The Christini AWD KTM 450 XCW is built to turn your average Zero into a Hero with its special blend of All-Wheel-Drive and sleek, bold lines. Our unique AWD system will give you the confidence to conquer the toughest terrain, and look good doing it, which is sure to draw the attention from the ladies in the crowd.** Results not typical. Very few women are actually present at any motorcycle events.Christini Technologies Inc. started with the solid platform and frame geometry provided by KTM Motorcycles with their advanced 450 XCW. Throw on an FMF Exhaust system to amp up the horsepower and a Christini AWD Conversion kit, and you have an ultimate performance bike. The limited-slip AWD system provides increased traction and stability in all aspects of riding. Its improved cornering and climbing abilities in conjunction with a Rekluse auto clutch and Maxxis SI tires allows the rider to hook up in any terrain and finally get all the power to the ground. The suspension duties were handled by the experts at Factory Connection to compliment the drive system’s unique needs and action. The result is a machine that handles well and will go anywhere the rider points the front wheel. Add trick Carbon/Kevlar by P3, Enduro Engineering Handguards, Fastway F6 pegs, Custom Graphics by PG, Cycra Powerflow plastics, and custom Christini guards by Bulletproof Designs and you have a motorcycle that looks as good as it performs.Parts and modifications:Christini Technologies Inc.: www.christini.com; 215.351.9895
KTM four-stroke AWD conversion kit: $3995Rekluse Motorsports: www.rekluse.com; 866.REKLUSE
Z-start Pro clutch: $629
Rekluse billet clutch cover: $139FMF Racing: www.fmfracing.com; 310.631.4FMF(4363)
Q4 muffler: $359.99
PowerBomb header: $299.99Factory Connection: www.factoryconnection.com; 866.220.1151
Suspension Mods: NAMaxxis International-USA: www.maxxis.com; 770.962.5932
M7311 Maxxcross SI front: $80.95
M7312 Maxxcross SI rear: $94.95Enduro Engineering: www.enduroeng.com; 517.393.2421
Evolution black Debris Deflectors w/Evolution Clamps: $67.95
Evolution black plastic Roost Deflectors: $24.95P3 Pirie Performance Products: www.pirieperfprod.com; 609.377.5571
Mike Lafferty signature Carbon/Kevlar skid plate: $164.95
4-stroke Carbon/Kevlar boot guard: $95.95
4-stroke Carbon/Kevlar heat shield: $102.95ProMoto Billet/Fastway Performance: www.promotobillet.com; 866.466.4762
Fastway F6 footpegs: $129.95
Fastway F5 footpeg cleats: $22.95
Fastway KTM billet chain blocks: $49.95BulletProof Designs: www.bulletproofdesigns.com; 816.695.3784
Custom Christini radiator guards: $225.00
Custom Christini rear disc guard: $94.00
Custom Christini swingarm guard: $50.00Powersport Graphx: www.ridepg.com; 800.903.6764
Custom Christini KTM graphics kit: $130.95Dirt Rider Post Torture EvaluationThe best all-around bike because:
The Christini KTM has that magical all-wheel drive to get you out of the nastiest trail messes on the planet. It carves through drifted snow, claws through hideous mud and laughs off rocky, rooty stair steps. You love technology and owning something very different.Not the best all-around bike because:
The basic goodness of the AWD platform is diluted and disguised with too many changes to a great basic package, and not enough human engineering combined with a little too much weight for our test conditions.
Dirt Rider Says
If you are talking exotic, it doesn’t get much more so than a KTM Christini. At this point you are more likely to run into a guy riding an Aprilia twin in the dirt than you are to see another guy two-wheel-roostin’ on a KTM Christini. Based on sheer exclusivity, I was looking forward to the Christini 450 XCW AWD.When DR explained the selection of the six final Torture Test bikes that we kept for extended testing, Jimmy Lewis mentioned how critical small things were when you have as many great bikes to test as we did. KTM makes a no-nonsense bike that is carefully packed with off-road goodness, and there is not a bunch of room to add even a radiator overflow catch tank, let alone a complete AWD system. Nevertheless, Christini has the unit integrated into the KTM platform very well, but the transition is not without sacrifices.A stock XCW is the lightest bike in the class, and the Christini was the heaviest bikes we tested. The stocker is slim with an unobtrusive fuel tank, but the Christini is wide enough at the tank to bother some riders. Then the builders added an auto-clutch, lower, moved rearward pegs, Maxxis tires, an exhaust system and a different seat. There were a lot of mods to process. Many of the parts of the bike competed with the AWD for attention.The weight and ergonomic issues would in no way have torpedoed the bike out of the top six. The AWD is so amazing in real nasty and slippery conditions that we would have forgiven both drawbacks.But other bikes in the test were not confused at all, and had every mod aimed directly at a tangible final goal. Usually the company was replicating or even borrowing the bike of a successful racer, and in most cases, those bikes work amazingly well as a complete package.Christini’s offering felt like a project bike where a list of products were identified as desirable, and they were all included without much testing or tuning to work with the whole concept. The AWD on/off lever is mounted prominently on the bar to ease access, and the addition of handguards put a further squeeze on control room. The result was a clutch lever that was not usable, and the final gearing and chassis set-up was not finessed enough to allow race pace without employing the clutch lever to bolster the Rekluse. The gearing and lever location led to stalling, and overheating of the bike until it was steaming. Our experience with the 450 XCW is that boiling the bike over means you are making it work too hard.This bike does not alter our opinion of the Christini system, but suffered from what we suspect is a lack of testing, or a committee approach to testing this particular bike. A few days of dialing in would have really helped, but other machines arrived primed for battle, and they won the day.Opinions
I liked this bike as a survival trail bike for when conditions are really gnarly, but not as a performance off-road bike. I just moved from a KTM 525 to a KTM 300 XC to get lighter, so the weight of the Christini is a turn-off for me. The great thing about this bike is the confidence the bike gives you that you can go anywhere and handle anything ugly the trail throws at you. It is unbeatable when there are roots or rock stair-steps. I’ve ridden with guys that would be transformed by this bike, but it isn’t what I’m looking for.
Don Kelley 5’11″/195 lb./B riderI’ve always loved Christini’s I think they did a great job making a two-wheel drive bike perform. With that said, the Christini was a bit of a hassle for this test. The automatic clutch was fried, which I think set the whole bike off, if it was the OEM clutch I think my review would be different. The bike was hard to control on the single track, and wasn’t enjoyable because the amount of work you physically had to do to keep the bike sane. KTM’s 450 power is always great, and it being two-wheel drive actually took out some of the torque I didn’t enjoy on the stock 450. The front end felt really heavy which pushed me through most corners and made the bike’s all-around handling weak. The Christini has great potential, but it wasn’t set up for the conditions of the course.
Chris Dvoracek 6′/170 lb./ExpertI really was not fond of the extra weight of the AWD. It felt so heavy and sluggish. So many times I wanted to just blip the throttle and bring the front wheel up and over obstacles, but the extra weight made it more difficult to do. The whole experience was worsened by the fact that it was equipped with an auto clutch. Maybe I’m a little old school, but isn’t working the clutch part of riding a dirt bike?
Dana BergChristini’s KTM 450 was a bike that I really wanted to like, but it was simply too much of a good thing (in both weight and complexity). I think the AWD and the Rekluse have their place, but they place quite a burden on the motor, and it was constantly blowing steam in anything even remotely tight, and the AWD really changes the way the bike handles. I can see where in slimey, slippery, vertical climbs this thing would be the bomb, but for most of my riding I prefer the lighter weight and simpler maintenance routine. A lot of guys I race against in the AMRA (Arizona hare scrambles consisting mostly of fast single-track) use the Rekluse to pretty good effect, but I prefer the control and feel of a standard clutch.
Nate Evans: 6’1″/215 lb./Vet A
If I was trying to sell an AWD bike I would have done half of what Christini did. I would have added it to a great stock package like the KTM 450. I wouldn’t have confused the AWD issue with other parts that draw attention from the key feature: The front wheel doesn’t get stuck. Instead we had auto-clutch, lowered footpegs and other mods. What Christini didn’t have was a talented pro racer to dial the controls in. That would have helped a ton. As it was, this bike felt confused, steamy and heavy. I know to expect better from a Christini.
Karel Kramer: 6’1″/225 lb./ B riderThe Rekluse clutch saved this bike on this extreme test and it made the AWD easy to use, gas it and the bike pulls you where you need to go, especially helpful in the rocks and on the walls. Otherwise I could feel the weight, but not as much as I thought. The less aggressive ratio for the front wheel drive than what I’m use to make it easy to be too aggressive and not get the feedback the AWD bikes can give. This whole bike as a package just needs a polish.-Jimmy Lewis on extreme test.As you probably already know, I rode this sucker on the Moto test. And let me tell you, when you go back to back with a non-Christini bike a few things stand out. One is the weight in the front end. It’s a little unnerving when you expect to feel the lightness of a converted motocross bike underneath you. But it doesn’t negatively affect the handling as much as you’d think. In fact, besides flick-ability in the air, the bike is clearly more planted almost everywhere on the track. The best part is in the sand! Christini bikes are point-and-shoot models in sandy turns. They’re so cool because you can ignore sand berms and literally go where you want. The front end will pull you through. I didn’t like the rekluse on this (nor do I prefer them on any motocross tracks, really). Maybe I need to use my clutch to sound fast, I don’t know, but I’d rather have plain clutch action on the track. -Jesse Ziegler on Moto TestEditor’s Note
This year’s Dirt Rider Torture Test was set it up like a screening for a reality TV show: Bring what you have and prepare for whatever happens. The idea was to show up at the Torture Test with the best all-around, one-bike-does-it-all off-road dirt bike, with no guidelines or requirements from our side. It was wide open, but everyone knew going in that it would be tough to make the cut to get into the final group of bikes you see in the magazine. Of course, they didn’t all make it to the pages of Dirt Rider. Some missed out ever so slightly, some by a longer ways. This is a full test of one of the bikes that missed the final cut. The competition was tough but lurking in this field of bikes you can likely find an example of the perfect bike that fits your needs, or learn what other riders or people in the industry think is the best bike in the whole world. For the people and companies that built each of these bikes, it was the best bike they could deliver.-Jimmy Lewis, Editor Dirt Rider Magazine