Below is an exclusive interview with Andrew Probert, designer of Street Hawk. Andrew came up with the design used in the pilot episode of Street Hawk. Many thanks go out to Daniel (HernesSon) for doing this great interview!!
Who approached you about working on the show?
Unfortunately, I don’t remember HOW I got the job. I was coming off of Air Wolf and either heard about this new project & went to them (they were on the same lot, Universal) or they came to me,…..sorry.
How long did it take to design the pilot episode bike?
I don’t remember how long it took, but I would guestimate maybe a week or two.
How much input into it were you allowed to have?
Total input,…..for the first concept. Then, the producers saw some custom bike with ridiculous gold brakes and HAD TO have them on Street Hawk. That design also included a ‘chain drive’ which didn’t work at all for me, on a 300mph system, but it what they wanted so that’s what they got.
Can you tell us a little about what it is like to see your images transferred from drawing board to screen?
It is rare that any of my ‘images’ go to the screen the way they were originally designed. Producers usually will ‘bend’ a design, while draftsmen, carpenters, and model makers will, at best, ‘influence’ or, at worse, change something they don’t like (or simply aren’t able to understand). Still, my true enjoyment is finding out what the fans think, good or bad, about something that I designed or participated in. I get a kick out of hearing about how close to, or far from, the mark I came; finding out if I met THEIR expectations or not.
Were you happy with the way Street Hawk turned out?
Not really, (beyond the amazing job that the builders did) because my original concepts were designed to accommodate their requirement that Street Hawk be able to go from a dirt bike system to a racing system. In order to have that, I proposed that the bike morph from one to the other. I designed a ‘super shaft-drive unit’ (that would have covered the difference between the chain-drive dirt bike skeleton and shaft-drive street bike skeleton) along with enclosed racing wheels, to further establish the bike’s capabilities. When they insisted on the wild wheels (“because they look cool”), I think it diminished the believability of Street Hawk. Also, the seat was intended to “raise-up” in order to hold the rider in whilst the bike went into Hyperthrust, as per the seatback section line.