Editor’s Note: The name Reagan Sieg is synonymous with snow biking. As a professional freestyle motocross rider, Sieg, who’s from Vernon, B.C., is quite literally a wizard on two wheels. Having come from a snowmobile background as well, he’s no stranger to winter riding, but ever since 2012, has shifted his focus to snow biking, taking this highly addictive sport to a level he didn’t even think was possible. Below, Sieg offers some tips for those entering the sport, especially from the dirt bike side of things:
“If you know how to operate a clutch, you’re already halfway to mastering the art of the snow bike,” said Sieg.
Don’t put your foot down
“Stopping can be a bit of a challenge when shifting from dirt to snow. Dirt bikers are used to putting their foot down on the ground to stabilize the bike when they stop. With a snow bike, it’s important that you do not put your foot down into deep snow while attempting to stop on flat ground, as it will result in your foot sinking followed by your bike tipping over. If you stop on a sidehill, you can put your high-side foot down for a smooth, easy stop.
“It’s important to head out into the backcountry with those who know the terrain and never ride alone. Network with other snow bikers in your area to help you get started off on the right foot.
“Be very aware of icy spots, especially at trailheads, parking lots and icy sections of the trail. Try to go around these spots by anticipating and reading the terrain ahead of you. It’s easy to avoid sketchy sections when your machine is only 11 inches wide on the snow.
Stiffen your suspension before you send it
“If you are a rider who likes to send it, like me, make sure your front suspension is on the stiffer side, or opt for the Timbersled Trio front shock, which offers improved performance, handling and control as well as a smoother, more comfortable ride.
“When landing a jump, it’s important to be on the gas to ensure a smooth transition landing.
Safety is paramount
“The absolute most important factor if you are new to winter motorized recreation in the mountains is safety. Avalanche gear, training and practice are imperative.
“Support those who support the sport by joining your local snowmobile club or organization. Your local club provides not only maintained trails and warm up shelters, they are your advocate when it comes to potential land closures and other political matters.”