The Torture Test - 2009 Kawasaki KX450F All Wheel Drive, Christini Project Bike - Dirt Rider Magazine

About the bike:
Kawasaki KX450F
The all-new 2009 EFI KX450 is a great platform for any off-road competitive project. By utilizing the optional KX FI Calibration Kit, customers can change the power characteristics of the KX450 to match their ability and riding style by manipulating the stock fuel injection system. Merging the Christini AWD frame kit with the KX450 produces an ideal combination for the customer who truly "wants it all." This unique, breakthrough partnership of two dynamic products will allow riders to conquer the toughest of trails and reach new heights. Literally!Christini All Wheel Drive System 215-351-9895Christini's patented mechanical All Wheel Drive system delivers power from the motorcycle transmission to the front wheel through a series of chains and shafts. There is no energy-robbing hydraulics involved.The lightweight all-mechanical system works similar to that of AWD systems found on four wheeled vehicles. The AWD system (powering the front wheel) is driven at a slightly lower rate than the rear wheel (approximately 80%). Under optimum traction conditions, the rear wheel is actually driving faster than the front AWD system. One-way clutches within the front hub allow the front wheel to freewheel under these conditions. At this point, the AWD system is effectively passive. Though the front AWD system is turning, it is not actually transferring power to the front wheel. When the rear wheel loses traction, the drive ratio, relative to your forward speed, changes. The AWD system engages, transferring power to the front wheel until traction is reestablished at the rear wheel.An added benefit of AWD is that the front wheel does not want to wash out. When a front end tucks, the wheel stalls, stops turning, and begins to push. With the AWD system, as soon as the wheel begins to stall, power is delivered to the front wheel, forcing it to turn. With the front wheel under power, it is nearly impossible to wash out the front end Christini AWD Frame kit: MSRP $3995Includes:
* Modified Frame
* Modified Forks
* Custom Fuel Tank *(Test bike had custom carbon tank)
* Custom Talon AWD Hub
* Complete AWD System with Engagement Switch
* CNC Triple Clamps
* Fork GuardsRenthal (661) 257 2986
Twinwall handlebar, bend #996
Half Waffle, dual compound gripsYoshimura (909) 628-4722
Pro series, Titanium/Titanium RS-2 Full System- MSRP $ 845
* 99 decibelsBridgestone
Front Tire- M403 90 / 100- 21" Check your local retailer for pricing
Rear Tire- M404 120 / 90- 19" Check your local retailer for pricingDirt Rider Post Torture Evaluation****This is the best bike because:
It reeks of innovation. Can you imagine having an AWD motorcycle? That in itself is an incredible example of how advanced Christini machinery is. How about an AWD off-road dirt bike that is one of the best motocross bikes ever made? And how about it being fuel injected to boot? Sound like a dream or some far-fetched future wish? Well, it isn't. It's reality. And Christini built this sucker by hand!This is not the best bike because:
Missing attributes such as hand guards, electric starting, a kickstand, comfortable seat, smooth power and larger-than-motocross-track fuel capacity will always keep modified MX bikes out of the top spot in tests like these. It's rare to see one perform up front in the Torture Test against more well-rounded all-purpose bikes. This bike doesn't win the overall, but the fact that Christini built a complete AWD system for this potent bike in a couple weeks is pretty crazy. Of course, all this comes at a cost and the price for an AWD bike is still pretty high.

It's virtually impossible to get the Christini KXF sideways at the exit of a corner. You'll be going straighter, faster after every turn.

Dirt Rider SaysWe've had our fair share of experience with Christini's AWD system on a wide range of off road dirt bike brands and models. Truly an off-road advantage for the nasty and gnarly stuff, the Christini system was set to put an extreme slant on Kawasaki's potent KX450F motocrosser. The combination is a unique one and something we were more than excited to try out.Clearly, the most important aspect you need to know about this bike is the incredible traction. How awesome was it? Well, in our radar tests the Kawasaki/Christini holeshot everything to 60 feet. It beat two-stroke screamers and bigger-bore thumpers easily. Its grip is that much greater when the wheels are spinning.More traction is always good and it goes without saying that if you're gripping, you're likely ripping. On the KX450F this grip was noticed most in, not surprisingly, the hardest and most technical sections of the course. The front drive system proved impressive on corner exits and over nasty bumps as well. With the front end drive, a motorcycle is unbelievable straight-line stable. This is most true under the sway and swing of hard acceleration. Where other, snappy bikes break traction and slide, the Christini-equipped KXF would claw and straighten up from the front. Steering feel is highly affected in the initial steps of a turn, but most testers accepted the awkwardness for so much fun on the exit.The power of the Kawasaki 450 is not debatable. It makes a ton and delivers it with authority. The Christini complimented this in our tests by mellowing the expulsion of ponies down and delivery a more-rideable off-road mount for our trail sections. Unfortunately, the rest of the KXF's motocross running gear was retained and the tall gearing led to more stalls and tired clutch hands. The Christini KX450F required a lot of maintenance on the trail to show good manners. Our faster, more rambunctious riders (usually the guys spinning out of corners and ending up off-trail at some point) liked the power delivery and were complaint-less. But the majority speaks in these tests and most riders wanted a shorter first gear (at least), a smoother clutch pull, less stalling, easier kick-starting, smoother power delivery-basically a more off-road worthy bike. Even hand guards would have helped a lot. Maybe the KLX would have been the ideal place to start (in our minds, at least).The Christini system-no matter what bike it's on-is a work of art to behold and a great experience to ride. And did we mention the crazy fools that made this beast built it from scratch in about three weeks? That's pretty amazing. We were flattered they'd give us the first shot at testing their system on the KXF. It didn't stand up to the best all-around bikes out there, but we'd love to rock this at some local motocross races and see how many holeshots we could rack up!Opinions:This bike could be really good, but it would take me more than a lap to get used to it and take full advantage of the strengths. Having this much traction in the front end is really nice climbing hills and rocks, but cornering was difficult for me. I like to feel a little more loose feeling up front. Straight-line stability was great, but the steering felt heavy to me. Motor was another one that worked best when short-shifted, but it did have a torquey feeling across the power spread.
-Kris KeeferChristini/Kawasaki AWD-Stalled because it was geared too high and I had a tough time with the clutch. This bike could have been really good in here and I could feel the AWD working but I couldn't get confident to let the bike go.
--Jimmy Lewis on the Extreme TestThe KX450 Christini felt very heavy and has too much power for the trails. It has a high center of gravity feeling as well. The Motocross brakes work well and the power is great on the track but the AWD takes a little getting used to. I felt like the weight of the system made the bike's suspension much softer at higher speeds.
-Clint CastleberryThe suspension on this bike is perfect for moto and trails for me. The power delivery is a bit too much for the trails but the AWD mellows it out to an acceptable level. The Christini system really pulls you through bumps and turns and keeps you going straight. The clutch pull was heavy though.
-Tyler RuizThis bike delivered strong power although the gearing was tall for tight trails-it was perfect for the motocross track, though. The suspension was setup plush and worked well all around. The AWD is great on the trails and the track-it pulls the bike out of turns and up hills and I didn't feel a major affect in the air off of jumps. It also pulls straight through bumps and keeps the bike in control on acceleration. I'm missing the electric start and this bike doesn't necessarily kick-start easily.
-Chris BarrettIf it weren't for the fact that this bike rails at the track it'd be my last pick. It's not a very trail-savvy bike. It had no creature comforts such as hand guards-a must on the trails. It did pull well through the corners though and man 'o man! She has a bite!
-Ryan Hanna****Editor'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