With the track clawing uphill until it ran out of solid snow and achieved a great white lift-off, I backed off the gas while my mind fixated on an image of Wile E. Coyote holding up the sign of a bad day: "Uh-Oh!"
The kitted dirtbike and I dropped into blizzard spoor like a 500-pound stone and hared off across the snow, churning up rooster tails. Turning to grin at the camera, I flopped the beast off the side of a snow berm and bounced up looking like a powdered doughnut.
Out of the heartwoods of Idaho, 2Moto delivers the answer to a question asked only by the few, the proud and the aggressively weird. The company's RadiX kit ($4249) adapts virtually any 250 or 450cc four-stroke motocross or off-road bike into a James Bond-style snow dancer. With about two hours' work, a ski bolts to the bike's fork and a patented rear track assembly replaces the rear suspension, sprocket and wheel. Thanks to a two-part rocker linkage and twin, fully adjustable shocks, the track offers 10.5 inches of nose travel and 16 inches at the rear.
More than a few dollars more buys the full-zoot Rogue ($12,950), including electric start-and a Husaberg FE650e.
I sampled 2Moto's wares during its annual demo day at Stampede Pass in the Cascade Mountains. For motorcyclists or snowmobilers, the 2Moto approach is a whole different trip. 2Moto's machines are to snowmobiling as windsurfing is to bass fishing. Like motocross, this is no sport for old fat guys. Regardless, I had a blast.
Single-track snowmobile? Pretty much. 2Moto's kits are easier to install than you would im
The carbon-edged ski tracked like a greyhound on the rail, allowing our guides to drag handlebars and the track dug hard through turns. Open-class power allowed floating the front or setting the ski at will. It felt wrong to lean over and nose into turns, but it worked fine once I stifled my countersteering reflex.
Snowmobilers gave us a lot of funny looks, but riders munching 2Moto's barbeque were mostly grinning too much to notice.
"I wasn't expecting anything this cool," said Monroe, Washington, motocrosser Dave Wite. "You get up on the pegs and it's just like riding in sand with a paddle tire."
Well, sort of. Grabbing at the phantom front brake won't even buy you a quality hallucination of stopping, and the 8-inch rear wave rotor is mostly used for crunching up snow ahead of the track so you can style to a feet-up stop. It's the 2Moto version of a hockey stop.
Annell Allen, messianic marketing director, ISDE rider and all-around hot babe, said 2Moto sold 600 of the 700 units produced in 2007 and anticipates delivering 3000 per year by '09.
Is snow-biking the Second Coming of frosty cool? Could be. Just in case it isn't, the Rogue also ships with the stock Husaberg wheels and knobbies. Adding a pair of supermoto rims would give you a true Swiss Army bike.