Gaining Traction – Reagan Sieg Interview
Starting out at a young age on his first Z50, he grew up racing moto throughout his teenage years, and turned pro at only 17. After a couple of years, he ventured into freestyle, and 14 years later, Sieg is still heavily involved in FMX. Lately, he has been transferring his skills from dirt to snow, riding the Timbersled Mountain Horse snowbike with jaw dropping aplomb, as seen in this year’s Braaap 13 film.
Gaining Traction: Reagan Sieg Interview
MS: When did you first become aware of the existence of snow bikes?
RS: About 4 years ago, an old sponsor and friend of mine took some friends and I riding in Sicamous on a couple of moto snow bike kits. It opened my eyes as to how much fun it can be riding on a snow bike setup in the backcountry.
I wanted to push its limits, but I didn’t feel that that particular setup would allow me to do what I had in my head. Two years later, another good buddy of mine, pro motocross rider Brock Hoyer, purchased one of the new snow bike products from Timbersled. He proceeded to tell me how well it worked, and how he didn’t have much interest in riding snowmobiles again. Brock and I had similar skill levels, and so I figured that if it was enough to entertain him then I would give it a go, and bought one without even trying it out.
MS: What has changed since you bought your first snow bike kit?
RS: Although the Timbersled track design was a big step in the right direction, when I first started riding it the biggest problem was the front ski handling. The only choices at the time were snowmobile skis. It didn’t take Timbersled long to figure that out, and so they partnered up with Simmons to design a snow bike specific ski.
I can say, that ski changed everything! Now the snow bike handles better than I ever thought possible. I can lean the bars to the snow and hold it wide open without the ski slipping out at all.
MS: Are you an avid sledder as well? What are the main differences between how a sled and a snow bike handle?
RS: Yes, I was an avid sledder. I have been riding sleds my whole life, and realized I have just been killing time until someone made the ultimate snow bike.
The width is the main difference. Since there is only one ski to deal with, there is no real feedback from uneven terrain, which results in a very easy ride.
Sleds have the advantage of big power and can climb straight up better, but with the introduction of the Boondocker turbo kit in the snow mbike market, it might take some fo that advantage away.
The snow bike will ride a sidehilll all day long with little effort or stress of being pulled into a tree well. And since there are no running. boards, there is very little snow drags for the bike, which results in getting stuck less often.
MS: How does a snow bike handle in the air? Being that they look rather tail heavy, does it take any special technique to make it fly with proper attitude?
RS: They are longer and heavier in the back end than a stock bike, but that is where I rely on my years of riding experience to take over. I simply lock into my desired line and let my body do the work. This last year, I surpassed what size cliff drops and jumps I thought I would be able to do, so I look forward to riding this year with an even better set-up, and plan to take it to the next level.
MS: What is your favourite style of riding, and what locations suit that best? Where do you ride most often?
RS: I tend to stay pretty local. We are lucky living in Vernon, BC to be surrounded by mountains, and don’t have to drive far to get to many different locations to ride. We can be seen anywhere from Revelstoke to the other side of Lumby. I don’t have a favourite place to ride my snow bike, but getting lost in the trees is never a bad time.
The bike is the ultimate tool for exploring the trees and tight terrain. But as soon as there is sunshine, I hit the big slopes to shred downhill cliff lines that would make any skier jealous.
MS: Do you foresee a lot of growth in the number of snow bike riders in the next few years? Or will it hold steady as a niche market?
I think that this industry will see huge growth in the next few years. The Mountain Horse has sold out every year so far and is continuing to grow.
The big selling point is that combined with a dirt bike, not only can a Timbersled kit offer you a winter machine to explore the backcountry all for a price tag on par with a snowmobile—which ends up sitting for more than half of the year—you can also have a dirt bike to ride in the summer. I am very happy to be a big part of helping them grow. I think there are many more good things to come.