"Now, where’z we gunna get enuff red paint ta make a sumfing as ‘uge as dis Kill Kroozer go fasta...?"
- — Chor “Da Bluddrokk,” Speed Freak Pilot,
Speed Freeks are those Orks who who become addicted to the sensation of pure speed. These speed-obsessed Greenskins band together in their own mobs and warbands, which are full of buggies, bikes, and Trukks. They belong to what Ork kultur refers to as the Kult of Speed and become members of the Speed Freeks. These grinning loons roar into battle on exhaust-belching jalopies and crude but effective flying machines, intent on getting into the thick of the fighting before their ground-pounding comrades. Most vehicles used by Speed Freeks are painted red as, according to Ork superstition, "Da red wunz go fasta!" Due to the large number of vehicles in each warband, they often have several of the Oddboyz known as Mekboyz amongst their number to keep their vehicles running. Sometimes a warband of Speed Freeks is even led by a Big Mek instead of a Warboss.
Orks possess an inherent need to go fast. There is something about speed that fulfils some deep need in the Orkish temperament, just like the thunder of guns, the clank of tracks or the din of battle. They like to feel the wind whipping into their faces and to hear the throaty roar of supercharged engines. It is hardly surprising that bikes and buggies of all kinds are popular with the Orks. These up-gunned vehicles may not be as sturdy as those used by the Imperium, but they are cheap, can pack a massive amount of firepower and, most important of all, they can achieve truly suicidal speeds.
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.
Notable Speed Freeks
- Gurbhag - An Evil Sunz Warlord who willingly followed the infamous Ork Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka during the Third War for Armageddon. During the WAAAGH!'s initial assault, the Speed Freeks were uncharacteristically held in reserve, on Ghazghkull's orders. Patience is not a virtue found amongst Speed Freeks. Yet Ghazghkull had been quite adamant in making his case –- making it, in fact, with his adamantium-plated head, by turning the wayward Evil Sunz Warlord and his kustom bike into a bloody scrapheap of broken parts. It proved a convincing argument. Only when the special Tellyporta-mobs were sent to punch holes through the enemy lines were the Speed Freeks under Gurbhag finally set loose.
- Grand Speedboss Shazfrag - A notorious Evil Sunz Warboss who leads a large Speed Freeks warband. He willingly followed the infamous Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka during the Second and Third War for Armageddon.
- Jazgob - Jazgob is a legendary Evil Sun who leads his own Mob of Warbikers known as Jazgob's Jet-Boys. Jazgob's Jet-Boyz have become a legend among the Evil Sunz for their kustom vehicles. Each of their cherished rides mounts a specially-crafted engine under its bonnet, scavenged from the remains of a downed Dakkajet. Jazgob's own ride is a grossly oversized Warbike built around a single massive engine. In battle, he will sit proudly astride the engine, its howling turbine blades making the whole bike buck and kick like a living thing as it hurls the Evil Sunz Ork across the battlefield. Few Evil Sunz could hope to afford such an impressive personal ride, let alone a whole warband's worth of jet-powered wagons. Jazgob came by his wealth not by teef-smashing but rather because he was in the right place at the right time, and like most Evil Sunz was the quickest to get there. Throwing his lot in with Big Mek Cogtoof, Jazgob and his Mob took part in the capture of the Space Hulk Starkrumpa, which unfortunately was inhabited by a large brood of Genestealers. Cogtoof offered the Ork who brought him the skull of the Genestealer Broodlord anything he wanted. Cogtoof and his Boyz charged into the Genestealer's nest, where Jazgob personally killed the Broodlord himself with his Warbike. Cogtoof awarded Jazgob a fleet of kustom vehicles as his reward.
- Wazdakka Gutsmek - Gutsmek is an Ork Mekboy and more specifically an Ork Bikeboy, perhaps the greatest to have ever lived. After being accused of cheating when he won the Race of the Burning Wheels, Wazdakka levelled his tribe's settlement with his Dakkacannons and roared off in disgust. From that day forth he has roamed the stars, a deadly bike-boss for hire. He rides a heavily modifed Ork Warbike known as the "Bike of the Aporkalypse" that is outfitted with a monstrously powerful Shoota called the Dakkakannon that possesses the ability to destroy even a tank. He now currently serves as the Warlord of a WAAAGH! comprised entirely of Speed Freeks. Lately Wazdakka's wanderings have taken on overtones of a holy pilgrimage, Speed Freeks flocking to his banner with every victory. Gutzmek himself claims that he will lead his smoke-belching and unstoppable WAAAGH! from one end of space to the other, the greatest race in the history of time and one that is sure to please Gork and Mork immensely.
- Warboss Zhardsnark, "da Rippa" - Zhardsnark is a grizzled veteran of numerous warzones and countless battles, not only against the forces of the Imperium of Man, but other xenos races and his own kind. Zhardsnark was one of the more experienced and powerful Ork Warbosses on the Ork World of Kastorel-Novem at the time of the Imperial raid on that planet, and his large Evil Sunz warband was in the thick of the fighting. For an Ork Warboss he is lightly armoured, a trait of the Evil Sunz Bikers, who prefer speed and mobility over armoured protection. Zhardsnark's sobriquet refers to his personal weapon of choice, "da Rippa." It is a cutom-built, gauntlet-mounted, armoured buzzsaw. This Warboss' favorite combat tactic is to hack at the enemy with "da Rippa" while making high speed drive-bys on his large, fully-customised, half-tracked Warbike, called "da Beast."
- Warlord Gazbag - Gazbag, a Speed Freek Warlord noted for his tenacity if not his navigational skills, guided his WAAAGH! towards a group of largely unprotected Eldar paradise worlds in 831.M41. Despite the lack of loot on the planet, Gazbag's Orks relieve their boredom by torching things and generally messing up the place. The vengeful Eldar of Craftworld Biel-Tan descended upon the invaders with destructive fury, but the gleeful Orks are numerous enough to prevent the Eldar from encircling them. After a protracted and bloody campaign the Eldar are forced to withdraw. Gazbag enslaves the indigenous Eldar population and burns all he finds until the once-verdant worlds are more to his liking.
- Zagboss Skargrim Ruknar - Skargrim Ruknar was a fearsome Warlord of the Evil Sunz klan and the notorious leader of the Burning Death Speed Freeks who followed the infamous Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka during the Third War for Armageddon. During the opening stages of Ghazghkull's initial invasion, Skargrim and his Speed Freeks encircled and destroyed entire regiments of Imperial Guardsmen (including those from the Savlar Chem-Dogs) within the Ash Wastes. The Burning Death were well known for their love of fire, and the trapped humans were herded into large groups, setting up massed Skorcha runs that lit up the night skies. Streaking above the ash wastes, air wings of Dakkajet and Burna-bomba skwadrons acted as mobile artillery for the Speed Freeks.
Speed Freeks Icons and Colours
Speed Freek symbols often incorporate lightning, or the Ork glyph "zag", to reflect the idea that these crazed Orks prefer to strike hard and fast. Many Speed Freeks, most notably the Evil Sunz klan, will usually have their vehicle painted red from grille to exhaust. A superstition held by the Orks that, "da' red 'uns go fasta!" The habit of painting vehicles red has its roots in the ritual covering of the Ork's mounts with the blood of the foe, a practice that is still observed by some of the older Evil Sunz tribes.
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition), pg. 12
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition), pp. 23, 29, 60, 77, 169
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pg. 29
- 'Ere We Go: Orks in Warhammer 40,000 (2nd Edition), pg. 78
- Imperial Armour II - Ork, Eldar and Dark Eldar Vehicles for Warhammer 40,000, pg. 34
- Red WAAAGH! Campaign Supplement (7th Edition), pp. 61, 74, 112
- Rogue Trader: Koronus Bestiary (RPG), pg. 77
- Waaagh! Ghazghkull: A Codex Ork Supplement (Ebook), pp. 57-61
- Warhammer 40,000: Compendium - Death From the Skies, pg. 62
- White Dwarf 389 (UK), pp. 30-37
- Helsreach (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden