DARPA’s Super Quiet Motorcycle Moves Ahead

Two wheels and under 55 decibels

Artist Concept, SilentHawk Motorcycle With Saddlebags
Artist Concept, SilentHawk Motorcycle With Saddlebags
Logos Technologies

In the near future, America's enemies may soon learn that death comes on two wheels. First announced last year, the SilentHawk is a motorcycle for special forces, the kind of dirt bike someone would want in an apocalypse. Development on the motorcycle started last year, and DARPA recently granted makers Logos Technologies and Alta Motors an award to develop it further.

What makes the bike so good for special forces is the hybrid electric engine. For normal use, traveling far from sensitive areas, the bike can use diesel, gasoline, or jet fuel, scavenging fuel as need be on missions far from base. When needed, the electric part of the engine ensures that the bike runs silent—or nearly so. DARPA's goal is for the silent mode to ring in at 55 decibels. That's quieter than a normal conversation. The bike's louder mode could reach up to 75 decibels, which is slightly louder than the average vacuum cleaner.

SilentHawk is based on Alta Motor's RedShift MX bike. Last year, Logos tested RedShift bikes with their new hybrid-electric engine. Now, for Phase II of testing, Logos says they plan "to proceed with an aggressive Phase II program plan, with the goal of developing and testing the first operational prototype in only 18 months."