Ubco 2X2 First Ride Review

Two-wheel-drive electric utility.

mrpixelhead UBCO
The Ubco 2X2 is a versatile electric moped out of New Zealand with the ability to support work or play.Erik Jutras/@mrpixelhead

For the past few weeks, our office has put the Ubco 2X2 to work schlepping photo and video gear on location, shuttling boxes of food and cases of water at a motorcycle festival, carrying camping gear in the mountains, and running lunchtime errands. We are now at the end of the test period, and we are sad to see it go.

What Is the Ubco 2X2?

Ubco’s 2X2 is classified as an electric moped according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. It has two-wheel drive, footpegs, and a twist throttle, and it’s street legal. Any motorcycle or scooter rider will be immediately familiar. But there’s more to it. The 2X2 is also off-road ready and aimed straight at anyone looking for a machine that works just as hard as it plays. It’s just at home running a fence line on the ranch as it is commuting in a city center or on a hunt in the mountains.

Ubco Profile Shot
Ubco saw an opening in the market for a two-wheeled electric utility platform. The 2X2 is the result.Jeff Allen

Ubco saw a gap in the utility segment of electric mobility in New Zealand and built a machine to fill that gap. In New Zealand and Australia, Ag (Agriculture) or farm motorcycles are massively popular for crisscrossing large ranches and rounding up livestock. They are fitted with racks that have enough space to carry tools or a rifle.

The 2X2’s 1kW front and rear hub-drive motors are powered by a 48Ah, 50V battery that sits low in the 7000-series aluminum alloy cradle frame, allowing for a step-through design and low seat height of just 31.5 inches. Just larger than an 18-pack of your favorite canned suds, the battery is quickly removed, but we chose to charge it in the bike for the entire time we had the 2X2. A single 12-volt DC and dual 2A USB outlets let you power tools and charge electronics at the job or campsite.

Ubco Tire Hub
Twin 1kw hub-drive motors, one on the front wheel and one on the rear, move the Ubco 2X2.Jeff Allen

Bicycle-spec Tektro Dorado hydraulic disc brakes are fit front and rear. And while the 130-millimeter-travel fork is developed for the 2X2, it is a single-crown design that is very much like that of a long-travel mountain bike. At the rear are twin shocks attached to a beefy swingarm moving through 120 millimeters of travel. Both the front and rear are fully adjustable for preload, compression, and rebound.

Ubco Bag Close Up
Both the front and rear suspension are fully adjustable on the Ubco 2X2.Jeff Allen

With the 2X2 weighing in at 144 pounds, you’re not going to be carrying it upstairs into an apartment or house, but the weight won’t be an issue for those using the Ubco as a working tool. It's lighter than most farm bikes and comparable to a 50cc scooter or moped. The weight also helps quite a bit when searching for traction.

Ubco Battery Shot
Removing the 48Ah, 50V battery pack is quick and easy.Jeff Allen

Lugs all over the aluminum main frame and front and rear subframes allow for fitting of all types of accessories, for work or play. Our test unit came equipped with pannier frames on the left and right that held a pannier backpack on one side and a pannier pack on the other. Removing and replacing both was quick and easy. We wished our unit also had the large front and rear platform racks for more carrying space. The 2X2 has a capacity of 330 pounds (including rider) and we would have probably maxed it out if we had the racks while using it as a mule at the motorcycle festival.

Ubco Charging Close Up
Outlets for running tools or charging electrics are easy to access on the Ubco 2X2.Jeff Allen

How Does the Ubco 2X2 Ride?

On the street the 2X2 jumps away from stops with ease and achieves its governed 30-mph top speed at a rate that would keep you from becoming a speed bump in town. It never felt underpowered or slow as an around-town grocery getter. It also had plenty of pep when hitting the trail, achieving speeds and acceleration that were entertaining, though nowhere near motorcycle levels.

Although not as fast as a motorcycle, the 2X2 can cover some serious terrain thanks to the two-wheel-drive, dual-motor setup. Both motors put out the same power (1kw), but in the corners it felt very natural with the 50/50 power split. In soft sand the 2X2 just floats, with the front tire pulling you forward, but on very steep and loose climbs the front tire will begin to dig in or spin as your weight transfers back. Still, an inexperienced rider would get just as far on the 2X2 if not farther than on a regular dirt bike.

mrpixelhead UBCO
Ubco’s 2X2 is right at home on mountain dirt roads.Erik Jutras/@mrpixelhead

Pairing your smartphone through the Ubco 2X2 app gives you a handy dashboard that is easier to read than the LCD unit mounted front and center. The app’s dashboard displays vehicle information such as speed, battery level, power output, and motor temperatures. You also can enable on-road and off-road modes that optimize the motor setting for each; off-road also switches off the turn signals and taillight. A hunting mode disables the headlight, and a learner mode cuts power, speed, and acceleration by 50 percent.

Before riding the 2X2, I was concerned with the stopping power of bicycle brakes on a 145-pound electric cycle carrying an additional 200-plus pounds. Not once did we have an issue. The Tektro Dorado brakes have more than enough power, and have an aggressive but controllable initial bite.

Ubco Profile Shot in Forest
The 50/50 power balance from both 1kw motors aids in climbing loose or muddy inclines.Erik Jutras/@mrpixelhead

The adjustable suspension handles cruising over rocks, roots, curbs, and whatever else you point the front tire at with ease at moderate speeds. This is not a racebike, and if you try to go big at the local jumps or blitz a rock garden, you’ll quickly find the end of the 130-millimeter front and 120-millimeter rear suspension travel. Not to mention you’ll jostle your after-ride, fireside libations into foam. Smooth and steady is the name of the game.

How Much Does the Ubco 2X2 Cost?

Ubco has set a MSRP of $6,999 for the 2X2, and our test unit’s price as tested was $7,427 with the pannier racks and bags. For that you get a capable electric workhorse that you can outfit for your recreational or working needs, with a maximum range of 75 miles on a charge. Our mixed usage depleted the battery in 55 miles, but we had plenty of full-throttle blasts and hours of low-speed crawling—both non-optimal scenarios for eking out the most miles per Wh. Ubco states 20.2 mph will net the maximum efficiency and distance.

Ubco Smoke Shot
We just couldn’t help ourselves…Erik Jutras/@mrpixelhead

Time and time again we were asked, “What is that?” And a handful of one-word replies do the best here: cool, useful, versatile, and fun. Now excuse us while we do a few two-wheeled burnouts before sending the 2X2 home.