Garage 54 Turns A Five-Wheel ATV Into An Unhinged Russian Snowmobile

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Screenshot: Garage 54 / Youtube (Other)

A few weeks ago we showed you the latest wacky build from the Garage 54 team. The Russian answer to Mythbusters (for cars) branched out to motorcycles, turning a Ural — basically a cloned vintage BMW — into a five-wheel ATV. It was mostly a success, but the end result struggled in the snow. Now, the crazy experimenters have evolved their Ural into an unstoppable snowmobile.

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The Ural ATV build was something of a work of art, an already capable machine transformed into something that’s a beast off-road. Power goes through the manual transmission of a front-wheel-drive Moskvitch. Articulation came through axle and differential components from a Lada Samara. It’s certainly an interesting way to build an ATV.

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Screenshot: Garage 54 / Youtube (Other)

The end result had a few problems. The Moskvitch drivetrain is designed to spin the opposite direction of the motorcycle’s engine, so the ATV ended up with multiple reverse gears and only one forward gear. The forward gears had become reverse gears, and reverse became forward. Yikes!

To make matters worse, the summer tires at the rear had absolutely no grip in the snow.

Garage 54's next stage of the ATV build resolved all of that.

Vlad, host of Garage 54's YouTube channel, explained how they formed tracks — think bulldozer — from steel-belted rubber strips. To make sure it all works without slipping off, they used tubular steel to form a channel for the street tires to follow. It’s actually pretty genius.

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Screenshot: Garage 54 / Youtube (Other)

The team didn’t fix the backwards gearbox issue. However, they did fashion a pretty cool shifter so the rider of the snowmobile can change gears.

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After a quick test of the snowmobile, two issues were readily apparent: The front wheel couldn’t really steer the rig in the snow, and the tires sometimes couldn’t move the tracks.

They solved the steering issue by fashioning a ski for the front. And in true Garage 54 fashion, they solved the lack of tire grip by bolting pieces of serpentine belt through the tire treads.

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How does it all work? Check out the video! This time, it appears the team is going to completely redesign the motorcycle. No telling what’s next.

DISCUSSION

By
A. Barth

The Moskvitch drivetrain is designed to spin the opposite direction of the motorcycle’s engine, so the ATV ended up with multiple reverse gears and only one forward gear. The forward gears had become reverse gears, and reverse became forward. Yikes!

A million years or so ago, there was a kit available - from Sears, no less - to turn a Model A Ford car into a tractor. The enormous ring gear on the rear wheels was great for stump-pulling but also meant that in its stock form the tractor would go backwards in the forward gears. The remedy was to flip the diff over during installation. :-)