Category: PMCS

The New SilentHawk Hybrid Special Forces Motorcycle

The multi-fuel SilentHawk Hybrid Special Forces Motorcycle in the works

Popular Science reports that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working on an electric motorcycle that is super quiet and easily deployable and sustainable.

…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.

Less speed but also less BRRRAAAAPPP

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.

See the specifications of the SilentHawk on the Logos Technologies website. From the Logos Technologies PDF;

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
all-terrain handling.
In the Battlefield Biker’s humble opinion, the SilentHawk Hybrid Special Forces Motorcycle will be a great addition to the Special Operations bag of tricks.

Change the Oil, Keep Riding

This is why I love my Suzuki V-Strom 650. This point from Motorcyclist reader Dean Zatkowsky/ Ojai, CA is exactly the way I feel,

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.

As you can tell, I’m very happy with mine.

The End of Big 650 Singles?

Here is an interesting article on the emissions problem of big 650 singles and their decline. I like what Chris Scott said.

“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.

Adventure Motorcycle Zenith?

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.

Chain Knowledge

Here is a good primer on chain wear for those of us with chain driven bikes. I’ve not always been good at this, but have vowed to be better at all forms of PMCS in my older age.
I had a Scott Oiler on my old KTM and that always served me well.

Image credit – https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/machineguarding/animations/chain.html

Helmet Replacement After 5 years?

This is possibly the most pragmatic and logical of any discussion about when to replace your helmet I have ever read.
Time to make up your own mind with an article that treats you like an adult. Don’t want no dain bramage.

Preparing for a Long Motorcycle Tour

Good advice from the good folks at ADV Pulse on how to prepare your bike for a long distance ride. Read on to page 2 as they have included a pretty good checklist at the end of the article.

I’ve always prided myself on riding out on the spur of the moment, but I have also been pretty regular at what the Army calls PMCS (Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services). Nothing like throwing track under fire to make you consider maintenance.

Get to know your maintenance manual too. That will help you know which tools to pack.

AAA is a pretty good idea for North America too.

Above is an image of me fixing a radio switch in a northern Norwegian parking lot with some of my favorite tools; Swiss Army knife, a Bic lighter, and duct tape… always bring plenty of duct tape.

As Walt Kowalski would say,

Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone.

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