In 1970, Hayes expanded into commercial motorcycles sales.
Under the trade name METTCO, we enjoyed selling and racing PENTON Sport Cycles. We also developed and produced performance modifications for both European and Japanese off-road motorcycles.
From 1976 through 1979, we were consultants to Honda's off-road racing and enduro teams. We produced suspension components and provided 2-stroke engine performance modifications for their winning efforts from 1977 through 1979.
In early 1981 the United States Army put forth a Request for Proposal for the first official production of tactical military motorcycles since World War II.
Hayes was able to combine its experience as a government
contractor with many years of successful off-road motorcycle development to put together the winning bid.
As a result of our proposal, Hayes was awarded the first modern military motorcycle contract.
Since that first contract, Hayes has been awarded more than 45 contracts, resulting in over 2500
military motorcycles being delivered to the U.S. and allied military forces.
Our latest military motorcycle production contract was for 466 modified Kawasaki KLR650s. Previous contracts had been based on the KLR250. The move to the bigger, more powerful 650 was seen as somewhat of a risk for the Marine Corps. However, the risk paid off. The modified KLR650, now known as the M1030B1 Marine Corps motorcycle has proved to be the best performing, most reliable tactical military motorcycle now in service with any military organization. This includes competitive machines from BMW and KTM.
Diesel Fueled Military Motorcycles In 1984 all NATO military forces adopted a long-term goal of a "single battlefield fuel" to reduce the logistics burden of supplying gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation gasoline, and aviation kerosene (jet fuel). The objective was to convert or replace all existing fueled equipment, including trucks, tanks, light transport equipment, and aircraft to operate on aviation kerosene.
To implement the single battlefield fuel concept, the U.S. Navy announced in 1997 that, beginning in the year 2005, they would no longer transport or supply gasoline in any form. They would only supply "heavy" fuels, such as, diesel and jet fuel.
At that time there were only two major tactical military systems still using gasoline, small field generator sets and motorcycles. The military approached both generator set and motorcycle manufacturers to determine what alternatives might be available. The generator set manufacturers responded immediately with some diesel fueled options. However, all the motorcycle manufacturers approached indicated that a diesel fueled motorcycle was neither commercially practical, cost effective, or, in some cases even possible given the performance requirements.
As a last resort, the U.S. Marine Corps requested proposals from all interested sources, offering to pay for the development of a diesel/jet fuel powered military motorcycle through the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). They received over 40 responses. The Marine Corps selected two companies for the initial feasibility study, Hayes and a small company in Oklahoma.
After reviewing the studies from both companies, Hayes was
selected as the sole source for Phase II, which was to actually produce
a total of 15 diesel motorcycles.
Hayes successfully completed the first part of Phase II in May of 2001, when they demonstrated the first motorcycle that used a diesel engine specifically designed as a motorcycle engine. The motorcycle exceeded all expectations and was received with great acclaim by both the news media and potential military customers.
The final part of the Phase II effort was completed in September of 2001 when a total of nine diesel motorcycles completed two field user trials conducted by the Marine Corps.
Hayes entered into a Phase III contract for the production of 214 M1030M1 JP8/Diesel Combat Motorcycles. That contract was completed in early 2010. We continue to develop and refine the design and technology to meet the challenges of the future of Military Motorcycles.