So, you have a bike worthy of a conversion to snow. Now what? Let’s slam a turbo, some NOS, or at the very least an ECU onto this bad boy to make it scream, right? WRONG!

Engine Temperature Management has to be Job #1.

Plan of Attack

  • Thermostat
  • Temperature Gauge
  • Engine Blanket
  • Radiator Blocking
  • Pipe Cover ( 2 Stroke)
  • Carb Heater (2 Stroke)

4 Strokes

Your happy place will be between 180 – 200F (82 – 93C). You will not hit this without help from some, if not all of the items listed above.

If you don’t hit your operating temp, the end result can be pretty nasty. Gas in the crankcase may shorten your day due to a loss of proper engine lubrication. We don’t want this!

Even if you don’t grenade your motor, a cold motor doesn’t have the output of a warm motor. Output is what we’re all looking for!

2 Strokes

You’ll need to shoot for 125 – 140F (51 – 60C). As with your 4 Stroke rivals, you won’t hit this with a naked engine.

For you, keeping the heat in the pipe is key. Ceramic coatings or Carbon Fibre guards seem to be the way to go. Wraps may cause you grief as they freeze up when the bike is shut off and cools down.

Your carb is another component that can throw a wrench in your day, if left to fend for itself. A carb heater works well to keep things from icing up, and should be on the list.

Bottom Line

We can’t do a simple swap from dirt to snow without taking into account what the cold is going to do to our motors.

Get your bike running properly as a Snowbike first, then look at all of the crazy bolt-ons the industry has to offer!

~ Ian McKill, Riders Edge Suspension, Vernon, B.C.