Following the footsteps of Yamaha with their 2-Trac two wheel drive system for motorcycles, Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM has developed it’s own version and has been testing it on a motocross bike.
KTM says the results are good, allowing the bike to accelerate much harder out of corners due to less slippage. However, it’s harder to take the inside line around a turn due to both wheels being powered, which causes the bike to run wide and straighten up. Kurt Nicholl of KTM says the system would benefit amateur riders more than professionals because pros have gotten used to riding with the back wheel slipping most of the time.
KTM’s two wheel drive system uses a mechanical/hydraulic system to distribute torque between the front and rear wheels. How exactly does it work? There is a small hydraulic motor inside the front hub, powered by hydraulic fluid pumped through the two tubes running down the fork leg. You can see the tubes in the image in this post. The motor drives the front wheels.
One of the major problems with this system is weight, it adds 6 kg to the bike, and half of that is directly on the front hub. KTM says reducing the system’s weight to 2 kg will revolutionize bikes the way Audi’s quattro revolutionised car drivetrains.
Audi and KTM working on lightweight baby TT