Well-known member
Premium Member
Sep 15, 2010
I'm starting this thread so we can help the newcomers to the sport put together reliable snow bikes. I made the decision to build a snow bike two seasons ago, after riding a friend of a friend's bike and was hooked instantly. I knew immediately what bike I wanted, as I had already been thinking about buying a big bore enduro for the last few years. I wasn't sure on what kit I wanted or needed, nor was I sure what components were necessary to build a reliable bike. I drive 9hrs each way to ride (Snowy Range Wyoming), so building a reliable turn key bike was of the upmost importance to me. I was the first to build a bike in my group of buddies, so I had nobody to turn to for advice. This forum and it's members were a big help, but I had to sift through tons of threads and decipher through the BS to find useful tips and information. After a lot of research I still felt like I was in the dark and ended up buying some parts that I never used because of the lack of readily available information. It was a pain that I think we need to help others avoid. I'm not into big jumps, ride mostly timber and tend to be fairly aggressive in the trees. I weigh 180 before gear. Before deciding on building a bike, my plan was to buy a new sled and possibly turbo it. With that being said, I didn't shortcut much as far as $ was concerned when building this bike.

I'm going to post my bike with every component and part that is on it, as well as likes and dislikes.



Bike is a 2018 Husqvarna FE501 bought new spring of 2018
Fisher modded 9" seat with factory cover (can't say enough about this seat, unbelievably comfortable and tailored to your weight and riding style, should've had a waterproof cover installed, stock cover is not waterproof) seat concepts sells a complete seat for less $, but isn't tailored to YOU
Fastway Adventure Footpegs ( these pegs work great, much larger platform and have very little ice buildup) Selkirk and C3 both make a sweet set of snow bike specific pegs
Rider's Edge Big Boy Shifter Tip (makes shifting much easier with bulky boots) must have in my opinion
Removed all smog equipment
PR2 Tuned Vortex ECU (had a couple issues at first, Jeff @ PR2 got them handled and was easy to deal with) I have a GET ECU as well, but have not ran it yet
FMF 4.1 Titanium Slip On
Ceramic coated head pipe
Loadmouth Intake, snow bike pod with Outerwear prefilter (this was an expensive setup, but works great) stock air filter cage could be used without the filter in conjunction with an outerwear to achieve similar results for far less $$
Left side panel modded with Frogzskin vents (definitely flows more air) I've never had snow buildup in the airbox no matter how deep the POW has been in tank fuel filter, inline fuel filter, tank fitting, fuel rail, grunt exhaust manifold (unsure whether any of these parts made any gains, in tank filter was for reliability only)
Rekluse Radius CX Cutch with upgraded inner hub (Love the Rekluse, makes tree riding much easier) Recommend a tether switch with use of a Rekluse
Boyesen Water Pump ultimate hand guards with big bolt option and top clamp (excellent protection) C3 makes an excellent hand guard setup as well
Arctva Handlebar Gauntlets
AME electric heated grips (the heated grip and gauntlet combo work excellent together, hands stay toasty with uninsulated gloves) I didn't do coolant heated bars due to the extra plumbing, may change in the future
Antigravity battery with jumper harness routed to air box ( battery goes dead between trips, jump start and 15mins of riding and it’s good to go until the bike sits in the trailer for a few weeks) I carry an Antigravity XP10 power supply battery with me as backup
Trail Tech Voyager Pro GPS with temp sensor in thermostat housing (love this unit) had some flickering issues last season, but think the dock pins wore out, new dock this season
Moto Minded Stout Mount for Voyager Pro ( Works great, but is expensive for what it is)
Acerbis 3.1 Gal Tank (the extra capacity is awesome) have yet to find a good solution to leaking gas through the vent cap when the bike is tipped over
C3 194* Thermostat (Excellent fit, finish and function)
C3 Medium Height Bar Risers (new for this season) will report back but I’m sure they will be a great addition
Arctic Cat magnetic tether (new this season) will report back, I’m sure this will be a great addition as well
Selkirk Engine Armor Kit (kit was expensive, but was worth every penny, adds extra cooling, protection and looks kick *ss, fit and finish is top notch, lower side panels were designed to match ARO kits, I did some trimming to match the Yeti kit, not a big deal at all ) engine blanket would be less costly, but no extra cooling or protection
Bulletproof radiator guards (added radiator protection) not exactly necessary, but adds a little extra insurance when the bike is tipped over
WP 48mm Open chamber forks ( built by Brockstar for this season) will report back

Snow Kit
2016 Yeti 129 (bought used spring of 2018 from a forum member with most of the 2017 updates) I've made more updates since then
Solid Strut (haven't felt the need to spend the $ on a soft strut)
Yeti Can (have used this every ride, always need more gas) there is a weight penalty here, but extra gas is a must for me
Yeti rack
Pelican Air 1485 case bolted to rack(also a weight penalty, but I love this case, it holds food, drinks, tools, goggles and whatever else I may need) shovel attached to the case as well
Maxtrak 2 (I ride the Snowy Range and this track has worked well for me) may upgrade in the future
Fox Floats (they're light and adjustable) haven't seen the need to upgrade to a conventional shock
Upgraded Titanium track shaft and Drivers for this season (original 2016 drivers were junk)
Upgraded 28mm belt and sprockets for this season (never had an issue with the 21mm belt)
2021 Yeti brake upgrade (new this season) will report back
A lot of people have talked badly about the 2016 Yeti kits, but this kit has been a solid and reliable kit for me thus far (knock on wood) I'm very happy with it
I'm running a Timbersled Aro Spindle and Ski with a Deuce Boy Skeg (works great for me) use a Timbersled wheel kit for moving the bike around, it is an excellent wheel kit

Maintenance I change oil on the bike every 2-3 of days of riding, depending on the hours we ride per day. I run Amsoil 0w40 and oem KTM oil filters. I adjust and lube the chain (if necessary) during the oil change. I'm putting a 12:5:1 Wiseco piston in it before this season for maintenance reasons (80hrs on bike) will also check and adjust valves while it's apart (valves were in spec at 40hrs) I also go over the entire kit every other day of riding and retorque all the fasteners, check belt and track tension.
I am very pleased with this bike and setup. It has been a solid and reliable bike so far. I like the torque of the 500, it's great it the real tight trees which is where I prefer to ride. It never sounds strung out like the 450's, but also doesn't carry the higher RPM's the 450's do which equates to a higher track speed. Never the less, the bike rips and will run with all the 450's with ease.


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It seemed like a good idea at the time
Lifetime Membership
Oct 24, 2016
Coeur d'Alene ID
This was my 2nd build and after making all the mistakes on the first I was able to do the 2nd one for almost 1/2 the price and the bike turned out better than the 1st. For background this is my 5th year on bikes. Ive build 3 personally and helped a few friends. Im an intermediate rider 160lb with no gear. Don't do any big jumps/drops and have never raced.

For starters I wanted a reliable yet affordable electric start bike with a kick start backup. I wanted easy cheep access to parts. I was on a tight budget so that ruled out EFI. I scrounged throughout the summer and found most of the stuff used at a discount to save a few extra bucks. The final product is not a blow out machine with all the best stuff but its a great bike and kit for someone on a budget with some luxuries to make it nice to ride.

The bike
2005 CRF 450X. Decent power, reliable, built like a tank and heavier then most. I found a low hour one for $3k. It had a carbon fiber skid plate, full FMF exhaust, JD jet kit, R&D remote fuel screw included. I recommend getting at least the JD kit and learning a little about tuning if you get a carbed bike. With a little tweaking they will start cold and treat you well. The WR would be a similar choice. Downside of these bikes besides the weight is a wide ratio transmission. 1st gear is basically usless, 2nd is perfect, but you rap out 2nd only to lug in 3rd. the gap is large. This is a problem with most trail bikes. Upside is 5th is taller so you can outrun your buddy on the road. For the most part it you want E start you have to have a trail bike. Or go newer.

Bike Mods (prices are approximate)
Trail Tech 100w stator $100 used on Ebay. Lets me run lots of accessories and never worry about a low battery.
Ditched the headlight and got a $20 light bar. not great but it will get you out of the woods. This allows me to run a numberplate bag. Timbersled and Skinz both make good ones for about $100 imo.
Booster cable from C3. $20 Hooks to your battery and plugs into a jump starter pack. I use it first start of the day when everything is frozen and carry it just in case. I don’t ever want to use my kickstarter.
Stainless oil filter. $20. I change oil a LOT. every other ride. The stainless filter i occasionally pull and spray out with brake cleaner. saves money in the long run
I wrap the pipe with exhaust tape $50 and put a Moose Racing Pipe arm-our on it $20. It helps protect the tape from snow tearing it up and it looks nice.
WattMan Thermostat. $125. I don’t’ know if all thermostats are created equal but these have worked for me but I have a C3 on my newest bike.
RMC radiator shut off valve $45. Not really necessary but a few days we went out in temps below -20 F and closing the valve really helped keep temps up.
Home made engine blanket. PSE, SXS, Selkirk, Drifters, and others all make great products and if you have the money, get them. For those that don’t, theres lots of threads on how to make them yourself. End result is they work. Might not be the best looking/long lasting, but functional is all i wanted. Prolly cost me $40 for everything and I’ve made 4 blankets for myself and friends. I also got some 1/8” thick race car plastic $25 and make radiator block-offs, and installed panels on the left and backside of the engine. Every little bit of snow I keep of the engine helps.
I ran a snorkel intake and cut out the air-box. Cost me $60 in parts of Amazon. Look up Jethro450 on Youtube and he’s got links to everything. Its no velocity stack and I’m sure I loose a little power but I will never have a clogging intake. My new bike I am going to try and not modify my air-box and just run a Outerwear pre-filter and seal up the vents with frogskinz.
Seal savers on the front. Idk if they are needed but for $20 a pop and I get 2 years out of a set why not. in 4 years of riding I’ve never blown fork seals on snow.
I tried Airpro on another build. It worked but the X has decent suspension stock. If I wasn’t jumping I could get away with just cranking up the compression and rebound. It handles tight turns and small jumps just fine so for me we its not worth the money. This is a rip around and play bike. Not a jump off a cliff bike.
Trail Tech Vapor. $150. Its got temperature, RPM, high temp warning lights, and on some kits you can even get the speedo to work. I have broke a few but I haven’t found another computer that will compete with it. I mounted it with switches for the grips and lights and the light bar on a .080" aluminum plate. Put carbon fiber looking tape to add a little more bling.
Probend bark busters, $80 I like Probend but lots of brands and styles. Yes you need a set. Ive never tried guanltlets but I hear they are nice
This bike did not get a Rekluse. I love them but the wife didn't want it. All my other builds get them. The old Z-start Pro is bullet proof but not easily adjustable. The new Radius CX is the way to go for snow. More plates, stronger, better, more $$$.

Comfort and bling Mods include
Cheep 36w heated grip pads $20 on amazon. Don’t work nearly as well as coolant but they are noticeable warm and you cant beat the price. Im sure theres better electric grips out there I just haven't tried them.
Seat concepts comfort seat $210. Buy the kit and put it together yourself. Its not very hard. I love them but have never tried another brand.
2 In bar risers. Just generic spacers, Mine might be Tusk? not really sure. $15. Im 6’ and on snow I really like my body position with these.
Full set of Polisport plastics $100. Just wanted it to look cool. You will destroy your plastics if you ride trees or deep snow much so this was really a waste of money but Yolo!
Arctic FX graphics kit. $280. Great high quality graphics that are custom that looks sweet! I think they do black Friday deals. Once again, Yolo.
I had weld on peg extenders for a while and they bend really easy so I upgraded and got a set of IMS adventure pegs for $60. They are HUGE and heavy but I will never own another bike without wide pegs. Lots of pegs out there from 100-300+. Good luck lol.
Tugger straps on the front and back. I use them all the time. Lots of brands but I like Tugger. I think they have a kit for snowbikes with 3 straps for $60

The Snow Kit
I found a 2018 ARO with 4 rides on it for $2700 in July 2019. It came with a wheel kit. Its the base model but I really like it and think its one of the better bang for buck kits imo.
Fixed strut kit for $300. Ive ridden TSS. Its smooth on roads and takes out sharp hits. But for me it takes a little “snap” out of the kit and I stand on the road and most jumps so it isn’t worth the extra money. If you sit a lot or have a bad back or do massive jumps then do your research but a TSS might be for you.
We had to have a pink gas can. Mountain addictions for $80. Definitely cheeper options out there but not in pink. Far as mounting I didn't buy the gas can rack. I just use some Titan Straps. They work good but definitely not as slick as the manufactured mounts.
Snow scratchers. $40. idk anything about scratchers but I got the cheapest ones I can get and my hyfax look like new with 50+ hours on them. Only run then on the trail when its kind of icy.
I put a Harbor Freight box $40 on he back. Looks nice and is waterproof. Its also heavy.
Total build cost me about $7100 as I shopped a few things.

Other tips and tricks.
I take the grip heater pads and glue them to the bottom of my engine. Cut foam to help insulate between it and the skid plate. I like the SAE trickle charger connectors and plug it into a harness that plugs into my trailer light plug on my truck. Its an easy/cheep block heater that flat out works. Cost maybe $50 to do 2 bikes. You could also put a pad on your battery but with gel batteries and the jump packs I haven’t needed to yet.

Ramps. I love my timbersled caliber ramp. its 8' long and heavy but I love it. I had a 6' home made one and loading and unloading under the best of circumstances sucked. Now my wife can do it most of the time.

Tool kit. I carry only the basic tools while riding. Focus more on first aid, avy, stuff. But I keep a ton in the truck, spare oil, chain, antifreeze, tools, ect. If someone has big failure someone just goes to the truck to get it. We arn't riding 25 miles in the back country. Mostly we are within 30 minutes of the truck. Its up to rider environment and choice.


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Dec 27, 2010
Heber utah
I've spent a lot of time putting together videos and links to help folks with a good bike setup. Obviously I chose a 2019 YZ450f - but the same principles apply to any bike when you're talking about temperature management and track setup. My Timbersled Episodes 157 and 158 have lists in the video info section to all the components for a pretty dang good bike setup. I ride a lot of different bike setups and haven't found many that compare to mine.
TS 157 link - very specific on bike setup and parts
TS 158 link - very specific on the riot spring setup, ski pressure, track tension, gearing, tss, ... lots of good info

I actually need to go back and watch my own video to remember how I set my bike up cause it worked so well last year. I convert my bike each year and I do a lot of little things that make the kit float and handle good, temperatures stay in check, etc etc.

Oh, I should add that the only area my video lacks is heated bars. C3 and Timbersled both have great options for heated bars. My big ol hand gauntlets have always done a good enough job that I've never felt the need for heated bars (plus heated bars add more hoses and complexity). Still, it would be nice to have those. I've installed them on several buddy's bikes and ridden them, they're pretty nice!
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I’ll keep my build post short and sweet:

2017 Honda CRF450RX (great to have kicker and e-start)

2018 ARO 137LE (love to chase deep snow)

Cyclops headlight/heated grips combo
EarthX battery
Yoshi full exhaust
Custom air intake (factory box modified, zero snow buildup) even in tit deep pow!
Fastway hand guards
Fastway riser
Fastway adventure pegs with center beam cut out
PST engine jacket
Thermobob T-stat
Rekluse radius CX auto clutch
TKI belt drive conversion
Seat concepts seat
Air pro
TSS shock
Triple point skag
Trail tech temp guage
Trail tech rpm/hour meter

oil changes every couple rides with 0-40 synthetic. So far it’s been a great bike!
Feb 1, 2010
Entiat, WA
Seems like a good idea...

I have a 2015 Husqvarna FC450 with a 2016 Timbersled 137.

On the bike:

Wiseco high compression piston. (forget the actual ratio) This was a great addition, did it before the start of last year after 90 hours on the stock piston. It gave a little more pull than I had before, definitely happy with it. I'll get a couple pings here or there when I'm still at lower elevation with big throttle openings at low RPMs and high load. Once I'm above about 3000', that goes away and all is well.
I run Amsoil 0W40, change it every other ride, stock KTM filters.
I put a C3 intake on, the Husky airbox clogged up with snow more than I wanted, even with the bottom cut off. No more clogging issues. I do run 2 skins on it.
I have an FMF Megabomb (with carbon fiber shield) and a Factory 4.1 can. Too loud, need to put a quiet plug in it.

I have a Vortex ECU programmed by PR2. Cold start is a little difficult, but runs significantly better than the stock ECU.

Thermobob 178*, with the bypass running unvalved through Raze heated bars. I use plastic sign material to slip between the louvers and radiators for block offs. I'll talk about the bars later.
Trail Tech temp gauge, does what it ought to.
SXS shield and Revv-Up jackets. I have the Drifters tunnel cover on the skid too.
I'm switching over to Evans coolant for this year, I've heard it doesn't do as good of a job exchanging heat, kind of the opposite of Engine Ice. I'll update if I notice anything.
This setup has worked fairly well to keep temps up, but I did add a Rider's Edge valve to be able to shut off one of the radiators as needed. Where I ride, (North Central WA) I certainly don't have any overheating issues. I can get my bike up over 200 on trails, but as soon as I pull a radiator blocker, it cools right down.

I put in an AGM YTZ7, has been alright except in temps nearing zero before I switched to the 0W40.
I have the C3 jumper pack and quick connect. Convenient, but the jump pack doesn't spin up the engine as fast as some jumper packs do.
I had a Cyclops Penetrator LED light from dirt bike racing that I put on. Works great. Haven't had to ride out in the dark yet, but I've ripped around in the orchards after dark, and it was great.
I have a Trail Tech 100w stator. Put it on thinking that if I was relying on the headlight to get out, then things had already gone wrong, and I didn't want to have to worry about the battery drawing down.

I'm running .62 fork springs in my 4CS forks, as well as 10wt oil with like 10 extra CCs. This has been a pretty good setup. Once I went to the heavier springs, I actually had some adjustability in the compression damping.
I have the full length fork skins. I still get a little moisture into my fork oil, but it isn't bad. Haven't blown a fork seal in the 2 seasons I've had the bike.

Raze heated bars. These have been great. I really like the robust plumbing for these. Coolant heated bars are awesome, no regrets.
C3 mid height risers. Just made things more comfortable.
I've got some soft seat or another that was on the bike when I bought it, pretty decent. Not as good as the Seat Concepts seats I have on my TE300 and XR650R, but good.

On the kit:
Running the triple carbide skag, super happy with that upgrade.
Shimmed the back of the ski up with some doubled over inner tube. Helped.
Running the Mountain Addiction 3.2 gal can.
Bolted on a Harbor Freight Apache box (Pelican knock-off). It was like 50 bucks, absolutely no regrets. Everything is completely dry, and it has held up well. Several of the guys in my group are running them, none of us have had a single issue.
Swapped out to DID X-ring chains, those have been great.

That's about all I can remember for now. This bike stays a snowbike all year. I love the MX close ratio transmission for snow, and I love the fire-breathing EFI MX motor. For dirt, I ride technical trails, and this bike would be a nightmare. Compromise would suck too, so I just have a dirt bike, snow bike, and dual sport.


Active member
Lifetime Membership
Premium Member
Jan 14, 2019
Bozeman, Montana
Riding in SW Montana

Bike: 2019 Honda 450 CRF

  • frogskinz on entrances to airbox, prefilter over filter skeleton, no foam
  • heavier weight fork oil
  • PST engine blanket (made for 17, almost fits right under dual pipes)
  • Thermobob thermostat
  • TrailTech Vapor hooked up to thermostat
  • Powermadd gauntlets
  • Norco Genius trickle charger with quick disconnect
  • Anti-gravity XP10 for on the trail w/ connector for quick disconnect
  • radiator blockers made from a roll up kids sled
  • reusable metal oil filter
Kit: 2016 CMX 120" w/ Yeti ski

  • updated CMX spindle
  • tunnel chopped a few inches
  • giant loop revelstoke tunnel bag
  • 3G rotopak
  • RokStraps, several sizes, always strapped to the tunnel

Baofeng UV5R radio w/shoulder mic. Beacon, shovel, probe in a CamelBak. Don't go into the mountains without em. Added a GPS (Garmin eTrax) this year. This is a dedicated snowbike, maintenance is pretty much on schedule along with oil changes every other ride. Mobil 1 European Car Formula 0W-40.
Also second jethro450's suggestion of his videos, he's making super useful stuff.
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It seemed like a good idea at the time
Lifetime Membership
Oct 24, 2016
Coeur d'Alene ID
Ive put about 8 rides on it so far this year. Ill update as I do/learn more on this paticular setup.

2017 KTM 350XCF

Upgraded seals and components in forks to 18+ to prevent them from collapsing (you can now go 20+ i believe)
Seat Concepts Comfort seat. Wish i would have got the Element as it has more grip
Flow wide pegs. A must have for a CMX
C3 Thermostat and heated bars (never going back to electric grips)
I kept the engine/exhaust, ECU stock.
Stock intake with a preflight and i opened up the drain a little to let snow out. Seems to work great.
Home made engine blanket and shielding keeps my temps up 180-200.
I need a pipe guard as a buddy burned his ski pants on a demo ride.
Rekluse CX clutch. Its a must for snowbike imo. also fixes the lean pop stall that plagues 350’s
Cycra pro bend guards.
tusk 2in bar risers. Cheep alternative that works
amazon LED pod lights
TT fan, USB charger, Garmin Montana GPS, TT vapor. and a 80w trail tech stator to run it
C3 Boost pack jumper in the air-box for easy access
Tugger straps. Love these and they will go on ever summer/winter bike I own now
timbersled fender bag.
Silky Saw on the front forks for quick access.

2020 CMX 120

Ropax gas can. Im not a fan of it as its only 2 gallons. Will eventually add a 1 gallon above it or convert for my 3.3 gallon Mountain addictions can.
Zip tie my spare belt under my rear fender.
14t front sprocket per Marks recommendation. I was leery as I didn’t think the 350 would pull it. He was right, It pulls great! (imagine that lol)
CMX Ski and Spindle. Idk if its the ski or the ski/spindle combo or if its the whole CMX kit but its amazing compared to the ARO ski. better on roads, ice, crust. It does have a little less floatation do it being slightly smaller.
I did have to add more rear preload to help it climb better/wheelie less from stock.

The bike/kit full of fuel with nothing else on it is 308 lbs. Right on par with any ktm/husky 350/450 race bike and a timbersled aro/riot 120

I can’t say enough good about this combo. Yes i’m down 10 HP and 15 ft lbs of torque over a 450 but its the bike I have for summer so I use it. The high rev limiter takes some getting used to. When you think its about to explode your just getting into the power with 5k more rpm to go! Combined with close ratio gearing its a blast!. Its quick and very agile, Wheelies well but its controllable. Im relearning how to ride as I need to stand and ride it like I'm on dirt. The track/belt hooks up and goes! Other kits have more track spin on side by side comparisons.(even another identical 350) The 450s will leave me on hill climbs and high speed roads, It just dons’t have the power. But its the preferred bike everyone wants to ride because its so much fun. It can kick and pop on small obstacles vs just plowing through them like a bull dozer.


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