Russian military vehicle companies aren’t shy about building their over-sized overlanders to the civilian market. Seeing as durability, capability and an essentialist attitude are the key directives, it should be no surprise the adventure community welcomes these things with open arms. And now, a more familiar name in military circles is getting in on the adventure motorcycle market. The Kalashnikov UM-1 was unveiled at 2018 International Military Technical Forum and if the brand’s historical reputation is anything to go by, the world of overlanding and adventure riding should be a piece of cake.
If the name Kalashnikov doesn’t ring any bells, you might be more familiar with its most recognizable product, the AK-47 assault rifle. A gun famously so reliable and indestructible it was said you could bury it in mud for a year and when you dig it up, it’ll work as good as new. Whether that’s actually true or not is one thing, but it’s undoubtedly a reputation you would want for your adventure motorcycle.
The UM-1 (Urban Moto) electric motorcycle started life as electric service bikes for police for the 2018 World Cup as well as Russian special forces. As far as specs go, the Kalashnikov website doesn’t mention much, but key specs like speed, weight and range are there. The UM-1 tips the scales between 364 – 540 lbs, can hit at least 62 mph and can get you 93 miles on a single charge. Admittedly, those stats aren’t that impressive if you’re looking to treat the UM-1 like a legitimate ADV. But for a company’s sophomore voyage into the electric two-wheeled space, it’s not terrible. What Kalashnikov has to bank on is the bike being as reliable, long-lasting and indestructible as the small arms its known for.
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