Motorcycles

First Kalk AP electric motorcycles start anti-poaching patrols in Africa

First Kalk AP electric motorcy...
The anti-poaching rangers from the Southern African Wildlife College have started using the first Kalk AP electric motorcycles from Cake
The anti-poaching rangers from the Southern African Wildlife College have started using the first Kalk AP electric motorcycles from Cake
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The anti-poaching rangers from the Southern African Wildlife College have started using the first Kalk AP electric motorcycles from Cake
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The anti-poaching rangers from the Southern African Wildlife College have started using the first Kalk AP electric motorcycles from Cake
Model-specific additions include a lightweight frame, sealed drivetrain, robust suspension and a rear carrier for hauling medical equipment
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Model-specific additions include a lightweight frame, sealed drivetrain, robust suspension and a rear carrier for hauling medical equipment
The electric drivetrain allows rangers to approach suspected poachers undetected
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The electric drivetrain allows rangers to approach suspected poachers undetected
A solar charging station from Goal Zero allows rangers to operate away from the electrical grid
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A solar charging station from Goal Zero allows rangers to operate away from the electrical grid
Where gas-powered bikes can be heard from far away, the Kalk AP e-motos allow rangers to go stealth
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Where gas-powered bikes can be heard from far away, the Kalk AP e-motos allow rangers to go stealth
The Kalk AP bikes have been fitted with a Silva headlight for patrols at night
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The Kalk AP bikes have been fitted with a Silva headlight for patrols at night
All plastic components have been replaced with Trifilon’s biocomposites
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All plastic components have been replaced with Trifilon’s biocomposites
View gallery - 7 images

Back in January, Swedish e-moto company Cake joined with the Southern African Wildlife College and Goal Zero to develop a special electric motorcycle to aid anti-poaching measures in the African bush. Now the bikes have been delivered and are in use by rangers.

Up until now wildlife rangers from the Southern African Wildlife College have been using gas-fueled motorbikes to patrol the bush in Africa in the search for poaching activity. But those bikes announce their presence long before they arrive in a troubled area, which is where the Kalk AP comes in.

Where gas-powered bikes can be heard from far away, the Kalk AP e-motos allow rangers to go stealth
Where gas-powered bikes can be heard from far away, the Kalk AP e-motos allow rangers to go stealth

The battery electric motorcycle is a much stealthier patrol option, and when combined with a mobile solar charging station from Goal Zero, the ride can be used deep in the bush, operating well away from the electrical grid.

"The petrol bikes we’ve used previously have all been loud, heavy and expensive to keep running in these areas," said anti-poaching team leader, Mfana Xaba. "The Cake bikes are quiet, which makes it easier for us to approach poachers undetected. We hope this collaboration will result in more effective anti-poaching in our region and we are really excited to start using the bikes in the wild."

A solar charging station from Goal Zero allows rangers to operate away from the electrical grid
A solar charging station from Goal Zero allows rangers to operate away from the electrical grid

Cake has essentially taken the best bits of its Kalk OR model, thrown a lightweight frame into the mix, sealed the drivetrain, added more robust suspension, and wrapped the 18-inch rims in custom off-road tires. A rear carrier is included for transporting medical equipment, the bike is fitted out with a powerful Silva headlight for night-time patrolling, and all of the plastic components have been swapped for Trifilon’s biocomposites.

The drivetrain software has been modified for high torque and there are three ride modes available – Explore for up to 45 km/h (28 mph) and an endurance of 3-4 hours between charges; Excite for up to 70 km/h (43.5 mph) and 1-2 hours of per-charge range; and Excel for maximum torque and speed from the 11-Kw motor for up to an hour before needing to top up the 2.6-kWh removable batteries.

"It’s great to see that the first batch of Kalk APs has made it to Africa, ready to change the game when it comes to fighting poaching in the most threatened wildlife areas," said Cake's founder and CEO, Stefan Ytterborn. "With fast, quiet and solar-powered driven bikes, we increase our chances of countering poaching and can truly make an impact in the region. This is only the beginning, we will continue to ship bikes to the SAWC to strengthen their anti-poaching work."

Model-specific additions include a lightweight frame, sealed drivetrain, robust suspension and a rear carrier for hauling medical equipment
Model-specific additions include a lightweight frame, sealed drivetrain, robust suspension and a rear carrier for hauling medical equipment

In order to get more Kalk APs into the bush, Cake has set up a limited Charity Bundle where the first 50 customers are given the chance to purchase their own model and donate another to the Southern African Wildlife College. All for a ticket price of US$25k. The donation package includes the Goal Zero solar charging station.

Benevolent riders who take up this offer will receive continuous updates from the conservation areas where the donated AP is sent, and both Cake and Goal Zero will donate their profit margins from these sales to the Southern African Wildlife College to further its work.

Source: Cake

View gallery - 7 images
5 comments
5 comments
Bob Flint
Creeping up on poachers, better have defense mode (an amo supply & some shielding)
David V
Love the simplicity of these e-bikes. Down to pure basics.
I had a look at the Cake website and some of the bikes on it look amazing. The normal Kalk+ is so simple but check out the Makka !
Shame the prices are so high. A Kalk+ at 14k. It's up there.
LiamKoot
They should also have gun carrying drones that they can launch from the bikes and use to infiltrate poachers from a distance and also scare off target animals away from poachers even. The sad reality is that these guys risk their lives in gun battles with poachers and yet the bikes they are riding cost more than a few years of their wages and their homes. Hopefully this will give them a better advantage.
TpPa
I do agree with the point that gas operated cycles kill your chances of catching someone in the act, but as Bob said, they better be well trained and properly armed, because I don't think most poachers are just going to throw down, and put their hands up, On the other hand I would love to have their job up until that point.
noteugene
Satellites, armed drones I think would be a better choice or at least in addition to bikes.