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Two wheel drive motorcycle from Revit

Revit two-wheel-drive custom
Revit two-wheel-drive custom

Two wheel drive motorcycles have never really taken off, but now a company specialising in motorcycle apparel has had a go.

Suzuki thought of the 2WD idea way back in the 1980s, Yamaha tried it about 10 years ago in the Dakar Rally, KTM worked on the technology for a while, and in the 1990s Australian motorcycle designer Ian Drysdale made the 2WD Dryvtech concept bike for the Australian Army.

Drysdale Dryvtech at Australian Motorcycle Museum Munch
Drysdale Dryvtech

However, they were all dismissed as uncommercial folly.

Now Dutch company Revit has developed a 2WD bike purely as a promotional exercise to launch its northern hemisphere Spring/Summer 2015 collection of apparel.

The build is based on a KTM 950 Super Enduro using a r ace-proven Christini kit.

Revit two-wheel-drive custom
Revit two-wheel-drive custom

Christina makes kits to convert bikes and has produced development bikes for Honda, KTM, GasGas and Kawasaki with vain hopes of full production. Now Christini produces completed 2WD bikes for sale.

Meanwhile, the Revit Project Double Dare was built at Chris Cosentino’s custom shop in the outskirts of New York and christened the Revit #95, paying tribute to the year the company was founded.

The Christini 2WD system transfers motion from the transmission to the front wheel through a series of gears, chains and shafts, requiring modifications to the frame.Revit two-wheel-drive custom

An extra feature is a lever on the handlebars that activates the AWD system at will. When the system is active it allows the front to freewheel until the rear has lost 80% of its traction. Then a one-way clutch installed in the front wheel hub disengages, allowing the transfer of motion to the front until the rear finds grip again.

Looks great, but it’s a lot of extra weight for a system that would only be of real use in mud and sand when a lighter bike is better, anyway!

Still, it makes the two wheel drive motorcycle is a talking point and that’s what Revit is looking for.Revit two-wheel-drive custom Revit two-wheel-drive custom Revit two-wheel-drive custom

  1. So far nobody has developed a 2WD system for motorcycles that doesn’t have some serious drawbacks. The Yamaha WR450 with 2WD cost twice as much as the standard model. I am not exaggerating. It really did cost twice as much. Having 2WD results in power losses which reduces the overall performance of the bike. It adds a significant amount of weight, and in particular, it adds unsprung weight to the front wheel which is the worst possible place to add weight to a motorcycle.

    Conventional telescopic fork front suspension is not suitable for 2WD. With the front wheel pulling the angle of the forks makes them extend and it interferes with the suspension action. It places extra stresses on the forks. The forks can cope with a lot of force under hard braking but that is also the time when the forks are compressed reducing the leverage on them. But with the front wheel driving the forks extend increasing the leverage on them. When BMW introduced the telelever and duolever front suspension systems I thought that they would soon produce 2WD bikes because it would work well with those systems. However that has not eventuated and without it those suspension systems are pointless gimmicks. A combination of soft wheels and the action of the telelever front suspension is why some R1200GS owners are denting front rims.

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