If you’re a long-time reader of On Target, you’ll know we’re no strangers to the ROKON brand. Back in 2002 we covered both the Scout and Trailbreaker models in detail. In fact, we staff members still own these bikes, and with a little routine maintenance, they’re still taking us places today that no wheeled-vehicle has ever gone before. That was eons ago in the powersports world, however, and there have been some significant improvements in the ROKON design since then. To see how the new bikes stacked up against our old steeds, we got in touch with Tom Blais to get our hands one of their top-of-the-line models—the new olive-drab-green Mototractor.
As far as the bones are concerned, the new crop of ROKONs are not that dissimilar from their predecessors. Their basic construction lends itself to basic, fix-it-yourself reliability out in the field . . . something we’ve always appreciated about these bikes. We can confidently say that all of the major advancements since our 2002-vintage bikes have been for the better, however, and all are present on the 2017 Mototractor model. Among the notable changes in the new lineup are Magura hydraulic brakes vs. the old cable style, a new 208cc, 7-horsepower four-stroke/fan cooled engine vs. the old 6-horsepower Kohler mill, keyed electric start with a pull-start backup vs. pull-start only, and the new AutoGrab front suspension system vs. no suspension at all.
Largely due to its monstrous 24×33-inch cargo rack, the Mototractor model was added to the line as a “truck-like” workhorse for trail maintenance, work around the farm, etc., but that same rack just happens to lend itself extremely well to hunting and backcountry exploration. We were amazed at the amount of gear that could be loaded onto and strapped down to this rack without adversely effecting ride quality or handling. Climbing treestand? No problem. A rifle and hunting pack? Yep, with room to spare. A medium-sized whitetail deer? Well, we haven’t tried it yet, but with some creative “packaging”, we’re pretty sure it’s doable.
Moving to the front, the Mototractor comes from the factory with plastic-shrouded aluminum handguards, which—if you use these bikes the way they are intended to be used—will get employed on a very frequent basis. Another component unique to the Mototractor model is their spring-equipped Retro Seat. Adjustable fore and aft for different sized riders, we grew to appreciate this seat’s profile and built-in spring suspension over rough terrain, and much prefer it to the standard foam-padded seat on the other models.