Christini AWD motorcycles gaining traction

Publish Date: 
Apr 1, 2007
By Guido Ebert

Christini Technologies Inc. in 2006 obtained $3 million through a round of equity financing, all to help the developer bring its two-wheel motorcycle drive system to market.

As a result, CTI last summer rolled out about a dozen all-wheel-drive Honda motorcycles for real-world, on-track testing. It subsequently released the first batch of Christini AWD frame kits, custom-designed to fit the 2005 and 2006 Honda CRF 250.

At Dealer Expo, the company touted a forthcoming KTM application.

Still considered a novelty by many, Steve Christini's all-mechanical system works similar to that of AWD systems found on four-wheeled vehicles. The use of one-way clutches in the front hub allows the front wheel to be driven at a slightly slower rate than the rear wheel.

Power is transferred to the front wheel by a durable rigid series of shafts and gears only when the rear wheel loses traction or the front wheel skids. The front-to-rear power ratio is adjustable with a simple sprocket adjustment, allowing for nearly unlimited fine-tuning of the AWD system to suit riding conditions and personal riding preference.

The proprietary AWD system is enclosed within the frame and head tube, resulting in less than 1 percent power loss and the addition of less than 15 lbs. total weight to the motorcycle.

The Christini AWD Frame Kit retails for $6,799 and includes a modified frame and custom fork, both which require an exchange of stock parts, a custom fuel tank, a Talon front hub, the actual AWD system, billet alloy triple clamps, and custom plastics. Dealers can sell the product as an unassembled kit or installed on a complete motorcycle.

The kind of dealer who would most benefit by carrying CTI AWD kits is one who's "very active" in the off-road sector, according to CTI sales manager Bill Cossman: "A dealer who has a lot of experience with off-road riding and a shop that can support a bike like this," he says.

"When you purchase a new Christini AWD Kit from a Christini dealer, you receive a new modified frame and forks. The frame and forks from your bike then go back into the Christini production cue to be modified for a future kit. The exchange is factored into the cost of the Christini Frame Kit. If you want to keep your original frame and forks, you can, but there will be a $2,500 charge to do so."