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Crawler Motorcycle to Launch in Latvia

Ever wondered what a motorcycle with caterpillar tracks might be like to ride? You might get your chance in 2025, as Latvian company Oruga is developing just such a beast, designed to replace the typical quad bike with a motorcycle which can tackle the worst rough terrain. The Oruga Unitrack is described as, “the world’s first all-terrain electric monotrack vehicle for use in a variety of terrains, seasons and operations.”

Previous attempts at an all-terrain utility bike have included the Rokon (two-wheel drive) and the EcoRider (big balloon tyres). The Unitrack has its two wheels mounted inside a crawler track to spread its weight over a wider area – it also has a third idler wheel mounted higher up at the front, as an aid creeping over big obstacles. There are handlebars, but the Unitrak would be steered purely by shifting the rider’s body weight, as the front wheel isn’t steerable. Instead, the track has a convex profile, enabling the bike to lean.

The tracked motorcycle is at an early design stage, though a full-size mock up has been shown at a Riga outdoor show. It’ll be powered by an electric motor, with a top speed of around 60mph and a range of 60-120 miles. The company says it will have a working prototype later this year with production in 2025.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said this of the Unitrack: “Interesting solution to a problem. I’d be surprised if low-speed handling was easy, without a steerable front wheel, how would it manage a slalom through cones at walking pace? The WWII ‘kettenkrad’ comes to mind.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Oruga