A company named Logos Technologies announced last week that it had received a $100,000, small business innovation research grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a stealthy dirt bike for use on covert missions by military special operators. The new motorcycle will have a top speed of about 80 miles per hour.
According to Logos press release, the motorcycle will be “developed in partnership with San Francisco-based all-electric motorcycle producer BRD, the platform will combine Logos Technologies’ quieted, multifuel hybrid-electric power system with a cutting-edge, off-road electric motorcycle platform developed by BRD. This initiative will be the first time that a two-wheel-drive, multifuel hybrid capability has been integrated into a full-size off-road motorcycle.”
The release quotes a Logos Executive named Wade Pulliam as saying, “Quieted, all-wheel-drive capability at extended range in a lightweight, rugged, single-track vehicle could support the successful operations of U.S. expeditionary and special forces in extreme terrain conditions and contested environments. With a growing need to operate small units far from logistical support, the military may increasingly rely on adaptable, efficient technologies like this hybrid-electric motorcycle.”
Other Military Bikes
The stealth motorcycle will be based on the all electric, BRD RedShift MX, a 250-pound motorcycle that retails for $15,000. Logos will contribute a new “multi-fuel” diesel engine that will allow the bike to run either on battery packs or “JP8.” Most United States military vehicles are designed to run JP8. DARPA expects the motorcycle to be silent when running on batteries and to be quieter than 25 decibels when running on JP8. Twenty-five decibels is about as loud as a whisper in a quiet room.
The Pentagon has been developing very quiet motorcycles for at least a decade. Last year, Zero Motorcycles of Scotts Valley, California announced it had a development contract to supply blacked out and quiet dirt bikes for the United States Special Operations Command.
Zero’s stealthy motorcycle is called the MMX. According to a Zero press release, “an undisclosed number of MMX motorcycles are currently undergoing full operational testing.” You can read more about the MMX here.
In addition to special operations, the new motorcycle would replace the U.S. military’s current the M1030M1 motorcycle. The M1030M1 (photo above) is a dirt bike based on the Kawasaki KLR650. It is powered by a a liquid-cooled, 584 cc, single-cylinder four-stroke engine and has a top speed of about 85 miles per hour.