Two (Wheels) are Better than One: Christini All Wheel Drive Motorcycles

Jul 08, 2014 View Comments by

Two (Wheels) are Better than One: Christini All Wheel Drive MotorcyclesIn case you’re unfamiliar with Christini, they are to motorcycles what Subaru is to cars, well, sort of. Like Subaru automobiles, all Christini motorcycles are all-wheel drive. The company got its start designing all-wheel drive mountain bikes back in the 90s before building the first AWD motorcycle in 2002. The first production Christini AWD bike was sold in 2007, and the company has been growing steadily ever since.

Two (Wheels) are Better than One: Christini All Wheel Drive MotorcyclesYes, there are other AWD motorcycles, but those setups generally use some type of hydraulic system to transfer power to the front wheel. Christini uses a purely mechanical setup with chains and shafts to move engine power forward. The advantage of Christini’s system is that mechanical power loss is very small; around a tenth of a horsepower in normal operation, and it only adds about 14 pounds to the bike’s weight.

Some of the advantages of having both wheels powered are obvious, such as dramatically increased traction, others, like improved handling, are less so. In the Christini AWD system, the front wheel is powered to rotate at about 80-percent of the rear wheel’s speed, which means that when the rear wheel has full traction, the front is basically just spinning free. If, however, the rear loses traction, the front wheel quickly takes hold. That means it’s very difficult to slide out the rear wheel.

Christini offers a variety of models, including the street-legal 450 DS and 450 SM (supermoto). The company also offers conversion kits for the Honda 250X and 450X and 2005-2011 KTM two-stroke and four-stroke bikes.


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