200 lb of Russian two-wheeler built to get you anywhere.
Back in 2013, a video surfaced of what was essentially a home-brewed Rokon Trailbreaker built by some Russians. Like Charles Fehn’s 1958 invention, the “Russkie Rokon” featured an all-wheel-drive powertrain, chunky tires that enabled it to float, and was frequently described as “a two-wheeled ATV”. Fast-forward to today and it appears this rugged DIY scoot is now in production.
Dubbed the “Tarus 2X2”, the all-terrain two-wheeler is being produced in a well-equipped factory in Kaluga, Russia. Not unlike the Rokon Trailbreaker, the Tarus employs a chain-driven front wheel, which is reportedly connected to a shaft-drive system hidden beneath the frame. The maker doesn’t dive into the specifics of how it works on the Tarus. Unlike the machine that appeared in 2013, the Tarus 2X2 uses actual off-road tires like the original Rokon instead of the truck inner tubes enclosed in a series of steel chains (think tire chains for cars) of the earlier version.
One pretty nifty feature shared by both the 2013 prototype and the current production model is the off-roader’s ability to be broken down and disassembled into pieces that can be easily stowed away—a process that only takes five minutes. Plus, at only 205-pounds (or 196 lb sans starter, battery, and headlight), the Tarus is pretty easy to both wrestle through the woods, a swamp, or into the boot of a car.
While the Russian protobike's engine was supposedly plucked from a Ural chainsaw, the production machine is now powered by Honda’s 210cc, four-stroke GX-210 engine (or something “like it” according to the firm’s Website). This 7-hp mill allows the Tarus to climb steep inclines (with a running start) and trudge through up to a foot-and-a-half of snow. The machine’s all-terrain nature also allows it to be ridden in a variety of harsh environments, though with a top-speed of just over 20mph, it doesn't go anywhere particularly quickly.
As one would expect, the production version of the military-esque runner is markedly more refined than the home-built prototype, baring more modern bodywork and an overall more polished package. The Tarus 2X2 is currently only available in its native market in Russia, though its maker says it’s actively working towards opening up European and US distribution. According to the company’s website, the 2X2 has a price tag that translates to around $1,700. Now, if only they could get them stateside…