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I had read about the system a couple of years ago when Ohlins was first developing it. At the time I was very impresed by the elegant simplicity of it all, and also very glad to see some new technology coming into the design of the motorcycle as we know it.

Now it is great to see it come to fruition, it is about time that we see some real improvement in how the motorcycle industry puts some emphasis in changing a 100 year old idea. The potential of the benefits to competition and street use, will be the way of the future. Now is the time to replace the stupid telescoping forks as well, where is James Parker when we need him?
 

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Great in the dirt and wet, but on dry pavement?

I'm not seeing 2WD parlaying into a benefit for street riding on dry pavement. I think it is a great innovation for the dirt, and wet weather riding, and possibly for GP racing. I don't see it changing the face of motorcycling as predicted.

I wonder what the added weight will amount to. That front drive system has gotta contribute a lot to the unsprung mass of the front suspension.

Looks like the forks are still conventional style telescopic or am I missing something?

Will be following the development of this new innovation closely.
 

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Re: Great in the dirt and wet, but on dry pavement?

Well, I ride in the wet and other variable conditions. Subaru WRX is fantastic in the dry, unbeatable in the wet and variable conditions. Perhaps not needed by everyone I suppose and one end drivecars do for most people...but are we talking about a new ultimate class of bikes that may not be just fair weather sports bikes?
 

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According to those who have ridden it, it is most beneficial when riding in sand or deep mud.



I don't know if I'd ride one on the trails I frequent, those hoses look pretty vulnerable, and the trails I like are tight.
 

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I wonder if this will be Rossi's ace-in-the-hole in motogp. Getting more Yamaha power to the ground maybe what it takes to ace Honda and Ducati's teams.

If Yamaha already plans this for the R1, can a limited-slip two wheel drive option for the FJR be far behind? Yamaha's been willing to bring out innovative engineering in the past like the GT1000. ('course they didn't sell very well)

Maybe this time it'll work for them, at least now the Rokon Trai-blazer isn't our only option for 2X2 dirt bikes.
 

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The real question to be answered will be one of "feel."



Remember several years ago Honda and Mazda offered cars with four-wheel steering. Even though the cars performed well they didn't sell because people who drove them said they didn't turn in like a normal car.



Only time will tell if Yamaha is offering a product which no one is demanding.
 

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Cool concept

For the skeptics. AWD is substantial advantage for both Subaru and Audi in racing. I had an AWD Turbo Mitsubishi Eclipse that would smoke by friends Turbo Rx-7 rear wheel drive on the wet roads of Seattle. Also in the MotoGP area getting power to the payment, I could see the advantages. The hydraulic transfer is ingenious.
 

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Rossi to Yamaha:



"Put this on my back-up bike and pray for rain."
 

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I bet it's pretty different. The wheel tracking will be different for one thing. It might be pretty whacky. On the other hand, it may well be the wave of the future.
 

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Excellent Point

"I suppose and one end drivecars do for most people...but are we talking about a new ultimate class of bikes that may not be just fair weather sports bikes" Great point. Having had a AWD car I total agree with your points
 

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Re: Great in the dirt and wet, but on dry pavement?

There's really no such thing as a "fair weather sport bike." There are a bunch of sissy fair weather sport bike riders, but the bikes themselves are quite capable and controllable in anything short of ice. And two wheel drive won't help much on ice.

I think it's a neat idea, but I'm not sure how having two wheels pulling will help keep you from sliding one end or the other if you're pushing too hard in the corners on slippery roads. In the dirt, yes. On the road, I don't know how it could be nearly as effective. Then again, my degree has nothing to do with this sort of thing.

"Remember: It's always easier to do things the hard way. -- Chango.
 

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Re: Great in the dirt and wet, but on dry pavement?

I have no degree at all...but I'd bet the fast guys would much rather have two tires biting at the race track than one, esp. when they twist up 180-200hp. If it's good on the track..

there is always a hotshoe that would put it to

good use on the street as well...
 

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Looks like it won its first race in the Morrocan Desert according to Motomag.com also finished third apparently. I will be going to the NEC show and hope to see it there along with the new 660 supermotard.
 

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Here is the article in English (sorta)

From motomag.com, translated by babelfish.altavista.com:

David Fretigné gains the rally of the shamrock

6th edition of the rally shamrock

David Frétigné gained for the second time the rally of Shamrock to the handlebar of Yamaha with two driving wheels.

It is the second time that David Frétigné gains the rally of Shamrock to the handlebar of a WR450F with two driving wheels. Will Yamaha engage - T-it this kind of machine on more significant rallys?

The 6th edition of the rally of the shamrock, which was held in Morocco, of 1st at November 10, was gained once again by David Frétigné with the handlebar of a WR 450F 2trac.

The second machine of this type was with the hands of Jean Claude Olivier, in person, who arrived third behind Richard Chatelain.

" I knew a problem of GPS the first two days of this rally, which made me lose much time " explains Big boss of Yamaha France.

It is the second time that David Frétigné, quadruples champion of France of enduro, gains this rally which proceeds in Morocco, with this Yamaha with two driving wheels. The principle of this rally is simple: each day the rally traverses a loop which brings back it to its starting point. It is an extremely open ralllye.

The victory of David Frétigné is due to the great facility with which one can control this motor bike with two driving wheels " This motor bike is ideal to roll in sand: the dunes are crossed with a disconcerting facility ".

Where the standard motor bikes are enlisent in sand, the system "2Trac" compensates for the loss of motricity of the back forwards by the intermediary of a hydraulic system which sets in motion an engine located in the front wheel axle. This system is autorégulé: more the aft wheel loses in motricity plus the nose gear wheel is requested.

Result " the dash speed of the WR 450F 2 trac is 10% higher on sandy track still underlines Jean Claude Olivier.

But the victory of David Frétigné was also facilitated by the abandonment of Cyril Despres, at the third day of the test. The French specialist in the rally raid had quite simply forgotten to point during a control of passage. Before its abandonment, Cyril Despres carried out 14 seconds in front of David Frétigné.

The new WR 450F 2Trac will be available as from the 1st quarter 2004 at the price of 12,195 francs.

Thierry Leconte
 
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