You are here
Home > Other news >

US Military tests electric stealth bikes

The US military is evaluating Huck Overland electric bikes, attracted by their light weight, low price and above all, quiet operation. According to Huck Cycles, which builds the e-bikes in North Carolina, two Overlands have recently been trialled in live fire exercises and tested for use in search and rescue, border, air deployment, even medical evacuations. And of course covert operations, thanks to their lack of exhaust noise.

The Overland is a lightweight off-road bike weighing just 65kg, with a 3Kw (6Kw peak) motor and a small 3Kwh battery. Top speed is around 45mph and claimed range 40 miles. The Overland was originally intended for the US hunting, shooting, fishing market, but has since been taken up as a commuter machine, with city dwellers attracted by its USA price of $5800 (£5015).

Several other militaries around the world have begun using lightweight electric motorcycles, including the Ukrainian army, which has fitted machines with anti-tank NLAW  rockets. Ukrainian snipers are also reportedly using electric bikes to get quietly into firing position before making a quick (and quiet) getaway. New Zealand Defence Forces have trialled the UBCO electric utility bike and in the Australian military began testing electrics in 2021. As we reported here, there have even been tests of Zero e-bikes strapped to helicopters for rapid deployment.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “Fascinating: stealth bikes! I do wonder just how they’ll manage ‘tactical’ recharging? Will troops be carrying spare battery packs, or will units rely on diesel generators, out of earshot? Tactical use of solar would be an option, but a panel that could be deployed by a soldier would need to be robust and portable. I would imagine that unit level drones have already solved the problems, but a drone doesn’t need as much energy as a bike. The idea of NLAWs (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapons) on bikes brings to mind those pathetic pictures of teenage Wehrmacht ‘Tank hunters’ on bicycles, with a couple of Panzerfausts mounted on their pushbikes, in 1945.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Electrek