By Jack Foersterling
Thanks to Polaris and TimberSled, I had an opportunity to travel up to Garden City, Utah, to test out the 2017 TimberSled snow bike line. Founded in 2002, TimberSled began selling aftermarket snowmobile accessories and by 2010 they began production of the first TimberSled snow bike conversion kits. For those who are unfamiliar with snow bikes, just take a dirt bike and replace the front wheel with a ski, then replace the rear wheel with a snowmobile track. Boom. You’ve got yourself a snow bike.
Being a 21-year-old college kid, I am instantly drawn to anything with a four-stroke engine that emits a loud, whining scream every time you twist the throttle, so this product demo was quite nearly heaven. We were greeted by a fleet of over 15 TimberSleds when we arrived at the ride site and wasted no time gearing up and getting on the bikes. The next two hours were, dare I say, some of the best times I’ve ever had on snow.
Having only ridden a dirt bike a handful of times and never thrown my leg over snowmobile, it took me a little bit to get the mechanics of the ride down. Once I started to get comfortable, the learning curve was exponential. The more comfortable I got on the bike the more I realized that these machines can go nearly anywhere you want them to go. From tight tree glades to open powder fields, these bikes rip.
Here’s how they work.
The front ski packs down the snow in front of the track so the TimberSled rarely gets stuck in deep powder. When it does get stuck, it’s not big deal because it weighs in 200 pounds lighter than the lightest snowmobile on the market. Also, the in-line ski and track allows for excellent side hill travel, and can therefore get you more places than any snowmobile ever could.
In terms of the bike’s ability to replace your sled as a backcountry ski machine, the possibilities are endless. While there are currently no TimberSled-specific ski rack attachments, with a little ingenuity and custom rigging can get your skis attached no problem. For the skiers that have a dirt bike sitting in the garage and are looking to bring that off-season fun to the winter months, the TimberSled provides the ultimate deep snow fun.
Buyers beware: After just one ride, you might spend all day ripping lines on the bike before you even remember you brought your skis out, too.