Suspend Your Disbelief: Oblivion

Dailies, Hell For Leather, HFL -


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“60 years ago Earth was attacked, we won the war, but they destroyed half the planet. Everyone has been evacuated, nothing human remains.” — Jack Harper

Oblivion is a science-fiction film based on Joseph Kosinski’s unpublished graphic novel of the same name. The film takes places 60 years after an alien invasion that destroyed half the planet and shattered the moon.It stars Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Olga Kurylenko. And a neat looking electric dirt bike.

The Movie
Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper a soldier on Sky Tower 49 whose mission is to repair automated drones that hunt down and destroy the left over aliens from the war. To complete his mission, he has an array of vehicles that aid him in getting to and from the drones. One of these is a flying Bubble Ship and some kind of futuristic electric or hydrogen-powered motorcycle.

Tom Cruise with a dummy for a passenger.

The Bike
The bike appears to be some futuristic electric or hydrogen powered motorcycle that is used to traverse the shattered landscape. It looks like a cross between a Brammo Enertia and a Kawasaki KLR.

As we can see from the pictures and video, it’s just a dirtbike covered in fancy plastic with a dummy on the back. From the looks of the swingarm and the brake caliper it appears to be a Kawasaki KLX250S, correct us if we’re wrong.

Jack Harper.

Interestingly, out go the dual-sports rugged, spoked wheels in favor of cast, 17-inch road items complete with tubeless knobbies. This was likely a props department decision to contribute to the futuristic look that’s elsewhere achieved by a whole bunch o’ white plastic.

The Rider
Jack Harper is a soldier who happens to be fascinated by Earth culture from before the invasion — he even stores items he finds on missions near a cabin on a lake. He seems to be a capable individual, fit to be a soldier. Being played by Tom Cruise, he is at it again with his motorcycle riding — traveling vast distances this time.

Jack Harper riding across the landscape.

The Action
Like you, all we’ve seen is the trailer, but it shows Tom using the bike to traverse fire road-like conditions. No ridiculously unbelievable jumps or unrealistic stunts so far, but judging by Cruise’s previous films, there’s going to be at least some of that.

An electric whir has been dubbed over the KLX250′s muted four-stroke sound track.

The Reality
Electric, hydrogen fuel cell or whatever, the bike is used in an absolutely believable manner, at least so far. Mr Cruise should probably put a helmet on, but otherwise simply cruising around, covering some distance off-road is, well, what dual sports do. If, in the movie, there’s suddenly some 50 foot jump or upside down power slide…well that stuff only happens in movies.

Believability: 9/10 (so far)

We don’t really know much about what Tom Cruise and this bike are doing in Oblivion, we’ll update this article as new information comes. The movie comes out April 19, 2013.

  • Andrew Rockliff

    Ive just seen film here in Oz and its an all round cool film. The bike riding sequences are very adventure rider sorta stuff.

  • George-FLA

    Look at the front of the frame and the taper of the swing arm,me thinks it may be a Yamaha YZ???F.

  • ADVgoddess

    That dummy is actually an actress in some scenes. An interview I read stated that Cruise’s biggest problem with her as passenger was her propensity to grab the handlebars when she was scared. That is the first time I’ve heard that reaction and must’ve been troubling if not the reason for dumping the bike on occasion.

  • k2them

    Here’s all the info you need on the bike:

    Looks like an XR250 that gets reskined. Tom did most of the riding, including a helmetless jump.

  • Stephen Kellie

    he doesn’t do anything particularly exciting on it, itis there more so that they can get some nice shots of the landscape as he buzzes through them.

    in fact that is what most of the movie is like, a bit of action then glorious HD shots of nice landscapes.

    • HoldenL

      I’ll go to see the glorious HD shots of Olga Kurylenko.

  • RobG ADV

    The bike is a CRF250L.. saw it in an article over on

  • Steve Evans

    I like the Suspend Your Disbelief segments. I’ve been a picture car coordinator for motion pictures and TV for a couple of decades now. I just wanted Daniel to know that the property dept. doesn’t make decisions on things like wheels. The Production Designer would be responsible for the overall concept and look of the film including all the vehicles. The bike build would be either jobbed out to various shops or built by the transportation dept. on the film in conjunction with the art dept. to ensure a functioning rig that looks and works like how the PD wanted it to.

  • Khali

    It is a foldable motorcycle which he carries in his bubble-helicopter. The riding is quite normal, I remember theres some small jump. The moment when the electric bike runs out of fuel displaying a message of “low fuel” is awkward.

    The movie is a beautiful display of landscapes, very pleasant to the eye. Other than that, the plot is a bit simple and predictable :)

  • Tommy Zipprian

    Daniel Simon was the designer/visionary for all of these vehicles. He’s the same guy that did the new Tron movie, Captain America, etc. I bet he’d be happy to do an interview… just sayin.

  • Joe Freitas
  • Eyvind R. Mondragon

    He is station at Tower 42, and he is Tech 42. The other Jack Harper is 49. There was the moment when he visited Tower 49, wearing the Tech 42 jacket, and she didn’t spot the difference.

  • karlInSanDiego

    So WALL-E with a gun? Film looks like a hoot. Always sad and yet remarkable to see an actor who’s passed away, come back to life for their final film(s).

  • 200 Fathoms

    Ah, Tom—we’ll never forget those tie-down straps.