|"Well, I think we should put it back in order for them, don't you?"|
- "A low rumbling sound had broken the silence around them. It grew steadily louder as they looked up and down the street for some sign of a headlight; it swelled to a roar as they both looked up at the sky — and a huge motorcycle fell out of the air…"
- — Description of Rubeus Hagrid landing the motorcycle at 4 Privet Drive[src]
This motorbike was a magical motorcycle owned by Harry Potter that previously belonged to his godfather, Sirius Black, which Harry inherited after Sirius was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. It had a large engine (suggested by the noise made when active and the fact that it could carry a sidecar). It also appeared to have a kickstart.
Magic made it much larger than when it was manufactured, emitting a very loud roar. When Hagrid, a half-giant, rode it, the motorbike was large enough to fit him and could still carry an ordinary-sized person in its sidecar. Another spell made it able to fly fast enough to compete with a broomstick.
Acquiring and enchanting
It is unknown when and how Sirius got his motorbike. Very likely he started to be interested in motorcycles during his teenage years, as his bedroom at Grimmauld Place was decorated with many pictures of motorcycles, supposedly kept on the wall by a Permanent Sticking Charm.
This happened before 1975, because Sirius broke away from his family when he was "about sixteen". As he got the flying motorbike in 1977, he probably got it after his escape from home and enchanted it soon afterwards.
Sirius Black and James Potter (1977)
In 1977, both Sirius Black and his best friend James Potter used the motorbike while being chased by Muggle policemen for unknown reasons, likely speeding. Their chase came to a close when they were cornered in an alleyway by the two policemen, but Black and Potter escaped by flying over their heads and away on the motorcycle, to the great confusion of their pursuers.
Rubeus Hagrid and infant Harry Potter (1981)
- Albus Dumbledore: "Hagrid. At last. And where did you get that motorbike?"
- Rubeus Hagrid: "Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir. Young Sirius Black lent it to me. I've got him, sir."
- — Dumbledore and Hagrid upon Hagrid's arrival with Harry Potter shortly after Harry survived Voldemort's attack[src]
Sirius Black used the motorbike to fly from Peter Pettigrew's refuge to the Potters' house at Godric's Hollow on October 31st, 1981, just to find the house destroyed and both his best friend and the latter's wife dead. He lent it to Rubeus Hagrid, saying he would not need it anymore.
Hagrid found this to be very odd, as Sirius "loved that motorbike", and before Sirius was shown to be innocent he suspected that it had something to do with his alleged betrayal of the Potters. Hagrid used the motorcycle to retrieve Harry from the Potter's house and bring him to the Dursleys at 4 Privet Drive. It is unknown where the motorbike was kept during the following sixteen years.
Rubeus Hagrid and Harry Potter (1997)
- Rubeus Hagrid: "An’ you’re with me, Harry. That all righ’? We’ll be on the bike, brooms an’ thestrals can’t take me weight, see. Not a lot o’ room on the seat with me on it, though, so you’ll be in the sidecar."
- Harry Potter: "Is this it? Is this Sirius’s bike?"
- Rubeus Hagrid: "The very same. An’ the last time yeh was on it, Harry, I could fit yeh in one hand!"
- — Rubeus Hagrid and Harry Potter about to fly away from 4 Privet Drive, 31 July 1997[src]
Sixteen years later, Alastor Moody led a group of members of the Order of the Phoenix to bring Harry Potter from Privet Drive shortly before his seventeenth birthday. Hagrid was chosen to drive Harry and his possessions to the home of Ted Tonks, before taking a portkey to their final destination. Arthur Weasley had helped Hagrid modify the bike with various buttons that could eject magically-produced traps and barriers from its exhaust pipe in case of a chase.
This turned out to be useful, as Hagrid used buttons to produce a large net, a solid brick wall, and dragon's fire, each expanding out of its exhaust pipe, to deter the Death Eaters. However, during the chase, the motorcycle was heavily damaged, made worse when Hagrid tried to use the Mending Charm to fix it. Hagrid had to dive off the motorcycle to keep the Death Eaters from capturing Harry. Ultimately, the two arrived at the Tonks house. Later, Mr Weasley hid the motorcycle in his back garden shed in hopes of fixing it, unbeknownst to his wife Molly Weasley.
After the war
Behind the scenes
- This is the first wizarding vehicle introduced in the series, and the first flying vehicle too.
- Harry was first brought to the Dursleys' home by Hagrid riding the flying motorcycle, and left Privet Drive permanently 16 years later the same way.
- As in the books Hagrid is twice as tall as a normal man, the motorcycle would have had to be magically enlarged to twice the size each way to fit him: an engine capacity of 649 cc would become a bit over 5 litres, as big as in some trucks.
- The motorcycle used in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was a white 1959 Triumph 650 T 120 Bonneville.
- The Triumph Bonneville was not used in the motorcycle escape scene in Deathly Hallows: part 1. It was a light blue Royal Enfield. They had originally contacted Royal Enfield looking for a sidecar, but ended up liking the whole rig and used it instead.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, a copy of Rosenbaum's Motorcycle Owner's Manual is found in Sirius' bedroom, suggesting that the fictional motorcycle was one of the models covered.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows mentions "its exhaust pipe" in the definite singular, which shows that, if it had two cylinders as shown in the movie, it had siamese (= 2-into-1) exhaust pipes, and thus likelier was a vee-twin rather than a parallel twin; the Triumph Bonneville T120 was supplied with two separate exhaust pipes as standard.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Hagrid accidentally crashes the motorcycle into Number 4 Privet Drive's flowerbeds.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the motorcycle lands very roughly in part of the marsh at The Burrow, soaking Harry, Hagrid and the cycle itself. Since it was not destroyed, it can be assumed that it was kept by either Hagrid (who had a talent for riding it) or Arthur Weasley.
- In the video game adaption of the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, instead of being stopped by the various protections around The Burrow, Voldemort is blown away by the dragon fire.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, the sidecar is on the right, as the passenger seat would be in a car in places such as the United States, China, or mainland Europe that drive on the right side of the road, where the steering wheel is on the left. However, as this is Great Britain, Harry should be riding on Hagrid's left side.
- In Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, Rubeus Hagrid and the main character travel to Diagon Alley on a motorbike. There's a chance that this is the motorbike, but since it's owned by Harry at that time, it's more likely that it is another motorbike, or that the appearance is non-canonical at all.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Motorbike Escape
- Harry Potter Prequel
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Indirectly mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened (Possible appearance)
Notes and references
- Book text "[Hagrid] kicked the motorbike to life".
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale).
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 6 (The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black).
- Sirius said that he ran away from home when he was "about sixteen". As he was born on November 3rd, this likely applies to either the summer or the winter of 1975, when he was about to turn sixteen or, on the other hand, he had just turned sixteen.
- Harry Potter prequel.
- Untitled Harry Potter charity auction story
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map).
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 1 (The Boy Who Lived)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 4 (The Seven Potters)
- J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1