If recent Bronco, Blazer, and Land Cruiser prices are any indication, rugged off-road utility is more popular than ever. Want to go one step further, while also cutting the number of wheels in half? Get yourself a Rokon Trail-Breaker. It’s just 2WD, but we can promise that is all you will need to escape into the wilderness.
A Jeep CJ-7 is minimalistic, but the Trail-Breaker makes that tub and four wheels look like the Titanic in a sea of dinghies. Compared to this off-road bike, the Jeep seems downright luxurious. The Rokon has no suspension. Power comes from a minuscule, 136-cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine that's air-cooled. A single, tiny disc brake operates on the front wheel.
Of course, it also has giant tires, along with racks that could carry enough to move a family of four across town. For its two-wheel drive system, a shaft in the frame’s top tube routes power through to the front fork where a chain takes over. The hollow aluminum wheels are sealed and can be used to hold extra water or fuel on your next epic adventure. This svelte 200-pound machine is designed to be as bare-bones as possible, while maximizing off-road capability on two wheels.
Invented in the 1950s by Charlie Fehn, the Trail-Breaker was first known as the Mototractor. That name finely represents the Trail-Breaker’s intentions. It was meant to be a utility vehicle for farmers, hunters, or those working in far-flung areas where a small vehicle needs to get you there and back without drama, every time.
A centrifugal clutch feeds the estimated 10 horsepower to a three-speed transmission. Top speed is a claimed 35 mph, which sounds mighty slow until you consider the massive tires are recommended to run at 5 psi. Not exactly a recipe for spritely handling, but traction is the priority.
Matter of fact, I think I need to pick this one up before the auction closes on Bring a Trailer, if not just to go dominate some Observed Trials events. It seems like the ideal vehicle for weaving around the woods, though that single disc brake could be dicey on anything with the slightest downgrade. The Trail-Breaker is still in production, and the new models have a more robust four-stroke engine and front suspension. Why would you want that stuff though? There’s something to be said for keeping it simple.