Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov, best known for the AK-47 assault rifle, is getting into the manufacture of a range of electric motorcycles and even cars. The latest electric motorcycle from Kalashnikov is an electric off-road motorcycle which was displayed at a Russian army show. The Kalashnikov SM-1, as it's been named, is only for military use, and gets proper beefy suspension with long travel, and dirt-oriented knobby tyres for pure off-road use. But the exposed trellis frame and single piece canted seat gives the SM-1 a distinctive street feel, hinting maybe at the bike's dual sport capabilities.
The Kalashnikov SM-1 may or may not be available for purchase by civilians, and specifications about the model at this stage are scarce. What we know so far is that the SM-1 is equipped with a brushless DC motor with water cooling and the rechargeable battery is lithium ion with a power reserve of up to 150 km. The Kalashnikov SM-1 has a maximum speed of 90 kmph. Suspension duties are handled by a beefy, inverted front fork and a pendulum-type central spring-hydraulic shock absorber at the rear.
The concept of developing electric motorcycles for the military and special forces isn't entirely new. Electric motorcycles will have the stealth and versatility to allow troops to quietly traverse across difficult terrain and without the noise of an internal combustion engine. In the US, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is also developing an electric all-terrain motorcycle for US troops, called the SilentHawk, which uses a hybrid engine, instead of a full-electric powertrain. Apart from the military, Kalashnikov is also developing other all-electric prototypes, to be pressed into paramilitary, police and even civilian use.