It’s winter in the northern hemisphere, and for those of us who live in areas that get lots of snow and ice, this time of year is always bittersweet. Sure, a select and extremely hardcore few riders might do some ice racing, or otherwise find ways to get out on their bikes, but the majority of riders end up tucking their bikes away for the season.
Motorcycle gear maker KLIM, as you may already know, also makes gear for snow sports. With that in mind, it should come as approximately zero surprise that they recently roped two of their professional hard enduro riders, Max Gerston and Paul Bolton, into trying out some snowbikes for the first time ever. The resulting trio of videos look like the kind of fun we probably all wish we were having in the snow (and I write that as I’m staring down a serious blizzard warning that’s supposed to hit the Chicago area over Christmas, 2022).
KLIM outfitted a bunch of dirt bikes from various OEMs with Polaris Timbersled kits beforehand. What are those, you may wonder? Simply put, you take off both wheels, and then the Timbersled kit consists of a front ski and a wide rear track designed to power through the snow. Those parts are universal, but the installation kits that Polaris makes are specific to different models of bike, so you have to check and see if they make a kit that fits your dirt bike. If they do, you’re golden—and even riders in the snowiest areas can easily flog their dirt bikes all year round.
How do you ride them? A lot of it is similar to riding your actual motorcycle, although there seem to be differences that you acclimate to as you ride—the same as with learning any parallel (but slightly different) skill to one that you already know. One difference is doing jumps. Big snow is cool because it’s soft and forgiving, so when you fall (and you’ll fall a lot), you just laugh, pick yourself and the bike back up, and keep on ripping. Still, you have to be a little careful if you’re doing jumps, and make sure you know what you’re jumping into, because sharp and pointy rocks can be hidden under the snow.
Like a lot of things to do with riding, it’s about reflexes and using your judgment, but most of all riding and trusting yourself to not get into too much trouble. It looks like ridiculous fun, and this is just the first day of riding. There are two other videos after this one if you want to see how their skills progress over three days of familiarizing themselves with these snowbikes.