By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Motorcycles pack a lot of punch in their compact bodies, and the power is evident in the roaring engines that echo down the street. Well, the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently paired up with two companies to develop their own powerful motor-driven bike, only it will be whisper quiet.
There are a lot of bikes on the market today, but the military isn’t interested in them. First of all, most choppers run on regular gasoline, whereas the Armed Forces rely on a jet fuel known as JP-8 to juice their vehicles. The military also needs a bike with two-wheel drive, so soldiers can easily maneuver through tough terrain like soft soil and steep dirt trails. Lastly, loud revving engines are not ideal for sneaking up on the enemy, which is why the defense agency is looking to complement a gas engine with a quiet electric motor.
In order to create a bike with all the desired features – a stealthy hybrid-electric cycle with two-wheel drive – the military is partnering with hybrid motor companies Logos Technologies and BRD. After all, DARPA expects the chopper to be 4 times quieter than traditional motorcycles when in electric mode, so they’re sparing no expense. When the vehicle is not in electric mode, it will be compatible with the JP-8 jet fuel widely used in the military and be 10% more fuel efficient than other military motorcycles. Finally, the bike will be lightweight and travel about 50 miles before it needs another charge.
This is the first time ever that a motorcycle has these features jam-packed into a single powerful frame.
Images courtesy of BRD Motorcycles.