Now we know what it feels like to ride a Transformer. We had a chance to take a Gibbs Quadski for a spin at the 2014 AIMExpo in Orlando, Fla. and we couldn’t help but smile. The amphibious Quadski, if you didn’t know, is both an ATV and a personal watercraft.
We plan on spending more time on the Quadski for a full review in the coming months, but we wanted to share our first impressions after a quick demo ride.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
We started off on the Quadski in ATV mode. The first thing that stood out to us was how huge it is. We were on the XL model, which has room for two, and it is 140.2 inches long, 62.5 inches wide and tips the scales at 1,437 pounds ready to ride.
While the BMW K1300 four-cylinder engine offers reasonable power (restricted to about 50 horsepower and 45 mph on land), you can’t use your body to control it like you can on a normal ATV. You are pretty much along for the ride. Fortunately, due to its wide footprint, it feels quite stable even when you take corners a little hot.
The real fun starts when you drive it into the nearest body of water. At the push of a button the wheels lift up and the Quadski is ready to be treated like watercraft. In this mode, the engine churns out about 150 horsepower and allows for the same 45 mph top speed. The pond we tested in was quite small, so we never got up to any great speed, but you can certainly feel the power when you squeeze the throttle. And squeeze the throttle you must when you get started. This gets the craft up and on top of the water, allowing you to move faster and carve corners better. It handles like a very stable Jet Ski. Not quite as flickable, but you can rip off a good corner with a turn of the bars and a squeeze of the throttle.
We didn’t come prepared for watercraft riding, but didn’t get soaked thanks to ample protection from small waves. For more aggressive riding, however, we’d recommend a wetsuit – or at least a change of clothes.
We plan on spending a lot more time with the Gibbs Quadski in the near future. Stay tuned for a full review. In the meantime, visit GibbsSports.com for more information.