When you think of a half-track, your mind probably first conjures up images of quirky World War II armored fighting vehicles. They’re probably fun to hoon in their own right, assuming you’re not being actively shot at. However, the gang at Grind Hard Plumbing Co. built a half-track of a more sporting persuasion. Enter the Timberquad.
The Polaris Predator 500 quad was modified using a snow bike kit, typically designed for installation on off-road dirt bikes. The kits feature a snowmobile-like track at the rear, and a ski that replaces the bike’s front wheel. These allow riders to enjoy their dirt bikes year round, with the wide rear track floating the bike nicely over snow while also providing plenty of forward thrust.
The kit took a little modification to fit the kit to the quad, given it was designed for dirt bikes, but with a little hacking it all fit well. It hooned well in the winter, but when the summer came, the skis were pulled off the front end and replaced with tires once more. The result is a mean-looking half-track quad bike, and frankly, we’re here for it.
While the resulting vehicle doesn’t quite have the agility of a normal sports quad, it nonetheless grips up in the dirt and looks remarkably fun to ride. The large toothed track digs into the ground, propelling the quad forth with much vigor. Despite the long track assembly hanging off the back, the quad remains very well balanced. Jumps are clean and land well, and it can even be ridden tilted over on the track and one wheel.
It’s hard to say if there are any serious benefits to building a half-track quad bike, but we’re always here for the weird and wonderful builds. In any case, the team demonstrate that the rear track does provide plenty of grip for climbing up hills on soft dirt. Performance is less impressive on hard-packed surfaces, as anyone who has tried to ride a regular snowmobile down a dry road will tell you. It can be done, of course, but heavy modifications are recommended.
Snow bike conversion kits are a fairly recent development, really only taking off in the past two decades or so. It’s great seeing the off-road community experiment with the hardware, using it to hoon in new and creative ways. We certainly wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to rip the Timberquad around a dirt track, that’s for sure.
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