The Drone Bike was a natural extension of remote control tech grown in the Cosmic Era. The largest difficulty in creating self driving motorcycles was the issue of balance and stability, a function that the human rider generally provides. After this was overcome, fitting a bike with guidance and navigation systems was just an issue of making the items smaller.
Drone bikes are popular among shadowrunners because the vehicles are small, agile, and brutally fast. This makes them hard to hit, and it is generally more efficient for a bike rider to set his destination and let the bike do the handling, without dealing with human flaws of judgement and reaction times.
The Hussar/Cavalier version of the drone bike is terrifyingly infamous for being used as a kamikaze vehicle, with their light bodies being packed with a variety of explosive compounds and devices. These being small can be carried in large numbers by a larger carrier vehicle, where a squadron of unmanned bikes can be dropped to deter pursuit.
Very high acceleration
Low weight capacity
Low damage resistance
Hussar/Cavalier variants can carry up to 30 lbs of high explosive as integral parts of their chassis, mimicking the explosive power of a medium missile.
The Mistel Variant combines a mobile mine auton rider, which carries more explosives in it's chassis and can carry a basic infantry weapon. A Mistel rider can pose as a normal black helmet rider, including following commands, exchanging gunfire, and if needed can ram and explode anything it is directed to hit. A Mistel that succeeds in hitting it's target can take out a power armor trooper, deal damage to light and medium military vehicles or function as a terror weapon.
The danger posed by drone bikes is simple, they are cheap and easy to manufacture. Even relatively low tech bases can built them, and lacking the ability to built or retrefit autons into mobile mines, human riders can wrap themselves in explosives and turn their bikes into suicide craft.
The most infamous uses of drone bikes involve highway banditry, and several high profile assassinations carried out in Eastern Europe, central North America, and in dozens of incidents across the Silk Road. In each instance, drone bikes strike into a target area perpendicular to the flow of events, hitting armored vehicles in the broadside, and slamming into armored troopers from flanking positions.
The most notorious use of a drone involved a fanatic named Ravinoff who equipped a drone bike with a sidecar and packed an antique atomic warhead in it. The vehicle was fitted with a deadman switch, so that if anything happened to him, the warhead would detonate. It did in fact detonate in the Afghani highlands near Kandahar, erasing the lair of a Silk Road warlord who was planning a little coup de tat against Ravinoff and some of his employers.
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