A Weekend With the AWD Rev’It #95!

In America, Austria, Blog, Custom, Dual-Sport by AbhiLeave a Comment

It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve been working up the courage to try this for hours. It’s finally time to forget my instincts and see what happens when I hold a slide around a corner and then whack the throttle open. On a normal big enduro, that’s an easy way to turn a slide into a lowside. But this is no normal enduro. This enormous fuel tank on wheels is the REV’IT #95, and it features two wheel drive – turns out two wheel drive is a hell of a drug.

Let’s go back a couple of years. REV’IT #95 started as a KTM 950 Super Enduro Erzberg Edition:

Thanks to the handiwork of Gregor Halenda, Chris Cosentino, and Scott Kolb, it’s now something truly special. The 12 gallon aluminum fuel tank steals the show when you’re off the bike, while the modified Christini all-wheel drive kit is the star when you’re riding. Keihin FCR carbs and a lovely custom stainless steel exhaust round out the basics of the mechanical package.

The bike’s creator told me that this bike will wheelie in the rain in 2WD. Grab a fistful of throttle – the rear wheel will break traction, then the front engages. That gives the rear wheel grip again and the front wheel will reach for the sky. I wasn’t confident enough to test that theory.

Here’s the “making of” video:

For those of you that are nerds about watching builds develop, Gregor created an excellent build thread over on ADVRider. There’s a few fools who were extra sensitive about the choice of a limited production KTM as the base bike, but you should just ignore them and focus on the build itself. Customs like this won’t please everyone!

Despite the giant tank and the 2WD system, #95 weighs 15 pounds less than a stock 950 Super Enduro. I got to enjoy this weight reduction on Saturday, when some friends and I went out to the canyons near the Snake. It got plenty of attention:

Beast Moto

A photo posted by Paul Herold (@rockstorephotos) on

On blacktop, the upright riding position and wide bars yield excellent control and it feels like a big supermoto. But let’s be real. When you get a two-wheel drive motorcycle with KTM underpinnings, you don’t want to stay on pavement.

Look Ma, a fake map!

That’s why I found myself in Rowher Flats OHV outside of Los Angeles, California, wondering if I was about to drop this bike due to an over-eager right hand.

With 100 horsepower on tap, breaking the rear loose on dirt is easy. The question is what you do afterwards. Ignoring common sense, I keep twisting the throttle and the rear end slides further out. That’s when the magic happens – the front wheel starts pulling you forward, bringing the rear wheel back in line. The more power you put down, the harder the front wheel pulls, so even my ham-fisted self can hold a slide. I feel like a riding god. The helmet can barely contain my smile, and the only thing louder than my laughter is the thunderous exhaust. I haven’t had this much fun on a big dual-sport in a long time.

You can turn two wheel drive off if you still want to get tail happy.

You can turn two wheel drive off with a lever on the handlebars if you want the tail-happy behavior that you’re used to. But two wheel drive has more to offer than the gift of sliding. Imagine being able to steer in sand! What’s truly impressive is the climbing ability, as you no longer need momentum. Just sit at the bottom of the hill and pin the throttle. Once the rear wheel starts spinning 30% faster than the front, both wheels push and pull you up the hill. No fishtailing, no drama – just effortless ascent.

After the bike was finished, Rev’It put together a short video of the bike in action:

I ride motorcycles because they’re fun and they make me smile. #95 fits the bill perfectly. It’s comfortable, it’s fast, and the exhaust note is biblical. Whether it’s on or off-road, riding this bike makes me feel special. Now if only I could keep it…

Special thanks to Beach Moto of Los Angeles, California for use of the Rev’It Zircon Jacket and Rev’It Philly 2 Jeans LF. Look for a review of that gear soon.

Photos by Nathan May