Motorcycles

Italian electric dirtbikes pack 2WD capability and ingenious smartphone dash displays

Armotia Due R and X: a pair of Italian off-roaders with 2WD and smartphones where the dash should be.
Armotia Due R and X: a pair of Italian off-roaders with 2WD and smartphones where the dash should be.
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Armotia Due X: customers can download STL files for the bodywork, then modify and print themselves new plastics.
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Armotia Due X: customers can download STL files for the bodywork, then modify and print themselves new plastics.
Armotia Due X: 80kmh top speed
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Armotia Due X: 80kmh top speed
Armotia Due X: electric 2WD dirt bike
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Armotia Due X: electric 2WD dirt bike
Armotia Due X: a small electric hub motor in the front wheel allows AWD
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Armotia Due X: a small electric hub motor in the front wheel allows AWD
Armotia Due R: smartphone display opens up extraordinary capabilities
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Armotia Due R: smartphone display opens up extraordinary capabilities
Armotia Due R: roadgoing supermoto version will suffer due to 90kmh top speed and limited range
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Armotia Due R: roadgoing supermoto version will suffer due to 90kmh top speed and limited range
Armotia Due R: customisable bodywork
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Armotia Due R: customisable bodywork
Armotia Due R: 2WD capability is less compelling a feature for the road
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Armotia Due R: 2WD capability is less compelling a feature for the road
Armotia Due R and X: a pair of Italian off-roaders with 2WD and smartphones where the dash should be.
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Armotia Due R and X: a pair of Italian off-roaders with 2WD and smartphones where the dash should be.

Electric dirt bikes are a fantastic idea – machines like the Zero FX, Alta Motors Redshift and even the Stealth H-52 can give you serious off-road giggles without pissing off neighbors and locals. Plus, while range concerns still make electric roadbikes a tough sell outside the commuting arena, batteries are good enough for an hour and a bit of off-road use, which'll give you some good laughs and a decent bit of a workout.

Italy's Armotia is getting set to throw its hat into the ring with a pair of e-bikes that bring some special abilities to the table.

Armotia Due X: a small electric hub motor in the front wheel allows AWD
Armotia Due X: a small electric hub motor in the front wheel allows AWD

The Due X weighs in at 125 kg (275 lbs), about 8 kg more than a fully fueled KTM EXC-F 250 enduro bike. Continuing that comparison, the Due makes just 15 horsepower while the KTM makes 37 – but where the Kato makes about 23 Nm of torque, the Due can put out as much as 200(!). Tight trails will be less work, with no clutch or gearbox to fiddle with, and the Due can put its power down through both wheels.

This is accomplished by using two motors – one to the rear wheel via a chain drive, one small hub motor in the front wheel. No mention is made of how power is proportioned to the wheels other than to say there's three riding modes you can choose from. But on other 2WD dirtbikes we've seen in the past such as the Christini AWD setup, a small percentage of power to the front wheel seems to do the trick.

2WD should give the Due X superb climbing ability and drive in low traction situations. It makes a bit less sense on the Due R, a second model that gets a light supermoto treatment while keeping the same 21-inch and 18-inch wheels as the X. Mind you, it'll be interesting to see if there are actually any benefits for a 2WD system on the road.

Armotia Due R: 2WD capability is less compelling a feature for the road
Armotia Due R: 2WD capability is less compelling a feature for the road

The other interesting touch on the Due bikes is that they don't technically have a dash. Each one gets a built-in, ruggedized, waterproof RUG-GEAR RG600 Android smartphone as a display. The dash functions are achieved through an app, which can theoretically give you limitless customization options – but that's just the beginning.

Think of all the other bits and pieces a smartphone carries. SIM cards, Bluetooth, data connectivity and GPS chips. A range of accelerometers and sensors, as well as direct connectivity to your engine telemetry systems. The computing and display power to calculate and communicate in a number of ways.

Armotia Due R: smartphone display opens up extraordinary capabilities
Armotia Due R: smartphone display opens up extraordinary capabilities

And of course built-in cameras and data storage. The Due bikes will be some of the first to come to market with built-in action cameras. You'll be able to watch your videos back and share them directly from the dash of the bike. This alone is such a great idea that I find myself suddenly surprised that it hasn't been done before.

The Due bikes are slated to run off a 5.1 kWh battery. Top speed is around 80 km/h (50 mph) for the X and 90 km/h (56 mph) for the R, and both bikes's range is quoted as "up to 1 hour and 20 minutes."

Those aren't earth-shattering figures, but the 2WD functionality and the fascinating idea of a smartphone dash (not to mention the fact that Armotia will give you the STL files if you want to customize and 3D print your own bodywork) make this a company worth keeping an eye on. The Due bikes are set to become available for test rides very soon. Prices are expected to be around €12,300 (US$13,460).

Source: Armotia

8 comments
guzmanchinky
What an amazing concept! This would be incredible for some tight single track trails with rocks and turns that make using a clutch or only having one wheel drive really tough. That said, for that price and such limited range, I just don't think I'll ever see one out there...
snave
Here in Europe there is a legal requirement for the roadbike to have ABS before it can be sold for road use. I see no sign of it.
Misti Pickles
At prices a little more than DOUBLE a competing gas bike, just WHO the hell is buying these things? Why would ANYONE pay twice the price for less power and range just to say they're running on electrons.....wish these guys would cmpete on price....
wanderkip
Fantastic tech and versatility, but at $12K, still an impractical toy that's way off-budget for the majority of the market. Of course this technology takes time and sales volume to be cost-competitive with older ICE devices whose energy storage and delivery costs have been amortized over decades. But even $6K sounds expensive when you have a $2500 option that offers lighter weight,comparable performance and Made-in-the-USA ruggedness and even enduro flexibility. The $10K saved will also buy a crapload of high-tech telemetry and camera options too.
Milton
i too am interested in hearing about the 2WD road-benefits (if any). Perhaps they can send one of these models to the awesome guys at GizMag for a video-review?
Daishi
@wanderkip What $2500 enduro are you referring to? Most that I am aware of are significantly more expensive than that. But the main advantage I see is that 2WD is hard to do with a conventional motor but realistically possible using electric motors. I don't see any gain from 2WD on the road but on sloppy enough trails it could offer some advantages for a dirtbike. There are also applications with dirtbikes where being quiet is considered a feature worth having.
Craig Jennings
2wd great in lower traction terrain and on wet roads. As for price you can always help justify the difference with thinking the maintenance will be negligible. I imagine the riding would be interesting.
wanderkip
@Daishi- Checkout the new FXx and FXR bikes from CCW, (Cleveland Cycle Works). Super light, maneuverable and available for well-under $2500 this year.