2WD elec­tric dirt­bike

An­droid smart­phones show the speed and film the ride

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING - LOZ BLAIN — Giz­mag.

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 of­froad gig­gles with­out piss­ing off neigh­bours 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 of­froad 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.

The Due X weighs in at 125 kg, 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.

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 cus­tomi­sa­tion 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.

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 for the X and 90 km/ h for the R, and both bikes’ range is quoted as “up to one 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 cus­tomise 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 ( R207 800).

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The elec­tric Due bikes will be the first with built- in ac­tion cam­eras.

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