I’ve often thought that the true customizers in the motorcycle world are the dirt riders. They’re always tweaking and tuning, bolting on upgrades in search of a performance edge.
Ironically, the biggest improvement you can make to a dirt bike is one you’ll hardly ever see: a 2-wheel drive conversion kit. And that’s the secret of the beast we’re looking at here.
The KTM 950 Super Enduro is a hefty machine—at ease on the road and hard-pack, but liable to become a handful on sandy or muddy terrain. The perfect candidate for a 2-wheel drive system.
REV’IT! creative director Gerbrandt Aarts was thinking along the same lines. So he briefed a team to turn the KTM into an ultra-capable custom: engineer Chris Cosentino, racebike builder and salt flat specialist Scott Kolb, and Brooklyn-based photographer and custom bike enthusiast Gregor Halenda.
The idea was to create a completely new style of custom—by converting the rugged ADV into a truly go-anywhere machine. It’s called ‘#95’ as a nod to the year that REV’IT! started making motorcycle apparel.
Technically speaking, the KTM is using an all-wheel-drive rather than 2WD system. It comes from Philadelphia-based Christini Technologies, whose bikes send reviewers into raptures and have been pressed into service by the US military.
It’s an interesting system. Via gears and shafts, power goes from the countershaft sprocket to the headstock, where it’s converted again via a pair of counter-rotating drive shafts.
The front wheel is driven at 80% of the speed of the rear wheel: this prevents undue torque from affecting the steering. When the rear wheel outpaces the front—via wheelspin in slippery situations—the front starts to dig in, bring the bike back into line. Wasted power becomes extra forward motion.
The Christini setup is not the only mod. The frame has been reshaped to accommodate custom aluminum bodywork, including a monstrous 12-gallon fuel tank.
The engine is now fueled by a Keihin 41mm FCR carb kit, sucking in air via Cosentino Engineering billet velocity stacks. On the outlet side we’re looking at a hand-made stainless steel exhaust, with Cone Engineering stainless megaphones. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out how deep it rumbles.
The brakes have been upgraded too, with discs, calipers and a master cylinder from Moto-Master. Power hits the ground via DID x-ring chains and an Ironman rear sprocket; the wheels are Woody’s billet hub rims with Excel hoops and stainless steel spokes. That’s 19 inches at the front, and 17 inches out back.
The tires are Continental’s familiar Twinduro TKC80 dual sports, but the rims were chosen to accommodate more exotic rubber too—like Jeff Fredette’s custom studded ice tires, and Skat-Trak paddle sand tires.
More conventional touches include a lightweight Anti-Gravity battery, a seven-inch LED headlight from Kuryakyn, and Chrome Glow LED taillights and turn signals.
It’s a bike that can walk the talk, with capabilities to match its no-nonsense looks.
Any dirt riders out there willing to take it on?