Wind, Rain, Snow, Mud, and Mountains: My Journey through Tibet on the Wolf Warrior 11
The Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11 was one year old this July! To celebrate, Marcel took the Wolf electric scooter and traveled 2200km (1367miles) across Tibet, from Chengdu to Lhasa. You’d think this would be a challenge but not for the Wolf! The following blog was made by Marcel to document his journey across 2200km of Tibet with the Wolf, what he did and how the Wolf faired.
This was his Journey, starting at Chengdu and finishing in Tibet's capital, Lhasa.
Here we go! Thanks to the guys at Kaabo loaning me a Wolf Warrior 11, I planned to ride across Tibet, well, 2200km at least. I haven't picked the easiest route either, mountain ranges, off road, and thanks to the rain, a whole lot of mud. Now, let us start at the beginning.
Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. This is where I started. The Wolf is ready, I have my kit strapped on, we are prepared for anything! This wasn't some filmed expedition with a huge support crew behind the camera, staying in fancy hotels along the way. It was me, the Wolf, the kit I managed to carry and the beautiful scenery of Tibet, and some of the locals I met along the way! Tough was one word.
Let's talk about the Wolf. Firstly, it's quite big, in a really positive way. I felt safe on it, it was sturdy, even with my bags and tents strapped to it. It weighs in at about 100lbs, quite the beast however, I haven't had to carry it anywhere, it has managed every terrain I put in its path, excuse the pun! It has both front and rear drive with its two motors peaking at 5400W, needless to say, it's got some power. Top speed is about 80kph (50mph), power and speed! As for range, I was really impressed. Sometimes you expect manufactures to over exaggerate what they're products can do, not with the Wolf. The claimed range for the Wolf is just under 130km on a single charge. I traveled (just over) 100km a day on a single charge. This was amazing, if the Wolf couldn't do the ranges it promised, my trip would have been so much longer!
One incredible upside of doing this journey on the Wolf is that there are so many hidden gems in Tibet, views that go on for miles up tiny dirt tracks or even completely off road. The Wolf can get to these spots where a car really would have struggled or it would have at least required a trek on foot to get there. Me being on my own meant I could get to these places and take all of my gear with me. the views just speak for themselves...
When traveling throughout Tibet, I saw these multi-colored flags hung in clusters. I did some research to find out exactly what they mean. They are Tibetan Prayer Flags. They are hung to promote peace, compassion, wisdom, and strength. It is believed that the wind will blow their prayers into the surrounding areas and landscapes. Some may have been placed there a long time ago and look frayed and faded, this is intentional and represents the inevitable passing time. It was so nice to see so many of them around, especially at the beginning of my journey, I definitely needed some strength and wisdom to get me to the finish line!
On my journey, I was fortunate to ride through the Maoya Grasslands. This expanse of green is one of the largest grasslands in the mountain range with the Litang river flowing through it. These marsh wetlands are simply breathtaking. Many consider traveling through these grasslands to be fairly historic as most of the road through the grassland is ancient and still used today. The Wolf had no trouble at all on these ancient, wet, muddy roads.
Speaking of rough terrain, I just thought I'd talk about what gear I have brought on my travels with me. As you can see, first and foremost a helmet. I chose to wear a full-face helmet as I knew it was bound to rain at some point (hence the goggles. and definitely wanted full protection when going quite quickly over rough ground. It was for the same reason I wore both shin & knee and arm & elbow pads. I was determined that if something threw me off, I would be able to get back on and make it to the finish line! Fortunately, this didn't happen. Although there were occasions where I needed to 'jump' off as it were, I was never thrown off on to the ground. That says more about my driving rather than the Wolf! Big boots, just like hiking up a mountain, I needed boots that were comfortable, I would be standing in them for 20 days straight, but something that could handle if I did fall off. I definitely wouldn't recommend driving any electric scooter in flip flops or other 'slide on' shoes. Lastly, the coat... How could you miss it! The weather definitely was not on my side for at least half of the trip, so I'm glad I had this lightweight, long, rainproof coat! Although it wasn't always raining...
When the weather was good it made life so much easier, doesn't it always. The views were even better and it was so nice not to put the tent up in the rain and stay dry, not to mention taking down a dry tent too! I only needed a small tent but I did sleep with the Wolf inside the tent too, hence why it is that little bit bigger.
Doesn't it look magnificent though, and I camped in some idyllic places.
This was the other half of the journey. Wet through. I suppose this is a downside of riding an electric scooter, there's no roof to keep you dry. Having said that, I wouldn't have it any other way. It's one thing me getting wet, but when the roads/trails get wet, it's a different story.
Was the Wolf phased at all by this? No! I was so worried about getting stuck in the mud, having to pull the scooter out and most likely get myself stuck in the process. The Wolf had other ideas... It pulled me through without me getting off it once. That is impressive!
If there was ever a place to test a vehicle/motor, let alone an electric scooter, this would be it. Referred to as the Nujiang 72 turns, you can see why! I managed to snap this picture on the way to it, it's such an awesome feat of construction but, it's even better to ride down! This is were the size of the Wolf comes in. A smaller electric scooter and you probably would have felt a little unsafe but with all my gear on and the Wolf purring round the corners, I was at the bottom in no time, a shame there wasn't just a few more turns.
My friends said this journey would be so lonely as it was just me and the Wolf, up mountains in Tibet and to be honest, that was a worry before I set off, 20 days is a long time. BUT, the local people I met along the way from the various towns and villages were just incredible. I have to say, it was one of the best parts of the trip, meeting all these new people.
Almost all of them wanted a go on the Wolf and many took me in for the night and allowed me to charge the Wolf overnight. If it wasn't for these local people being so kind and opening up their homes to me, I don't think I would have been able to complete the journey. I did stay in my tent on occasions, especially in really remote locations or when I just needed a break but I kept a spare battery pack which allowed me to charge the scooter overnight when I camped, I then charged this overnight when I stayed with the locals.
Riding in and out of the towns and cities really put into perspective the diverse nature of Tibet and also, how much of an allrounder the Wolf is. I know I have said it by now but it really doesn't struggle with anything. Some of the smaller towns in the mountains especially had really thin, steep paths through them. I definitely would not have been able to drive a car through the towns, the scooter just worked, perfectly!
Could you ask for a better spot to sit and have a moment? Just so peaceful and serene.
I had been looking forward to seeing the Midui Glaciers since the first day I set off! Trust me, they did not disappoint. The Midui Glaciers are famous for its frequent snow avalanches and for its giant ice cascade. Luckily, whilst I was passing through, it was a relatively calm day and I was able to pass through without consequence. The sheer beauty of these beasts was incredibly difficult to capture in a picture.
By this point, I had been over some quite challenging ground. Now for the big test, snow. What a surprise, it didn’t phase the Wolf for a second. The Wolf comes with an option of road tires instead of the mountain tires, needless to say, I didn’t bring the road tires. This was the point where I could really tell what tires I had, the grip was amazing, and it, again, felt so safe to be on - even up a mountain on the snow
Seeing these small treasures along the journey definitely made each day better. Knowing I would see something completely different, hidden away up in the mountains, just awe-inspiring.
I was just outside of Lhasa, I was so close to the finish line. To have ridden in some unreal conditions and still be standing tall at the end of it with the Wolf by my side like a loyal companion, I had no words. I remember pausing, looking onto my final destination thinking, it felt like this day was never going to arrive. But it did!
With my finish line in sight, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see such a famous and iconic landmark of Tibet, the Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama. As you can see... I was rather pleased! Magnificent architecture and such a significant landmark for the Tibetan people and Buddhists around the world.
I MADE IT! 2200km in 20 days. Both I and the Wolf are intact and could do it all again tomorrow. Well, maybe a couple of days of first!
So, a short recap of the Wolf's performance. It has been unwavering in its performance, exceeded expectations and unlike me, could probably do it all again without a doubt! Comfortable, reliable and above all, fun!
Thanks to the guys at Kaabo, for letting me do such a long test drive! It has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life so far and I would encourage anyone, grab a Wolf, head out and have the best time of your life!
I’ll leave you with one final photo… need I say more?