This is the Dryvtech 2x2x2 Experimental, a motorcycle designed and built by Ian Drysdale as a test bed for his ideas on 2 wheel drive and 2 wheel steering. This is one of only a handful of motorcycles made in the last few decades whose designer has thrown all conventional wisdom out the window and started with a truly clean sheet of paper. Utilising hydraulic drive to both wheels, hydraulically actuated hub-centre steering of both wheels and even adjustable ride-height in the early stages this bike pushed the boundaries of motorcycle design like few other before or since. As you might imagine with such a unique machine, almost every single component of the 2X2X2 was designed and made from scratch. Of the few purchased parts used - all were heavily modified for the job.
Ian's interest in hydraulic transmission was raised when, while still just an inquisitive schoolboy, a prototype hydraulic drive tractor (made by International Harvester) was tested on his parents farming property. Around the same time another piece of the 2x2x2 jigsaw puzzle emerged when Ian built a 'rear steer' bicycle for a school science competition. He became convinced that 2 wheel drive would give major handling and safety advantages for off-road motorcycles- interestingly many years before all-wheel-drive became dominant in rally cars.
Although Ian was keen to commence the project whilst still at school, he had to wait until he had the necessary skills and equipment to do the job. Along the way he gained qualifications in fitting & machining, toolmaking and of course fluid power design but by that stage the 2x2x2 project had already begun with Ian gathering components whilst still an apprentice- with most of the parts purchased when he was working in the hydraulic industry in the period 1981 - 1983. A return to study (full time) at university restricted the funds required to complete such a complex project and so construction didn't get into top gear until 1988 - by which time Ian was running his own engineering business - Ausdale Engineering.
Completion of the project was then relitively swift, the bike reaching the stage you see here by 1990. It was the quintesential experimental motorcycle- a technical adventure rather than a serious production motorcycle prototype. Not everything tried on the Dryvtech 2x2x2 Experimental was an absolute sucess, but Ian's theories on the benefits of 2WD were proved without question. The bike was recently bought by a private collector and now resides in the Donington Motor Museum, UK.