The good folks at BigPantha sent me their BigPantha Helmet Lock Cable to see what I thought of it. Two things that always stay on the Red Rover is a helmet lock and a bungee cargo net. I have always locked my helmet with a cable, but it has normally been with a big bike lock and cable. The problem with that arrangement is that it is always in the way when packing bags and it is so long that my helmet can fall off with wind, knocks, etc. The Big Pantha Helmet Lock Cable seemed like a reasonable solution and it has proven to be. I’ve had it for a couple of months now, so it is time for a Battlefield Biker review.
…DARPA, the Pentagon’s future projects wing, is funding the development of a versatile electric dirt bike, so that special forces can have as silent a ride as possible on two powered wheels. The bike is called “SilentHawk,” and after receiving the first prototype, DARPA liked to so much they asked for two more.
Collaboration on the SilentHawk Hybrid Special Forces Motorcycle
The SilentHawk is made in collaboration by Alta Motors and Logos Technologies. The team has expertise in lightweight and stealth technologies and commercial electric motorcycles. The SilentHawk will allow Special Forces operators to approach targets quickly with a much lower sound profile. After completion of the mission, they will be able to exfiltrate in a stealthy fashion as well.
The SilentHawk Hybrid Special Forces Motorcycle is highly sustainable in the field.
Although the purpose of the electric motorcycle is mission stealth, the bike also is highly versatile in using multiple forms of fuel, such as diesel, JP5/8 jet fuel, as well as conventional gasoline. This will allow operators to stay in the field longer and charge their myriad of technologies (GPS, radios, lasers, etc.) on the go using the Integrated mount and power interface for Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) device. The ability to ride a generator is a big plus for those teams deployed into the wilds.
The SilentHawk tops out at 80MPH and I suppose that is when it is not fully loaded like it will be most of the time. However, the 55 decibel sound signature compared to the 113 decibel signature of a standard, gasoline fueled dirt bike means that the SpecOps community can pass a village in the night with a sound that is no louder than a human conversation. With a range of 170 miles without refueling—including two hours in quiet mode on a single charge, the bike will become a staple of long-range reconnaissance patrols, I bet.
SilentHawk combines Alta Motors’ high-performance RedShift MX electric motorcycle with a multi-fuel hybrid system developed by Logos Technologies. The hybrid-electric prototype can run for up to 170 miles without refueling—including two hours in quiet mode on a single charge. In addition, the multi-fuel engine would provide flexibility as well as the option to acquire fuel during
a mission. The hybrid design allows the user to quickly transform SilentHawk into a lighter, electric-only vehicle if needed. In either configuration, SilentHawk maintains its superior
Since it has proven to be the perfect motorcycle for the boring rider I really am (as opposed to who I imagine I am while ogling your magazine)
I bought the bike based on a lot of articles like this. The V-Strom 650 is a light and care-free bike that needs little to keep it going. It handles a passenger well when someone wants a ride and that same capability lets it haul a lot of camping gear in line without huge panniers hanging off the side.
I got rid of my big adventure bikes and move to this 650 for the road and light off road travel and a Honda CRF 250 L for my off road riding. Both of them bought new cost less than one of the big adventure bikes.
“I am definitely over 650 singles as they are now,” Scott says. “On the dirt, the big single power pulses make nadgery sections awkward where the CB-X twin rolled through smoothly. A single of 450 or less or a twin up to 650 will do me nicely. I can see myself flitting between the two in the coming years.”
That is pretty much where I have landed with my 650 V-Strom and CRF 250L. However, if this article is correct, it will be sad to see the cool old thumpers go away.
I’m wondering if we have reached maximum trendiness on Adventure bikes? (note I say “trendiness,” not usefulness) The LA Times talks a little about this in this article. I wouldn’t mind it if it meant the prices would go down a little.
I know they are right when they talk about guys who buy these bikes to farkle them up and show them off the same way guys do with 4X4s. However, I have always liked to buy a good solid bike that needed very little to conquer the limited amount of off-road riding I do. The main reason I have always liked adventure bikes is how much fun they are to ride. They ride high generally and the pegs are well off the ground so you can get some good sway in the twisties. When riding in England, you could pass the sports bikes on roundabouts while knocking helmets almost. They can handle a little dirt and gravel and they are generally built very well with good access to the stuff that needs to be maintained. They look good dirty, so I don’t have to clean them very often.
I kind of view mine like an old pick up truck and I pack it like the Beverley Hillbillies.
His trips could range from 500 to 700 miles per day visiting friends from Winston Churchill to Nancy Astor and managing to race with a Sopwith Camel biplane en route. Lawrence of Arabia was never destined to die in an old people’s home.