"A swarm of mechanised locusts sweeping over the land, stripping it bare of resources, bringing death and destruction to anything that stands in its path. Emperor preserve us against the predations of these so-called Orkish Cults of Speed."
- — Cardinal Nomura at the Conclave of Hessen
The largest and most popular of the various subcultures of Ork society is the Kult of Speed. Orks possess an inherent need to go fast. Speed fulfils some deep need in the Orkish temperament, just like the thunder of guns, the clank of tank tracks or the din of battle. The Greenskins like to feel the wind whipping into their faces, see the dust rising behind them in a great cloud and hear the throaty roar of supercharged engines. It is hardly surprising that warbikes and warbuggies of all kinds are popular vehicles amongst the Orks. These up-gunned vehicles may not be as sturdy as those used by the armed forces of the Imperium of Man, but they are cheap, well-armed and most important of all, they can achieve truly breakneck speeds.
Red Ones Go Fasta
The Orks of the Kult of Speed are able to achieve amazing speeds with their equipment due to what the Orks consider a must for most of their vehicles -- a Red Paint Job. In their culture, Ork Boyz simply believe the red ones “go fasta.”
There is no rationale as to why this should be true, but far too many Imperial Commanders have seen it first hand on the battlefield for it to be ignored. Many theorise it is simply that the better-constructed vehicles get this special paint, but then why would they slow down when the paint is scorched away? Common myth in the Koronus Expanse has it that it is the manifest will of the massed Ork consciousness. Orks are insistent that it be true, and thus it becomes so, despite any mechanism for it to happen other than their sheer determination. Despite ongoing investigation by the Adeptus Mechanicus, no definitive conclusion has been reached.
Some Orks become addicted to the sensation of speed and join the Speed Freeks, the name for those Greenskins who belong to the Ork Kult of Speed, a Kult whose members rarely if ever get out from behind the handlebars or steering wheels of their light vehicles. These grinning greenskinned lunatics roar into battle ahead on exhaust-belching jalopies and crude but effective flying machines, intent on getting into the thick of the fighting before their ground-pounding comrades. Due to the large number of vehicles in each Speed Freek warband, they often have several of the Oddboyz known as Mekboyz amongst their number to keep the Battlewagons and other vehicles and aircraft running smoothly. Sometimes it is even a Mekboy, who leads the warband as a Big Mek. The obsession with speed can affect any Ork -- so it is possible to find Orks from different klanz in a Speed Freek force. Of all the known major Ork klanz the Evil Sunz have the most Speed Freeks.
Although most Orks prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, there are a few unstable individuals amongst the tribes that developed a craving to fly through the air like a bird. The Orks refer to these creatures as Flyboyz. It seems their demand for extra speed cannot be satisfied by land-based vehicles. They take to the sky in search of even greater exhilaration. Their reckless attacks and dive-bombing seems to effect their brain patterns, as does the search for greater and greater speeds. Other Orks generally consider them to be quite mad and most Flyboyz live in semi-exile from the Ork tribal hierarchy, only associating with other Flyboyz, Gretchin slaves and the deranged technicians who build and maintain their aircraft.
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition), pp. 23, 29, 60, 77, 169
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pg. 29
- Imperial Armour II - Ork, Eldar and Dark Eldar Vehicles for Warhammer 40,000, pg. 34
- Red WAAAGH! Campaign Supplement (7th Edition), pg. 61, 74, 112
- Rogue Trader: Koronus Bestiary (RPG), pp. 67-68
- Waaagh! Ghazghkull: A Codex Ork Supplement (Ebook), pp. 57-61
- Warhammer 40,000: Compendium - Death From the Skies, pg. 62
- White Dwarf 389 (UK), pg. 30-37
- Helsreach (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden