Rising fuel prices got you down? Run your bike with olive oil

olive oil

Published on 27 July 2016 by Robert Drane


Filed under Category: The world of motorcycling

Electric bikes may be all the rage right now but, for military service, these technologies will be put to the test.

In 2014, the US Department of Defence’s research division DARPA focussed its efforts to create a “stealth bike”. Why? Simple: a bike can go places a bigger vehicle cannot, and we're not talking about lane splitting here.

The result: the Logos Silent Hawk and LSA Autonomy Nightmare. Both are much the same and have similar specifications, although one is just a little bigger. They use brand new technology while retaining the versatility, efficiency and reliability essential for the military.

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This versatility has extended as far as the engines themselves. Designed to be both hybrid and multi-fuelled, they can run anything from regular petrol to jet fuel. Theoretically, even olive oil will get them going.

Speaking to Defense One, engineer Alex Dzwill said: “If it’s gasoline, tell it it’s gasoline, tell it it’s something else. It will figure it out.”

Olive oil or not, a running engine is loud, and for stealth, the art of surprise is silence. Both bikes switch to a solely battery-operated mode, bypassing the conventional engine with motors.

E-motorcycles are quiet, but these peak at just 55-decibels - as quiet as a casual conversation.

Eventually, defence technology tends to filter down into consumer goods. By road testing and proving that these new technologies can be robust and stable, we could be seeing these in our bikes in years to come.


Watch highlights of the DARPA Challenge Phase 1 below: