The two-wheel drive motorcycle took almost a decade to be developed and is still a prototype. But the technology has been patented and can be put into full-fledged production.
Guido Koch, a German mechanical engineer and enthusiastic biker has developed an all-wheel drive motorcycle based on a KTM 990 Adventure. With no mainstream manufacturer putting any effort to develop and offer an effective all-wheel drive for motorcycles, Koch decided to make a start himself and took the KTM 990 as the base motorcycle. All that’s left of the original motorcycle is the engine, rear wheel, swing arm and brake system. The project motorcycle, called the DT-A, is still a prototype, and it took most part of a decade for its development and was finally unveiled at the IMOT Show in Munich earlier this year.
In order to offer a driven front wheel, the KTM was stripped of its conventional telescopic front forks and a single-arm swing arm was installed in its place, leading the front wheel in a steering knuckle. Steering is via a trailing arm and auxiliary linkage, and the drive of the front wheel is through a chain that runs parallel to the rocker and is mounted in both swing axles. Power is distributed from the engine via a belt system, which picks up the drive torque using a freewheel directly on the pinion. However, power only flows to the front wheel when the rear wheel reports more than 5 per cent wheel slip. The power circuit can be switched off using a switch on the handlebar.
Koch has patented his two-wheel drive system for motorcycles, and although the DT-A is still a prototype, he has more than 270 engineering drawings and casting tools, which could be used to replicate in other motorcycles as well. All that’s needed now is a big motorcycle brand who will think about introducing two-wheel drive, which will offer better traction, especially when riding off-road.