Friday, January 16, 2015

Tactical dirt bike? SilentHawk prototype set for 2016

Tactical dirt bike? SilentHawk prototype set for 2016: A prototype of a gas-electric hybrid dirt bike designed to get troops over all types of terrain quickly and stealthily could be ready for tests by the middle of next year.

Logos Technologies announced earlier this month that its work on the SilentHawk "military motorcycle" was progressing at a rapid clip, thanks in part to a second research award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The program, a partnership between Logos and Alta Motors, began in February, and Logos announced an initial DARPA grant in April.

The bike would combine Alta's RedShift MX electric dirt bike with a hybrid-drive system initially designed by Logos to power unmanned aerial vehicles, according to a Logos news release. The RedShift MX retails for $14,995, can hit 80 mph and has an estimated battery range of two hours "based on recreational trail or mixed road use," according to online product information.

A hybrid drive likely would extend the military version's range, and it would allow troops to generate "supplemental electric power" in the field