Small Italian start up company Armotia is very close to releasing its first two motorcycles – the DUE X dirt bike and DUE R supermoto. Both bikes are electric powered and 2-wheel drive. While electric motorcycles are very quickly becoming a reality, 2 wheel drive has not seen the same level of commercial success. Two wheel drive definitely has its benefits, especially on loose surfaces, but the main issue has been getting power from a petrol driven engine to the front wheel. US company Christini Technologies has a mechanical all wheel drive system that delivers power to the front wheel through a series of chains and shafts. The system works well but it is fairly complex and adds 6kg to the weight of the bike. Armotia has solved that problem by mounting an electric motor inside the front hub. And while KTM has patented a similar idea and Yamaha’s PES-2 concept bike also uses it, we are yet to see a production bike from either manufacturer. The rear wheel on Armotia’s bikes is driven by a traditional chain drive. Combined power of the two motors is just 11kW, total torque is 180Nm on the DUE R and 200Nm on the more dirt oriented DUE X. Torque is electronically distributed between the front and rear. The battery capacity is a fairly low 5.1kWh, which is enough for a top speed of 80-90 km/h and around 1 hour 20 minutes of continuous use. Charging time is 2-6 hours. Looking at the specifications, the Armotia machines aren’t going to be high performers and maybe not the most practical electric bikes we’ve seen to date. But the 2-wheel drive system could just be a game changer. Both bikes share much of their componentry and specifications. They use a lightweight steel trellis frame and weigh just 125kg. The front suspension is 41mm USD forks, rear is a fully adjustable Bitubo mono shock and disc brakes with Brembo calipers are on both wheels. Another interesting feature of the DUE X and DUE R is the instrumentation. Rather than a traditional instrument cluster, the bikes use a ruggedized, waterproof Android smartphone as a display and an app on the phone provides all instrumentation functions. Armotia has yet to confirm a release date or pricing for the bikes, but have hinted that test rides could be as early as next month.
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