7 Awesome Snowmobile Tricks… with Videos!

TMS Parts brings you a blog with some awesome snowmobile tricks

The Coolest Things You Can Do on a Track and Two Skis

Snowmobilers are a special breed of daredevils. Is taking your snowmobile out into the wilderness in zero-degree weather dangerous enough? Definitely. Do snowmobilers like to take it farther than that? Also definitely. Much farther than that! If you’ve been mountain riding or seen the Winter X-Games, you already know it: snowmobilers are some of the craziest riders out there. But if you need to have the point proven, or you just want to see some amazing videos, check out these 7 awesome snowmobile tricks!

Awesome Snowmobile Tricks: The Basics

Carving is one of the best awesome snowmobile tricks

7. Carving

Before you learn to run, you have to learn how to walk, right? Well before you can get to the X-Games, you probably have to learn how to carve like the pros

6. Wheelies

One of the first tricks you might see folks attempting is the wheelie. How about these awesome wheelies on the mountain tops of British Columbia?

5. Turn-Up

Not every trick is about showing off your finesse. Sometimes it’s just about finessing your way out of a sticky situation, like a row of trees you don’t imagine are going to get up and move any time soon.

The Heavy Hitters

Okay, so we’ve covered some of the basics, and you can probably do at least a couple of these. How about some stuff we’re only going to see the pros do? Take a look at some of these amazing snowmobile tricks!

4. Daniel Bodin’s Seat Grab Indy Backflip

There are few legends in the world of snowmobiling like Daniel Bodin. He is an athlete in the truest sense of the word. One of his greatest moments was this seat-grab Indy backflip by at the 2017 Winter X games. He went on to win the Gold in 2019… don’t worry, we’ll get to it in a bit!

3. Caleb Moore Winning the Silver at the Winter X Games

Caleb Moore was a rider well-known for his innovation and his daring skills. He definitely proved both of those with this incredible Superman Seatgrab into Carolla and ending with a no-handed landing. It doesn’t get much more nerve-wracking!

2. Heath Frisby’s Legendary Front Flip

In the world of snowmobiling, folks are always pushing themselves to the limit. For the incredible folks competing in the Winter X-Games, this is maybe truer than ever. We see constant leaps forward in what folks are capable of like the world’s first-ever front flip on a snowmobile performed by Heath Frisby in 2012.

1. Daniel Bodin Winning the Gold in the Freestyle Competition, 2019

So, sure we might have already talked about Bodin’s legendary skills, but we had to give it up for him a second time with this run. Bodin won his first gold in the freestyle competition back in 2011. Almost a decade later, Bodin came back fired up more than ever and performed these mind-boggling backflip combos! When they say no rest for the wicked, they must be talking about Bodin!

The Coolest Way to Have Fun in the Snow

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that there’s no better way to have fun in the winter than by riding a snowmobile. Learning tricks can make it even more fun, but just make sure you’re always practicing with a buddy and doing it safely! We don’t all land the front-flip on the first try!

The Iron Dog Race: What to Know

The Iron Dog race is the ultimate endurance test for snowmobilers

The World’s Coolest Cross Country Snowmobile Race

Do you love snowmobiling? Do you eat, breathe, and live snowmobiling? If this sounds like you and you haven’t heard of the Iron Dog Snowmachine Race then you are in for the thrill of a lifetime. Do you like the idea of racers covering thousands of miles through Alaska’s toughest wilderness during some if it’s toughest winter weather? Then you need to keep reading to find out everything about the Iron Dog Race.

The Iron Dog race currently runs over 2,400 miles of the Alaskan wilderness

What is the Iron Dog Race?

The Iron Dog race is the ultimate endurance test for snowmobilers. The race currently runs over 2,400 miles of the Alaskan wilderness where the only thing racers can rely on is themselves. Survival skills are equally as important as your riding skills in this race which has the potential to be literally life or death.

Survival skills are equally as important as your riding skills in this race

The Beginning

The origin of the Iron Dog race begins in Big Lake, Alaska. The race followed the northern portion of the historic Iditarod Trail. Yes, that’s the same Iditarod Trail from the dog race!

The first race was held in 1984 under the name Iron Dog Iditarod. It covered 1,000 miles and racers crossed the finish line in Nome, Alaska. 

The Current Course

Of course, since 1984 the Iron Dog race has gone through many changes. The route has more than doubled, now sitting at a staggering 2,400 miles across Alaska. The race typically begins in Mid-February when snow conditions in Alaska can be at their worst. Sub-zero temperatures, white-out conditions, and no reprieve for riders.

The current Iron Dog race course begins as it originally did in Big Lake, Alaska, following the Iditarod trail until racers reach the Yukon River in Ruby, Alaska. From there the course follows the river until it reaches Kaltag, Alaska. Then racers head towards the Norton Sound peninsula in the Bearing Sea and follow the coast north to Nome. From there, racers backtrack to Ruby and diverge from their original path towards the finish line in Fairbanks. 

Racers attempt to cover hundreds or even thousands of miles in a day. Currently, the shortest time to completion was set in 2016 at just over 35 hours! That means traveling almost 70 miles every hour! 

the Iron Dog race is one of the most intense snowmobiling races out there!

The Conditions

Racers are facing Alaska’s toughest terrain during its toughest time of the year. Many Alaskan native racers will tell you that racers from the lower 48 rarely have what it takes to keep up. Even beyond simply making the journey, racers also need to worry about making food, finding time to sleep, and using the bathroom. 

Of course, all of this is happening in the Alaskan tundra during the middle of winter when temperatures can reach 60 below zero. This race takes much more than just the ability to ride your snowmobile. It takes the ability to survive the toughest conditions that Alaska can throw at you all while trying to make the best time.

Iron Dog winners could win up to $100K in this snowmobile race!

The Prize

One of the greatest prizes of the Iron Dog race is the glory of winning. Over the 30+ years of this race, there have been 28 different winners. There have been 15 racers with multiple titles and 12 racers with only a single title. We also have just recently seen the second generation of riders from the same family winning titles that their parents had won.

Apart from the victory of joining the echelon of legendary riders who have defeated this race, there is also the prize money. While prize purses have differed from year to year, the purse for last year’s prize was $100,000!

The Iron Dog Race: The Ride of Your Life

Riders tread thousands of miles across the harshest conditions Alaska has to offer.

The Iron Dog Race is the world’s longest snowmobile race, and it’s absolutely the most intense. Riders tread thousands of miles across the harshest conditions Alaska has to offer. They battle the clock, they battle the elements, and they battle their own will power. It’s undoubtedly one of the most dangerous and rewarding ways to race your snowmobile. For serious sledders like us, it doesn’t get any cooler!

Interested in learning about the history of snowmobiles? Check out our recent blog about it! After all, without snowmobiles, there wouldn’t be a race like this.

Here’s a Few Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in Winter Weather

riding a motorcycle in winter weather

Keeping Yourself Safe and Comfortable when Riding in the Winter

Just because your neck of the woods got hit with cold temperatures and deep snow doesn’t mean the motorcycle fun has to end.  With a little effort, it’s not too difficult to stay warm and dry while you’re riding. But it’s more than just wearing a neck warmer and hitting the throttle. There are a few subtle ways to keep your body heat up and keep the cold out. So if you want to keep revving your engines until spring rolls around, check out these tips for riding your motorcycle in winter. 

here are our best tips for riding a motorcycle in winter weather

Our Tips for Cold Weather Riding

You’ve got your earmuffs and your winter gloves, are you ready? Well, not quite. Just having your regular winter gear won’t really cut it for riding your motorcycle in the winter. There are some different tips and pieces of special riding gear you want to have. Let’s talk about how you can keep warm and keep riding.

Getting the Right Gear for Riding a Motorcycle in Winter

dressing in layers is important when thinking about riding a motorcycle in winter weather

Dressing in Layers

You can spend hundreds of dollars on all sorts of fancy gear, but the very first thing you need to know is this: Always dress in layers. But it’s not as simple as throwing on a sweatshirt under your jacket. There is an art to layering correctly. Doing it right means riding in style and staying warm. Doing it wrong is going to mean a pretty uncomfortable experience. 

You always want to dress in at least three layers. Each layer should be comprised of specific kinds of material and performs a specific function.

things to keep in mind when traveling in winter weather

Here are the layers you should keep in mind when dressing for winter motorcycle riding:

  • Base Layer: Your base layer has one basic function: to provide warmth. This is our insulating layer. The best base layer provides warmth and is also made with a moisture-wicking material. This will keep your sweat off your body and keep you warm and dry.
  • Mid Layer: The mid-layer is where the majority of our warmth comes from. Choose a bulky but comfortable sweater, jacket, or another piece of clothing.
  • Outer Layer: Our outer most layer needs to be our strongest. This is your layer that will block the wind from penetrating your layers and making you incredibly cold. 
riding a motorcycle in winter weather can be dangerous

Insulated Gloves

One of the most important pieces of gear you need is a good pair of gloves. Your hands are the first thing catching that icy wind off the highway. If you’re not wearing good, insulated gloves, you’re going to be feeling it.

One piece of gear to give some good thought to is a pair of insulated gloves. There are plenty out there made from all sorts of materials with different features. The best gloves, however, are made from sturdy, windproof material. Any rider who has been out in winter without good gloves can tell you: cold hands are going to send you packing.

make sure when you're getting ready for riding a motorcycle in winter weather that you have the right riding gear

Heated Gear

Another thing you can think about is getting some heated motorcycle gear. We’re all familiar with the wind chill making temperatures even colder. When you’re out riding the highway doing 60 mph, you’re adding an additional wind chill factor that you need to compensate for.

Dressing in layers is essential but if your layers are comprised of heated gear, you’re going to be doing even better. In addition to heated gear for your body, you can also get heated gear for your bike. Heated grips and heated seat pads can be just as instrumental to keeping your body heat as your layers.

Cold-Weather Gear For Your Bike

do some basic maintenance before you take the bike out in the cold

Check Your Tires

You buy winter tires for your car, so why not for your bike? Well, one reason is that folks might not know they exist. But if you’re serious about winter riding, this is an investment that can save your life. 

Beyond having better tread designs for snow riding, winter tires are actually made differently. The rubber used to make winter tires is made from a special compound. It keeps the tires from getting too cold in winter weather. This allows them to maintain their grip when your summer tires would be sliding over the surface. 

Reduce Your Wind Chill 

Just like with your hands catching the brunt of the windchill, your face catches a lot, too. One really important purchase is a windshield for your motorcycle. It won’t completely negate any of the windchill coming from the front of your bike, but it will greatly reduce it. 

You can’t stay out in the cold riding forever, but with a good windshield, you can increase the clock!

Things to Look Out For When Riding a Motorcycle in Winter

be sure that you're looking out for certain things when riding a motorcycle in winter

Salt and Black Ice

Salt on the road is a good thing when you’re in your car. When you’re on your bike, salt and sand can be just as deadly as the icy road. The loose grains on the road create a surface that is incredibly difficult for your tires to grip on to. It can spell a mean spill quickly.

Of course, black ice isn’t your friend, either. If you notice ice on the road, turn around and head back.

Winter Riding Safety – Increase Following Distance and Visibility

Riding in winter can be difficult for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the same no matter what season it is: you can’t control other drivers on the road. In the winter when stopping can be especially difficult you need to make sure that you increase your following distance.

It also helps immensely to increase your visibility. Black might be your color of choice, but make sure your winter gear is bright and easy to see. It could save your life.

If you See Snow, Head Home

This one is extremely simple. When you see the first flake, head home. There’s no reason to put yourself or others in danger by riding when it’s currently snowing. If you see the flakes start falling, it’s time to call it quits. 

Adjusting to Riding in Cold Weather

adjusting to riding in cold weather can be easy or it can be dangerous!

Winter riding is a bit like its own sport. It requires its own gear and its own equipment. Winter riding can also be especially rewarding, though. It gives us some peace and solitude on the road and we get to enjoy the beautiful winter landscape. For those of us who just can’t bear to put away the bike for the winter, it’s a necessity. No matter what reason you want to ride this winter, just make sure you do it safely! 

The Best Snowmobile Trails in California

the best snowmobile trails in california

The Best Groomed Snowmobile Trails on the West Side of the Country

When you think of California you’re probably thinking of sandy beaches, surfing, and the Hollywood Hills. California is a gigantic state, though, and this is just a small piece of what it has to offer. In addition to great hiking in their lovely national forests and amazing weather year-round, they also have some amazing snowmobile trails. While you might not think of snow in California first when you think of the state, it gets plenty! If you’re looking for a new place to ride, or you want to learn something new about the state, here are the best snowmobile trails in California!

The Best Trails To Ride In California

California isn’t all palm trees and beaches! For the local riders, you already know there are plenty of great places to get into the wilderness and ride. If you’re a little skeptical, check out our list of the best trails to ride in California. While there are dozens of trails in California, and these obviously aren’t all of them, they are some of the most popular and beloved! 

If you’re thinking about checking out any of these awesome trails, make sure you’re prepared! Take a look at our favorite snowmobiling apps to help you ride safely!

the china wall foresthill divide winter trails are super great

China Wall / Foresthill Divide Winter Trails

We begin our journey in Sacramento, California with the China Wall/Forest Hill Divide trails. In the summer, this beautiful national park is great for hiking, camping, and enjoying the beautiful California wildlife. However, in the winter, when the OHV trails are closed for use by dirt bikers, the real fun begins!

In the winter, snowmobile riders can enjoy 15 miles of groomed trails through the California forest. While the area is great for camping in the summer, it’s even better for riding in the winter. The trail is also accessed by snowshoers and cross-country skiers, so it’s important to be mindful when you’re on the trail.

TMS parts loves the Mammoth lakes, it's one of the best snowmobile trails in california

Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes, located in Mammoth, California, is another exceptional snowmobiling destination in the Golden State. It’s an incredibly popular destination at all times of the year, and for good reason. The summer offers camping and hiking, there is great foliage viewing in the fall, and of course, winter brings snow sports!

Mammoth Lakes has hundreds of miles of roads and trails to discover. It’s a great place to go over and over again and always get a unique experience. They even have some fan-favorite rides like the trail from Shady Rest to Bald Mountain. It provides great views of the mountain range along with a beautiful system of trails and open-country riding.

little truckee summit winter trails are so much fun

Little Truckee Summit Winter Trails

Located in Tahoe, California, the Little Truckee Summit Winter Trails is a great destination for serious riders. In the winter, there are more than 100 miles of groomed trails for snowmobilers. Trails range from easy to more difficult terrains depending on the length of the ride you want to take. It’s the best kind of “choose-your-own-adventure” story!

This area is heavily trafficked by snowmobilers. While skiing is not prohibited, it is not recommended. While this is bad news for skiers, it’s great news for riders! For the daring folks, there is also free camping available at the Little Truckee Summit parking area, however, not year-round. Camping is permitted for 7 or fewer days between mid-February and mid-April

Sherman Pass is  one of the best snowmobile trails in california

Sherman Pass / Kern Plateau Area 

Sherman Pass in Sequoia National Forest isn’t one of the most fearsome trails in California, but it’s one of the most popular. While the Sherman Pass trail is only 25 miles by itself, riding the pass will give you great access to other trails in the Kern Plateau area. The Sherman Pass trail is well-groomed, and it’s great for beginning riders.

The greater Kern Plateau area offers more than 100 miles of additional trails to explore with a range of riding difficulties. The trail will take you along rolling hills, beautiful ridgelines, and perfectly groomed trails. There is plenty to explore for the more seasoned riders in your group. However, for any beginners, there are few trails that offer such easy riding with such great rewards.

Yuba Pass is one of the best snowmobile trails in California, we swear!

Yuba Pass

The Yuba Pass in Tahoe, California might just take the whole cake for great trails in California. The Yuba Pass is home to more than 150 miles of trails that are groomed and maintained by the California/Nevada Snowmobile Association. The pass offers fantastic views of the Sierra mountains and valley. It’s accessible for snowmobilers, snowshoers, and hikers.

This park is heavily trafficked by both snowmobilers and other snow-enthusiasts. It’s a popular destination for skiing, snowshoeing and of course, snowmobiling. There is a very short shared-trail for snowmobilers and skiers, but the paths quickly diverge. There is a lot to explore in the Yuba Pass with easy access for snowmobilers to other highways and trail systems.

Take a look at this awesome ride in the Yuba Pass.

Getting the Most from Your Winter in California

California is a beautiful place to ride your sled this winter

California is a beautiful state. This isn’t a secret. What might be a secret is just how much fun you can have on a sled in the Californian winters. So don’t think that California is only good for a summer vacation destination. Any local rider can tell you, there are some really amazing trails to ride in California. So if you’re looking for a new, great place to ride, check out these awesome snowmobile trails in California!