Behold, the Ubco 2×2: The farm bike goes high-tech

Is it a farm bike? Is it just a fun runabout? It seems that with the Ubco 2×2, whatever your purpose, you can go your own way — as long as you don’t mind going slowly, and don’t exceed your battery range.

Designed in New Zealand, the Ubco 2×2 takes two-wheel-drive motorcycle technology to its next logical progression. Instead of installing a complicated system that drives the front wheel from the same engine that powers the rear wheel, as existing 2WD bikes do, the Ubco 2×2 simply has an independent motor for the front and rear wheels, housed in the hub.

A lightweight electric step-through that just happens to have 2WD.
A lightweight electric step-through that just happens to have 2WD.

It’s battery-powered so it’s a pretty simply solution, and it’s surprising someone hasn’t done this sooner. Decades ago, inventor R.G. Letourneau used independent wheel hub motors to give AWD to his earthmoving machinery; this just applies that technology to motorcycles.

Although the video below shows the Ubco holding down duty as a light runabout, it seems the designers actually had a utilitarian role in mind originally, as their site talks about using the machine as a farm bike, and the battery pack has charging ports for power tools.

The twin electric motors are powered by a single 40 aH lithium-ion battery; it can handle a load capacity of up to 200 kg. The bike itself is quite light, at 50 kg; the designers claim a 100-150 km range on flat terrain, and a 70-100 km range on rolling terrain. Charge time is four hours. It charges from either 110V or 220V outlets. Both motorcycle and battery carry a two-year warranty.

Up front, the bike has 36mm ATR forks with adjustable air preload and rebound damping; in back, there’s a 32 mm ATR shock with adjustable air preload and rebound damping as well.

Max torque is 66 ft-lb; top speed is 45 kph.

The tires are 70/100×17, which isn’t ideal for off-roading, but the Ubco 2×2 isn’t really a hard-core MX machine either. You can find more details on the bike at their website here; they’re taking orders now, but good luck getting one into Canada.

Ubco 2×2 from Locus Research on Vimeo.


  1. Looks like a typical NZ creation. Innovative, interesting design, practical. But not likely to see wide sales success in the rest of the world. It’ll be knocked off and sold from China for $1500 soon enough.

    I watched video muted, so it sounded just like an electric bike should.

  2. I grew up on a farm and have also visited farms in New Zealand. This is a perfect machine. Just need to see how it works in the snow/cold. The grass roots price of $7000 is too steep.

    • Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! “Wow, sounds great!”

Join the conversation!