Back in the 80s, American cartoons—especially Saturday morning cartoons—were basically just thirty-minute ad spots for various toy lines by Hasbro, Kenner, et al. Transformers, G.I. Joe, He-Man—all broadcast to sell little plastic mans to kids. Kids just like me. Hell, there was even a Rubik's Cube cartoon on Saturday Mornings! One of my favorites to come out of that mess of sketchy animation and questionable writing was M.A.S.K.
Since I'm not here to write a 1,000 word article about M.A.S.K., I'll just give you the TL;DR. M.A.S.K., which stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand (just work with me here) was a line of Kenner toys that featured various vehicles that turned into other kinds of vehicles—a Camaro that grew wings, a '57 Bel Aire that turned into an infantry fighting vehicle, a Jeep that turned into a boat, etc. These vehicles were piloted by a crack force of highly trained drivers pulled from all walks of life (similar to how G.I. Joe worked) who each wore a special, high-tech helmet that possessed special powers like hologram projection or laser eyes.
In the cartoon, M.A.S.K was a secret, disavowable, anti-terrorist and crime-fighting team that fought against the evil V.E.N.O.M (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem. Again, work with me here) who had their own convertible vehicles and high-tech helmets. It was kind of a mash-up of G.I. Joe and the A-Team, and it was awesome. Out of all the M.A.S.K vehicles, my favorite was the Condor.
Condor is, supposedly, a sportbike that transforms into a gyrocopter. It's equipped with a pair of retractable laser cannons mounted to the helicopter skids, an "anti-matter" beam that lets it pass through solid objects, and something called a "laser-guided mach" system that allows it to travel safely, on the ground, at the speed of sound. Pretty ace, right?
There's no information on what kind of bike Condor started out as (and let's ignore the fact that it looks more like a step-through than an actual motorcycle, shall we? I assume that's due to production limitations. Or the fact that the person who designed it had never actually seen a motorcycle), but looking at it we can make some pretty strong guesses.
To start with, look at that color. That is clearly Kawasaki racing green, so chances are that Condor is one of Team Green's early-80s sportbikes. It's fast, and it needs enough power to drive both the rear wheel and the chopper blades, so it has to be one of the larger displacement bikes in the lineup. I'm going to guess that Condor is a heavily modified GPZ1100, because why not?
Whatever it is or isn't—and honestly it's just a "motorcycle" but I love stupid cartoon exercises—it's extremely rad and I wish my Yamaha could grow wings and fly whenever I'm stuck in Detroit traffic. Below I've included the M.A.S.K. opening credits, which are amazing. Look for Condor in action toward the very end of the video, it's worth the wait.