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.
We’ve been reading about the Gibbs Quadski for a couple of years now and even featured the machine a year ago after getting our hands on the specs and some photos. We finally had a chance to see it in person at the American International Motorcycle Expo in Orlando, Fla.
Straight away the sheer size of the Quadski is shocking – it’s more than five feet wide and 10 feet long and looks every bit of it.
Just about anybody’s who’s ridden an ATV has taken it into shallow water at some point, but up until now nobody’s been able to zip across an entire lake. The Quadski aims to change all that.
Due to hit U.S. retailers before the end of 2012, the Quadski transforms from an off-road four-wheeler to a personal watercraft in just four seconds. And unlike amphibious vehicles of the past, the Quadski promises high speeds (45mph) on land and on water.
“Quadski represents an investment of more than $200-million and two-million man hours of work over a period of 15 years,” says Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc. founder Alan Gibbs. “With the introduction of Quadski next month, our dream of providing high-speed amphibian transportation to consumers will become a reality.”
The most notable feature of the Quadski is its wheel retracting system built into the suspension. While the suspension is said to provide “superb ride and handling” on land, it retracts at the push of a button on the water. When you want to go for a spin on the lake, you simply ride in and push the retract button and in four seconds you’re ready to go. Gibbs hasn’t released a full spec sheet at this time, so we don’t have any information on suspension travel.