2WD off-road weapon: Christini KTM EXC300

In off-road form, the Christini 2WD system is proven and being sold all around the world. Our man rode it in the UK...

Christini Technologies shipped a couple of KTM 300 EXC bikes out to the UK for a few of the toughest European Extreme enduro races. These bikes took their riders to the tops of the toughest mountains and gnarliest terrain you can imagine. The bikes placed top five in Erzberg and the Red Bull Romaniacs and truly showed their strength and reliability at the very top of the newest off-road movement, which is Extreme racing. The years spent developing and perfecting the AWD system have been well worth it for the American company.

I had the call up to race the bike in the UK’s premiere Extreme race, The Tough One. This race tests everything in a super intense two hours. I expected a massive amount of riding style adjustment to get used to the bike. I had a couple of laps of the XXX Endurocross track to find my way around the bike and it was pretty simple.

I switched the system off for a few laps then back for some more. With the system handlebar mounted lever to the off position, the bike felt like a very slightly heavier version of the 300 EXC, which I ride all the time. The front end of the bike obviously has some more weight, but this doesn’t effect the ride that much, and in certain situations the bike felt more planted, even with the AWD disengaged.

A swift pull on the lever and the AWD is engaged and you are off on the unstoppable force that is the Christini. The bike must be ridden smoothly with the AWD in force, but it only starts to work the front wheel at 60 percent, when the rear wheel loses traction. This system is the best of both worlds, but it is not permanently working. The bike only engages and works the front wheel when you need it. I could not believe the way the bike would re-grip and pull me away on steep sandy climbs.

Turning the bike in tight going was no problem, as long as the power was respected. I tested some foot-plant 180 degree wheelie turns and these were very do-able, as long as you have strong shoulders. The bike was stable and the forward movement in all situations superb. I looked forward to getting it to the Tough One for the true extreme test.

The slippery rocks, tough climbs, tyres, bodies, mud, water, cars and trees tested the Christini and the bike handled every inch of the course.

At the moment, 2WD is expensive, but as Christini’s technology develops it’ll only become better and cheaper. And it is a weapon for any rider.