Light electric vehicles are attracting growing interest from militaries around the world. Now, the latest electric motorcycle to receive its draft card comes from North Carolina-based electric moped builder Huck Cycles.
Huck Overland enlists
The company recently announced that its Huck Overland model is currently being evaluated by the US military as well as various government and private agencies.
It’s something of a comeback for Huck’s founder and owner, Brett McCoy, an Army veteran who served in the airborne infantry.
According to the company, two Huck Overlands models were recently tested in various live-fire exercises and tested for uses in search and rescue, border and perimeter patrol, air deployment, medical evacuations with rolling stretchers, operations secrets, remote deployment and mobility caching. .
The Huck Overland is an electric motorcycle (or what some might consider a “noped” due to its lack of pedals) that is inspired by the classic Honda Motra, itself a popular recreational mini-bike of the 1980s.
Far from being a heavy electric adventure bike, the 145-pound (65 kg) Huck Overland is a smaller, more agile vehicle. The silent electric motorcycle comes with a nominal 3 kW motor and a peak 6 kW motor developing up to 8 horsepower, and carries a 3 kWh battery with a range of 64 km.
With multiple modes of operation, Huck’s bikes are technically designed to hit speeds of “45+ mph,” that plus sign likely doing some heavy lifting. Private owners have reported exceeding that 45mph figure with room to spare.
The $5,800 bike is normally sold for personal use and was actually intended for the hunting, fishing and outdoor market – hence the name Overland. But the company has since discovered that the lightweight electric motorcycle has proven popular in big cities for use as a commuter motorcycle. The bike comes as a road-legal motorcycle with a VIN and certificate of origin from the manufacturer, allowing riders to register it if they wish to use it for road use.
As founder and CEO Brett McCoy explained to Electrek:
I was shocked at how many people in big cities like NYC, LA, and Miami jumped on this model as a daily commuter. Apparently the robust madmax the look is also for city dwellers.
Electric motorcycles and e-bikes are quickly becoming a mainstream tool used by militaries around the world. Earlier this summer, we reported on other lightweight electric motorcycles that have been adopted by the Ukrainian military. These bikes were equipped with NLAW rockets to help Ukrainian defenders take out Russian tanks from an agile and mobile platform. Ukrainian snipers also used electric motorcycles to stealthily get into firing position and then quickly retreat.
It may be one of the last examples of e-bikes entering active service, but it’s far from the first.
In 2018, we learned that the Norwegian Armed Forces had started testing fat-tire e-bikes on border guard patrols.
Patrol duties were also tested by the New Zealand Defense Force in 2020 when they began testing UBCO’s electric utility bikes.
Australian soldiers have been testing stealth electric bikes since last year, and we also saw the first application of helicopter-mounted electric motorcycles late last year in an application designed for the rapid insertion of special operators on low-signature electric off-road motorcycles.
Several special forces units in Europe and the Middle East have also tested high-powered electric ATVs for field use, with paratroopers even launching electric dirt bikes onto the battlefield.
I might not be able to compete with helicopter-mounted e-bikes, but I used to ride uniformed e-bikes at least before it was cool. In the early 2010s, when I was serving in the Israeli army, my e-bike was my main form of transportation, and I was an impressive sight riding around town with an M-16 on my back.
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