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  #1  
Old 17th December 2017
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Default Ubco electric 2x2 on-road/off-road bike

I spent a day enjoying the New Zealand back country on one of these Ubco bikes yesterday. Iree asked for a review, so here it is...



http://www.ubcobikes.com

Well, as you can see, it isn't the sexiest of bikes, and certainly not as modern in looks as the HD Livewire I sat on a few years back, but for a dual on-road and off-road bike it sure was a fun ride. It was pretty much a cross between a mountain bike and a farm/dirt motorbike in design. I'm short but could comfortably flat foot on this, which I usually can't do on either of the others. It's also reasonably light at 65kg.

I think it's top speed was about 60km/hr, no clutch, no gear changing. Silent when on, and immediately responsive to a wrist twist. Throttle was right hand twist as we are used to. However, front brakes are on right hand lever; rear brakes left hand lever. No foot brake. Two motors drive the wheels separately, so 2x2 dual drive. Can cross creeks and get wet, but I can't imagine it would like salt-water much.

Suspension was pretty good; a bit harsh up front on the rougher stuff. It can also get a bit light up front on rocky bumps up steep climbs, but the rear wheel continues to drive, so nothing that felt particularly unstable.

It had a 48Ah Lithium-Ion battery system that I was told takes about 6 hours to recharge from empty and will run for about 70km in power mode or 120kms in economy mode apparently. We rode almost exclusively in power mode yesterday. The batteries are also removable / replaceable if desired.

I believe the bikes were originally targeted at farmers, and they certainly have that utilitarian look. But the new on-road registerable versions make going into town or commuting in low-speed neighborhoods quite feasible too. Can also be charged off a solar panel if heading off the grid. And have room for some luggage.

This video is pretty much what we were doing yesterday, though we were fanging along some dirt trails through the hills and trees too, not just herding the sheep. The horses we came across didn't like the bikes; we snuck up on them fast causing their flight instinct to kick in.


But in all, a fun, super quiet, off-road riding experience; rather novel to be able to hear the birds as you are riding along I'd definitely do it again and especially like the silence of them when enjoying nature. I could really see some eco-tourism uses, though Australia doesn't even allow push bikes in most of their national parks, though more and more trails are being opened up, which these would be awesome on.



P.S. They are super easy to kick start
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Last edited by sportytrace; 17th December 2017 at 04:22..
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  #2  
Old 18th December 2017
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Thanks Trace, good write up.
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Old 19th December 2017
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That would be great for riding on Forest Service roads out here in the Sierra. I like how their advertising mentions being able to attach a holster.

John
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Old 22nd December 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harper View Post
That would be great for riding on Forest Service roads out here in the Sierra. I like how their advertising mentions being able to attach a holster.

John
Indeed. The guys I went with also use them for hunting/ culling deer. A multitude of uses...
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Old 25th December 2017
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Default

These things sound as if they are super fun, and being able to hear the birds? Fantastic. No worry of sparks setting a blaze is a very good feature, too. I am so happy you got to do this, Tracy, and thanks for the report!
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Old 25th December 2017
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Pretty cool Eco Scoot there.

Over on this side of the pond is Daymak, a Canadian company that makes eBikes, both single and 2 wheel drive, as well as 3 and 4 wheel models.

Their trick is having solar panel charging as well as plug in, for use well away from civilization.

http://www.daymak.com/beast/index.html
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Old 25th December 2017
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Better double check how long it takes to charge battery off a solar system, which will be highly dependent on the size of the solar system. The daymak link above says 8 hour charge with built in solar panel will provide and extra 4 km. I assume that means you have to re-adjust the bike every 30 minutes to keep shade from blocking the sun on the built in solar panel, not very practical.
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Last edited by XLXR; 25th December 2017 at 19:23..
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Old 25th December 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
Better double check how long it takes to charge battery off a solar system, which will be highly dependent on the size of the solar system. The daymak link above says 8 hour charge with built in solar panel will provide and extra 4 km. I assume that means you have to re-adjust the bike every 30 minutes to keep shade from blocking the sun on the built in solar panel, not very practical.
Guess it depends on one's interpretation of the text. Reading it as written, "solar battery pack, EXTENDS range by 4km WITH 8 hours of sunlight". Which appears to indicate riding the bike in the sun.

Elsewhere on the same web page: NO COST TO CHARGE "Average rider who does 10km or less a day will never have to plug it in thus no cost to charge"

Still, it's a safe bet that in the dark of an arctic winter, plugged in charging would absolutely be required.
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Old 25th December 2017
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4km extended distance is nothing in a summer desert run.

Better pack a canteen and a umbrella. It will be be nice when battery use life catches up with open wild west desert distances. 350 miles or better.

I'll be sticking with my 650's. Till then.

They sound great for closely located location driving though. 120 KM.
I like KISS battery design also.
Seems like a battery upgrade may be possible?
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Old 25th December 2017
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Cool. I could use one in the State forests for Bow Hunting. I'm getting older and its getting harder to go in where I used to. Mostly fire roads.
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