Stubby little 2wd diesel produced in Nairn, Scotland. Aircooled 440cc single, stepless belt plus chain drive. £3,950.
Our rating: 5th
Looks and build quality +++
Designed only for function, the Ecoquad keeps everything as simple as possible. No finesse on this pre-production test machine, just basic, tough materials reasonably put together.
Equipment, cost +++
Two sizeable racks and a fuel gauge. 2wd only.
Key-starts in gear so is easy to get underway. Forth Bridge-style racks protect lamps and stop a load sliding about, yet have only modest capacity. Sensible open footboards let mud drop through, but their grips need extending inwards to stop your feet sliding when standing. Quick-lift seat reveals small storage tray. 12V outlet at the rear with fuse alongside – good for trailed equipment. There’s no speedoand the gearchange – a stubby lever below the seat – needs better access and is an acquired taste.
A little Lombardini diesel plus stepless transmission take the Ecoquad smartly off the mark, then performance tails off. A 26mph top whack suits it – see comfort section – and is perfectly adequate for checking stock and getting about. Engine is kept at full stretch by a sizeable load but just keeps plugging away and never wilts, though the rider might. Low range could be a bigger step down than it is.
Fuel consumption +++++
45mpg, despite the full-throttle treatment with a trailer, can’t be beat by this company. Factor in red diesel and a pushbike is the only cheaper alternative.
Discs all round. Feel is OK but power could be better. Biggest black mark is the disappearance of engine braking on hills.
Ride, comfort, noise +
Short-travel front suspension and a beam back axle serve up a very stiff ride. Add a seat that could be higher, a piledriver soundtrack and vibration levels to match, and you’ll get the picture.
Handling, steering ++
Over-sharp steering and the unyielding ride make the Ecoquad a handful at speed over ruts and bumps. ‘Gently does it’ is best.
Intended to survive neglect, the Ecoquad will function with most of its electrics shot away low engine oil also triggers automatic engine shutdown. The rear chain, though wide and O-ring sealed, will need adjustment.
Weighted score 2.73. Think of the Ecoquad as an uncomplaining mule. It may not rack up points in this sophisticated company, but it does just what the designer intended – deliver inexpensive, basic and very economical transport.