The Vulture-class hover bike (a.k.a. Vulture Hovercycle) is a Terran Hoverbike used mainly for scouting.
In use by 2478, the Vulture is a lightly-armored one-man hoverbike primarily used for scouting and patrol, designed with speed and reliability in mind. Its limited gravity hover technology allows the bike to travel over rough terrain with little loss of traction or speed, and reach speeds up to 230 miles per hour. Their magnetic frequency can also be adjusted to make it easier to cross some obstacles (e.g. the tracks used by mag-lev trains). An onboard computer and sensors mounted in the "nose" of the craft keeps it at a steady pace for most of the time and a navigation system is present. These features make the Vulture suitable for patrolling the vast wildernesses typically found around Terran colonies. They produce a humming whine as they move.
Vultures are ill suited for heavy combat, given their light frame. However, they make excellent skirmishers, especially against lightly armored targets. Vultures are also tasked with scavenging ("scavenger hover bike" is a term occasionally used). In some occasions, Vultures may be formed into small squadrons, usually attached to mechanized infantry. Given the speed at which the bikes move however, it is difficult to maintain cohesion. The Vulture's driver seat can be enclosed depending on model, customization, or operating environment and can be configured for someone to ride shotgun. The bike can catastrophically fail if the repulsors freeze up, or the fuel cells begin leaking radioactive material.
In the Confederate Armored Vehicle Corps, aspiring Vulture pilots had to pass a minimal physical fitness exam before becoming a pilot. Originally, the standard Vulture armament was an anti-personnel grenade launcher. Since the Brood War however, Vultures may instead be equipped with a mounted laser cannon. Other optional equipment includes Spider and Cerberus mines, ion thrusters and a microfabricator.
The Vulture remained in use by the Dominion Armed Forces until at least 2502 and Dominion Ghost Program trainees begin training in the use of Vultures in their second year. Vultures continue to be used by rebel and mercenary groups.
Technology similar to that found in the Vulture is available in civilian Hoverbikes, such as the 428 Hoverbike.
In the game series, the Vulture is a swift Terran ground unit.
For more information see the Vulture on the parent site