OK, We have been kitin' here since the beginning of Dec. This is the year I am gonna step up and get after it like my western counterparts. I bought this bad ass 4 wheeler with the intentions of putting tracks on it like the Polaris Ranger we used last year to gain access into the WVa hills. It is a Suzuki 750 King Quad with a power chip and a tuned exhaust as well as some suspension work. My tracks will be on it by Xmas. Think it is gonna get it as good as a snowmobile out west when I bring it out? Am I gonna be able to access the high terrain? JR
Sounds and looks like a great machine for certain types of snow conditions and specific terrain.
While I have never run one like yours, I have ridden sleds for years to get to kite terrain in the Rockies. I think that your machine will work perfectly on recently groomed roads out here. When I say recently groomed, I mean groomed with a Piston Bully. I do not think it will work on narrow, twisty trails. I doubt it will work in deep Rocky Mtn powder and/or in steeper terrain. I doubt it will work when you come across a steep side hill, hard packed with wind drifts on your approach.
Just two days ago my kite partner and I rode our sleds into an area to sled/ski/kite. We left the road at a low elevation, rode a groomed trail (that was whooped out for five miles) then headed on a narrow trail in timber to a high alpine basin. I know you could not have accessed that basin with your machine. If you had stayed on the road, you would have had trouble as you headed higher -- the terrain gets too steep and the snow too deep and drifted. At some point on almost every trail the grooming stops and one must head higher to get to kite terrain.
Now, for some places, your machine would be perfect! The one that immediately comes to mind is the groomed road (groomed 1 -2 times a day), Hwy14A in the Big Horns. This is a easy sled ride and your machine would work fine. It could get you and your gear into great terrain easily.
Another time and place that your machine would be perfect is in the spring (assuming it's not dumping fresh pow like it did last spring). Once the snowpack firms up and you have a bomb-proof base your machine would be the ticket to high elevation kiting. However, if you encounter fresh, deep and steep - forget it.
If you take it off road, into deep snow, you may just churn through the layers and get stuck.
I will add this: While we skied a steep line last weekend, and because there was no wind we did not kite, we did have a sick time of it ripping hills of deep powder on ours sleds. It was boondockin' at it's best and some days are like that. The kiting does not happen and the sledding is epic!
Yeah Noah, Your the one man I want to hear from. I think my machine is gonna get it better then you think. I think you are right about the off camber, Steep and deep terrain. But we get our Polaris side by side in many miles thru unplowed or tracked roads and trails in real deep snow. We have gotten sleds stuck in the same. This machine is half the weight of the Polaris. I put alot of thought into my decision. This stuff ain't cheap! We don't get the amount or duration of snow here for me to justify a snow specific machine. I will have my tracks on soon. And I can't wait to be able to hook up with ya. Your posts are awesome. JR.
Well, I was planning on a 2 week trip in Jan. But since I laid out the cash for the machine I decided to hold off I my western trip with my camper 'til next season. I want to rage here in WVa, where winter is full on again, and the Tug with my machine. I will be comin' thru in the big truck in Feb. or March. I run 90 alot and have family in Belgrade. Be on the lookout for a green Pete with a big fish on the trailer. I really look forward to meetin' you and your crew. I have heard such good things about you all from the folks at Ozone. You and the Jackson crew and the Idaho guys, hell all the western folks posting this cool shit from out there. You all definetly get me fired up! JR
Hi John Sounds like your rig will be good for accessing all the groomed trails for snowmobiles (I guess thats what Noah was referring to). You can get to the base of a steep and start telemarking from there. Just start searching out all the groomed sled destinations. You will never be stuck alone with a buried snowmachine that way. You will have far less avy exposure than a sledder, quieter and less smelly. And as you will be crawling around slowly, you'll have no trouble hauling me and all my gear up there behind you! Dave
my four stroke is not smelly! It takes me wherever I want to go! And I am usually towing two or three people! There are lots of trails here in wyoming that will get you to the goods. The largest network of trails in the us is right here in jh!
Ok, I'll throw my $.02 in since I kite the bighorns a LOT and have used a tracked quad to access it.. Noah, I love you, but you were a bit off base on this one.. Those machines will go ANYWHERE (at least the ones I've been on) deep powder, windy trails, steep terrain, and the like. We've also put a full rack of gear, two men, and towing a third skier up to the top of little baldy with one. They are good access.. HOWEVER, the drawback.... When adding tracks to a four wheeler, it about triples the size of the tire, thus making 15-18mph their MAXIMUM speed.. This may not seem like a big deal, but being on a sled and driving 65 to check out a different spot (inevitably for wind) is much more easily done.. Time always seems to be of the essence when going out in the winter due to short days and you want to maximize your time out there. So they work awesome to get anywhere you want to go (and can easily take a buddy or two) pack a bit more gear, but they just cannot hang with the speed of a snowmobile which is only a small drawback if you know your area, and where you are going, or are hooked up with locals.. But if you are exploring on your own and are trying to minimize travel time, it isn't quite the BEST option.. But I think well worth towing out!!
Howdy Captain, I think it is time for you to consider changing course and setting sail for the hills. It is goin' off here. Took the machine into Sinks of Gandy today. My most epic East Coast ridin' yet! Deep Creek Lake is about ready to go. 2-3 inches thick I hear from the ice fisherman. Wind in the forecast tomorrow. Next week looks good with more snow. Anyhow, I dig hearin' all the thoughts on the tracked machine. Lots of good input. Speed is not a big issue for me. Gettin' alot of stuff in is. I have high hopes for it. I can't wait. Used it today to get into the area I was ridin'. Did great with the gnar treads on it. All practice so when I come west to ride I don't look like a total dweeb. JR