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Handling Differences Between Single & 2WD

Note: This does not include characteristics for the Sportsman model.


Two wheel drive is not to be engaged on dry pavement. Doing so will make turning extremely difficult if not impossible depending on the type surface. Damage to the 2wd drive train is likely to occur.

Engagement of the 2wd is strictly for off-road, gravel, snow, ice or wet slippery surfaces only. There is no differential, when the 2wd is engaged both the rear and sidecar wheel are locked together and turning at the same rate. Turns to the left are easier to make than turns right as it is easier for the sidecar to turn around the motorcycle than the other way around. Using power, the motorcycle can be slid rapidly in a left 180 degree turn on loose/soft ground. A right turn will require a 10' to 15' radius or more depending on type surface. The 2wd drive is meant for extricating or negotiating the motorcycle through or out of low traction environments.

Avoid "flying the chair" while in 2wd. The sidecar wheel contacting the ground while engaged can damage the axle splines or final drive engagement gears. Pulling in the clutch disengages the power to the drive train which will lessen any chance of damage when the wheel again makes contact with the ground.

The normal "pulling" and "drifting" tendencies are reversed while in 2wd also. Normally when in 1wd, application of throttle will cause the rig to "pull" to the right due to the drag of the sidecar wheel. Letting off the throttle will cause the rig to "drift" to the left due to the free wheeling of the sidecar wheel. When the 2wd is engaged the power is now split between the rear and sidecar wheels; approximately 60% of the power now goes to the rear wheel and 40% to the sidecar wheel. This means when you apply throttle there is no longer drag, but acceleration from the sidecar wheel which will "pull" (push) you to the left. When you let off the throttle, you now have more drag since the sidecar wheel is tied to the transmission/engine; and you will "drift" to the right.

Just as you can use the normal "pulling" and "drifting" tendencies to assist you through normal 1wd turns, the same can be done while in 2wd...you just must remember the tendencies are reversed and somewhat amplified while in 2wd. Practice and be careful that the "reverse" pulling and drifting tendencies do not bite you in the keester while riding off-road.


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