U.S. Plans to Build a Stealth Dirt Bike

{filenamebase}U.S. military leaders have approved funding to develop a hybrid, stealth motorcycle to be driven by special operations teams in the not too distant future.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a grant to integrate a multiple fuel, hybrid-electric power plant into a dirt bike built by BRD Motorcycles.  The hybrid electric engine will be built by Logos Technologies.

DARPA leaders forsee an electric bike that can drive for an extended range while producing nearly zero engine noise. 

“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,” said Wade Pulliam, manager of advanced concepts at Logos Technologies. “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.”

A hybrid drive system would offer the bike more range than a purely electric system. This will be the first time a hybrid drive system is incorporated onto a motorcycle, a Logos official said.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • andy

    you mean electrical Bike….and this is for ?…waste of money…spend money wisely no wonder we keep getting defense cut….I wonder who is incharge weapons program…this people should be fire….

  • fig spk

    Why not throw in a Stealth Skateboard and a Stealth Helmet.

    One can never underestimate the IQ of these American morons.

  • Taylor

    I am sure the Chinese will get right to work on one now that they know our intentions.

  • andy

    Save all this money and buuy more F22…

  • 009

    Put a captured OMAR on the back of a dirt bike—-really! How about a stealth HUMMBEE

  • Lance

    A stealth bike OK this Stealth crap is getting out of hand. You can hide from radar but every one can still see you bike. Do we need more cuts to kill these programs of idiocy.

    • Stahlhelm

      Note the following sentence

      “DARPA leaders forsee an electric bike that can drive for an extended range while producing NEARLY ZERO ENGINE NOISE.”

      Do ya get it now? Or you can’t hear me over ‘STEALTH IS CRAP CAUSE I THINK SO!”?

    • Reginald_DC

      I guess in this case STEALTH means SILENT, not INVISIBLE TO RADARS, which is not sooooo stupid if you think about it. And I guess developing such a bike wouldn’t need soooooo much money, too.

    • blight_

      Indeed, which is why they could give out rusty Japanese mopeds with a “stealth” rust job to blend in, along with rusty Toyota Hilux and Land Cruisers that are “stealth” mode inconspicuous. Stealth beards, stealth robes and stealth niqabs to conceal operators to and from the target.

      Who needs uniforms? The Geneva Convention is dead and done for.

    • Jim

      Stealth basically means to avoid detection. Submarines try to be stealthy in an acoustical environment by keeping noise levels to a minimum. Aircraft try to be stealthy in an electromagnetic environment by not reflecting radar energy back to a reciever. A stealth motorcycle would need to be stealthy in a visual and acoustical environment, which means being quiet, and breaking up outlines so that the shape of a motorcycle does not stand out.

  • blight_

    Need stealth tanks more than stealth bikes.

  • Michael

    can they fire their weapons while biking??

    • tiger

      Plan on drive by shooting somebody? Sure, they could.

  • hibeam

    Drones are so incredibly effective. And yet we can not stop building stupid things to set off IEDs. How about aerial refueling for drones. Drones that perch and stare. And turn the damn things loose and quit holding them back. There is a target rich environment in Pakistan and everyone knows it.

  • Megaforce

    MegaForce comes to mind when bikes and battlefields are mentioned.

  • spidennis

    Enduro bikes like the Yamaha WR250F (like I have) can go pretty much anywhere and do it quickly. Look at the Dakar Rally for more examples. But what they want is something not noisy , and that is what they are referring to as “stealth”. That word is way over used! They want to combine a gas engine (or diesel) with an electric motor. I see this as a very overweight machine which becomes difficult to handle with a limited range. Prove me wrong, PLEASE!!!!

  • Benjamin

    What’s stealth about the bike is the lack of noise. In many places 3rd world the noise from a motorcycle is a dead give away of someone coming a quiet bike in this case makes sense

  • spidennis

    a little googling of the bike company listed in the article here brings me this : http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/brd-motorcyc… so it seems they are already developing this concept, I’ll take a fleet of them thank you.

  • oblatt22

    A noiseless motorbike is a dead giveaway that the rider is an American. Perhaps they should carry an unfurled stars and stripes just to make sure.

    But the real advantage is the cost in Asymmetrical warfare where we pay many times the cost to achieve many times less effect.

  • Joey Byden

    Now if we can just spend a few billions to make it also fly and operate as a swimmer delivery vehicle, then we will have something cool!

  • How much value is there in operations for a motorcycle? Marginal I suspect. Buy it off the shelf.

  • Da_Bunny

    SCUD hunters, rejoice!

  • ShamWowed

    Lot of love on this site. Two companies that I know of currently build E-Bikes Zero and Brammo. Maybe Darpa won’t waste your precious tax dollars on dev work afterall?

  • Alexander

    Yep…for us non military types: stealth = quite in city…
    Plus the torque of a E-bike with the range of an ICE as well as having either motor as a back up in case one breaks.
    The ICE will be smaller than it would otherwise have to be ( because the power of ICE and Electric can be used together…) and less batteries will be needed ( because a HUGE range as in a convential E-Bike is not needed) so the additional weight of the E-Power setup will not increase the weight (much) above a equivalent pure ICE.
    Lots of modes are possible: ICE only – Electric only – ICE/Electric – ICE only while charging batteries – ICE charging batteries while stationary…
    I wonder if I can build one (for myself) before anyone else can?

  • inside man

    omg, i can see the opening to Zero Dark Thirty 2 already, special forces riding motor bikes through the Russian Wilderness while doing tricks lol

  • S O

    (1) Simple solution; add a meant-for-bicycles e-motor to the frontwheel for an easy 2wd. About 0.4 hp power is enough to move quietly, and at a useful speed. https://www.superpedestrian.com/
    Cope with the increased mass of the spring mounted fore wheel.

    (2) Simpler solution; some old bikes had actual pedals, allowing for the rider to pedal the bike forward without the engine. Stuff still works, particularly if you don’t go for a really heavy bike (which will be a pain to ride offroad without very much upper body strength and experience anyway).

  • MilMotoXr

    Is this dirtbike for getting from point A to point B and back to A quietly? Could there be a possibility of a gunfight while on this dirtbike? My biggest issue here is for right handed shooters. Throttle is on the right, majority of shooters are right handed. Human body only has 1 right arm. Your 3 choices are, roll off the throttle to shoot your firearm, keep throttle on or shoot with your weak arm. Not sure if a specialized hybrid dirtbike will help much especially with all the budget cuts happening around us.

    • peters

      Well, those idiots may try to ride the bike upside down. A working design might cost a few hundred billion and 15-20 years, but hey, it’s worth it if the US military orders a few million bikes every 5 years.

    • In WW II, they switched the throttle to the left side on military bikes for that very reason.

  • Tribulationtime

    Let aside cheap way vs american (expensive) way. I think there is a tactical niche for that. Night convoy flank screening. Base security, meaning attack mortar and rocket sites. Something like long-range-infantry-style. Maybe

  • N_3letters

    I would suggest that they mean “stealthy” (ie, noiseless) rather than “stealth”, but still….

  • SJE

    They already make hybrid-electric pedal bikes, with the electric power being to increase speed or carry additional loads.

  • SJE

    How about a horse?

  • wer

    The comments posted on this site show a staggering level of ignorance about what a motorcycle is used for in war.

  • Jack

    I used to have a stealth moped. It was not built that way, but then again the POS would not start.

  • mondawg

    If it is electric, it is green and good for the environment. It will be worth every penny no matter how many billions it costs if it will help forestall global warming.

  • Robert white

    Always finding new ways to blow a dollar.

  • William Hayes

    The U. S. Army should have reinvented the Cavalry concept during Iraq and Afghanistan missions, a lot of IED wounded and dead could have been prevented with
    independently mobile soldiers IE Indians Wars.teams of soldiers on motorcycles could have pursued and defeated roaming terrorists and Alqueda. As far as Controls, it is electric the controls could, dual, adjustable for the soldier and weapons could be mounted and computer controlled ala James Bond. Bike riders would not have to stay on potentially IED mined trails and roads. A rocket launcher might be effective against a bike but not units of bikes.

  • Steve

    What we really need is a stealth Segway towing a howitzer.

  • Roguemark

    I guess some people will bitch about anything without doing any research on what they are whining about. The military have been developing “stealthy” vehicles for years, tracked and wheel…electric and hybrid…so a bike is no surprise. As stated in other comments, many companies have been developing and refining “stealthy” vehicles for commercial/private use, especially for highly urban areas where pollution and noise are restricted.

  • For your information .You do not drive a bike. you ride it. It takes balance to control it .And in rough terrain it is not an easy task. even worst then dirt courses that people ride in compactions. because of the rocks, boulders, soft and hard surfaces.

  • Shhhhh, no one mention mufflers…

  • I know when they experimented with dirt bikes back in the ’80s at Fort Lewis as part of the 9th ID “high tech test bed”, they had a lot of maintenance/loss problems because of field use & abuse. Commanders also didn’t like the idea of Spc4 Joe Snuffy bombing around the battlefield on his personal motocross bike. They also considered giving ground cav units dirt bikes to carry in the M-3 Scout version of the Bradley, but that never went anywhere either. Hopefully, the spec ops people act more “grown-up” with their bikes.

  • Joe Coleman

    This reminds me of the time, I worked as a civilian employee at Incirlik AB, Turkey, when Desert Storm kicked off, I was ordered to place camo to cover the control tower and the base power plant. I mentioned that this would not cover the IR from the power plant, the word was do it, the first night after I completed the job, I went by the tower and the beacon was shining brightly through my Camo. As the Thais say,”my pin lai”, not to worry easy for me! Joe Coleman, Air Commando 64-65.

  • bart

    Will there be a three versions, one for every service, built around the same basic model to save money? The navy needs one that has a tailhook for carrier ops.

  • jamesb

    certified BS…….

    goes with the mech dog and other wastes of money….

  • darth cheney

    Just create the plans and let the Chinese steal them, produce it and then we can purchase it from them far Cheaper than what a US company can do it for – AND it will probably work .

  • ummm why not use horses?

    • tiger

      See my reply to SJE.

    • tiger

      Horses belong on tracks being bet on. Not in war. You can not put them on a Blackhawk or even a V-22. They need food, water, vet care, stables, handlers, nor have the speed or endurance of a bike.

  • Rhys F

    Try self-fueling and recyclable, not to mention self-reproducing… AKA the HORSE. and maybe issue them to CAVALRY units?

  • They will probably try to reinvent the wheel instead of improving on the Kawasaki derived M1030B1 multi fuel diesel scout bikes in service now.

  • Linda

    The plume of dust from the tires is a giveaway.

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  • banthafodder

    So someone at darpa saw an old episode of streethawk…

  • Jon

    Fuck that, I want a hoverboard from back to the future. a disposable $100K two wheel drive electric dirtbike with 50 mile range? why not. nothing compared to the waste at the VA…

  • Iv’e been looking for a new and clever way to sneak around my house at night, and I think I just found it! I would write a long diatribe about all the benefits of having one is but to be honest I just want one because shutup.

  • Markus

    It says all wheel drive in the article??!? Motorcycles are not all wheel drive.

  • eri

    I would suggest that they mean “stealthy” http://www.pointerpal.com