New SOF dirt bike emerges

In the last year or so it seems that Special Operations Forces are finally parting ways with the conventional military by getting away from cumbersome armored systems and moving back towards gear and equipment that emphasis light weight and maneuverability.

From Christini.com:

All Wheel Drive has been proven to substantially enhance performance of off-road motorcycles even under the most demanding conditions. You can easily conquer the gnarliest hills, ruts, mud, roots, and logs that would cause havoc on a conventional motorcycle. The Christini AWD system also dramatically improves cornering and straight-line stability on all surfaces. The AWD system makes the motorcycle noticeably easier to ride and substantially reduces rider fatigue, allowing you to ride faster for longer periods of time. The AWD system can be turned on and off with a simple flip of the engagement switch. The mechanical Christini AWD system provides distinct advantages without compromising the performance of the motorcycle. Power that would otherwise be lost due to wheel spin is transferred immediately to the front wheel. The system adds just 15 lbs additional weight and has a power loss of less than 1/10th hp.

The Christini AWD system has been extensively race tested and has a proven track record of reliability in World Enduro, GNCC, Endurocross, Red Bull Last Man Standing, and Hare scrambles. The system is easily maintained and does not require any special tools.

Although the tactical employment of these vehicles cannot be revealed at this point due to OPSEC considerations, it is known that this dirt bike has garnered high phrase in several Special Operations units. It isn’t difficult to see why, the Christini system appears robust, rugged, and easy to repair in austere environments, in other words, perfect for unconventional military units.

Kit Up! contributor Jack Murphy is a former Ranger and Special Forces Soldier and is the author of the military thriller Reflexive Fire.

  • Feral Jundi

    Wow. Great post Jack and this is the first I have ever heard of Christini stuff being popular with SF. But after reading the description, it makes sense.

  • reflexivefire

    Thanks Feral. Supposedly the boys are really taking to this bike overseas.

  • eric

    I thought they rocked the KLR 650’s?
    What model Honda is that?

    • reflexivefire

      Honestly, I don’t know Eric. I believe this is a joint program between Christini and Honda but I’m trying to develop additional details. If we have any dirt bike experts reading maybe they can help fill in the blanks.

  • eric

    Maybe a CRF450R or CRF450X…..?

    • Johnny Darko

      Good eye, it definitely looks like a CRF model. I think it is the 450R model.

      • Johnny Darko

        Now that I look at it closer it could even be a 250 series engine, looks a little small to be a 450 but hey hopefully someone that knows for sure can chime in.

  • Dropcrate.com

    I won’t be able to believe it until is see the bike in multicam. Then I will know it’s a legit SF vehicle. Lol

    • reflexivefire

      Stay tuned…

  • rydermike

    It will never make into the US arsenal until it can burn diesel. I would suspect NATO prefers same these days.

  • Talon

    I see a month long field training exercise for the SF guys to “learn the ins and outs” of their new vehicles. =]

    • reflexivefire

      Hey, now! We call it “mobility” training!

      • Talon

        My bad!

  • Nick

    its definately a spin of a CRF450X (maybe even higher displacement, although i dont know why they would need it). and the CRF450X (CAN) burn diesel with some modifications (just like diesel engines can run bio-diesel). It wont be cheap to convert them, but, is anything really ‘cheap’ in the SF community anyways? very cool idea, however, ditching a bike worth $10,000 (with minimal upgrades) would not look good in an AAR. I dont see this going *real* far…

  • eric

    I cant see anyone converting a gas engine to diesel. It’s not practical.
    Diesel’s run around 20-1 compression and do not use spark plugs.
    I can see small amounts of diesel being added to gasoline to “stretch” it if needed, but I dont see an actual conversion being usable in the real world.
    Most diesel engines can run bio diesel because it’s flash point, BTU content and basic characteristics etc is very similar to dino diesel.
    My diesel pickup truck has a “multi fuel” engine. Diesel #1, #2, Kerosene #1, #2 some jet fuels are also acceptable. (I dont remember exactly, JP-4 or JP-8?)
    I’ve been a mechanic for 40 years, so I can speak from experience on this subject.

  • Johnny Darko

    I just don’t see the front wheel being able to get traction with no weight on it. But what can these do that a 4wheeler couldn’t? Other than being about half the width.

    • Bhu

      The Aussies carry their motorbikes on Land Rovers. Bikes can also be carried in blackhawk

  • tom

    So where can we get one? Oh and i belive the army rangers use a bike called the KT125.

  • CCCP 4 EVER

    The Russians have been using a all wheel bike for years…..Check out the Ural bikes….The Germans stole the idea off the Russians, and now the US is stealing it too!

  • Jack

    I’m pretty sure sof have been using dirt bikes and atvs for a while now but don’t hold me to that

  • TTe

    I’ve read story of Yamaha WR450F 2TRAC years ago but this Christini bike not looks alike in the transmission system. I wonder whether they use the similar system or not? . As I remembers, some other bike from Austria use the same hudraulic front transmission as the Yamaha. Sadly it’s been invented for years but the brand owner didn’t want to sell in mass.

  • BKB

    HOLY SHIT!! TOTAL OPSEC VIOLATION….DOES CHUCK NORRIS KNOW YOU PUT HIS BIKE ON THE NET??
    (well at least you took the rocket boosters and missle launchers off before you shot the photo)

  • Aspiring CCT

    Umm, haven’t Combat Controllers used mini dirt bikes for years now?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000057877264 Vince Rossi

    I think you meant to write “high praise”. Not “high phrase”. Other than that… good article… GREAT bike!

  • Bill Johnson

    Can someone with more knowledge confirm? I thought they’d been using ROKON bikes for 20+ years. Original 2 Wheel drive motorcycle.

  • reflexivefire

    Whoops…good catch Vince!

  • Trevor

    It is a crf250x model

  • Trevor

    It’s a crf250x model

  • TDBerger

    Have you ever seen the “Rokon Ranger” bike? It’s also all wheel drive. Go to Rokon.com andcheck it out.

  • Riceball

    I was about to make a Chuck Norris/Delta Force remark but you beat me to it. Good to see that somebody else remembers that movie.

    • Jack Badelaire

      I put the youtube link to the relevant part of Delta Force up over on the RF blog. Priceless…

  • Timmer!!

    Another book pusher spitting out old news, dirt bikes and atv have been used for so long. Also what’s up with the all black bike and the RED seat?????, Kinda like a target. At least show a photo that is more realistic.

  • Indianmedicine

    This isn’t a new concept, Gen. Patton II, when Commandant of The Armor School pioneered “Sand Rails”.”Moto Cross” for Armor/Cav Scouts. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    The vehicle is just that, to get from point to point. The Pre-Deployment Training is necessary, because “depth perception” is quite different OFF Road then Street regardless of the vehicle you drive- but more pronounced on Two Wheel vehicles. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Maintaining “Situational Awarness” is a must beside vehicle control, ergo “Block Of Instruction” it must be included. (Compare LE Motor Officer Academy compared to DMV Standards – Big Difference)

  • brian

    We used bikes in Force Recon. You had to go through a training course as you would any other SOF equipment (i.e dune buggies, any all terrain vehicles, etc..). It was hard as hell riding those bikes through sand, but fun!!

  • CavScout62

    What a crock of s**t! Never work. I’ve been riding for over 40 years and this is just so much bovine excrement. Typical govt. attitude, fix it, it’s not broken! BTW it’s an Military only XR 450. And yes, we are still riding KLR 650’s as they are the best “Adventure Tourers” available although BMW is making some headway in that market with thier new 650 & 800 class bikes.
    SBFP2012!

    • GT6

      Mmm….nope, that’s a CRF450 flavor. No such thing as an XR450. …

      But I too, don’t think this is going to wind up being workable, not enough benefits for the maintenance headaches.

  • galloglas

    Dirt bikes tend to make the main focus of the rider being riding without wrecking. How does this work when your being hunted or shot at?
    I believe I saw some taliban dirt bikes get waxed good and proper by a squad of regular Army in the kill team videos.
    Of course a Man’s gotta do what a Man’s gotta do I guess.

  • BSHAFT

    that’s a KTM

  • CruisingTroll

    Wrong. The Ural was a direct copy of the BMW-R71, i.e., the Russians stole it from the Germans shortly before the two totalitarian regimes went at it.

    The Christini is a 450, and their technology uses chains and shafts to transmit the power, not hydraulics.

    Details here: http://christini.com/awd-technology.php

    There is also a 300cc model, but it’s unlikely that the SOF would use it, since the Gas Gas engines are basically competition engines, i.e. high maintenance.

  • blight

    In the long term, we need to redesign our light mobility vehicles so that they can be directed and balance without the use of the hands. You can probably fight better from horseback than you can shoot from a dirt bike. It’s worth something to DARPA to give it a try.

    Or, go with the German sidecar approach, but those aren’t great offroad.

  • tim

    with a honda seat?? not likely. i would say crf450r. the 450x didnt have kick start and i dont think the xr650r is useing that frame. i have seen a 450r prototype that christini had but it was several years ago.

  • http://www.Christini.com Steve

    It is a CHRISTINi AWD 450 that will go into service. The bike in the picture is a 250 and has gone through 3 years of testing. We will launch this bike to the public later this year. Made in the US with US VIN and MSO. We also have bikes with over 15,000 miles (AWD Adventure bikes) with no additional maintenance. More information will be available in late September.

  • Matthew

    I worked for a Kawasaki dealer near Clarksville, Tn, back in the late1970s/early 1980s who sold spare parts to the 101st Abn Div for the KLR250s their Cav scouts were riding.

    Rokons are dog slow. Great for plodding but these guys often need to haul keester, and I doubt a Rokon wouold go that fast even if you threw it out of an airplane.

    And AWD is a joke. If there were any point, the racers would have been doing it 50 years ago.

  • corey

    Can I have the dirt bike for free. How much is the dirt bike. Ti is pretty cool

  • corey

    IF you dsied if you want to give me . Send it to alex work

  • Rory

    woudn’t that be the way to go!

  • kevin

    Thats a 2008 or 2009 crf450x, Christini uses honda frames and engines.

  • Trey Davis

    Do we really need a bike?? What we need is things that can go in unnoticable and wont be seen, but can also carry alot of weight without being loud.

  • H&R

    We really dont need 2 wheeled bikes unless its a tight undercover mission..