Small paths in the forest, rushy banks, snow and mud are not a barrier to a cross-country motorcycle designed by the Moscow engineers. In outward appearance, it does resemble a motorcycle, but both wheels have been replaced by small chain tracks. The authors have managed to combine in this machine the small weight and compactness of light motorcycles with high passability, universality and unpretentiousness of a caterpillar mover. Capabilities of a new vehicle were described by its creators at the latest “Archimedes-2008” exhibition of inventions and innovations in the Moscow Exhibition Center in Sokolniki.
“We have applied several original technical solutions to the cross-country vehicle construction both in terms of general setup and in the construction of the caterpillar track and the suspension bracket. These allowed to achieve compactness, simplicity and reliability of the cross-country motorcycle, explains Eduard Geraschenko, one of the authors of the development. And application of aluminum alloys enabled to make the cross-country vehicle light in weight – its weight is only about one hundred kilograms, like a lightweight motorcycle or a scooter. Besides, it is easy and comfortable in driving, which allows to maneuver off-the-road without difficulty.”
Evidently, a caterpillar track ensures good traction and cross-country ability as a propulsor and a front support (the back caterpillar track is the driving, control one). As compared to wheels, chain tracks allow to significantly reduce pressure on the soil in general. So, the cross-road vehicle can be used all year round – it would be able to go over badly supporting and even waterlogged soil, over mud and snow, including fresh, porous, but still not very deep snow (no more than knee-deep). Finally, the cross-country motorcycle has one more advantage as compared to ordinary motorcycles – it “holds the soil” well and is not disposed to turnover, even in the mountainous or hilly locations.
Of course, the novelty yields to the real “kings of the road” in speed. A cross-country vehicle is not a Harley Davidson, it can only gather speed of 40-45 kilometers per hour at the most. Besides, its fuel distance is not large –150-170 kilometers over a good road, but off-the-road – it is 60 kilometers at most. But, no other vehicle would drive there at all. By the way, the authors have provided for various setup options for different conditions. For example, when driving over snow crust snow, the front caterpillar track can be replaced by a ski to increase speed, but if it is necessary to make the way through deep porous snow, it’s better to replace the ordinary back caterpillar track by a special elongated one.
Who may need such a cross-country vehicle? Perhaps, many people. According to the authors’ idea, the main consumers will be forestry specialists, hunters and probably enthusiasts of traveling far from civilization and generally from roads. So far, the patent application has been filed and a preproduction prototype is in place. Nevertheless, the prototype operates excellently. In the most extreme conditions, the new development has fully justified a proud title of a cross-country vehicle. Good luck on the roads and off-the-roads!