Is the AWD Rokon Trail-Breaker the toughest motorcycle ever made?

Visordown takes a closer look at the all-wheel-drive Rokon Trail-Breaker motorcycle, which can literally summit a mountain. 

Rokon Trail-Breaker

If any motorcycle was capable of surviving World War Z, I think the Rokon AWD Trail-Breaker might just be the ticket. 

The first Trail-Breaker prototype hit the Californian sand dunes in 1958 thanks to the creative mind of its inventor, Charles Fehn. It was the world's first all-wheel-drive motorcycle. This machine would eventually become the Trail-Breaker in 1960. It used Charles’ patented power transfer system and hollow drum wheels, which are still used on Rokon's today. 

In over 50 years the Trail-Breaker design has stayed fairly true to its roots, with a few small modifications in 2007-08. These mods included the addition of an optional hydraulic disc brake (now standard) and AutoGrab suspension. 

The largest change came in 2012 when Trail-Breaker’s engine was upgraded to a 7hp Kohler. Not for the faint-hearted… 

All jokes aside, this pokey AWD motorcycle is pretty much bombproof and is as simple as a lawnmower. The Trail-Breaker’s lightweight, wide tires, high ground clearance [14inch], and AWD traction make it pretty formidable in some of the toughest off-road conditions imaginable.  

How does the Rokon Trail-Breaker AWD system work? 

The front-wheel-drive design is simple yet effective. It deploys a straight shaft from the fixed 3 gear engine which meets a clutched uni-join (transfer box) between the front handlebars. This then drives a sprocket, which drives a chain linked to the front wheel. This design - although not the best for achieving a low centre of gravity - keeps everything out of harm’s way when the going best tough and muddy. 

Other Features: 

  • Patented AutoGrab Front Suspension makes for a smooth ride even in demanding terrain like mud, sand, or snow. 

  • Hollow drum wheels can provide floatation in mud sand or snow.

  • Full time front and rear wheel drive with superior torque mean you can tow up to 2,000 lbs.

  • Climb a 60% grade. Rokons have climbed mountains from the Rockies of Colorado to the Andes of Chile. With a ground clearance of 14 inches, the Trail-Breaker can go up and over any terrain.

  • Wide tractor tires (8x12x25”) and a lightweight of 218 lbs. combined with all wheel drive provides unmatched stability in any terrain.

Rokon Trail-Breaker Specs 

Drive System

Full time, Front and Rear wheel drive


Kohler, single cylinder, four stroke, fan cooled

Piston Displacement


Power Output

7 HP at 3,600 RPM

Peak Torque

12.4(9.1) Nm(ft. lb.) @ 2800 rpm

Power Transmission

Automatic torque converter into a three-gear range selector

Speed Range

1st gear  0-10 MPH (16 kph)

2nd gear 0-20 MPH (32 kph)

3rd gear  0-35 MPH (56 kph)

Power Take Off

7 HP, speed proportional to throttle setting

Fuel Tank Capacity

2.69 US gal (10.0 L)


Regular unleaded gas

Fuel Consumption

0.33 gal/hr (211g/PS h)


Disc type, hydraulic front and rear with dual handlebar-mounted controls


Electric and pull start (automatic recoil with compression release)


Electronic Magneto


12 volt


Muffler and U.S. Forestry approved spark arrestor


Fixed Main Jet Carburetor

Air Filter

Dry type, with foam secondary stage

Grade Capability

60 percent


12 Month Limited Warranty





12 Inch aluminum drums


8 x 12 x 25" tubeless

Wheel Base

51 Inches (129.5 cm)

Ground Clearance

15 Inches (38.1 cm)

Height Over Seat

32 Inches (81.3 cm)

Height Over Handlebar

41 Inches (104 cm)


30 Inches (76.2 cm)


79 Inches (200.7 cm)


218 lbs. (98.8 kg) dry weight

Fordable Water Depth

24 Inches (61 cm)