Written By: PJ Cashman - April 20, 2017
The QuietKat FatKat is a powerful electric bike that is specifically designed for the purpose of hunting. There are two almost identical versions of the FatKat, the 1000W model and the 750W model. The only difference between the two versions is the size of the motor (1000W vs 750W), the brakes (Hydraulic disc brakes on the 1000W, Mechanical disc brakes on the 750W) and the suspension fork on the 1000W which is not integrated on the 750W model.
Among the gear designed to make your hunting trips more successful, the QuietKat FatKat Hunting Electric Bike (that’s quite a mouthful – let’s just call it the FatKat from now on) is a pretty cool one. When you’re out hunting, if you are going to add another piece of gear to your arsenal, you want it to be worth your while, something reliable, useful, something which makes the job of hunting more efficient and more enjoyable.
As we shall see in this review, the FatKat improves your hunting experience in the following ways: It extends the area you can cover, allows you to maintain a quiet approach towards your prey, minimizes the scent you leave behind, and lets you hunt in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of terrain. Let’s scope this thing out.
Increased Range & Area Coverage
Imagine this: it’s the morning of the hunt, you have arrived at your destination, decked out in your outfit, eagerly anticipating the tasks ahead, tasks like tracking, scouting, checking trail cameras, not to mention preparing yourself for whatever weather confronts you, be it wind, rain, or snow. You will need to cover lots of ground, perhaps miles of ground. That’s where the FatKat helps you cover a lot more ground quickly and more easily, while conserving your own energy in the process.
A proven workhorse when it comes to extending your range, the FatKat’s 48 volt, lithium-ion battery, when fully charged, covers a distance of 18 miles in throttle mode, without any pedaling required on your part. If you use one of the pedal assist modes (there are 5 modes in total), you can increase the battery range to between 30 to 40 miles. With a top, unassisted speed of 24 mph, you can accomplish in minutes what would have taken you hours to do before. With the FatKat powering you through the expanse of wilderness you need to cover, you can concentrate on hunting, and let the FatKat take care of the distances involved.
A Stealthy Approach
So we know the FatKat helps you cover a lot of ground. But what about enabling you to approach your hunting area quietly, stealthily, without alerting the animals to your presence? You’d probably think an electric bike with a motor would take away the element of a silent approach.
Some electric motors would likely scare the animals away, but not in this case. The FatKat’s mid-drive motor, whether it’s the 750 or 1000 watt version, is sealed to enable silent operation of the bike. So not only does the FatKat enable you to cover more distance, more quickly, it also lets you proceed quietly while doing so, preserving the serenity of the environment while you scope out your target. No need to worry about the noise you would make by rustling leaves or snapping deadwood with your boots. The FatKat’s wheels will silently roll you into position.
As with noise minimization, it is also important to limit the scent you leave behind when you are trekking through the fields. Even if you can approach quietly with a silent-running FatKat, if leave a trail of odor behind you, you’re still detectable to its sensitive sense of smell. But the FatKat helps in two ways when it comes to reducing your scent:
First, because you will be approaching the animals while riding, your feet will not have contact with the ground. Thus, you won’t have to worry about depositing scent from your body directly onto the ground.
The second way the FatKat reduces scent is by keeping you from sweating, another source of human scent detectable by animals. In pure throttle mode, you can simply cruise on your bike while comfortably sitting down, enjoying the scenery, not breaking a sweat until the real action begins. By relying on the FatKat to get you there, you are taking one more method of detection away from the animals – their ability to smell you.
Weather & Terrain
What if it’s snowy or rainy or windy? Would using the FatKat be problematic in inclement weather, or on rough, wet ground, or on steep inclines? As a hunter, you need gear that withstands whatever Mother Nature will throw at you. The FatKat has several features which help you tackle the challenges facing you in the midst of a battle with the elements.
First, let’s look at the tires. The 4-inch, knobby tires are resilient to the rocks, stones, sticks, and uneven ground you will encounter in the course of off-road exploring. Speaking of uneven ground, one hunter has successfully used the FatKat to ride through the snow. He deflated the tires slightly so that they would stick better to the surface. This is an example of creative defiance to whatever Nature throws at you.
A second feature which makes the FatKat useful regardless of the weather is the braking system it employs. Both the 1000 watt and 750 watt models feature front and rear disc brakes, with the 1000 watt model having hydraulic disc brakes. You are bound to come across wet ground during your excursions in the woods: muddy paths, rain-soaked trails, fields still moist with morning dew, valleys damp with newly-melted snow, and swampy, boggy, marshy wetland areas. With disc brakes, due to the nature of the braking mechanism, stopping the bike is not affected by the ground being wet. You can confidently and safely apply the brakes whenever a quick stop is required.
A third feature of the FatKat which helps you navigate difficult areas is the gear set-up. Its 8 gears help you negotiate elevation changes, whether they are uphill or downhill. The gears will be especially helpful if you are hunting in a hilly or mountainous area. What is so useful about the FatKat is that you always have the option of using only the throttle if you want to conserve your energy – and this becomes even more important if you are faced with mountainous terrain.
When you’re out on a hunt, you don’t want to waste any time. You want to enjoy the spoils of your labor. The best kind of gear to help you accomplish this is the kind that you don’t have to worry about. Charge it the night before, load it in your vehicle, then just ride. But ride far, ride quietly, maintain that stealthy, scent-free approach, and don’t worry about weather, rough terrain or steep hills. Happy hunting.