Dedicated Snowbike?

nuggetau

Well-known member
Sep 26, 2009
1,005
446
83
Idaho
When Polaris bought Timbersled I assumed they were going to build a dedicated snowbike, 600cc 2 stroke making 110-120Hp . But, here we are years later and still nothing? Is design and testing taking this long, or was I just wrong and they never intended to build it? Anyone have insider intel on this? I love what a snowbike can do, but the 55hp motorcycle motors are just painfully under powered.
 
Sep 19, 2013
42
9
8
28
Lumby, BC
I agree with what AllHatNoCattle said... Timbersled and Yeti are both selling kits for $8-10000, and people are buying them up like crazy, they’re making money. I’d absolutely love more power/a dedicated off-showroom floor snowbike and would trade in my Alpha for one.
I’ve been holding out for a dedicated snow bike but My set up is starting to get dated and want to upgrade soon. I love how well my Camso DTS129 climbs in the steep powder especially compared to more expensive kits. But if nothing comes out I will have to buy a new CRF450R and Aro3 for $20k next season.

With that photo above I do believe it will be Arctic Cat/Textron to be the first to come out with a fully setup factory snowbike, I’m guessing it will use the new 400cc 2 stroke engine from the Blast sleds they just came out with. Unfortunately they’re only rated at 65hp which is about 5 hp up from the current KTM/Husky YamaKawaSukiHonda 450mxers.

 
Dec 20, 2007
532
231
43
48
It doesn't sound promising. I talked to the Polaris rep at the demo ride and they seem to think having the ability to switch over to tires is amazing. Why don't they just start selling conversion kits to put skis on the front of a car? Then we went need sleds Any more... Conversions suck plain and simple.
 

more snow

Active member
Jan 8, 2008
249
34
28
Nampa, ID
A completely new snowbike is coming from Cat. Once that happens, Polaris will not be far behind in their release. I'm confident that they are working on it! My thoughts.
 
It would have to be pretty impressive (horsepower and weight wise) for me to give up the ability to ride all year long on the same motorcycle. I'm thinking 80hp min. while only gaining a few pounds over my 2019 KTM 450/timbersled ARO combo. I have no fear about getting myself unstuck in the trees or any other tight situations right now.
 

wwillf01

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Aug 12, 2012
2,467
410
83
39
Heber Ut
If I had to rely on just one bike for snow and dirt I would have to swap the kit on/off at least twice a month from October through June. Conversions are a stupid idea.
Yep

Sent from my SM-F900U using Tapatalk
 

jacobdewey

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2013
138
51
28
SE Idaho
Anybody who knows anything about riding snow should be able to see the writing on the wall. Snow bikes can go anywhere! Add another 40hp, and these things would be the no.1 selling piece of equipment for the true mountain segment.
 

Chadx

Off the trail again...just can't wait to get off t
Lifetime Membership
Feb 2, 2010
580
337
63
47
Bozeman, MT
I bought my first snowbike kit, in 2013, with the thought of swapping back and forth. Rode that kit for 3 years and never swapped it back to dirt once. All kits since then have also been on bikes dedicated to snowbikes. The bikes that make the best snowbikes are the worst trailbikes for where I ride. I should just sell the tires/wheels, swingarm, rear suspension and linkage, brake lines/rotors/reservoirs/levers, seat, battery, etc. off my latest build as they were used for 2 hours on dirt (just a shakeout ride) then taken off and will never go on again. When I'm ready for the next build, this will get sold as a complete set and from my past experience, it is unlikely the next owner will use it for anything but snow and will have no interest in converting it back.
I'm so ready for a dedicated factory kit. Hard to believe one isn't here yet. But now that popularity is exploding, shouldn't be long now. I'd say next 3 years or so.
 
Dec 20, 2007
532
231
43
48
I've been tweaking this design for 4 years. Ktm380-cmx 137x11 65hp 280lbs. Factory could easily make it under 250lbs. The key is where the foot peg weight bias is. Notice the pegs are just in front of the axle. Last year the drive axle was an inch farther forward under the engine and it didn't work it wouldn't turn.

It wheelies easier than my riot but floats way better cause of the static weight isn't on the ski. I usually only ride it when I have to go with sleds. I break trail on deep days for my sled buddies with 165x3 skidoos. It is only 2 inches longer than my riot but still less nimble because the 137. The masses would probably eat it up but I would prefer the same thing in a short track if I only had one bike. I built a short track version for a friend last year and on deep days he can smoke my riot easily with less hp.
 

Attachments

2smokin

Member
Lifetime Membership
Oct 17, 2018
154
21
18
22
Bozeman MT
The BRC patent and drawings seems more promising than the arctic cat design. Although i'm pretty sure Riley doesn't intend to build the bike, just to sell the design and possibly his engine. The real kicker seems to be what this narrow twin will look like. I'm assuming it will either be a twin crank front to back setup or a v twin, but they usually end up staggering the cylinders to keep the cases separate, and i'm not sure if brc managed to avoid this. I'm assuming there's a good reason that there are not any pictures detailing this. All I can say is hopefully someone drops the first design soon so the competition can start!

1579797492147.png
 

jacobdewey

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2013
138
51
28
SE Idaho
Hell, just a bigger version of that single cylinder 400cc artic cat engine would work... instead of 65hp, 95hp... instead of 400cc, 650cc. Keep it counterbalanced and efi, and it would be lé-tits.
 

Hawkster

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Apr 22, 2010
1,010
290
83
AK
Why would any of the the manufactures build a purpose built snowbike when there is so much profit to be made from old technology ?
 
Nov 14, 2017
128
30
28
Why would any of the the manufactures build a purpose built snowbike when there is so much profit to be made from old technology ?
This is my thinking. I saw a friends brand new polaris sled, he paid 15k canadian for it. It is insanely well built and has like 170HP. Meanwhile, I paid around 9-10k for my new Aro kit. The profit margin on the snowbike kits must be INSANE. If I owned Polaris I would not even consider building a purpose built bike.
 

Hawkster

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Apr 22, 2010
1,010
290
83
AK
There is some serious game changers going on in the sled industry . One of the manufactures has a video stating how a particular sled handles like a bike . Cat's MTN lineup is Alphas now , Tunnels have shortened ( how many times have I been picked on for that one :) sometimes you have to sacrifice laziness for what works , counter steering is becoming a thing of the past , turbos are no longer accessories with so little boost that they run thousands of miles . Not to mention the front end kit to convert a sled to a one ski that gives you all the modern day technology and reliability .

Here's the problem , you guys keep asking for a snowmobile , certainly isn't a modern day Hawk :)
 
Dec 20, 2007
532
231
43
48
So Hawkster do you still own and ride an updated hawk with a decent ski? Other than weight what are the biggest improvements you could see in chassis design of a purpose built vs hawk? I don't like cvt but that's probably what we'll get because the masses don't know how to shift. My custom built 137 has little ski pressure and most weight is on the track like a hawk or gnarbike. It Is still pretty nimble compared to a sled ( or a hawk from memory) add another 10 hp would be plenty it's already on the verge of pulling 4th gear anywhere. I ride with a pro sledder on deep days with a 165 3" and he no longer has much advantage even in the open. But we aren't drag racing up a hill... that will always be for the lesser skilled sledder crowd.

Yes I feel a lot of people here actually want a 150 hp sled with one ski cvt and thumb throttle but if that happens most of those machines will be Sold to the masses and ridden on roads chutes and drag racing buddies up hill. Would they be any better than a sled for roads chutes and drag racing?
 
Last edited:

Hawkster

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Apr 22, 2010
1,010
290
83
AK
So far I'm still riding a Hawk 800 , 154 Peak 2.5 track , my better half still rides hers in certain conditions but her main ride is a g4 . Different skis for different conditions are a must , the older TS ski is the do all okay ski , deep conditions is the Yeti ski that is the only true climbing ski and the fast as lightning face planting Gen II . I would like to get my hands on a Camso that could be the Gen II replacement . The MTN sleds haven't figured the ski flotation out yet and how bad those deep heel skis actually hinder their effortless steering and scrub HP .

The next evolution of a one ski would have to be made with a rolled aluminum frame for rigidity otherwise it would just be a sled , tube frames are a work of art but require reinforcement bracing . My personal Hawk is a tank , some of the new MTN sleds are lighter . Weight at times is a priority over liability and the simple maintenance of a two stroke bike got lost and replaced in the shuffle . These bike kits are fragile because they are a kit .

The thumb throttle didn't work for me , I rely on the twist for balance and steering . The thumb throttle does not offer that ability but the finger throttle might . Majority of dirt bikers have the mind set of arm wrestling their machine . I about die laughing seeing some of these bike kit videos when the long track has it's way with the operator trying to steer it like it has a tire on . I'm not hacking on anyone but there is no substitute for saddle time unless your the few fortunate .

Some of the superbike builds are a riot and deserve a thumbs up . Imagine how much fast they would be with a CVT . Doos Pdrive pretty much left the others back in the 80's

The bike kits are making progress and do some really spectacular things in closed areas and should always have a purpose . Some how the conversation of a bike kit and a purpose built one ski has to be divided from conversation .

A purpose build one ski with the pegs above or behind the drivers with the weight of a snowbike could be detrimental .
 

2smokin

Member
Lifetime Membership
Oct 17, 2018
154
21
18
22
Bozeman MT
My guess is someone will make the first purpose built to cut into polaris' market share. Then Polaris will be forced to make one in an attempt to get their market back. I do
Why would any of the the manufactures build a purpose built snowbike when there is so much profit to be made from old technology ?
This is my thinking. I saw a friends brand new polaris sled, he paid 15k canadian for it. It is insanely well built and has like 170HP. Meanwhile, I paid around 9-10k for my new Aro kit. The profit margin on the snowbike kits must be INSANE. If I owned Polaris I would not even consider building a purpose built bike.
My guess is someone will make the first purpose built to cut into polaris' market share. Then Polaris will be forced to make one in an attempt to get their market back.

There is some serious game changers going on in the sled industry . One of the manufactures has a video stating how a particular sled handles like a bike . Cat's MTN lineup is Alphas now , Tunnels have shortened ( how many times have I been picked on for that one :) sometimes you have to sacrifice laziness for what works , counter steering is becoming a thing of the past , turbos are no longer accessories with so little boost that they run thousands of miles . Not to mention the front end kit to convert a sled to a one ski that gives you all the modern day technology and reliability .

Here's the problem , you guys keep asking for a snowmobile , certainly isn't a modern day Hawk :)
Why do you think that what everyone want equates to a sled? I think we want the power and reliability of a sled but in a motorcycle sized chassis. This is where the big issue lies, we need a narrow motor and cvt. Similar to the hawk without the crazy wide motor clutch. I also don't see a single being the ticket, giant pistons love to vibrate and they make more power per cc as a twin.
 
Premium Features