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All Wheel Drive Motorcycle Spotlight: The Rokon

An uncommon ride

The motorcycling mainstream is full to the brim with shiny new bikes sporting zero-hour chassis and engine updates. They’re the bikes we purchase, register, ride, and enjoy. Motorcycling has its secrets though, the sum of which amount to the many facets of the motorcycling experience. One of those secrets is called the Rokon, the world’s first all wheel drive motorcycle. It was originally designed in the 50’s by a guy named Charlie Fehn to take on California’s rough country. The rights would eventually be sold to a New Hampshire company who would go on manufacturing and selling them all the way up to today.

The Rokon is unlike any other bike on the market.

The “look”

The Rokon looks more like a tractor than an AWD motorcycle. If anyone ever asks you what the Rokon looks like, say, “A two-wheel combine harvester,” giggle, and then respond to their puzzled look with, “Just kidding. It looks like a two-wheeled dodo bird.”

Except for one important detail. Unlike dodo birds, Rokons are useful. You can fix one with a hammer and stuff you already have if you happen to get stranded. Very little is specialized or specific or can’t be made at home by an enterprising do-it-yourselfer, exactly the kind of person who lives in the mountains and needs an AWD motorcycle to get around.

Motorcycling’s hammer

The Rokon is more of a tool than a mechanism for turning petrochemicals into pure happiness.

And that’s what makes it unique in the world of motorcycles. The Rokon has more in common with an AK-47 in the Congo than a sexy, American made M16. It has more in common with an asphalt paver than your older brother’s badass dirtbike. The Rokon is probably more capable than your older brother’s dirtbike ever was. At the end of the day, it’s still a motorcycle. The Rokon is fun to ride and it’ll put a smile on your face.

Balloons all around

Just look at those tires. Those tires are ridiculous. Also, they’re the reason the Rokon doesn’t need very much suspension in the front and none in the back. It’s good to have fat tires, especially if you need to do a deep water crossing. When you absolutely, positively have to float your motorcycle over a body of water, accept no substitutes. Get a Rokon.

Failing that, attach floaties to your kid’s XR100 and then email us with how things worked out.

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About the Author

Michael Padway is a motorcycle accident attorney who lives and breathes motorcycles. He has been practicing law for over 35 years and riding for even longer. Riding motorcycles, writing about motorcycles and defending motorcyclists is what he does, and what he does best.