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Here’s the stuff that only your friends will tell you. It’s going to cost some money, and take some time, to build your snowbike.
Just the other day we were looking at Instagram photos from recent snow shows. What we saw were snowbikes decked out with fancy wraps (AKA Stickers) but nothing about how, or if the bike was set up properly. Literally nothing. These people may know how to sell dirt bikes and track kits, but they don’t (presumably) know anything about what it means to be a snowbiker.
We’re not talking about getting geeky or adding more power, just the basics.
Gotta Have Items
Each of these very likely needs to be checked off your list.
Thermostat – Help your engine maintain operating temperature.
Temperature Gauge – Watch for overheating. Stop and apply snow to the engine. Common on long approaches without fresh snow at lower elevations.
Skid Plate – Buried stump and rock protection for your engine. Also helps retain engine heat.
Exhaust Heat Shield – Protect your pants from nasty burns. Even “snowbike specific” pants won’t protect you when muscling your bike while getting unstuck.
Radiator Guards (Aluminum) – These heat up enough to keep the radiator somewhat clean so it can breath when needed for engine cooling.
Radiator Block-Offs – Intentionally block off airflow to the radiators when conditions are not warm (-5 C or lower) or when there are piles of new snow that are thwarting your engine’s ability to build heat.
Engine Blanket – Retain engine heat to help maintain reliability and performance. Don’t go out there naked, it’s cold.
Wrap Around Hand Guards – Snowbikes live in the trees. Whacks from cold branches really hurt. The wind deflectors can also help keep your hands warm.