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….

    • NakedWeasel

      You do realize that “hybrid” means gas combustion as well as electric power? My guess is that English is not your first language.

      • andy

        and what the purpose for this bike? all I see is comment about my ENGRISH.

        • tiger

          Andy, think hard. Would you like to walk 50 miles or ride? You may have a mission where a chopper is not a option & a humvee too much a vehicle.

          • andy

            I do aware of this mission but the Bike would not work in the Jungle and desert are too hot for the bike to be effective batterry will drain in the desert.

          • Ruger

            You made my day! But… they would be very use on BLM missions against pesky over grazing ranchers who don’t pay the boss. I see a testing opportunity…

          • wade

            Issue them a horse or mule. In a lot of locales, that would help them blind in.

          • redbeard33

            Hey, here’s an idea: let’s let internet denizens dictate tactical insertion policy to SOF warriors.

        • notmyname

          Could have been handy in Mogadishu.

          • Andy


          • blight_

            Considering the problems unarmored Humvees and trucks had in Mogadishu, going lighter is unlikely to result in a better outcome.

      • Mr Twitch

        Great Idea but since the gov is involved, you’ll probably get one for the price of two. Economy of scale issues.

        Motos already being used

        Kawi KLR
        There’s even diesel version. Also an all-fuel version and an electric version

      • Boomerhog

        NAked weezer,

        Doesnt have to be gasoline combustion.. think outside the box and think fuel cell. WTF, It’s time to bring those into use.

        • blight_

          So you want to carry H2 and O2 tanks around? Those are generally well armored to prevent accidents, increasing weight. Remember what a spark in an O2 tank did to Apollo 13, and it doesn’t have to fit in a motorcycle that is being shot at.

          A small diesel generator, or something APU-sized to charge the batteries will do fine. Not sure if a Sterling engine would have appropriate power density. The other option is a rotary. Two stroke might be loud and smell obvious.

          • ChrisB

            A continuously running Stirling cycle is fine. The purpose of this bike is to ride short ranges, then talk to / shoot at the locals.

            Stirling can also run off kerosene lamp oil, cooking oil, or whatever you find in the field.

    • Dr. Horrible

      andy, you can find more about what the “electrical Bike” is for at this link: https://www.defensetech.org/2014/04/15/pentagon-wants-…. Paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 should give you a good start.

    • You see we have this thing called technology which will hopefully address such things. Besides it’s better than spending billions on useless projects like the Littoral Combat Ship, the F-35 paperweight, the F-22 loser, etc.

    • bob

      Someone should fire your english teacher

      • Ronnie

        How is your second or third language going. Forgot, food stamps etc, dead dollar revolving. Whomever it is I am impressed by their effort. If it is a Chinese military unit, you are going undetected lads.

  • fig spk

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

    One can never underestimate the IQ of these American morons.

    • Joshua

      Many in our government morons? Sure. Still leading the curve in military tech, ludacris to generalize, you ignorant piece of nothing.

      • oblatt22

        Not really, you’d be hard pressed to name a defense technology that we are the leaders of or is even effective, these days

        • ttablo

          Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers, Long Range Bombers, SSBN´s, hypersonic weapons, cyberweapons, military transports…those without doubt, and arguably, many more.

      • peters

        Not many, but MOST (95% or more) in US government are morons.

        Leading the curve in military tech? You don’t have a clue about European military tech or anything else. You can’t even spell “ludicrous”. Many in America are starving and homeless, and yet the US government borrows hundreds of billions every year from China, Japan etc to expand the already bloated military. You pride in that?

        And you call others “ignorant piece of nothing”? How ironic and ludicrous!!

        • TXMaverick

          This coming from a guy who write “You pride in that?”
          Pot calling the kettle black I’d say.

          • grant

            He / she forgot to type “take”. No big deal. we all miss a word or two sometimes. He’s right in what he’s saying.

        • DontBringMeDown

          Europe is still scrambling from the depth of information invasion by the NSA…I mean, do you read much? There’s very little in the digital world that the US doesn’t have information on. I understand the detraction to a point, but include just a little objective focus.

          As far as overall tech goes – the hypersonic vehicles traveling at mach 20 and the rail gun that will vastly increase naval combat range may be game changers for a couple decades..thank goodness that Chinese-fueled debt isn’t callable..

          On the stealth bike – it’s genius. Silent, fast, ground based vehicles that enable individual off-road maneuvering as opposed to concentrating presence in one vehicle. You’re giving the best-trained warriors on the planet greater capability to shape the combat zone to their favor.

          • Snowden Rocks

            Stealth bike? Genius? LOL. Genius salesmanship for the crooks! But then as fig spk says, the average IQ of Americans is so low, even the most mediocre salesman can sell the whatever rubbish the crooks have in store.

            As for your so-called best-trained warriors, I think you mean using Stealth Crack Pipes. Perhaps you are even better at it than they are..

          • DontBringMeDown

            Way to not even address any of the points I made…

            You do your side of whatever argument you think there is a lot of favor. I dare you to try something not ad hominem.


          • Snowden Rocks

            You made some “points” in your post? Gosh you must have applied really good Stealth technology, coz I sure couldn’t find any of your points. LOL.

          • DontBringMeDown

            You mean like NSA having access to the trove of European data?

            Or the fact that missile technology is going to forever be changed by hypersonic vehicles? The dramatic increase in naval range by the rail gun?

            Or the fact that a bike doesn’t have to be on a road and if it’s quiet, you won’t hear/see them coming?

            Yes let’s not dispute any of those minor things. Continue trading meaningless insults, though – seems to work well for fragile minds.

          • peters

            those are not “points”, but irrelevant wet dreams and wishful thinking.

      • meow

        Joshua, what does “ludacris” mean? I can’t find it in the dictionary.

        By the way I think it’s fair to say that many in our government are morons. In fact, I’d say they are worse than morons.

    • madskilz48

      How about talking to Harry Potter about a stealth cloth he used. Why aren’t they going to a motorcycle company or even several to develop a bike for them. No, lets give it to someone with connections who will learn on the US dime.

      • grant

        I wouldnt be surprised if they have already talked to Harry Potter. The Brits have developed something like that. I am sure the US military will beg to buy the tech from them.

    • meow

      good one fig spk.

      while we are at it, let’s complete the package with stealth water bottle, stealth snack container, stealth gloves, stealth knee-pads, stealth shoes, stealth visor, stealth spare tire, stealth swiss army knife.

      as for morons, don’t forget the entire body of American taxpayers, because they will be the one footing the bill eventually.

      • grant

        Dont forget Stealth Condoms and Stealth Crack Pipes.

        • Teacher

          If US troops are going to be killing people in small, poor third world countries, they don’t need stealth on anything. If they are trying to do the same against a big country like Russia or China, their stealth technology is a joke. Might as well give them regular diapers and cheapest possible crack pipes, as they will being sh!tting a lot and inhaling a lot.

        • English Superior

          Too far

    • Says the douchebag pounding on a technology brought to you by American Morons..

    • Giveitarest

      Why so many down votes on post by fig spk? Did he say something wrong?

      • ide

        Well, he spoke the truth and mocked the stupidity of the US military and the government.

        You know what happens when you don’t sugar-coat the hard truth to people with lowly negligible IQs and highly sensitive egos.

  • Taylor

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

    • andy

      Nothing new here… waste of money

  • andy

    Save all this money and buuy more F22…

    • Mick

      Cut that program, and maybe save enough to buy one landing gear for an F22…

  • 009

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

    • Surfer Girl

      Captured Omar? Are like Serious? My guess is if a squad of Navy Seals rolls up on Omar his only option would be one to the chest and one to the head. Its more like nice catch not capture.

      • oblatt22

        Much more likely that the republicans will sign a trade deal with the Taliban in 2025 with full diplomatic recognition. Of course it will be a minor benefit sine the Chinese will have wrapped up most of the country already.

        Something to consider when you’re bleeding out in the kush.

        • blight_

          Vietnam’s our “friend” too.

  • 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.

    • john doe

      have being deployed with drones 95% of them suck, only the classified ones are worth anything

  • Megaforce

    MegaForce comes to mind when bikes and battlefields are mentioned.

    • FormerDirtDart

      “The Losers” come to mind for me. http://wrongsideoftheart.com/wp-content/gallery/p

      • d. kellogg

        Admiral watches Streetfighter movie, gets pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams of high tech stealth boghammer streetfighter stealth ship and we get LCS.

        General watches Megaforce and petitions DARPA and def. cons. to build stealth bikes.
        For another billion bucks they promise it will fly.
        For another billion it gets ABM capability like the snowmobile in GI Joe.

  • 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!!!!

    • tiger

      That is what DARPA does everyday. Prove the impossible is possible.

      • spidennis

        In my next post a couple down from this one I have a link that explains that two companies are already well into making this a reality. I’m on board for a fleet of them!

  • 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.

    • tiger

      What, the 6 ft blue eyed white guy with buzz cut hair & M-4 did not scream “Yankee?”

    • Snowden Rocks

      Don’t worry, there is no way in hell American engineers can produce a noiseless motorbike. They can’t change laws of Physics. The best these filthy politicians can do is convince the tax payers that it can be done, or that it’s of any value in a war. That’s not hard considering how dumb the average Americans are.

  • 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.

    • tiger

      Scout Sniper teams. You have just given them a quiet way to Enter a area other than walking. You can carry more gear farther on a bike. You now have a quick mode of egress in both the field or urban setting. A chopper LZ may not be close by or Possible.

      • muttling

        Yep, we’ve deployed snipers on motorcycles in the past and it was very effective. Grenada is a primary example of this. On a frightening note, the Iranians have motorcycle mounted RPG-7 teams.

  • 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?

    • tiger

      Nice,BUT………….. As pure electrics, where do you plug in to recharge in the field? That is why a hybird is a better option.

      • ShamWowed

        No disagreement here.
        Mainly commenting on collective butt-hurt bean counters going nuts over what their superior intelligence suggests as just another waste of money.

        I am curious what the internet warrior types consider a waste of funds when their loved ones are on the front lines?

  • 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).

    • Simpler solution, mufflers…

  • 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.

    • TAJ_CE

      I was hoping someone would bring that up. There are models that can be adjusted to put from 75 to 1000 watts of power assist, with 400 to 500 watts being enough to pull about 300 pounds unassisted from pedalling. Instead of tying the bike to a fuel source and limiting range why not use a pedal assisted bike. I know the currently available models would need to be beefed up and strengthened or armored but pedal assisted seems like a cheaper solution to the problem then building a hybrid engine onto a bike that will scream American everywhere you go.

    • blight_

      A Bakfiets cargo bike with electric propulsion would be pretty good at getting weight off of people’s backs, as would any number of cargo bike attachments. Any vehicle should be a sufficient multiplier to justify carrying its weight around if need be: a bicycle is light and expendable and not as fast, even with electric assist modes, a motorbike is fast and perhaps a little expensive.

  • 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.

    • S O

      * courier/messenger
      * MP (traffic control)
      * parading (escorting VIP, often done by paramilitary or police forces, depending on country)
      * site/route recce in ‘rear’ areas

      Many are under influence of recent conflicts where motorbikes were used to shadow Western forces, for general off-road movement on mostly hard soil and for (less visible) general courier purposes.

  • 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.

    • ShamWowed

      Easy Mark, I would hate for logic to be introduced in the bash fest.

  • 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….

    • grant

      yep. It’s robbery in broad day light by the government on behalf of the defense industry. More creative BS acquisitions coming. The US government guarantees it.

    • ide

      wait till they try to make a “noiseless mechanical dog” ride this “noiseless bike”

      I predict a “winged noiseless bike promotion” sometime down the road.

  • 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 .

    • Snowden Rocks

      They don’t copy rubbish ideas and expensive junks.

  • 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.

    • You come in my house at night bring a spotlight. You might see me seated on this sitting on the top of the kitchen cabinets GLARING AT YOUR SOUL …with my light up eyes.


  • 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