Take White Scars who have Black Rage, paint them green and you get Warbikers. They are the fast-attacking unit of Orks that charge things at the maximum speed their bikes can reach. If ya didn't want ta move dat fast why did ya e'en get a bike?
Warbikers are the main force of the Kult of Speed and are often the Kult's official vehicle mascot. In the Kult's hierarchy, ownership of a bike marks one as an ork of status, since it means you got your own individual ride instead of having to share a Trukk or a 'Buggy with somebody else. Weirdly, you couldn't have Warbiker 'Bosses in early editions of the game; they first debuted in White Dwarf and were then made an official part of the Ork army in subsequent editions.
Warbikers obtain their speed with a combination of overcharged Promethium, chem-burning internal combustion engines, Grot spit and red paint. While the most common garden variety of Warbikes are the conventional two wheeled motorcycles, tracked bikes and trikes have also been encountered, as well as those modified with skids and tire chains.
Often most Warbikers go in several groups to act as a fast attacking spear lance, cutting though infantry and light vehicles with ease. However their unprotected armor and brittle and ramshackle frames means that they will crumble if faced with a relentless barrage of heavier vehicles.
Like most vehicles, Warbikes are easily customizable. However the two most common customization involves the following...
- Moto-X: A notable customisation found on many Warbikes is known as the Moto-X. This involves the replacement of the tyres and tracks on a Warbike with big, knobbly tyres and special spiky tracks that provide increased grip and traction, allowing the Warbike to travel at higher rates of speed across difficult terrain.
- Ooge Xhaust: A favored customisation is the addition of an Ooge Xhaust. This involves the complete customization of the engine exhaust system of a Warbike, resulting in enormous welded-on exhaust pipes on the Warbike's frame. These exhaust pipes have been specifically designed to make as much noise as possible. Some Mekboyz are so skilled at this kustom-job that they are able to get these exhaust systems to exhume a cacophonous engine note that sounds akin to a half-dozen Battle Cannon shells impacting into the ground. A notable side-effect of this loud auditory assault is that it occasionally fools the enemy into believing they are being attacked by an artillery bombardment, forcing them to seek cover unnecessarily.
On the Tabletop
Greenskins love speed, noise, and fightin', and a warbike grants all three so long as the rider doesn't violently crash into something. Ork Warbikes are oversized machines that belch clouds of foul exhaust smoke that make the bikes more difficult to hit when using the Billowing Clouds stratagem: after all, it's hard to see a biker in the smoke. Usually Ork bikers have twin-linked Dakkagunz on their vehicles. These weapons are far heavier than anything that a sensibly designed two-wheeled bike would be carrying, but hey, Orks.
In 8th Edition, Warbikers are fast, have rather good firepower, and are even pretty good in melee. In addition to the twin Dakkaguns (which are essentially Big Shootas with an 18" range) each biker is pretty decently equipped with a Choppa, Slugga, and Stikkbombs. At 23 points per biker they are also one of the cheaper Fast Attack options in the Ork Codex. However, the bikes themselves are not particularly tough with T5, 2 wounds, and a 4+ save. Therefore, if caught out in the open Warbikers can be quickly picked apart with ranged attacks. As a consequence, small biker mobs are best used as skirmishers to pick off small, isolated squads or to grab distant but lightly defended objectives. Larger biker mobs - say 6 or more - can bring a rather shocking amount of anti-GEQ Dakka to where you need it most, but again, it is important to position them so that they take as little return fire as possible. Best keep that Billowing Clouds stratagem on speed dial.