While ATVs and SxS vehicles are duking it out, there’s a lightweight alternative silently stealing the limelight
The healthiest sales segment in the Australian motorcycle industry right now is the ATV and Side-by-Side (SxS) category, propped up by Aussie farmers.
With the safety of ATVs coming under increased scrutiny and the popularity of the SxS vehicles booming, as a result, a New Zealand company has come up with a third option, and it might be far more practical than it first appears.
While the four-wheeled workhorses are invaluable in the day-to-day running of nearly all agri-businesses in Australia and NZ, the UBCO 2×2 boasts a few features neither an ATV nor a SxS can – it’s narrow, light and extremely nimble.
Tipping the scales at just 58kg – all of which it carries extremely low due to its step-through-type design – the UBCO rolls on 17-inch tyres, uses basic but adjustable suspenders and keeps weight down by using high-end bicycle brakes instead of lower-spec motorcycle units.
It has a 150kg payload, almost three times its weight, and no fewer than 19 lugs that fit standard M8 nuts and bolts.
You can restrict its maximum speed depending on the rider, it boasts geo-fencing capabilities, which means it can be restricted to only operate within pre-set GPS coordinates, and it can be halo tag-equipped, meaning it can double as an emergency beacon if you get in trouble.
But there are two features in particular that make this workhorse unique.
The UBCO 2×2 employs hub-mounted motors in both the front and rear wheels, giving the Kiwi-designed machine (or at least its riders) more ability to clamber over objects than a standard rear-wheel-drive ag bike. It’ll be more predictable in slippery or muddy conditions and, even if one motor fails, you’ll still be able to get home.
The two motors produce up to 90Nm of torque and are powered by a fully sealed 43.6Ah lithium-ion battery that can charge power tools via a 12-volt outlet and has a USB port for phones or sat-navs. The bike has a top speed of 45km/h, a range of up to 100km in Eco mode (50-80km if using Power mode) and can be fully charged in eight hours.