Guide to 2017-2018 snow bike kits

by Kirsten Armleder

A man riding a CMX snow bike kit on a 250 Husqvarna.
Snow biking is an exciting new sport. Kirsten Armleder photo

Much like the heydays of snowmobiling in the early ’60s, the snow bike scene is growing at a rapid rate. More companies are entering the market every year, which is good for the sport and the consumer. Competition brings prices down and encourages ingenuity. Starting with the most popular, here is a quick guide to the different brands of snow bike conversion kits that are available for winter 2017-2018: 

Timbersled

Timbersled Products is the most well-known snow bike manufacturer. Owned by Polaris, it offers the broadest range of kits. For 2018, everyone is talking about the new ARO platform. Eleven pounds lighter than its predecessor, it features an aluminum chassis and a 1:1 ski-to-track ratio. What’s that? Well, you can read more about it in this article. Timbersled also has a 120 ST RAW or base model, and the industry’s first snow bike conversion kit for kids.
 

The Timbersled ARO kit.
Overall, Timbersled has a great product and it’s tough to beat the years of R&D the company has put in. Polaris Industries photo

MotoTrax

MotoTrax in Spokane, Washington, started in 2014 and launched its first kit, the Scout, a year later. Unlike most of the companies on this list, MotoTrax is backed by people who are dirt bikers first, winter enthusiasts second. Their goal, then, is to make MotoTrax handle as much like a bike as possible. So instead of employing a modified snowmobile skid with a front and rear shock, MotoTrax uses a single swing arm suspension with a true dirt bike-style shock.

The MotoTrax kit on a Husqvarna two-stroke.
The skid on the MotoTrax snow bike kit pivots nine degrees on both the right and left side—a feature you can certainly feel when riding off camber. Kirsten Armleder photo

Yeti SnowMX

Yeti SnowMX is a Canadian-made snow bike conversion kit that comes from C3 PowerSports in St. Albert, Alberta. Since 2013, the people here (check out our feature story) have been working hard to make a snow bike kit that raises the bar on handling and durability. The Yeti SnowMX employs a carbon fibre chassis, C3’s proven belt drive system and a wide MaxKeel ski. There are five setups available for 2018, including the extremely nimble Yeti SuperSport 120 and 129.

The Yeti snow bike on a KTM.
Yeti SnowMX sets the bar high with its lifetime-guaranteed carbon-fibre chassis. photo courtesy C3 PowersSports

Crazy Mountain Xtreme CMXBK

The people at Crazy Mountain Xtreme in Clyde Park, Montana, hit a homerun when they came out with a kit that took advantage of their experience and dedication to building high-quality snowmobiles (read more about it here). The CMXBK kit features Crazy’s custom belt-drive system, CNC-machined parts and the most forward-mounted rear suspension on the snow bike market. A working relationship with C3 PowerSports also means the current CMXBK kit employs Yeti’s ski and spindle design, as well as its track.

Trying out the CMXBK snow bike on a 500 KTM.
The people at Crazy Mountain Xtreme keep things small and focus on making a product that is rock solid. photo courtesy CMXBK

Camso

Camso is a Canadian company that’s recognized worldwide for its tracked vehicle products. It should come as no surprise, then, that its DTS 129 snow bike conversion kit had a successful introduction to the market. Released in November 2016, the DTS 129 features easy-to-install track and ski components with an attractive price tag. Camso went with a chain-driven track system and a unique four-keel ski design.

Camso DTS 129 in the deep powder.
The Camso DTS 129 is designed to handle deep snow and hard-pack trail riding. Camso photo

Savage Snowbikes

If you’re not into mountain riding and you want a snow bike that accelerates, jumps and handles just like a dirt bike, check out Savage Snowbikes. Based in Southwestern Ontario, Savage Snowbikes is another Canadian company that builds conversion kits for lower elevation snow conditions and terrain. According to the company, Savage Snowbikes are the lightest kits on the market and their narrow design, combined with the bike's original suspension and drivetrain, is said to offer more predictable handling and minimal power loss. Plus, there is no one-size-fits-all kit at Savage Snowbikes; these kits are designed specificially for the different bike brands—including Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha. 

Savage Snowbike jumping.
Savage Snowbikes offers a lightweight, mx-style conversion kit that exhibits superior agility on and off the snocross track. Savage Snowbikes photo

Arctic Cat SVX 450

We’ve been waiting a year and a half for Arctic Cat to release more details (such as when it would be available and how much) about its purpose-built SVX 450 snow bike. According to the Arctic Insider blog, the release date has been bumped back because the vehicle didn’t meet certain sound and emissions tests that are intended for new snowmobiles. You can read more about it in the author’s ride report.

The new Arctic Cat SVX 450 snow bike.
Arctic Cat is the first snowmobile manufacturer to release a snow bike. Business Wire photo

MST SnowHawk

The idea of a purpose-built snow bike—or one you can’t convert back to a dirt bike—isn’t new. In fact, the SnowHawk could have be Canada’s first true snow bike. Designed by AD Boivin in 2001, the original SnowHawk was powered by a fan-cooled engine and snowmobile transmission. It was meant to compete with the snowmobile market at the time, which meant it had some stiff competition. Over 1,000 of these machines went out worldwide, but as sales declined Boivin discontinued production.

In recent years, however, the SnowHawk has been enjoying a mini-revival—thanks to another Quebec-based company called MST Moto. Production of the MST SnowHawk kicked into high gear during the winter of 2014-2015 with engine upgrades and new features.

Long live the SnowHawk! MST Moto photo

SnowTech MX Adrenaline

Another snow bike conversion kit that’s got people talking is the SnowTech MX Adrenaline from West Haven, Utah. Available in three different track lengths, the SnowTech MX Adrenaline features aerospace-grade aluminum, a lightweight belt-drive system, the Camso Maxtrack I or II and the Yeti front ski. For 2018, the kits feature a third shock and other performance upgrades.

Snowrider

Made in Russia, Snowrider is a snow bike conversion kit that’s said to fit any modern enduro or motocross bike with a displacement of 125-cc and up. It comes in three different track lengths, a 121-, 129- and 137-inch. Installation is the same as any other kit and takes about an hour. 

Related Articles

Orange Montec jacket and bibs.
Gear Review: Montec Fenix Unisex Jacket and Pants

A hands-on review of the Montec Fenix Unisex snowmobile jacket and pants from Ridestore in Sweden.

by Kirsten Armleder
Testing the Argo avy pack from Motorfist
Gear Review: Argo Avalanche Airbag Backpack by Motorfist

Review: Argo Avalanche Airbag Backpack by Motorfist

by Kirsten Armleder
Woman wearing Contessa Jacket on a black sled.
Gear Review: Women’s Contessa jacket by Motorfist

The Contessa Jacket is Motorfist’s answer to technical riding gear that is designed specifically for women.

by Kirsten Armleder
>
View all Gearboxx articles

Comments