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Snow is no obstacle when your off-road motorcycle comes with skis

Why it matters to you

Spark up your snowy winters with an off-road motorcycle that has its own skis.

Does winter snow put a stop to your offroad motorcycling? That doesn’t have to be the case if you have a 1968 Husqvarna 256 like the one 6/5/4 Motors in Stockholm recently restored. That’s because it comes with its own set of skis, as reported by BikeExif.

The 256cc off-road bike is one of exactly 1,000 Husqvarnas manufactured for the Swedish military. Johan Nordin, one of 6/5/4’s owners, was especially interested because his father rode one of the off-road ski bikes when he did compulsory military service in the early 1970’s. “And I’ve heard a lot of great stories of his winter adventures on the little bike with skis,” says Norin. “Now I want to experience the same adventures.”

The Husqvarna 256 has a 15.4 horsepower two-cycle engine and a four-speed transmission. The transmission and brakes both have control options mandated by the skis. The only way to keep the skis down for snow travel is to push and hold them down with your feet, otherwise, they pop back up. With the skis down, you can’t shift with your left foot or brake with your right foot as with conventional bikes. So when the skis are down you can use an alternate hand lever on the right side to shift. As with all motorcycles, the rear brake is more important so you can also disconnect the front brake cable and attach the rear cable in its place to allow you to control it with your left hand.

The ski bike wasn’t restored as original. 6/5/4 gave it longer shocks, new drum brakes, new knobby tires, MX bars and grips, a small headlight, and a new LED taillight. Rather than the original military dull green paint, Nordin spiffed it up with shiny black paint and Thage graphics on the tank. Thage is Nordin’s father’s name.

BikeExif asked Nordin what it was like to hold down the skis with his feet to ride in the snow. “To be honest, I haven’t tried this one in the snow yet,” Johan admits. “But my dad has access to the successor of the 256 — the 258, with an automatic gearbox — and that one I’ve tried …” It sounds like off-road snow biking with this design is an acquired skill.