Zero Motorcycles has developed a stealth motorcycle for the US Special Forces, touting its silence, acceleration, swappable battery, minimal heat signature, and ability to operate in deep water.
Here are some of the vehicle’s key features:
- Specialized military dash for quick and centralized mainline controls.
- Keyless ignition engaged with dash toggle for quicker departure.
- Modular and quick-swappable power packs.
- Wet operational abilities in up to one meter submersion.
- Switchable headlight for night-time stealth.
- Integrated wiring to accommodate quick installation of front and rear infrared systems.
- Safety override and reserve power capabilities to extend range during extreme situations.
- Aggressive foot pegs and hand guards for optimal control.
- Tie down eyelets with integrated tow cable and rear seat strap.
I’ve seen commenters note that the range on these vehicles is too short to be practical for such a purpose and that internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles can be “virtually silent” with the right muffler, so there’s no need for the EVs.
I replied regarding the importance of heat signature. Since electric motors can technically operate at very low temperatures (even cool to the touch, depending on the design), they cause a very minor heat signature (unlike ICE vehicles).
Apart from that, these comments brought some thoughts to mind:
Motorcycle engines themselves are noisy, even if their exhaust systems are completely silent, and they generate so much heat that they would literally glow to infrared cameras.
His range argument is important. However, this is a reason to develop an extended range electric motorcycle. It can still operate silently in electric mode, and then switch on a gasoline engine to either recharge it or propel it whenever necessary. But I think the US Special Forces knows what it’s doing and will be using these for purposes that don’t require such long range.
These new US Special Forces motorcycles are built on Zero’s 2013 MX platform. They utilize the CHAdeMO charging standard.
More details can be found in the Zero Motorcycles news release.