The motorcycle in the pilot episode was based on a 1983 Honda XL500 trail bike. The motorcycles used in the seres were based on 1984 Honda XR500s. The motorcycles used for the stunt shots based on Honda CR250s. Overall, fifteen motorcycles were used in the show. The whereabouts of fourteen of these are unknown, but the fifteenth used to reside in the now closed Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, Cumbria, England, restored by stuntman Chris Bromham. The pilot motorcycle was designed by Andrew Probert and the series motorcycles were redesigned by Ron Cobb. During stunt filming, the fiberglass bike parts constantly flew off the bike during the course of stunt jump work. The film stunt second unit crew always had six bikes standing by to replace the hero bike's jump or maneuver. The other stand by motorcycles remained in the UNI special effects department shop being repaired, or replaced with fiberglass parts for the second stunt unit's next day's filming. When first unit (principle) was on stage at Universal Studios, the second stunt crew were on location filming with a stunt biker performing with the bike. Rex Smith rode the motorcycle only with the first unit principle photography filming crew. The producers did not want Rex doing stunts, fearing any injury to their star would jeopardize the tight daily schedule. A motorcycle shop, three miles North on Lankershim Boulevard, not far from the studio, always supplied new frames and wheels for the stunt bikes. Winfield Special Projects in Canoga Park made all body panels and fenders. Eric Thaler from Austria was in charge of the project at Winfield's.
There were quite a bit of times when camera men or the cameras were visible. That usually is a no no in Hollywood! Most of the times is when Mach puts the StreetHawk helmet down and you see for split second the camera in his face.
Responsible for the art direction of the daily series' locations and/or stage sets, the art department team was expected to supervise and co-ordinate the second unit stunt filming unit as well. William Tuntke (art director), Francis "Frank" Pezza and Bob Jillson (assistant Art directors) were the initiating Universal Studios' art department design team assigned the pilot and subsequent five shows. Producer Stephan Cragg and the show's other Producers found Tuntke and Pezza failed co-ordinating the "Street Hawk" bike stunt film unit's special effects requirements. Stephan Cragg had worked with Hub Braden on the 1982 MGM-CBS TV series "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". Stephan Cragg asked Braden to take over "Street Hawk" as the show's art director. Braden was currently working at 20th Century Fox on the Glenn Larson and Harker Wade CBS-Fox series "Cover Up". Braden told Stephan Cragg that he would not make a lateral job move from one studio to another at scale, unless he would be offered more money to quit one show, moving (jumping ship) onto another studio project for more pay. Understanding the dilemma, Stephan Cragg offered Braden $300 over scale. When Braden told Harker Wade that he had been offered more pay, Harker Wade called the "Air Wolf UPM" questioning Braden's pay deal memo in order to stay with the "Cover Up" production crew. "Air Wolf" was not changing nor firing their art direction team! Harker called Braden's bluff by not meeting Braden's pay raise deal memo to remain on Fox's "Cover Up". Fox's show UPM told Braden that Harker had called Universal's "Air Wolf UPM" confirming that their staff was not changing. Hub laughed, responding in dismay, "Harker called the wrong show UPM, "Street Hawk...not...Air Wolf!"
"Street Hawk" is an American television series that aired for 13 episodes on ABC in 1985. The series is a Limekiln and Templar Production in association with Universal MCA Television. Its central characters were created by Paul M. Belous and Robert 'Bob' Wolterstorff, and its core format was developed by Bruce Lansbury, (Angela Lansbury's brother), who had initially commissioned the program's creation. The series was originally planned for the fall of 1984, Mondays at 8:00 PM Eastern/7:00 PM Central. However, ABC executives changed their minds when the summer series "Call to Glory" did well, and "Street Hawk" was pushed to mid season. "Street Hawk" made its debut on January 4, 1985 on ABC at 9:00PM Eastern/8:00PM Central and ran until May 16, 1985. Reruns aired on the USA Network on Saturdays at 10:00AM from 1990-91.
The "street hawk" bike was built on a stock bike frame made up with fiber-glass fabricated molded body parts. There were six bikes rotated during production, always requiring replacement fenders, wheels, cowls, and engine repairs. The second unit stunt filming crew had to be coordinated with the first unit film crew schedule because of both the "street hawk" star and the bike! Required to work together on the same day. Normally, the first unit remained on stage at Universal City. The second unit stunt crew filmed on location away from the stage with Rex doubled by a stunt man in wardrobe.