The Ukrainian Armed Forces have been known to be very resourceful, as revealed by their ability to mod weapons and equipment to fit their needs in the Donbas region. It seems they are not yet done with these mods. The Ukrainians are seen to be using modded e-bikes to carry NLAWs to destroy tanks in the sneakiest way possible.
Ukrainian e-bikes from Delfast have seemingly been supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the ability to carry NLAWs (and possibly Javelins) to help their troops bust tanks. You may know the Delfast e-bike for being the Guinness World Record holder for the greatest distance traveled on an electric-motorized bicycle on a single charge, traveling for 228 miles till it ran out of power. Their website also claims that it can go as fast as 50 miles per hour.
This is probably the reason why it was chosen to be modded, as it could travel the longest distance, at a decent speed, in any terrain with its Enduro 2.75-19 tires. More so, it has a 3G GPS navigation system and a pedal system in case the user runs out of battery while on the trails. It’s particularly known to have good suspension, which enables it to carry heavy loads. This is great news as the NLAWs, the weapon the e-bike was modded for, are 28 lbs and can be quite tiring if a soldier carries these over long distances.
The Ukrainians probably utilized these e-bikes for the following reasons. First, electric motors are silent, which means that they are suitable for operations wherein they could employ their signature “hit and run” ambush attacks. They could sneak within firing distance and get out of dodge before the enemies could spot them. For NLAWs, they have an effective firing range of up to 2,625 feet and a maximum firing range of 3,300 feet.
Second, it’s quite the crotch rocket for an e-bike. Some e-bikes can go just 20 mph, or maybe 28 mph, but this one goes 50 mph. If you ask me, that’s not at all bad, considering that a T-80 tank goes 50 mph. Plus, these bikes are nimble and agile, so they could definitely dodge and weave if they were spotted by these tanks.
But that being said, they still do have massive disadvantages too. The moment they’re spotted by tanks, drones, snipers, or even small arms fire, they’re in trouble. E-bikes are not armored, and even if they were, these little things would simply not protect the rider. More so, in the region of Donbas, where the terrain is flat, they would likely get spotted if they are not careful, so they will definitely need to stick to areas with high levels of vegetation. Furthermore, they could run out of battery, leaving the user stranded in the middle of nowhere. These things will likely be best used under cover of night so that they would be difficult to spot, much like what the Ukrainians did to destroy the 40-mile Russian armored convoy that was stuck a few miles out of Kyiv.
However, it is a cheap alternative to busting Russian tanks. At just $6,599 per e-bike and with NLAWs at $40,000 per unit, you can bust tanks for the (relatively) lowly price of $46,599!
The Ukrainians have been known to mod vehicles to suit their needs. SOFREP previously reported on Ukrainian ‘Stug-Buggies‘ that were seen to be in operation in Donbas. These Stug-buggies were ATVs (Polaris Rangers or the MRZR Alphas) and were modded to have Ukrainian Stugna-Ps mounted on top of them so that they could bust Russian tanks at a fraction of the price; for as low as $32,000, in fact!
These ATVs are obviously nimble and fast, so they could get to and from firing positions quite easily, just as these modded e-bikes would. However, they do share the same weaknesses as they aren’t armored, and they do not have countermeasures to fend off tank shells. So if you’re spotted by the enemies, the users might as well pray for luck.
Another domestic Ukrainian e-bike company, ELEEK, has also been providing Ukrainian troops with e-bikes for the same reason – they’re silent, fast, and can get troops from one place to another without much hassle. However, these e-bikes were reportedly not modded and were simply used by the Ukrainian sniper teams for mobilization and transport means. In practice, they could go to a location where they could fire, kill some Russians, then retreat before getting hit by Russian artillery.
New ELEEK electric heavy-duty bikes with upgrades were delivered to Ukrainian forces. Silent and efficient. pic.twitter.com/tbKoCVse6d
— Walter Report (@walter_report) May 9, 2022
These ELEEK e-bikes are quite the crotch-rockets, too. They have a top speed of 56 mph and can travel up to 93 miles on a single charge. They’re also pretty good to be used off-road as they’re equipped with motorcycle suspension. Both of these bikes also have low heat signatures, which means that they’re unlikely to get spotted by thermal scopes and thermal imaging radars.
No doubt, these things will be helpful to the Ukrainians and their fight against the Russians. They can literally run circles around them, leaving them disoriented if they are ambushed by multiple NLAW-modded e-bikes.