Dueling Rokons: 1968 and 1970 Rokon Trail-Breakers

I probably say this every time we see a Rokon roll through the employee break room here at One Barn Finds Tower: I literally can not believe that I don’t own one. Nice original ones don’t seem to come up for sale that often but now we have two of them to check out. Roger sent in a tip for this 1968 Rokon Trail-Breaker listed here on craigslist for $2,000 in Buckeye, Arizona. I found a nice original 1970 Rokon Trail-Breaker here on eBay in Machias, Maine with a current bid price of $2,300. Let’s check out these dueling Rokons.

The first photo was the original 1970 Rokon MK3 Trail-Breaker and the photo here is the 1968 Rokon which appears to have been repainted at some point. It’s a little rougher and the seller says that it’s fresh out of long-term storage. There’s no word at all about how it runs or even if it runs or not, but the 1970 Rokon runs great according to the seller.

This is again the 1970 Rokon and if it wasn’t for probably $1,000 in shipping from Maine, I would be a serious bidder on this one. It looks fantastic and an all-original-yet-well-maintained vehicle is right in my sweet spot. The three-speed Albion transmission shift lever is seen here: low gear is all the way up – good for around 5-10 mph – then down one for second gear which is good for around 10-15 mph and finally, for a top speed of around 20 mph, push the gear lever all the way down.

Both of these Trail-Breakers are, of course, two-wheel-drive as all Rokons were. That’s like saying that all Subarus are AWD and then someone says, “What about the BRZ? That’s rear-wheel-drive…” So, before anyone jumps in, Rokon did make a rear-wheel-drive dirt bike. And just to make it even more quirky than a 2WD liquid-filled-tire bike, the 340 Automatic was, yes, an automatic. And, it had a Sachs snowmobile engine and basically a snowmobile-type CVT. Ha. I know, I love this company! Dang you, Maine-to-Minnesota shipping charges! I need to get a Rokon asap.

More than a few people blamed the RT1/RTII/MXII 340 Automatic dirt bike experiment for Rokon’s bankruptcy in late-1978, but by 1981 they were back in business doing what they did best, making 2×2 motorcycles for off-road enthusiasts. If you can find a Rokon 340 Automatic today, do not stop, eat, or sleep until you buy it. Or better yet, until you tell me about it. There isn’t much info given about the operating condition of the 1968 Rokon for sale here, but the 1970 Rokon looks like a grand slam to me.

Both of these Mark III Trail-Breakers would have used a Chrysler Power-Bee single-cylinder two-stroke with around 7 or 8 hp. The 1970 Rokon has a new-from-Rokon replacement rear tire and a new rewind. The Rokon must have been one of the ideas behind the Honda Motra of the early-mid-1980s, although that one is only rear-wheel-drive. I wrote about one a couple of years ago and ended up buying one that a commenter mentioned having for sale. I need a Rokon, not want, need. Have any of you owned one?

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    You know, I saw pics of these and seen in ads but I never actually saw one in the flesh until last Tuesday. Wife and I driving from Kalispell to Billings. Drove through Polson (DURING THE DAY) and stopped at the museum there. I was checking out the massive collection of off-road stuff and here was this 2×2. Now I can say I’ve actually seen one. I am impressed. Incidentally the museum itself is worth the visit…

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    • Chevy Guy

      I was born in kalispell Mt! Its a small world, that’s for sure. We lived right off of 3 Mile drive

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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        It IS a small world. The Flathead Valley has been my playground for most of my life. We hang out in Hungry Horse and are seriously considering a semi permanent move there. Probably within the next year…

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  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    Not to burst any bubbles here but you couldn’t give me that tank. Even a vintage TRIAlLS bike not TRAIL bike could ride circles around one of these. and you wouldn’t need to be followed around by a crane to pic it up when it fell over. If you don’t believe about trials bikes just YouTube Adam Raga one of the top trials rides in Spain, then you’ll understand what a truly capable bike looks like. Not anything like this beached walrus.

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    • Dave Mazz

      Comparing the Rokon Trailbraker to a competition “trials bike” (as in ‘observed trials’) misses the concept of the Rokon by a very wide mile. “Charles Fehn designed this bike as a utility vehicle with serious, if slow, off-road capabilities, and his bikes became popular with hunters and farmers as something of a mule.” It was never intended to be lofted over tree trunks and huge boulders, in a timed competition against other riders. The Rokon was designed to transport a person, (a farmer, hunter, prospector, timber cruiser, etc ), and his gear through the back country, and it did, and still does, this pretty well. As for those gas-filled wheels…I would guess they are about as “safe” as a 5-gallon gas can bouncing along just behind one’s butt. Also, I think the Rokon Trailbreake is still in production, so *some* people must find them useful.

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    • 347Mustang

      Yours would not float across a deep stream like the Rokon could, made for two completely different things. Like comparing a stock Jeep to a Trophy truck. Yours won’t go through really deep mud either as good as the Rokon can. Very different goals for each.

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  3. Stangalang

    I’d love to have one on the back 40..good Lord !! Then again I’d probably injure myself.lol

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  4. Rube Goldberg

    Got to agree with Mark, there are much better ways to get back in the woods. I think those hollow rims were for extra gasoline storage. I always wondered how you get it out of there, not that I want to ride on 2 gas bombs for tires anyway. These are heavy, slow, quirky front drive, you’ll be picking this thing up off the ground more than once. I remember an episode of Pawn Stars, Rick buys one of these, because, like Scotty, he always wanted one, had this Rick Dale restore it, had a ton of money in it, and was totally disappointed riding it when done. I’d almost take a Honda 3 wheeler over this, and that’s saying something.

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  5. Doug B

    Canadain I have no idea what a TRIAILS bike is but comparing it to this bike leaves me…..well……completely confused. especially if you meant a trials bike. At least it has a seat. bahahaha
    Yes, the hollow rims did indeed store gas. In that regard I’d rather drive a Pinto.

    2
    • Rube Goldberg

      A trials bike is a very short, skinny bike, geared so low, it can climb over trees and boulders. It’s a competition where a rugged course is laid out, and the riders are judged how well they do. You get points deducted for stuff like wiping out, or putting your foot down. I had a TY 250 just like this,it was a really fun bike. For years, Bultaco made the best trials bikes.
      https://carpyscaferacers.com/yamaha-1974-ty-250-trials-bike-for-sale/

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  6. SCOTT

    If you want to compare the Rokon to a Trails bike (not sure why you would) you would need to strap a 100lb moose QT on the back of both and see how nimble and well balanced the trails bike is then. Oh theres no front or back rack. To different bikes designed for very different purposes. Neither one will do what the other was designed for.

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Well said. It’s comparing apples to oranges. The way I see it.

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    • canadainmarkseh Member

      The reason for the comparison was to demonstrate just how lame this hunk of junk really is. It shouldn’t be called a trail breaker it should be called a nut breaker with it’s no suspension, just about any other off road bike is superior, enduros, cross country, motocross, this tank would best serve as a boat an anchor. That is the point. Scotty if you want one nows your chance, but before you buy one take a ride on a ty Yamaha or a Bultaco or a Montesa or a Ossa MAR. These are all vintage trials bikes with seat. Yes the new ones don’t have a seat but you don’t need a seat when you ride standing up. Oh and if I was going moose hunting it would be with a side by side quad. You would not be able to keep this Rokon cotraption upright with a 1/4 moose on it.

      1
      • Rube Goldberg

        Well, it’s not that bad, I think it would be a lot of fun. The tires are the suspension. I have heard of people disconnecting the front drive, with better results, it’s a complicated setup and if I remember, the gearing front and back is a bit different to compensate for steering quirks. I think you are a bit off for what these are intended for, and a trials bike, or any enduro type, is not what the maker claims to be. You may be selling this short, I think they still make them, so got to be something to it.

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    • Louis Robinson

      I agree I have a Rokon and i use it for hauling deer and elk out of the woods and also for moving big trees out of the woods for fire wood by using a log chain .now try that with a trail bike i would like to see that .

  7. Catie H

    My husband had one of these in the early 90s. Just because he could, he rode it off-road one evening to visit friends about 1/4 mile away. It was a slow ride with him, myself and our 6 and 4 year-year-old sons on board. When we got there he rode it up the steps onto their deck with us still aboard. We all still laugh about it. I won’t show this to him because he might get ideas about adventures with the grandchildren, lol. Thanks for the memory.

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