Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Check out our YouTube Channel

The Frankenbike

It’s a monster! The snow-bike project turned into a hungry 80+ hp monster! With a wet weight of only 368 lbs. it rips!
ZBroz Racing Snow-Bike build Nate Zollinger
Like many snowmobilers, when I first saw a snowbike (a strange garage-build on YouTube) I could not help but watch. Unfortunately, at the end I said, “I will never get those two minutes of my life back!”

This early snowbike looked like someone lost a bet in a midnight bar-stool match. Like a lot of the innovations that started in someone’s garage, the snowbike is NOT going to be a one hit wonder. Just like Apple products, the band Metallica, and now snowbikes, I have a fondness for garage-spun innovations!

With Polaris acquiring Timbersled, this early phenomenon has taken on a much more serious tone, and the concept as a whole is taking off. I think it surprised many snowmobilers and the snowmobile media when Polaris threw its weight behind the concept, and the OEM competition took a more serious look at snowbikes. Like any concept, competitive people will always try to improve on it, and competition drives innovation.

■ The big build
Zbroz has always been on the forefront of innovation; producing, polishing and building on new concepts. This year Nate Zollinger is taking that innovation to a whole new level with a custom snowbike build. Using an older 2006 Honda CRF 450 as the foundation, Nate wanted to add an even older, but more powerful, 2001 CR 500 motor to it. It’s one thing to have a 2-stroke, it’s a whole other ball of wax to have one pushing 80-90 hp. We caught up to Nate and asked him about this very unique build.
ZBroz Racing Snow-Bike build donor Honda
2006 Honda CRF 450 donor bike, later a motor from a 2001 Honda CR 500 was added.
What bike do you normally ride?
I have been riding and currently own a 2017 KTM 300XC and love this bike. It was a great bike for a short track kit and probably one of the best off road bikes produced to date.

Why this project and not a 4-stroke?
I love 2-strokes, love the sound, love the power delivery, pretty much everything about them. The problem is, I wanted more, well mainly more power…. but didn’t want nitrous, and I didn’t want a turbo or expensive 4-stroke big bore. I wanted a budget build and one I could do relatively easily. Don’t get me wrong I love big bore 4-stroke bikes, as a snow bike they rock, its a great combination but it’s just not what I wanted. I wanted a large displacement 2-stroke and a bike that would produce over 80HP naturally aspirated.

How did you start the project?
All I needed was a cheap donor bike for the frame; a Honda 2006 CRF 450, and then the elusive ’01 CR 500 motor (the last and most modern year that this motor was built). My friend Brad Wurston owner of Power Addiction Racing happened to have one he was sitting on, I pried it away from him with a bit of mula and it was mine.

What did you do to the bike once you found it?
I now needed to get the power out of the motor, this is where Packard Racing came into play, they are another Utah local motor builder, they have plenty of 500 builds under their belt. I knew I would get a top notch porting job from Dennis, and I had always wanted one built by him. Then I paired that with a Custom CPI pipe and a 44 mm Lectron carburetor with a large capacity billet bowl for the chance occasion I am running this motor in the summer at the dunes. There you have it, a motor combo that produces in the area of 80-90 hp with just the twist of a the throttle.
ZBroz Racing Snow-Bike build
So besides the motor mods what else did you do?
We had to modify the frame a bit to fit the new horse power and also powder coated it, but overall this entire bike went back together fairly easy.
We added new plastics all around from Acerbis, including a larger 3.1-gallon gas tank. We also added Raze Heated Pro Taper handlebars, Zbroz Racing Double Threat foot pegs; these foot pegs are larger than stock, which on a snowbike is a must. We used a CMX 120 snowbike kit; we chose to go with CMX because they are lighter, belt driven, more efficient, uncoupled rear skid, extremely durable and maintenance free. We are running a Yeti spindle and ski on the front with the Zbroz Racing AER fork fix kit, and of course no build would be complete without Zbroz Racing shocks all around (Exit shocks). We also wanted to make sure we didn’t get lost while exploring the deep woods so we added a Trail Tech Voyager GPS system. The FMF Q series silencer we added makes sure Bambi does not hear us coming. Then to top it off we added a wrap from Octane Addictions.

Are you planning any other any other modifications on this bike?
There are plenty of other modifications I have yet to complete, but the basis of a fun build for me is there, this is one of those bikes I will likely never sell or do again. It will be ridden all winter, I am sure there will be many tweaks and adjustments for this bike throughout the season and years to come, but all in all this is something you don’t see every day on the mountain, let alone a bike I could build from scratch for roughly $5k once I sold all the take off parts from the ’06 CRF 450.

If you are ever in Logan, Utah, you really should look Nate up at Zbroz. Don’t let his Abe Lincoln-look fool you, this is a guy whose mind is always thinking of ways to improve on what is already on the market as well as bringing new ideas and concepts to the market. Zbroz products are used by some of the top athletes in both the summer and winter worlds. We can’t wait to try this bike a bunch this winter!
ZBroz Racing Snow-Bike build
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Sign up for our free newsletter
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.