Italian Start Up Produces Two-Wheel Drive Electric Motorcycles

Italian start up Armotia has produced two motorcycles, the DUE X and DUE R, both with electric power and two-wheel drive.

Electric motorcycles are very quickly becoming a commercial reality, and the concept of 2-wheel drive has been tried before with varying degrees of success.

The best known and probably most successful to date has been Yamaha’s 2-Trac system used on a WR 450F back in the early 2000’s.

Two wheel drive does have its benefits, especially on loose surfaces, but the main issue has been getting power from a petrol driven engine to the front wheel.

Electric motors solve that problem, and the approach Armotia has taken is to mount an electric motor in the hub of the front wheel. The rear wheel has a traditional chain drive.

The use of a hub-mounted motor on the front wheel is also not new.

KTM has patented a similar idea and Yamaha’s PES-2 concept bike also uses it, but we are yet to see a production bike from either manufacturer.

Armotia seems to have beaten the big manufacturers to production.

Combined power from the electric motors is just 11kW, total torque is 180Nm on the road going DUE R and 200Nm on the DUE X which is designed primarily for off road use.

The torque is electronically distributed between the front and rear. The battery capacity is a fairly low 5.1kWh, which is enough to allow around 1 hour 20 minutes of continuous use. Charging time is 2-6 hours. Reported top speeds are between 80-90 km/h.

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.

At this stage there is no definite release date, but Armotia is planning test ride events in Europe soon.

About the author

Steve McDowall

Steve is the team’s motorcycle writer and contributes to the podcast each week. He started his “on air” career as a guest on 4BC where he met Joel, and has been with Behind the Wheel now for over 6 years. Steve’s fascination for anything with wheels and an engine started as a child and even though he still loves his cars, he found his true passion was with motorcycles. He is also an accredited rider trainer, consultant and coach. Check out Steve’s website – motorcyclelife.com.au