Have you ever considered one of the snow-bike conversion kits? 2 of the manufacturers are right here in Idaho and I've seen them out riding around and it looks like a total kick in the arse.
I looked at a few of the conversion kits and I may get the track setup that replaces the swingarm, but I wouldn't go with the "ski only" up front. I've tried a few different skis that work with the tire and "ski only" setup that replaces the tire. I found that the "ski only" works in fresh snow only. On hardpack snow or ice it's like riding with the front brake locked up. With ski only I couldn't even push my WR across a road to get across, the front just washed out. I had to drag the bike across. For overall riding the ski/tire combo is best and I can't tell when I'm on ski or tire. The only way to tell is when I backtrack and see where the ski was taking over in the snow. I run from pavement to snow to dirt to ice seamlessly, that's what I need.
I have the attrax setup for my bike but I only use it if I have to, if the snow's really soft. It gives better floatation than the tire, but is definitely nowhere near a snowmobile. It's great for bog, mud and sand too, BUT, when you get it stuck it is a bee-yatch to get out. Then you're trying to pull up 4 feet of track through whatever you're stuck in. Also, it's impossible to wheelie with the attrax, so riding is less fun and a bit dangerous. The attrax is narrow like a bike tire, so it feels pretty much like you're riding on a tire, so now and then I forget I have the track on and get surprised when I try to pop the front over a rut or chunk of ice. The track gives a harsh ride on hardpack or dirt since you don't have the air cushion of a tire.
In the snow, with tire or attrax, my bike feels exactly like a bike. I think the wide setup of the conversion kit would make the bike feel like a Sno-Hawk. I put a few hours on one and the wide rear track makes it handle more like a jet ski. The only time it really felt like a bike was on a fast groomed sled trail, and then it kind of felt like riding a Goldwing, a bit cushy and disconnected from the trail, not a lot of feedback. It was terrible trying to ride tight trails since the track was always trying to straighten you up, even though it has a slight curve. I think the conversion kit track would be the same on hardpack, but would probably be great for fresh snow, much better than the attrax. I would use the conversion track with my ski/tire for soft snow.
The attrax throws a ton of snow or mud too. In mud, the rear fender catches the center bit, but there's a fire hose spray that shoots forward over each shoulder, and in snow it fills the airbox up fast. the tire doesn't do this. Good thing the 07 and 2012 have easy access to the airbox so when the bike grogs out I stop and pop open the panel and scoop out the snow. On my 99 400 I had to take the seat off, sometimes a couple of times per hour. That gets old fast.
Edited by Frostbite, May 01, 2012 - 02:59 PM.