The Russian defense giant Kalashnikov, best known for manufacturing the AK-47 assault rifle and other military and civilian weaponry, recently unveiled an electric motorcycle for Russian military and police forces. Revealed at the Army 2017 International Military-Technical Forum in the Moscow area, the new motorcycle is available in a dirt bike model for the military and a supermoto-style bike for urban police forces.
Kalashnikov Group announced that 50 of the police motorcycles will be used by law enforcement during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as . The police model has a range of 150 kilometers, or about 93 miles, according to Kalashnikov, and the bikes are being built by Russian motorcycle manufacturer IZH, a subsidiary of Kalashnikov.
Other than that, not much is known about the technical specifications of the new bikes. You can watch of a cool rider with no helmet and a bandana hopping on the military version of the electric bike and cruising over some mild off-road terrain.
The United States is also working to build an electric motorcycle for troops under a DARPA acquisitions program. Electric motorcycles have the advantage of stealth and versatility, allowing small groups of troops to access remote areas quickly and without the racket of internal combustion giving away their position.
Logos Technologies is one of the companies to build and research an electric motorcycle for the military. The company's SilentHawk, based on the design of the , weighs in at 350 pounds and has a range of 170 miles, . The next prototype of the SilentHawk should also include a detachable multi-fuel generator to allow troops to charge the bikes on longer missions using a variety of fuels, including gasoline, JP-5, JP-8, Jet-A1, propane and AVGAS.
Electric dirt bikes clearly have a number of advantages downrange, including agility, off-road capability, nearly-silent motors, fuel efficiency and light weight. The Russian and United States militaries have taken an interest in the versatile vehicles, and we will see if electric motorcycles can bring two-wheelers back to .