There’s something to be said about feeling limitless. That mountain peak over there? Sure, I can climb that. But what if it was covered in six feet of fresh powder? That feeling of being limitless might dwindle a little. Lucky for you, there is a solution. This, my friends, is a snowbike.
Simply put, you take a conventional motocross bike, swap the rear wheel for a track, the front wheel for a ski, and you’re left with what appears to be someone’s home built frankenstein motorcycle pipe dream. You think to yourself, “this was clearly built by a devoted member of the Church of the Less Than Immaculate Garage Floor.” Rest assured though, these machines are tough and are more than capable of handling extreme snow conditions.
So what’s the catch? Why not just buy a snowmobile? Same thing, right? Not exactly. First and foremost, what do you do with your snowmobile when the snow melts? Snowbikes easily swap back to a motorcycle, ready for you to enjoy during the warm summer months. Second, snowmobiles can easily cost upwards of $15,000. A motocross bike generally comes in around $8,000. After purchasing a snowbike kit, you’ve spent about $13,000. When you factor in that you can enjoy this vehicle 12 months out of the year, a snowbike purchase starts to make sense. When it comes to the actual ride, snowbikes are vastly different from snowmobiles. Snowmobiles make almost three times the power of a snowbike, and generally weigh about 100 pounds more than one. As a result, snowmobiles can easily get stuck. They also do not lean like a snowbike does, So they are unable to wind their way through tight trees like a snowbike can.
You might argue, “yeah but now I need a trailer to get this thing to the mountain!” Well, take it from me, these snowbikes will fit in the back of a truck, no problem. With that said, don’t go it alone. With the help of two ramps, a dolley, a piece of carpet, a beer, and a very eclectic use of my vocabulary, I was able to load one in a truck without the help of another human. There’s a learning curve for everything, c’mon guys. You shouldn’t be riding these machines alone anyway, in case your bike breaks down or you injure yourself in the backcountry. Don’t load one alone either. Once out on the snow however, turning that throttle for the first time, it’s guaranteed to make you smile. As long as there is snow on the ground, there isn’t a single place you can’t reach.