When the frigid months of winter hit, it can be tempting to go into hibernation mode—staying indoors to avoid the cold. But what if you found some fun ways for your family to embrace the cold, snowy months of winter and make new memories instead? With the right recreational vehicles, this could be your most exciting winter yet!
When most people think of dirt bikes, they (understandably) tend to think of the warmer summer months. However, it's possible to enjoy your dirt bike year-round by simply winterizing it; this can be done with the use of an innovative Timbersled system, which allows you to convert your dirt bike so that it can be ridden year-round. Specifically, these systems include front skis and rear tracks that replace the wheels on your dirt bike. These allow you to ride with confidence in the snow. And when the warmer months of spring and summer roll back around, simply replace the Timbersled system with your original dirt bike tires.
Never ridden a dirt bike before? Many instructors recommend dirt bikes for those interested in motorsports, as they are an excellent starting point for younger riders. Specifically, dirt bikes can help young riders learn how to balance, accelerate, throttle, and brake. These skills can then be used as they learn to ride larger recreational vehicles down the road.
ATVs are called "all-terrain vehicles" for a reason; they're ready for year-round fun! Snow is probably the most challenging of all the elements, however, because it also requires riders to protect themselves from the weather while making sure their ATV is ready for winter.
The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to adapt your ATV for the colder winter months. For starters, you'll want to make sure you have all the right accessories, including windshields and hand/thumb warmers for the throttles.
If you're considering the purchase of an ATV this winter and you have young children, consider a youth ATV—which is designed and built smaller with your child's safety in mind. These ATVs come with 90cc engines and are often sold with a remote control so that adults can shut off the engine from a distance, regulate the throttle, or enact other precautionary measures as needed. This can give you the added peace of mind you need as a parent while still allowing your kids to have some fun!
Snowmobiles are the traditional winter powersport; they come in both youth and adult sizes to suit your family's needs. One of the things many parents enjoy about snowmobiles is that trails are typically well maintained and clearly marked. For reference and more information on trails near you, you can check out the DNR website or a reputable third party site like JohnDee.com, which list trail conditions across the state.
Tips for Safe Winter Riding
If you do decide to invest in a vehicle for winter recreation, there are some important safety tips that you need to be kept in mind at all times. For starters, nobody should ever ride alone; getting stranded in normal conditions is one thing, but being stuck in cold or freezing temperatures is downright dangerous. It's generally best to play "follow the leader" when riding in a group, but because visibility is often reduced in snowy conditions, be sure to keep a safe following distance so that you have plenty of time to stop if needed.
Furthermore, keep in mind that not all trails are open during the winter months. This is especially true of some ATV trails, so always check to ensure that the trail you're considering is open and legal.
Keep in mind that if you're riding any recreational vehicle, such as a dirt bike or ATV, that snowmobiles are generally the fastest on powder. This means that you'll need to be aware of your surroundings if you're sharing a trail with these vehicles—especially as you navigate around blind corners and long straights.
No matter where you're riding, always stick to the posted trail and follow all traffic signs. This includes stop signs and speed limit signs. Watch where you're going at all times and keep in mind that riding in the snow is a lot like riding in mud: you may have reduced stopping and handling abilities. Furthermore, you won't always be able to see what's beneath the surface of the snow.
If riding on a frozen pond or other body of water, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that you should never venture out on any frozen surface that is less than six inches thick. Doing so could result in you and your vehicle falling through thin ice.
The Bottom Line
Dirt bikes, ATVs, and snowmobiles are all great recreational vehicles to consider for taking your winter entertainment to the next level. Each of these vehicle types can be winterized and safely enjoyed by children, teens, and adults alike—making them a great choice for families. Just be sure to keep some basic safety tips in mind as you ride!
Interested in shopping for a new or used recreational vehicle this winter? Tousley Motorsports has a wide selection of ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and accessories—so stop by today or contact us at 1-800-TOUSLEY to find out more.