Armor: The Mud Bike


August 18, 2016: Another new Russian vehicle has appeared that appeals to the international market for all-terrain vehicles. This includes some military and police organizations. The Russian Taurus 2x2 is an 83 kg (181 pound) “mud bike” that is cheap ($1,100), able to handle the worst muddy or marshy terrain and is compact. That last point is important for anyone using a pickup truck or similar vehicle to get to a wilderness area where the bike is needed. The Taurus is built to be taken apart or assembled in less than five minutes. When disassembled it will easily fit into the back of an SUV, station wagon, pickup truck or hummer.

You can also easily replace the standard Honda GX210 engine to something smaller and lighter (like a chainsaw motor) and get weight down to 60 kg (132 pounds) and compact enough to be backpacked. Either way when disassembled the Taurus can fit into a container for an air drop or being carried by helicopter or small boat to where needed. So it is not surprising that commandos are interested in the Taurus. The key to the Taurus mobility is the 30cm (12 inch) wide 64cm (25 inch) diameter low pressure (down to 3 PSI) tires. The two speed gearbox only allows for a top speed of 35 kilometers an hour but when dealing with the worst types of muddy or marshy terrain, that’s several times faster than you can manage on foot. There are racks over the each wheel for over 80 kg of gear.

For over a century Russia has had a reputation for designing and manufacturing cheap, simple and rugged weapons and military vehicles. Since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 a lot of the designers and builders of this stuff went into the non-military market and since then there have been a lot of interesting stuff created for the civilian market, including police and anyone who wanted it. This includes foreign military customers. The Russian attitude is if you pay you can have it. The mud bike is low tech well done. It just works and there are no military secrets in that approach.


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