In December 2021, the British 16th Air Assault Brigade conducted a significant experiment with Sur-Ron Firefly electric motorcycles in France, marking a shift in military reconnaissance and infiltration tactics.
The Trial with Sur-Ron Firefly
The British brigade utilized the Sur-Ron Firefly, a lightweight vehicle weighing only 47kg, equipped with a 6-kilowatt electric motor. The motorcycle demonstrated its capability to reach speeds up to 70km/h and cover a distance of 69km. The prominent feature of this vehicle is its silence, in stark contrast to traditional gasoline motorcycles, making it perfect for stealth-based missions.
Post-trial evaluations coined the motorcycle as a credible military asset, signaling a successful experiment.
Wider Adoption of Electric Motorcycles
The concept of using electric motorcycles for military purposes isn't new. The Ukrainian military has previously deployed similar motorcycles for their operations.
France is following suit and considering the inclusion of these unique vehicles into their forces. The Battle Lab Terre, backed by MOB-AGESTER and the Technical Section of the Land Army (STAT), has started its preliminary technical-operational exploration of the concept of light electric mobility.
The French Experiment
For their first attempt, they used the LMX 161 motocross bike and the LMX 56 “Speed Bike” provided by LMX Bikes. The LMX 161, which weighs 45kg (battery included) and runs on a power of 3100 watts, showed promising features. It has a 3-hour battery lifespan in economy mode and takes three hours to recharge.
Plans indicate further exploration of this experiment in 2024. The objective is to determine the potential applications of these vehicles in military units. Evaluations will focus on vehicle performance, such as speed, range, and stealth, and their effectiveness for specific mission types, including information transmission, material delivery, and infiltration/exfiltration.