The Kalashnikov Concern recently “resurrected” the Izh-49 Soviet motorcycle with a new, electric heart. The authentic model was presented at the ‘Army-2020’ military exhibition in Moscow Region.
The Izh-49 was one of the most produced motorbikes of the Soviet Union and, even today, some of them can still be found in rural Russia.
At a glance, this new Izh-49 looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie with smooth, flowing lines of its modern electric engines, alongside a dashboard of futuristic motorcycles. All these visual features are accompanied by a Soviet-era design.
Izh-49’s technical characteristics don’t allow this ‘oldtimer’ to make long trips around Russia, but makes for a comfortable city motorcycle that can rival any other foreign electric models.
The maximum speed of Kalashnikov’s electric motorbike is 95 km/h (60 mph) with enough battery power to cover 80 kilometers (50 miles). Meanwhile, you don’t need a special electric station to charge your moto - a simple household 220 V power socket will be enough to “refill” your battery.
As of now, the Kalashnikov Concern doesn’t plan to send the electric Izh-49 into mass production.
“This model was created for motorcycle collectors around the world who are willing to add a newly released electric Izh-49 to their collection. We produced only 49 models and don’t plan on building any more at the moment,” the company’s press secretary Mark Reznikov says.
According to him, most of these motorcycles have been already sold and “only few remain in stock”.
The company also hasn’t revealed the price of the motorcycle saying that “any interested customer can contact us directly”, but according to Russian media reports, the starting price of an electric Izh-49 is the equivalent of around $20,000.
For this money, a potential customer gets a balanced frame with aluminum power elements, a comfortable suspension and an authentic appearance that almost completely repeats the original Izh-49 motorcycle produced 70 years ago.
The premier of the modernized Izh-49 was not the first attempt by the Concern Kalashnikov to get its piece of a pie from the electric motorcycle market. At the end of 2019, the company also presented an Izh model, yet with a modern “cafe racer” design.
As Kalashnikov Concern’s reps stated back then, the model was created for “interesting and fast rides”. Yet, the matter is debatable, as the motorcycle’s top speed is only 100 km/h (just a little more then the capabilities of the electric Izh-49 presented in late August 2020).
That model was a prototype for the potential serial production of eco-friendly motorcycles in Russia, but found no appreciation among the country’s riders and the project sank into oblivion until the recent resurrection into a limited edition series.
At the beginning of 2018, Kalashnikov Concern created 30 ‘Izh Pulsar’ motorcycles for Moscow’s police forces to be used during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
These were electric motorcycles suitable for off-road racing. The creation of the ‘Izh Pulsar’ symbolized the company’s capabilities of creating eco-friendly bikes capable of working in rough terrain and ridin on off-roads - a great feature for people who love crossing countries and continents on a motorcycle.
“Firearms are our main sphere of production and interest. We wanted to try ourselves in another segment and each time the initial batch of our [electric motorcycles] products was sold out,” said Reznikov.
According to him, the company isn’t planning to start full scale production of electric motorcycles, but will continue to demonstrate its new creations in the coming years.
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