All of Africa on an electric motorcycle

After 6 months, 20 countries and an epic 15.000km race, Thomas Jakel and Dulcie Mativo have successfully completed their journey through Africa, aboard a Zero DSR Black Forest Edition.

Zero Motorcycles Africa-X DSR
Dulcie Mativo

Africa-X: a 6-month motorcycle trip across 20 countries, 100 interviews and an epic 15.000-kilometer ride across Africa.

Thomas Jakel and Dulcie Mativo have successfully completed their journey on a Zero DSR Black Forest Edition, the electric touring motorcycle designed by Zero Motorcycles.

The last stop along the West Route of Africa coincided with the delivery of the electric motorcycle to the South African distributor “Fire it Up” based in Johannesburg on 10 December.

Zero Motorcycles Africa-X DSR
Africa-X: Dulcie and Thomas on the road

Thomas Jakel (33) and Dulcie Mativo (24) want to inspire potential supporters with the Africa-X project and arouse interest in social entrepreneurship. During the expedition, the two protagonists interviewed the founders of start-ups from different sectors: mobility, energy, agriculture, health, sanitation, education and others. In early 2020 Jakel and Mativo will post impressions of their Africa-X project as inspiration for potential entrepreneurs, covering with interviews and a travel documentary through social media and podcasts.


Zero DSR Black Forest Edition it wasn't just a means of transportation. On several occasions, the vehicle itself or its charging were the main topics of conversation during the trip. “We have shocked many with our adventurous plan to follow such a path on an electric motorcycle,” says Dulcie. "The Zero was a good way to connect with people."

Zero Motorcycles Africa-X DSR
Zero Motorcycles DSR Black Forest

On one occasion, a border police patrol in Sierra Leone asked to take a selfie with the motorcycle. Several times, the Traffic Police considered the DSR Black Forest Edition to be a military vehicle due to the camouflage livery and then greeted passing adventurers.


The 15.000-kilometer route, through deserts, steppes and other challenging terrain, was a real challenge for rider and motorcycle. An escort car, which served as a transport vehicle for luggage, charging equipment and videos, in Cameroon could no longer be repaired and could no longer drive on. Jakel and Mativo were therefore forced to sell most of their equipment to continue the journey, relying solely on the electric motorcycle. “Crossing Africa on an electric motorcycle requires careful planning,” concludes Jakel. But with a shrewd driving style and sufficient charging interruptions - usually overnight - the low-maintenance Zero motorcycle proved to be a reliable partner for the Africa-X project, the electric adventure across the African continent.


Riding the Zero DSR Black Forest Edition reducing “fuel” costs was simple. “We got electricity for free or included in our hotel rates, and no one distributes gas for free,” Jakel explains to Zero Motorcycles. Also, thanks to the eco-friendly nature of the electric motorcycle and the courtesy of the people, the adventurous couple often didn't have to pay for recharging. In this regard Jakel concludes: “We would have saved a lot anyway even if we had had to pay each top-up”.

About Zero Motorcycles

Zero Motorcycles is the world leader in electric motorcycles and electric powertrains. Designed and handcrafted in California, Zero motorcycles combine Silicon Valley technology with traditional motorcycle soul to elevate the motorcycle experience of adventurous and innovative riders around the world.

For all information and to take a test drive you can visit the site Zero Motorcycles.

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