With debate continuing over ATVs and UTVs, the humble farm bike has taken a back seat and New Zealand firm Ubco is hoping to change that with its unique offering.
The Ubco 2×2 is a battery powered off-road bike capable of covering 100km at an estimated cost of 88c.
It was seen earlier in the year at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days, where Ubco Dealer, Ian Legarth, explained its origins.
“It started as a farm bike concept with cheap running costs, a quiet machine, range specific and two-wheel-drive to suit the agriculture market,” he said.
“Range at the moment is 100km and they’re looking at models with ranges of 150km and 200km with larger batteries and regenerative braking.”
Ian said the bikes had been around since 2014 and it took two years of testing in New Zealand and Australia to bring them to market.
“A lot of testing was done on dairy farms and then in the harsher environment in Australia,” he said.
“They’re currently going into trial with Australia Post and from a fleet perspective, delivery businesses are interested so we’ve got negotiations going on.” He said the bike had also been tested on Gippsland dairy farms and received a good response, with its economy and utility the main attractions.
“It’s light (58kg) and it’s a step-through so it’s easier for older or less agile people to use,” he said.
“It’s a simple bike to use. Just get on and turn the throttle. You can drop it on the ground when you’ve got to do something because the batteries are sealed and won’t leak.”
“It won’t do everything a quad will, but 60 per cent of a quad bike’s use is to transport somebody somewhere.”
The bike is powered by a 43.6Ah lithium-ion battery the drives two brushless motors in the wheel hubs that produce 90Nm and 2kW for a claimed top speed of 45km/h.
“The motors are in the hubs and they are uniquely two-wheel drive, so if one motor failed, you’d still have another to get going,” Ian said.
The battery takes up to eight hours to charge via a regular 240V wall socket and has a range from 50km in Power mode to 100km in Eco mode.
The battery can also charge power tools via a 12V outlet and it has USB ports to charge a phone.
The bike can carry a maximum of 150kg including the rider, so you can strap down tools or carry small loads.
“If you’ve got kids, you can set multiple speed limits for different riders and can restrict the maximum speed,” Ian said.
“We can geo-fence this bike with a GPS system and make it so it can’t be ridden off the road,” he said.
Geo- fencing is setting the bike to only operate within certain GPS coordinates.
“You can install a halo tag so if you’re within 200m of the bike and something happens to you, the tag will go off and your coordinates can be found with GPS.”
The Ubco 2×2 retails at $6999.