The Ubco 2x2 tackles tough terrain, powers your tools
The Ubco two-wheel drive electric motorbike boasts quite a skill set. Designed tohandle difficult terrain, it provides ample carrying capacity, doublesas a portable power source and offers very low running costs, easy maintenance, andlots of practical customization options.
Developedin New Zealand by Ubco Ltd, the 2x2 is built around a lightweight Super-Xstep-through frame. Made from 7000 series aluminum alloy, this sturdy structurecan support a load of up to 200 kg (441 lb). That translates to a lot of gear ontop of the rider’s weight.
A pair of 1kW air-cooled electric motors, one in each wheel’s hub, provide a maximumtorque of 90 Nm (66.4 lb-ft), enough to power the bike to a top speed of 45km/h (28 mph). The power source is a 40 Ah lithium-Ion battery that needs 4hours for a full recharge. The range is specified at 150 km (93.2 miles)over flat country, reduced to a maximum of 100 km (62.1 miles) when the routeinvolves many elevation changes.
The suspension systemincludes 36 mm ATF forks in the front and two 32 mm ATR shocks in the rear, all adjustable for air preload and rebound damping. Connected to identical frontand rear Innova Tough Gear wheels with 70/100-17 tires; this setup allows the Ubcoto handle every terrain with ease.
The Ubco's greatestadvantage is simplicity. A battery, two electric motors, two hydraulic discbrakes, suspension and wheels – that's it. No transmission, no lubrication system, just twist-and-goaction and very few parts that require maintenance. Dropping it shouldn’t bemuch of a problem either. Only the brake levers are exposed, yet they are shortenough to make it out unscathed in most cases. Even in the worst case scenario,the aluminum frame is re-weldable, allowing for relatively easy, low-costrepair.
The utilitybike weighs just 50 kg (110 lb) and all the heavy parts sit low in the frame,so we should expect it to be very easy to handle. With the two-wheel drive andthe copious torque it produces, riding through loose terrain should be just awalk in the park – with the right tires of course. Ubco claims that the bikecan tackle gradients of up to 30 percent.
The two cargoracks at both ends of the frame can be customized to support a variety of casesor tools. It doesn’t even need anyspecial accessories; just a little imagination is enough to fit the requiredgear in a convenient arrangement.
A 12 V outletand a USB port on the main console provide power from the battery for different applications, such as charging electronic devices or power tools available onthe spot.
This looks to be a versatile 2x2 package. While the Ubco might not be taking top honors at the Isle of Man TT anytime soon, it lends itself to a range of potential uses in remote and rural areas, including stock control and recreational purposes such as hunting, fishing, orsimply strapping on your camping gear and getting off the beaten track.
Ubco isaccepting pre-orders for the first 100 models in production. For those not yet convinced by the 2x2, maybethe following video will help.