While all-wheel-drive cars are super common these days, 2WD motorcycles never really took off. Splitting drive intelligently and proportioning it between front and rear wheels on combustion-powered bikes was complex enough that even though ride testers found them beneficial, they never broke out of niche territory. Likewise with bicycles, in which the Christini AWD system was complex and expensive.
But ebikes are another story. Sticking a secondary hub motor in the front wheel takes little more effort than the first one if you're prepared to deal with a little extra unsprung weight and rotating mass, and controlling them is a simple matter of software. Hence the Evo AWD Big Bud Pro + from Easy Motion, a fat tire ebike with a 350-watt rear hub motor and a 250-watt drive in the front.
The drive system has four modes. You can run with 100 percent front or back wheel if you like, set it to AWD which proportions power between the wheels to prioritize traction and get you up slippery hills most effectively, or set it to Eco mode, which optimizes range by starting you off with the rear wheel but transitions to the front while you're rolling. We're not sure how that comes away as more efficient, but that's what it does.
The battery in this case is a nicely integrated 600 watt-hour unit delivering a range of up to 60 miles (100 km) if ridden gently. It charges to 80 percent in two hours or 100 percent in three hours, and if left alone for extended periods it'll go into a deep sleep mode and discharge itself down to 10 percent to give it the best possible chance of not being fried when you pull it out of the shed in a six month's time.
Running gear is by Shimano (Acera series) and brakes are Tektro Auriga discs, while tires are 4-in fatties on 26-in rims. All up, the bike weighs in at a fairly hefty 63 lb (28.6 kg).
AWD tech seems most appropriate to us on these cross country fat tire bikes. They're the ones you want to be on if you're riding across a sloppy, wet field or trying to climb a slippery hill – the times a little drive assistance from the front wheel would be most helpful.
It'd be interesting to see how they feel to ride, and at US$3,499 something like this is certainly a lot more approachable than a US$10,000 Christini 450cc dirt bike. There's also, of course, the option of building an AWD ebike yourself, in which case you can juice it up with however much power you can afford.
Source: Easy Motion
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