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.
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.