The 74-Z speeder bike was a model of speeder bike used by the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars and later used by the Galactic Empire for combat reconnaissance purposes during the Galactic Civil War. They were usually piloted by scout troopers and were able to jam comlinks.
The 74-Z speeder bike was one of the longest produced speeder bike models built by the Aratech Repulsor Company. A militarized variant of Aratech's popular 74-Y speeder bike, the 74-Z was first fielded by the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. Its first test under fire was at the First Battle of Geonosis, and since then, the speeder bike served with countless military and paramilitary groups, mercenary crews, and criminal organizations. It was, perhaps, most famous for being the Imperial Army's ride of choice for reconnaissance and scout troopers, who made good use of its speed and maneuverability.
Like its discontinued civilian ancestor, the 74-Z was built for speed rather than livability. It had a relatively fragile twin-spar frame that mounted the powerful Aratech VV318 Scoris repulsorlift engine. A pair of tiny ion turbines supplied thrust, and a remarkably intelligent fly-by-wire system controlled the forward-mounted steering vanes. A mid-mounted maneuver control unit kept the bike upright and level. The pilot sat in the rear of the speeder over the repulsorlift engine. The bike had a set of handlebars and rear-set foot pegs with foot-controlled yaw and pitch controls for the pilot to operate. The instrument panel was rudimentary at best, with indicators for heat, boost, coolant, and turbine pressure. Under Imperial service, the 74-Z was equipped with a forward-mounted Ax-20 blaster cannon, on-board com-links, simple optical sensors, and a close-range com link jammer.
Around 9 ABY, scout troopers AP-1982 and JS-1975 of Moff Gideon's Imperial Remnant used two white 74-Z speeder bikes on the planet Nevarro in order to acquire Grogu. One of these bikes would later be used shortly after by the assassin droid IG-11 to protect Grogu and attack Gideon and his forces.
Notes and references
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- Starships and Speeders
- Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 7 (Helmets: Scout trooper)
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 7: The Reckoning"
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections