U.S. commandos are interested in a new dual-mode bike that that can be propelled by a motor or human peddling, said a member of the defense industry. The Motoped Survival Bike was delivered to the special operations community for testing on Aug. 8, according to Jeffery Givens, president and CEO of Graystone Defense LLC. Givens is a consultant who works with the American Performance Technologies Group, which designed the vehicle. “It’s simply a ruggedized downhill racing mountain bike with a motor on it,” he said Aug. 26 at the National Defense Industrial Association's Joint Service Power Expo in Cincinnati, where the motoped was on display. The bike is designed for off-road travel and is equipped with six-inch shock absorbers similar to those on professional Motocross motorcycles, Givens said. The vehicle weighs 132 pounds and can carry a 300 pound load, including the weight of the driver. In testing it has reached speeds of more than 45 miles per hour, he said.
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Friday, August 28, 2015
Praxis: Bringing back the bicycle infantry. Special Operators Interested in ‘Motoped’
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For all that mopeds are a venerable and practical concept for a civilian vehicle, the user-powered mode still has severe drawbacks for a combatant attempting to evade detection by the enemy.
They should dispense with the pedal system and use a folding frame (and extending handle) to allow it to turn into a low-profile handcart. Slightly smaller diameter wheels with a thicker tread would be good too, despite reducing fuel efficiency in powered mode. Ideally, in user-powered mode the user should be able to remain completely below the height of the cart, and the cart should be low enough to be easily shrouded and appear relatively inconspicuous. Practically, a quicker system that only folds down the seat and handlebars may be sufficient.
This is not a new idea. Sixty years ago, when I was a kid, I had a motorized device which clamped onto a bicycle's frame. It used a belt to transfer the engine's power to the rear wheel of the bicycle. The product was called a Whizzer. You could buy a complete Whizzer already attached to a bike, or you could just get the Whizzer and attach it to your bike. It worked well, although the engine didn't have enough power to handle hills well. There is an episode of "American Pickers" where the pickers buy a whizzer bike.
- Old Greybeard
Overkill. Overweight. $4K?? Follow the KISS method by obtaining a decent quality aluminum frame commercial/off-the-shelf ~30-35# mountain bike ($500) and adding a small engine for $200 to $400 (w/quiet muffler option), aluminum/poly rack on back and front for gear, appropriate LED Cree lights and calling it done. $1K to $1.5K easy. And it's half the tare weight (or less), making fording/portaging easier/possible and pedaling the last few clicks easier. Don't want worn out guys entering battle-space pedaling a 132# monstrosity. How well could a guy portage 132# and gear?-not. And they will encounter water crossings and rough terrain where the bike will have to be carried.
Looks like with what they expect to do/carry, they need to jump up to a small off-road dirt bike. Heavier, but more capable.
KTM 200 two stroke is the perfect bike. Small frame, light, nimble, and relatively bulletproof (figuratively speaking.) Forget about the pedals, nobody is pedaling a 132lb. bike uphill in full loadout.
What he said above. Good luck with a 132 lb bike and load on a mountain uphill. I can see the applicability in low and flat land ops maybe. Oh and I don't know shit about military stuff, I'm just a yocal who spends a lot of time in the woods on hills and this mother aint going nowhere fast @ 132lbs.
Nice, but expensive. I think I would get a Rokon 2-wheel-drive cargo bike, instead.
A Honda or Yamama 125 ish street/dirt bike would be FAR more practical (and affordable)
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