First launched in 2010, the Timbersled is still a relatively new sports and recreation conversion kit for dirt bikes. Largely a dirt bike outfitted with a snowmobile track in place of traditional tires, the Timbersled has far advanced the world of snow biking. The story of the Timbersled took place in Sandpoint, Idaho, where Allen Magnum often built and modified snowmobiles in the early 2000s. It was in 2002 that he developed the Mountain Tamer rear snowmobile suspension, which was the first to offer adjustable coupling. With this innovation, riders could control ski lift on more powerful snowmobiles. This success would be the first of many for Magnum in the coming years. Magnum started his brand and continued on in his snowmobile inventions.
In 2008, Allen Magnum took a snow bike out for a ride for the first time and was dismayed. Knowing he could improve on the design, he worked to develop the Timbersled concept. One year later, Magnum's first prototype was finally built. Wanting to put his concept to the test, he took the Timbersled out with others who had different snow bike systems. They raced up a mountainside, and Magnum was able to maneuver to the top before everyone else through areas he had never been able to ride through before. It was then that he realized the Timbersled was a serious gamer-changer for snow bikes. In 2010, production of the Timbersled systems ensued in Ponderay, Idaho and the brand took off. The conversion kits took just a few hours to install, allowing dirt bike riders to quickly switch up their bikes to snow-ready riding. Plus, with the ability to fit any dirt bike made since 1990, they were incredibly accessible to riders of all kinds. The Timbersled brand saw such growth that it grabbed the attention of many others in the snowmobiling world, including the likes of Polaris. In 2015, Polaris Industries announced the acquisition of Timbersled, combining two powerful entities while allowing Timbersled to operate as a distinct brand. In 2017, the Timbersled ARO™ was launched, further enhancing bike performance via efficient engine power, handling, and deep-snow performance. In that same year, they debuted at the winter Aspen X Games, which was a huge accomplishment for Timbersled and Polaris. Recently, the Timbersled RIOT™ was introduced in 2019, offering the most dirt-bike like experience on snow with a track that performs like a traditional tire.
So, who's work did Magnum improve on, anyways? Where did snow bikes come from? Let's rewind back to 1993 in Boise, Idaho. A retired Hewlett-Packard engineer named Vernal Forbes is the man to thank, having dreamed up the idea for a hybrid dirt bike that could operate like a snowmobile, but maintain the agile control of a bike. After years of sketching out and planning the design, Forbes fabricated and built his prototype in his garage. In 1998, it was ready for a test drive, which proved to be a success for Forbes. He continued making improvements to the track design, producing later prototypes to test their functionality on the snow. By 2006, he founded 2Moto to sell his snow bike kits. It was two years later that Allen Magnum got on his first snow bike and took the idea further.
Although a young sport, snow biking continues to gain momentum in popularity, with competitive racing growing yearly. In fact, it's the fastest growing powersport in the U.S. The Timbersled conversion kits appeal to a wide range of people from the worlds of motocross and snowboarding, offering a way into snowmobiling with an edge. Magnum's groundbreaking work and Forbes' pre-cursory snow bike innovations have allowed dirt bike riders the opportunity to continue riding during the winter.