The Desert X uses a slightly modified version of Highland's standard off-road frame, and it's just 2 inches wider and 22 lbs. heavier than the company's 450cc single. From the tall, narrow saddle it's essentially indistinguishable from a motocrosser until you twist the throttle. Even detuned to a "manageable" 85 bhp, the Desert X makes a 500cc two-stroke seem tame, shedding tire knobs and sending its front wheel skyward in every gear. This is definitely an experts-only machine-things happen very quickly when you twist the throttle-but with high-end Marzocchi suspension the bike is surprisingly capable in technical conditions, and an absolute hoot in a grassy field or on a gravel road. The prototype we rode suffered the same abrupt fuel-injection behavior as the Viking streetfighter (this one, too, was equipped with the single throttle body), but it showed amazing potential. Truly in a class of its own.