All-Wheel Drive Motocross
When I tested the Christini AWD Honda CRF250X two years ago in the rugged mountains of Pennsylvania, it was nothing short of a complete revelation. The Christini mechanical all-wheel-drive system upped my off-road game to a level I never thought possible, taking me on trails that I consider to be absolutely impassible and unconquerable on a standard rear-wheel-drive motorcycle. I was stunned.
Significant changes in dirt bike technology tend to come in large leaps. The two-stroke revolution in the mid-’60s ushered in a generation of lightweight off-road machines. The innovation of long-travel suspension by Maico in the early-’70s forever improved our ability to tackle inhospitable terrain at ever-increasing speeds. Earlier this decade, riding a wave of stunning technological advances, four-strokes reclaimed their dominance in the dirt.
Although two-wheel-drive motorcycles are nothing new—Rokon has been offering its Trail-Breaker go-anywhere machine for decades—a high-performance motorcycle with two driven wheels has until now been an unattainable Holy Grail. Yamaha tried it recently, but its hydraulic system’s performance was more theoretical than practical. The bike disappeared quickly, never making it to the United States.