It's a low-speed, all-terrain concept bike that can handle water crossings, says its creators.
How does the idea of a 2WD electric motorcycle grab you? It’s a pretty unique niche, for sure. Here at the end of May, 2022, it’s a space mainly occupied by UBCO. However, a startup called Robo.Systems is currently crowdfunding a completely different take on a 2WD electric bike that you really need to see to believe.
Robo.Systems calls it the 2×2 Ultra Bike—and while it does feature two electric, hub-mounted motors (one for each wheel), it’s unlike anything else currently on the market. For a start, there are the tires, which are these massive, oversized, low-pressure things. The point of this bike is to handle any kind of tough terrain you can throw it at: Snow, mud, water, sand—you name it. It’s an extremely basic, low-speed bike, with a claimed max range of 40 miles with its stock electric powertrain—but it’s meant to overcome most obstacles.
There’s more to the 2×2 Ultra Bike’s design than just this, though. It’s a modular design, which can be equipped with any or all of the following things: an 800W generator, a power inverter, and/or some floaties that allegedly help the bike float (with a rider) on water. How do you power the generator? So glad you asked. The aluminum wheels also apparently offer six gallons of liquid storage—perfect for a bunch of gasoline. You can also equip an extra 1-gallon reserve fuel tank that can be mounted on the rear rack.
Gallery: Robo.Systems 2×2 Ultra Bike Concept
Now, Robo.Systems is currently crowdfunding this design on IndieGoGo, where it’s 95 percent funded at the time of writing, with 16 days left in the campaign. The funding goal was a mere $10,000—which, when you’re talking about producing functioning motorbikes, doesn’t seem like a whole lot.
According to the company’s timeline, it created the concept version of the 2×2 Ultra Bike in November, 2021. It launched its crowdfunding campaign in May, 2022, and plans to produce the finished bikes in June, 2022 in Dubai. (Initially, the company planned to produce the bikes in Russia, but then Russia invaded Ukraine and the company quickly altered its plans, which seems like it might be easier to do when it’s a startup.) If all goes according to plan, the company says that bikes should ship to customers in October, 2022.
The prices listed for the different configurations of the 2×2 Ultra Bike as IndieGoGo crowdfunding perks are very inexpensive, assuming that the bike works as promised. The base bike is $1,790, and if you opt for all the gadgets—generator, inverter, and floaties—the price only goes up to $2,590.
Of course, all the expected caveats apply with any crowdfunded invention. Also, we have to ask: Does it still get the environmental halo we tend to assign EVs as a class if some of its power is generated via the gasoline you’re rolling around on in your wheels? Either way, what do you think of this concept?