New Zealand electric utility bike company UBCO has come a long way since winning a concept design contest in 2014. The brand still champions a 2X2 drivetrain, but now it offers the WRK model catering to farmers, hunters, and fishers along with a street-legal ADV variant. The ADV’s headlight, blinkers, LCD display, and license hanger make it road-worthy, but both models have been likened to Honda’s CT/Trail series.
While word of mouth might bring in a few customers, UBCO wants to put more tushes in the saddle, even if it’s from the comfort of your couch. To orient potential buyers with the sights and sounds of its 2X2 range, the Kiwi brand is now offering a virtual test ride on its YouTube channel.
“We’re hoping this first taste will encourage people to want to find out more or share the experience with friends. It’s about raising awareness and opening eyes to the possibility of what an UBCO 2X2 can do,” remarked UBCO CMO Neil Tierney.
While the 360 video is best enjoyed with a dedicated VR headset or a cardboard VR headset, prospective customers can also experience the virtual ride with a smartphone or desktop computer. Those using headsets or a smartphone will be able to navigate the video by simply turning their heads. On the other hand, desktop users will have to use their cursor to drag the camera in order to change the view.
The video certainly acquaints viewers with the 2X2 cockpit. However, with the camera mounted to the operator’s chest, it’s more of a 180-degree experience. Unless you consider the view of a plaid shirt as informative, the audience will likely stick to the primary and peripheral view during the test ride.
Despite those shortcomings, the video showcases both 2X2 models in a variety of environments and conditions. Snazzy transitions between each location also keep up the momentum and deliver seamless footage of the ADV and WRK at, well, work. Tromping through trails or weaving through traffic, the UBCOs handle everything that the operator throws at it. Of course, the brand hopes the virtual test provides a gateway to customers taking a physical test ride.
“We want everyone who is curious to be able to experience the magic of an UBCO 2X2,” added Tierney. “Given how immersive the virtual test ride experience is we’re confident that once someone tries the virtual test ride for themselves, it’ll be hard not to tell friends and family about it – so word of mouth is also key here.”