the Light Cycles move just like a regular Real World motorcycle, and have not been seen using jetwalls. They also feature a communication system that allows drivers on respective teams to coordinate maneuvers with teammates against opponents on the Game Grid, or organize an escape should they so choose.
When Kevin Flynn copied over the lightcycle subroutines to his private system, he made several modifications, enhancements, and optimizations, resulting in a completely new class of lightcycle, known as the Gen 2. However, programs native to Flynn’s private system refer to this as Gen 1.
While the white ENCOM 786 is undoubtedly the most widely known model, certain programs have been known to use a black model known as the ENCOM 0.82. Some also claim that Kevin Flynn’s personal ENCOM 786 model is persistant, unable to collapse into a baton. It is widely regarded as the fastest lightcycle in existence, and is arguably the fastest vehicle on the Grid. With the upgrade, the nintey degree turning restriction was removed, and an option to shut off the solid jetwall at any time was added.
The Gen 2 was succeded by the Gen 3. This is the first lightcycle model to abandon a completely closed canopy, allowing for disk attacks to take place. It was in wide use circa 1989, until it too was phased out by its succesor.
The Gen 4 lightcycle returned to a partial canopy, although still mostly open, still allowing for disk attacks. Some variations of this model exist, notably a custom model written by designation: Zed, shown below.
This model features an overdrive, enabling it to reach impressive speeds.
Another notable variant that belongs in this generation of lightcycle is somewhat of an oddity: The VL1 Light Roadster.
While this vehicle undoubtedly fits in the Light Car category of vehicle, it posseses a unique feature that enables it to split into two two-man lightcycles. It is unknown whether it can generate a jetwall.
One final lightcycle variant of Gen 4 is the Light Crawler.
The Light Crawler was designed especially for use on rough or snowy terrain. It features a large tread that runs the entire length of the lightcycle.
The current lightcycle model on Kevin Flynn’s closed system is the Gen 5. It features a flexible back plate, that provides greater protection while giving the rider the most mobility possible. One notable variant is known to exist: Clu’s personal Light Cycle.
Clu’s lightcycle features a spoiler and horizontal headlights. In addition to these seemingly minor design modifications, it is believed to be faster than a standard model.
While the lightcycle subroutine progressed in this fashion on Kevin Flynn’s private system, it developed differently on the ENCOM systems.
The Super Light Cycle is the lightcycle upgrade provided to programs on the ENCOM systems. In 2003, it was used by only a few, specialized programs, due to the increased speed requiring greater reflexes to control. It is unknown if it sees wider use today.
((NOTE: This is not pure canon. There IS some headcanon in there. However, I think it works better. If you want me to explain, let me know.))