You don’t buy a Rokon because you want to impress the masses at Daytona Bike Week. You buy a Rokon because you want your hunt to be as successful as possible and your ATV will only take you so far. Sure, on a logging road or a well worn path that ATV might be more stable. But when the logging road ends and those ATVs have to turn around, you’re free to continue your pursuit on your Rokon.
Compared to a standard dirt bike the Rokon is quiet as hell and stable as a tuned mass damper. And it has something else no dirt bike can touch: all wheel drive. If you’re tired of schlepping your gear on foot through the thicket for mile after mile, and you’ve tried ATVs but found their range limiting and the noise they make unacceptable, a Rokon might be just what the doctor ordered.
With all-wheel drive and a 15” clearance the Rokon confidently pulls you over obstacles that would defeat a normal dirt bike or fat tire electric bike. It will climb a 60 degree hill, leave less of an impression than your boots and, with the ability to tow up to a ton there’s no game you can claim that you can’t get back to your pickup.
Looks, Build, Features
The Rokon hasn’t changed much over the years, and that’s fine. It’s the ultimate case of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. It features a low center of gravity, high ground clearance, small wide tires and a utilitarian frame designed to stand up to abuse, not win awards for its clean lines.
The color scheme of muted earth tones is entirely appropriate and the camo for both the main and pillion seats is effective enough. There’s a vertical guard over the front drive chain to fight off underbrush, and a swingarm holding the front wheel that also fills the gap between front forks and the frame that is the undoing of so many dirt bikes that wander into the backcountry. And let’s not forget the handguards over the grips that keep your digits intact so you can fire when the time comes.
The frame is a utilitarian example of function driving form with aesthetic considerations cast aside. There is no suspension in the rear, which isn’t normally a strong selling point. But in this case it’s not really missed as the bulbous ATV-style tire effectively absorbs almost all bumps and shocks. However, if you think the lack of suspension in the back is going to be a problem for you, you have the option of ordering a sprung seat to ease the pain.
The fuel tank holds 2.69 gallons and you can expect to use about 0.4 gallons per hour. If you’re on a day hunt that might be plenty. But if you’re going on a deep dive into the backcountry you’ll want more gas than that. And sure enough, the Rokon delivers by enabling you to store up to 4.5 gallons of gas in each of the hollow wheel drums. Speaking of the wheel drums, when they’re empty they provide buoyancy that enables you to get the bike across any body of water you can traverse on foot.
Rokon provides a number of accessories that will help make your hunt a lot easier. Primary among them is a single-wheel trailer with a 2,000 pound carrying capacity. Just in case you happen to bag a bull moose. In addition to the moose trailer there’s a hard gun case, ammo storage boxes, and a handlebar-mounted gun rack.
The engine in the Rokon is not going to win you any quarter mile races, unless you’re competing against kids on bicycles. But it’s not meant to be a speed demon. Too much speed, in fact, in the places where you’re likely to wind up with this puppy, could be a dangerous thing anyway. Displacement of the Kohler 4-stroke engine is a pedestrian 208cc and it can be started by way of the magneto ignition or pull start.
You’ll get a rip roaring 7 hp from the engine and a top speed on a flat road with a tail wind of around 35 mph. The 9.1 pound-feet of torque won’t bowl anyone over on paper either, but the Rokon performs above and beyond. On the whole the engine does what it’s supposed to do, gets you where you want to go, is quieter than an ATV or dirt bike and there’s also a spark arrestor on the tailpipe. Because only you can prevent forest fires.
Front and rear wheels receive equal power from the engine and pull with remarkable harmony. And finally, the engine uses an automatic torque converter enabling the transmission to change ratios as the bike accelerates.
Cost is relative in this case. It better be because the Rokon costs the same as a Honda NC700X with its top speed of 135mph. The thing is, you can’t take the NC700X into the backcountry with you and you certainly can’t use it to haul your bull moose out of the woods to your pickup. What you get for your nearly $8,000 in this case is a tool that will enhance the quality of your hunt by easing your physical burden and allowing you to go places you otherwise could not and bag game that might otherwise be outside your comfort zone. Does that make it worth the price? The answer depends entirely on how serious you are about hunting.
The Bottom Line
Built to boldly go where no dirt bike or ATV has gone before the Rokon is the squirrel of motorcycles: compact, tough as nails, quiet and determined. When the ATV is forced to turn back, the Rokon is just getting started. No, it’s not the fastest bike on earth, or the most powerful, nor is it the most attractive. But the way it chews up difficult terrain is a thing of beauty. And by adding just a couple of accessories it’s like having a pack mule along on the hunt with you. If you’re looking for a way to make hunting easier and more enjoyable, here it is. If you’re hoping you’ll be able to pay for it with what’s in your piggy bank, you’re going to be disappointed.