Two-wheel drive is finally set to make an appearance on road-going sportsbikes in the near future thanks to American firm Christini All Wheel Drive Motorcycles.
The company, which has been selling kits to covert motocrossers and enduro motorcycles to two-wheel drive for several years, has created a prototype road racer with the help of custom motorcycle legend Roland Sands, and now it wants to start offering conversion kits for streetbikes.
The prototype is a Super Single racer, developed using a Roland Sands kit that transforms Honda's CRF450X enduro into a slick-tired, fully-faired road-race bike. Since it keeps the engine and chassis from the original CRF, it was the perfect candidate to find out how Christini's existing two-wheel-drive kit would work on asphalt.
The difference between asphalt and off-road in the two-wheel-drive-system comes down to the drive ratio of the front wheel. On the off-road kits, the front wheel has a fixed ration, so it's only driven at 60 to 65 percent of the rear wheel power, which means it doesn't do any driving until the back wheel is spinning up.
In the new application that ration is up to virtually 90 percent, so there's much less wheel-spin needed to put drive to the front wheel.
Although testing of the road bike is still being done, already the firm is convinced that two-wheel drive will offer an advantage, and not just to racers but road riders as well. The company is constantly upping the front wheel's drive ration. The results have been good, with increased stability, and the bike turns harder on the throttle and can maintain tighter lines through corners.
Christini All Wheel Drive Motorcycles decided it wants to do more work on road-going applications. The increase in traction, stability and safety would be useful to road riders and commuters as well as on the race track.