FX Defense – Super-Lightweight Motorcycles for Military and Relief Applications

FX-4 Military Motorcycle Concept

FX-4 Defense Concept by Virtual Simulation Systems

FX originally saw the Mountain Moto as a defense product, but for a number of reasons we have decided to focus on the off-road and dual sport/recreation markets at first.

However, if “friendly” military and relief organizations are interested in our commercially produced models, we’re happy to talk, in defense language of course, using plenty of serious words like gradeability and TLAs (three letter acronyms)…starting with a new name…SLM.

SLM – SUPER-LIGHTWEIGHT MOTORCYCLE

GASOLINE & ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES FOR DEFENSE AND RELIEF APPLICATIONS

CAPABILITY SCOPING DOCUMENT

World’s lightest performance off-road motorcycle: 125lb (57kg) ready to ride

  • US Marines KLR250 Gasoline: 250lb (115kg)
  • US Marines KLR650 Diesel: 390lb (180kg)
  • SLM mobilizes one operator with 90lb (40kg) pack and equipment
klr650 diesel military motorcycle lineup

US Marines KLR650D

Defense evaluation and testing in NZ and USA to date

  • Series of trials by NZ Army at Burnham (see below)
  • Informal trials by NZSAS, US Navy SEALs, Singapore Army (all Special Forces)
  • Request for quotation to supply test units to US Army

Key advantage – mobility in difficult, tight, broken terrain

  • Ride, walk, manhandle, lift over otherwise-impassable barriers
    • Mountain/forest singletrack, fallen trees, fences, riverbanks, urban rubble, etc.
  • Reconnaissance and Special Operations seen as primary defense applications
  • Teams with tight space constraints that need ground mobility above walking
    • Air crew and ground support troops in a field environment, naval shore parties

klr650 stuck in mud

Other advantages – portability and usability

  • Carry on other light to medium vehicles e.g. LAV, LOV, SOV, assault boat/RHIB, UH-1/A-109/NH-90 and most other helicopters with a cargo/passenger compartment
  • Pack into larger vehicles for easy deployment e.g. medium lift vehicles, C-130, P-3K, Inshore Patrol Vessel, Offshore Patrol Vessel
  • Maximum use of stock commercial parts, designed for ease of maintenance, minimal training necessary for field or workshop maintenance.
  • Auto-clutch option, lightness and low seat mean extreme ease of use – low training requirement; low accident rate
ktm crash
Higher Accident Rate on Conventional Motorcycles

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight

  • 125lb (57kg) ready to ride

Lights/Electrics

  • Street legal lighting as required; 6V/12V jacks for helmet lights and equipment charging

Wheels/Tires

  • Excel motocross rims; Michelin motocross tires

Air Filter

  • Standard motocross foam filter in sealed airbox

Seat Height

  • 31” (800mm)

Payload

  • 350lb (160kg) total; 260lb (120kg) rider + 90lb (40kg) pack & equipment

Carriers

  • Rifle rack/scabbard, pack racks, anchor points etc. to required specifications

Gradeability

  • Climb/descend/traverse slopes up to 45o

Fording Depth

  • 24” (600mm); easy to restart if waterlogged; floatable on portable inflatable device e.g. inner tube

Turning Radius

  • 5′ (1.5m) minimum space required to turn 180o(able to pivot on rear wheel or lift and turn)

Lifting Height

  • Single operator can lift over 4′ (1.2m) obstacle; 2 people 6′ (2m) e.g. truck deck (typically 6 people to load a KLR250 onto a Unimog)

Max Speed

  • 125cc 60mph (100km/h); peak performance 20-40mph in difficult terrain; 250cc est. 80mph (130km/h)

Packed Dims

  • L: 48” (1200mm); H: 36” (900mm); W: 16” (400mm) with front wheel and handlebars unbolted

Packed Weight

  • 200lb (90kg) in air/sea/container crate

Fuel Tank

  • Fire/explosion-resistant

Gasoline Models

  • Standard Engine (recommended, plenty of torque and power to carry full payload up steepest grades): 125cc 4-stroke gasoline, 4-speed, auto-clutch (recommended) or manual transmission*
  • Higher Capacity Engines: 150cc and 190cc available from Daytona Japan, auto-clutch option would require short term development, yet to be durability tested in SLM package.  250cc engines require longer term research and development.
  • Fuel Range:  3 gallon (12 litre), up to 360 mile (600km) range (approx. 120mpg at 30mph; 50km/litre at 50km/h for standard engine)

Hybrid-Electric and Fully-Electric Models

  • Battery-electric and extended-range series-hybrid (gasoline-electric) models in development (diesel-electric has excessive size/weight but lightweight alternatives in research)
  • Same size, weight, main components as gasoline models
  • Up to 1 hour silent running on full-electric (approx. 30 miles at 30mph; 50km at 50km/h)
  • Up to 4 hours continuous running on hybrid-electric (approx. 120 miles at 30mph; 200km at 50km/h)
  • Hybrid has indefinite recharging using onboard micro-generator

*Gasoline contravenes the single fuel concept but the lightest commercial diesel engines weigh more than this entire motorcycle; we’re researching diesel micro-generators for long-range hybrid-electric models and have gasoline-hybrid and full-electric in pipeline

New Zealand Army Testing

Pictured below is an initial trial by Sgt Doug Middlemiss, RNZALR Instructor, Burnham Driver Training Wing, NZ Army.

After these and other trial runs Sgt Middlemiss reported:

“Extremely easy to operate, transport, lift…low noise…small footprint…this bike opens up a wide range of terrain that no other motorcycle could cover.”

NZ Army Headquarters then ordered a formal evaluation of the SLM versus their current Kawasaki KLR250.

Their instructors gave up trying to follow us down a super-steep bank with a rock field at the bottom.  We stopped halfway down, turned and traversed.  Their heavy bikes couldn’t stop sliding down into the rocks and got stuck.

They then tested our bikes over the terrain shown below (we weren’t permitted to film that test).  Instructors, officers and soldiers of all experience levels, some who had never ridden a motorcycle, all had success, and none crashed.

The verdict:  These bikes fill capability gaps they didn’t know they had, as a kind of range extender for foot soldiers, for reconnaissance, special forces and relief operations.

fx bikes army testing burnham fence lift

fx bikes army testing burnham

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FX Defense Super Lightweight Military Motorcycle

 


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