Motocross and enduro motorcycles are as versatile as two-wheeled vehicles go, allowing you to get moving on practically any terrain. At least, that’s the case during the warmer months of the year. When winter hits and the trails are covered in powder, that’s not exactly the case. Unless, of course, your motorcycle is fitted with one of Snowrider’s Snowbike Kits.
Designed to transform an erstwhile motorcycle into a single-track snowmobile, the kit allows you to use your favorite off-road bike all through winter’s most challenging terrain. That way, you can keep exploring the alpine backcountry even when it’s covered in hard ice and deep powder without having to buy a dedicated snowmobile that will probably end up rusting in the garage for the rest of the year.
The Snowrider Snowbike Kit replaces your bike’s front wheel with a high-impact and wear-resistant plastic ski, allowing the front of the bike to glide smoothly with very little friction. A central keel with two metal cutters enable the ski’s steady motion, while runners on the sides help keep it trained on the same path even in more challenging surfaces, such as hard packed snow. It has a tapered shape, too, that, according to the outfit, improves its steering ability in many winter conditions.
In the rear, it gets a suspension system with an integrated track that propels it across the deepest and hardest snow, along with adjustable YSS shock absorbers that you can tune to your liking, depending on whether you want to fly across ridges like an action hero or do some relaxed cruising like a motorcycle Santa Claus. The track, by the way, is chain-activated using a reductor from the leading sprocket, while the two-lever suspension provides optimal contact area for stable drifting in the snow. It has a chassis made from structural-grade steel and duralumin.
The Snowrider Snowbike Kit comes in three track lengths: 120 inches, 129 inches, and 137 inches. According to the outfit, the 120-incher is best in low- to mid-levels of snow, while the 129-incher will work when the powder is thicker than usual. The 137-incher is recommended for mountainous terrains that are covered in the deepest snow imaginable, although you do trade a lot of size and weight, making it less of a performer when it comes to jumps and races. They also offer a more racing-focused version of the 120-inch model, which gets a whole new suspension system featuring shocks with HI-LOW speed technology, a race-tuned gearbox ratio, and front elements optimized for responsive steering.
If you’re planning to get one, realize that you swapping this into your bike isn’t a simple plug-and-play affair. In fact, you will likely have to do a bit of work if you want it to run properly, from tightening the springs on the front fork or replacing it with a new one entirely to tuning elements on the shock absorbers to make it run the way you like (they recommend tighter springs and slower decompression for more aggressive riding). Other features include hydraulic disc brakes, an optional speed sensor, an optional surface control system, and even an optional luggage system in the rear, giving you a way to easily bring some cargo along.
The Snowrider Snowbike Kit is available now, priced starting at €4510.