This is a much simpler all wheel drive motorcycle design than what is now used off-road with equivalent or better suspension characteristics than existing telescoping front suspensions. It is easier for an average rider to control on steep bumpy slopes, to surmount rocks and logs, and to maneuver in sand, mud, and snow. As a result it is much greener, doing less damage to trails, and it can be much more easily walked through narrow backcountry trails such as by firefighters or rescue personnel as both wheels are pulling.
The all wheel drive motorcycle does not need lots of speed and aggressive spinning of the rear wheel and resulting damage to terrain to surmount obstacles. The advantage of an all wheel drive motorcycle is similar to the effect of why a four wheel drive vehicle is much better in difficult conditions than a two wheel drive vehicle.
This all wheel drive motorcycle design uses a double-A arm suspension design combined with a mechanical drive design that is much simpler and more rugged than other AWD designs. The drive system can take full power when necessary and incorporates an overrunning ratchet to allow the front wheel to rotate faster when necessary as in corners and when on hard ground. The gearing between the front and back wheel is set up to provide as low as 1% rear wheel slip before engaging thus making it essentially full-time AWD, field adjustable by changing the front sprocket. The drive system only requires two chains and a U joint. This makes it much simpler and less expensive than other designs with equivalent suspension travel.
The double-A arm suspension is anti-dive when braking with 1/3 of the rise of a telescoping fork and also anti-rise when powered. Anti rise means that the front wheel won’t hop when it hooks up as a conventional telescoping fork tends to do. The 300 mm travel suspension has progressive rate adjustable damping shock absorber spring/damping characteristics the same as telescoping fork designs. It has no torque steer which means there is no interaction between torque to the front wheel and the steering.
The drive system also reduces front wheel lock up dramatically when braking. When the front wheel starts to lock up, the system engages the engine and rear wheel to keep the front wheel spinning past slick spots and as a result automatically balances the braking between the front and rear tires.
This lightweight design adds only the extra weight of the front drive chain, sprockets, and U joints. The prototype, based on KTM 300 EXC, weighs only 28 lbs more than a stock motorcycle. The production model is predicted to add only 13 lbs.