Light Bombardment Manufacturer:
Krasny Motory National Origin:
U.S.S.R. Mass-Produced at:
Soviet Barracks Key Features:
» 1100 cc two-cylinder engine
» Armored passenger sidecar
» Collapsible "porta-mortar"
» Flame-proof Molotov trunk
» Handsome swamp-green finish Surveillance footage of the RMortar Cycle's primary and secondary combat functions
The Soviet Union once was home to the world's fastest, most efficient bike messenger service. Everything from telegrams, to cakes, to toiletries, to ammunition shipped from city to city, from republic to republic, via the Krasny Motory motor-bike fleet. While other nations scaled their delivery services and began dabbling in international trade, the Soviet Union held fast to its motor-bikes, until these bikes' guttural engines and sooty exhaust became synonymous with the sound and smell of any typical Soviet city. Once war came to the Union, however, the motor-bikes steadily grew quieter. For one thing, supplies turned scarce. For another, the Soviet propaganda machine started filtering all interpersonal communication and began delivering such messages in bulk on a quarterly basis. In the end, Krasny Motory went out of business because of all this. Ironically, its fleet of motor-bikes stood idle for months in a number of makeshift hangars, until it was already too late for the Soviet regime to absorb these assets into their military. But as the Union wallowed in defeat, resistance forces uncovered the stash of motor-bikes and began converting them into fast-attack vehicles that could cover a lot of ground quickly. The result is a vehicle known as the mortar cycle. Soviet freedom fighters use mortar cycles to pepper their enemies with explosive cocktails and shells, before peeling off who-only-knows-where.
In some ways, the mortar cycle bears little resemblance to the Krasny Motory motor-bike, due to all the modifications, upgrades, and after-market parts applied to make the vehicle combat-ready. In addition to its souped-up engine and light armor plating, the mortar cycle features a reinforced passenger sidecar with two weapon compartments. The first is a flame-retardant trunk that can safely transport dozens of unlit Molotov cocktails, all within arm's reach of the sidecar passenger. And the second is a collapsible mortar that uses the passenger sidecar as a stabilized base. Because the Soviet military largely ignored the use of mortars during the war, and favored heavy artillery instead, mortars were in relatively good supply when the rest of the Soviet military lay in shambles. In practice, these cheap weapons are surprisingly accurate and have an effective range greater than that of typical perimeter defenses.
The characteristics of the mortar cycle's weaponry are well known due to the growing number of violent incidents they've caused, for the Soviet resistance is openly intolerant of foreign occupation forces. Mortar cycles may be heavily outmatched by Allied armor divisions or peacekeeping units, but they can be very elusive, and pack even greater top speeds than the Allies' own Multigunner infantry fighting vehicles. Though lightly armored, mortar cycles more than make up for their thin skins with excellent top speeds and significant attack range.
Mortar cycles clearly pose a threat to Allied forces stationed in the Soviet Union, though the extent of that threat remains a subject of some debate. There are those who say that such a small vehicle cannot possibly cause the sort of wanton destruction for which the Red Army is famous, and that the Soviet Union is defeated and demilitarized. And then there are those who have experienced mortar cycle attacks firsthand. In the Soviet resistance fighters' desperation to thwart the Union's enemies, they seem to have cobbled together quite the unusual beast in the fast and hard-hitting mortar cycle. More and more, Allied forces are finding it to be a thorny problem. Battlefield reconnaissance has revealed at least these facts about the Mortar Cycle:
• The Molotov flurry
-- Though the mortar cycle takes its name from its heaviest weapon, Soviet sidecar gunners tend to favor using Molotov cocktails for hit-and-run attacks, since this allows them to fight without slowing down. These men seem well-trained at flinging the incendiary bottles while moving, and are clearly more skilled with Molotovs than the typical Soviet conscript.
• The porta-mortar
-- The mortar cycle's strongest and longest-range weapon requires the vehicle to come to a halt, at which point it can begin lobbing explosive shells with great accuracy. These are all too effective at punching through stationary defenses, though the mortar cycle crews need to make the first shots count.
• Furiously fast
-- Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the mortar cycle is its top speed. In the hands of a capable driver, a mortar cycle can literally drive circles around enemy forces. Supposedly, in order to practice handling their vehicles at high top speeds (and to lift the spirits of their comrades), mortar cycle drivers often conduct race against Soviet terror drones to see who's fastest.
• Fresh from the barracks
-- Mortar cycles are the only vehicle small enough to be assembled and maintained in a standard Soviet military barracks. However, a Soviet war factory still must be present in the area in order to provide surplus parts, fuel, and munitions.