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Old 02-04-2015, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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SilentHawk - hybrid motorcycle in development for US military



DARPA Funds SilentHawk Military Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle Prototype: UPDATED

This is quite interesting. Alta Motors (formerly BRD Motorcycles) is using an existing EV dirtbike they have and slapping on a small genset to it to make a hybrid motorcycle. It'll have ~50 miles of range, and the genset can run on numerous fuels for versatility. Its also 2wd.

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Old 02-04-2015, 09:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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AWESOME, but I doubt the military will go for it unless performance (range) is dramatically increased. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funds all kinds of awesome research for military vehicles, but few of them ever actually make it to us (the troops). Frankly, any military vehicle needs to be able to go at least 200-250 miles to be usable as a patrol/convoy vehicle...because stopping to fill up is best done well out of harms way.

I did fix up a shot up/broken, neglected, and apparently abandoned M103M1 (or maybe M2 because it had auxiliary fuel tanks) when I was in Iraq last time. It was an awesome machine, basically a Kawasaki dirt bike with a diesel/kerosene engine. It was pretty slow for a dirt bike, but a tank of diesel would last for like, ever on base.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My first post wasn't too clear. The total range for the bike is 170 miles, 50 miles of that is in electric mode. So, falls a bit short of the ideal range, with the benefit of silent operation.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kir_kenix View Post
I did fix up a shot up/broken, neglected, and apparently abandoned M103M1 (or maybe M2 because it had auxiliary fuel tanks) when I was in Iraq last time. It was an awesome machine, basically a Kawasaki dirt bike with a diesel/kerosene engine. It was pretty slow for a dirt bike, but a tank of diesel would last for like, ever on base.
Would it be comparable to a 250cc 4-stroke gasser?
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You've got to love the "more stuff" that industry likes throwing at them. It's a great tool, dramatically increasing the range that the troops can sneak around. But it can't be their only vehicle, so it's more equipment to haul around or tie them down to a fixed base.

Can you see those SF guys tooling around Afghanistan on their 4 wheelers... pulling trailers that had electric dirt bikes stowed? Sure, once they're set up at a base they're rocking, but in the meantime it's a mess.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The M103M1 is the product of Fred Hayes of Vetter Challenge fame.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's a great tool, dramatically increasing the range that the troops can sneak around. But it can't be their only vehicle, so it's more equipment to haul around or tie them down to a fixed base.
It could also be a good vehicle for police patrolling, instead of those Harley-Davidsons with their crappy handling.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No, the gas savings won't be enough to justify the cost difference. The military has dollars to throw at pure research on the off chance that they'll get a toy that gives them an edge somewhere, but everyone else needs to look at it as a business decision.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Quote:
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No, the gas savings won't be enough to justify the cost difference. The military has dollars to throw at pure research on the off chance that they'll get a toy that gives them an edge somewhere, but everyone else needs to look at it as a business decision.
It's not just about engine and savings, but also about the handling, increased range, and the off-road ability. And when I mean off-road it's not just cross-country, but also parks and overcrowded urban areas where the mobility of a motorcycle helps to answer the emergencies quickly, and the ability to overcome some obstacles is more favorable too. No wonder dual-purpose motorcycles are the most common type used for police patrolling in many countries.


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