Kalashnikov SM-1 electric
27th August 2018
SM-1 | UM-1 | Military bike | Urban Moto
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The Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle is arguably the most famous weapon on the planet. Since 1947, "informed" estimates reckon that around 70 million or more of these terrorist briefcases have been manufactured (either in Russia, or under licence in other parts of the world). And it's anyone's guess how many people have, as a result, been killed.
But for all its infamy, the AK-47 has also (and perhaps naturally) acquired a mystique. Pretty much everyone with testicles between the ages of six and sixty wants one—or at least wants to have a crack at one and pulp a few hundred melons if not, more onerously, shoot up a school. And there are also plenty of girls/women toting these Russian built gas operated selective fire weapons.
So given that mystique, it's not really much of a surprise to discover that you can now buy a Kalashnikov branded electric motorcycle—and, if you ask nicely, probably with an attached gun rack.
The model featured here is called the SM-1. "SM" for "Super Moto", apparently. It's just been unveiled at the 2018 International Military Technical Forum in the Russian Federation; a huge gathering that's given a platform to 1200 manufacturers from 14 countries, and has seen over half a million buyers spill through the gates.
This newcomer, aimed at anyone from law enforcement to special forces hasn't broken any new ground. But it looks like a reasonably credible mount, and the legendary Kalashnikov moniker will carry it a lot further than the 62 mile range.
Other features include a trellis frame, an inverted front fork, the obligatory knobbly tyres and plenty of bounce and altitude. There's no details on the motor, but we understand that a LiFePO4 battery provides the juice.
A similar model launched at the same show is the UM-1, "UM" for "Urban Moto" with a range of 90 miles, give or take a few feet (image immediately above). There are no prices yet, and there's no word on whether the firm will be marketing the bikes outside of Russia, and more specifically in the West.
As for that legendary durability and practicality of an AK-47, we can't see that there's much here to put this motorcycle in the same league.
These bikes, incidentally, are not exactly new on the scene. We first caught sight of them towards the end of last year (2017). But the project has been advanced since then, and the motorcycles are ready to hit the roads and battlefields. The thinking behind the mounts is simple. Electric bikes are reliable, durable, easy to maintain and relatively stealthy. What army wouldn't want one (given a little improvement in the range and performance)?
However, for all that modernity we'd still prefer a classic flat-twin air cooled Cossack, or similar—with or without a gun rack.
How 'bout chew?
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