Marine

Gibbs high-speed amphibious motorcycles – ride straight into the lake and out again

Gibbs high-speed amphibious mo...
Gibbs Biski: top speed of 37mph on the water
Gibbs Biski: top speed of 37mph on the water
View 49 Images
Gibbs Biski: front view
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Gibbs Biski: front view
Gibbs Biski: motorcycle/jet ski handlebar
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Gibbs Biski: motorcycle/jet ski handlebar
Gibbs Biski:
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Gibbs Biski:
Gibbs Biski: rear wheel lifts up under the rear fender when it's time to play in the water
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Gibbs Biski: rear wheel lifts up under the rear fender when it's time to play in the water
Gibbs Biski: appears to be a single-seater for the time being
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Gibbs Biski: appears to be a single-seater for the time being
Gibbs Biski: rear jets either side of the wheel propel and steer the Biski in the water
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Gibbs Biski: rear jets either side of the wheel propel and steer the Biski in the water
Gibbs Biski: comfy scooter meets jetski
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Gibbs Biski: comfy scooter meets jetski
Gibbs Biski: just 9kg heavier than a TMAX maxi-scooter
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Gibbs Biski: just 9kg heavier than a TMAX maxi-scooter
Gibbs Biski: top speed of 37mph on the water
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Gibbs Biski: top speed of 37mph on the water
Gibbs Biski: 55 horsepower motor might leave something to be desired, especially on the water
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Gibbs Biski: 55 horsepower motor might leave something to be desired, especially on the water
Gibbs Biski: front wheel is locked straight when you switch to aquatic mode
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Gibbs Biski: front wheel is locked straight when you switch to aquatic mode
Gibbs Biski: rear wheel retracts under the fender to convert from road mode to water mode in less than 5 seconds
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Gibbs Biski: rear wheel retracts under the fender to convert from road mode to water mode in less than 5 seconds
Gibbs Biski: looks fun in and out of the water
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Gibbs Biski: looks fun in and out of the water
Gibbs Biski: takes up about as much room in the garage as a touring motorcycle
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Gibbs Biski: takes up about as much room in the garage as a touring motorcycle
Gibbs Biski: ground clearance may be an issue for spirited riders!
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Gibbs Biski: ground clearance may be an issue for spirited riders!
Gibbs Biski: not a great looker from the front
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Gibbs Biski: not a great looker from the front
Gibbs Biski: by far the most convenient way to get out and get a few powerski kicks. Ride there, ride in, ride around, ride out and ride home without putting a foot down.
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Gibbs Biski: by far the most convenient way to get out and get a few powerski kicks. Ride there, ride in, ride around, ride out and ride home without putting a foot down.
Gibbs Biski: under jet propulsion, the front of the Biski lifts up and the front wheel's no longer in the water
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Gibbs Biski: under jet propulsion, the front of the Biski lifts up and the front wheel's no longer in the water
Gibbs Terraquad: large directional jet pwoers and steers the Terraquad in the water
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Gibbs Terraquad: large directional jet pwoers and steers the Terraquad in the water
Gibbs Terraquad: those wheels travel a long way as they're being folded up and out of the way
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Gibbs Terraquad: those wheels travel a long way as they're being folded up and out of the way
Gibbs Terraquad: controls on sliding rails allow for LHS or RHS drive when there's two people on board - or central control to balance the boat when you're riding solo.
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Gibbs Terraquad: controls on sliding rails allow for LHS or RHS drive when there's two people on board - or central control to balance the boat when you're riding solo.
Gibbs Terraquad: side-by-side amphibious ATV
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Gibbs Terraquad: side-by-side amphibious ATV
Gibbs Terraquad: wheels are lifted way up and angled into the body to provide minimal hydrodynamic interference in the water
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Gibbs Terraquad: wheels are lifted way up and angled into the body to provide minimal hydrodynamic interference in the water
Gibbs Terraquad: large, powerful 140hp engine should provide serious thrills, both off road and in the water
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Gibbs Terraquad: large, powerful 140hp engine should provide serious thrills, both off road and in the water
Gibbs Terraquad: you need a roll cage on a 140-horsepower ATV!
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Gibbs Terraquad: you need a roll cage on a 140-horsepower ATV!
Gibbs Terraquad: high speed thrills off-road and on-water.
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Gibbs Terraquad: high speed thrills off-road and on-water.
Gibbs Terraquad: the company's first side-by-side amphibious ATV.
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Gibbs Terraquad: the company's first side-by-side amphibious ATV.
Gibbs Terraquad: even with the boat hull beneath it, the Terraquad appears to have decent ground clearance in drive mode
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Gibbs Terraquad: even with the boat hull beneath it, the Terraquad appears to have decent ground clearance in drive mode
Gibbs Terraquad: a powerful, physical ride in offroad conditions
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Gibbs Terraquad: a powerful, physical ride in offroad conditions
Gibbs Terraquad: central control balances the Terraquad in the water when there's only one person riding in it
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Gibbs Terraquad: central control balances the Terraquad in the water when there's only one person riding in it
Gibbs Terraquad: I guess you don't need to worry about getting it muddy, because it's about the easiest quad in the world to clean!
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Gibbs Terraquad: I guess you don't need to worry about getting it muddy, because it's about the easiest quad in the world to clean!
Gibbs Terraquad: long-travel convertible suspension is one of the key advantages Gibbs has patented
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Gibbs Terraquad: long-travel convertible suspension is one of the key advantages Gibbs has patented
Gibbs Triski: jet-ski style control handlebar with trigger throttle
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Gibbs Triski: jet-ski style control handlebar with trigger throttle
Gibbs Triski: twin rear jets power and steer the Triski in the water
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Gibbs Triski: twin rear jets power and steer the Triski in the water
Gibbs Triski: reminiscent of the Can-Am Spyder
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Gibbs Triski: reminiscent of the Can-Am Spyder
Gibbs Triski: not much wider than a touring motorcycle with panniers
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Gibbs Triski: not much wider than a touring motorcycle with panniers
Gibbs Triski: large seat looks pretty comfy
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Gibbs Triski: large seat looks pretty comfy
Gibbs Triski: non-tilting street legal three-wheeler
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Gibbs Triski: non-tilting street legal three-wheeler
Gibbs Triski: powerful 135-horsepower engine is a turbocharged twin
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Gibbs Triski: powerful 135-horsepower engine is a turbocharged twin
Gibbs Triski: capable of 85mph on land and 40mph on the water
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Gibbs Triski: capable of 85mph on land and 40mph on the water
Gibbs Triski: should be a physical ride on the road
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Gibbs Triski: should be a physical ride on the road
Gibbs Triski: street legal trike you can drive straight down the boat ramp
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Gibbs Triski: street legal trike you can drive straight down the boat ramp
Gibbs Triski: 135 turbocharged horsepower should ensure a lively ride
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Gibbs Triski: 135 turbocharged horsepower should ensure a lively ride
Gibbs Triski: an odd looker on the road
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Gibbs Triski: an odd looker on the road
Gibbs Triski: 140 horsepower is enough for a good time on the water, even if it's well down on the bad boy jet skis
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Gibbs Triski: 140 horsepower is enough for a good time on the water, even if it's well down on the bad boy jet skis
Gibbs Triski: any Gibbs amphibian will turn heads like crazy
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Gibbs Triski: any Gibbs amphibian will turn heads like crazy
Gibbs Triski: big seat looks like it would comfortably take a passenger
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Gibbs Triski: big seat looks like it would comfortably take a passenger
Gibbs Triski: non-tilting three-wheelers can be a handful on the road
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Gibbs Triski: non-tilting three-wheelers can be a handful on the road
Gibbs Triski: rear wheel tucks up beside the exhaust when you hit the water
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Gibbs Triski: rear wheel tucks up beside the exhaust when you hit the water

Serial amphibian creator Alan Gibbs has used the American International Motorcycle expo in Florida to launch three new outrageous recreational vehicles. Not satisfied making ridiculously fun-looking amphibious quadbikes, cars and trucks, Gibbs has now built two-and three-wheeled motorcycles that you can ride straight down a boat ramp into the water. At the touch of a button they convert to jet skis, retracting wheels out of the way and switching to jet propulsion. There’s almost no delay – the switch from road mode to water mode is done in less than 5 seconds, so you barely even lose momentum as you ride in or out of the water.

We’ve written many times about Kiwi entrepreneur Alan Gibbs and his remarkable amphibious recreational vehicles – the 100 mph Aquada sportscar, the Quadski ATV and the Phibian “amphitruck” stand out. The Gibbs company has distinguished itself by building truly high speed amphibians that can reach “yee-ha” speeds both on land and water, as opposed to cheaper and more practically minded convertibles like the Sealegs machines. Gibbs amphibians are engineered for excitement.

Gibbs Terraquad: the company's first side-by-side amphibious ATV.
Gibbs Terraquad: the company's first side-by-side amphibious ATV.

Gibbs originally wanted to build proper James Bond-style amphibious cars like the Aquada, but found there was a ton of regulatory issues involved trying to meet safety standards for a passenger car. Recreational vehicles like ATVs aren’t subject to the same scrutiny, and offered a quicker path to market.

Of course, motorcycles and trikes have much less stringent safety requirements as well, so Gibbs has just unveiled three new concepts – one ATV and two street-legal amphibians that fall into the motorcycle category. There’s the Terraquad side-by-side ATV and Triski three wheeler, which use large engines to deliver 135-plus horsepower giggles on land and water. And there’s the fascinating Biski – a 55-horsepower scooter that’ll easily beat highway speeds on land and go nearly 40 mph on water as well. Check it out in action:

30-sec TECH: Gibbs amphibious motorcycle

The Terraquad amphibious side-by-side ATV

Gibbs Terraquad: a powerful, physical ride in offroad conditions
Gibbs Terraquad: a powerful, physical ride in offroad conditions

The terraquad is a side-by-side two-seater with its driver controls on a sliding rail unit so it can become left-hand drive, right-hand drive or central drive to balance it in the water if it’s being operated solo.

It uses a 140-horsepower version of the BMW K1300 engine to provide a limited top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) on land and 40 mph (64 km/h) on the water. Transition from land to water or vice versa happens in just 2.5 seconds, as the Terraquad’s four wheels are pulled up and angled out of the way on their long-travel high suspension struts.

The Triski amphibious three-wheeler

Gibbs Triski: 140 horsepower is enough for a good time on the water, even if it's well down on the bad boy jet skis
Gibbs Triski: 140 horsepower is enough for a good time on the water, even if it's well down on the bad boy jet skis

While ATVs are not road-legal in many areas, two- and three-wheel motorcycles face far fewer restrictions. So it makes sense for Gibbs to explore amphibious motorcycles as a quick path toward road-legal amphibious fun machines.

The Triski is a little like Can-Am’s popular Spyder three-wheeler on the road. It uses a similar handlebar setup to steer its two front wheels, as well as twin powerful jets out the back. Upon hitting the water, the front wheels are retracted and angled like the ones on the Terraquad, but the central rear wheel is pulled up into a recess beside the exhaust to let the jets do their work.

Gibbs Triski: street legal trike you can drive straight down the boat ramp
Gibbs Triski: street legal trike you can drive straight down the boat ramp

It looks like it could support a passenger, and its 135-horsepower, twin cylinder turbocharged engine gives it a top speed of 85 mph (137 km/h) on land and 40 mph (64 km/h) on the water. Transition between modes takes about 5 seconds.

The Biski amphibious motorcycle

Gibbs Biski: looks fun in and out of the water
Gibbs Biski: looks fun in and out of the water

Probably the most fascinating of the three to watch is the Biski, which looks pretty much exactly halfway between a maxi-scooter and a small jet ski. It’s a street legal amphibious motorcycle with a 55-horsepower, twin cylinder engine that’s capable of 80 mph (129 km/h) on the road or 37 mph (60 km/h) on the water.

Like the Triski, the Biski pulls its wheels up and out of the way, and it’s driven and steered by a jet on either side of the wheel. It’s worth noting that when you switch to water mode, it appears the front wheel is locked in place, dead straight. The transition takes around 5 seconds, and barely slows your progress as you ride off the road, into the water and go.

The Biski comes in at a wet weight of 228kg - only 9kg heavier than a Yamaha TMAX scooter, which is a fairly impressive achievement. It also looks remarkably steady in the water, allowing riders to climb on and off the bike as it floats.

Gibbs Biski: ground clearance may be an issue for spirited riders!
Gibbs Biski: ground clearance may be an issue for spirited riders!

Presumably the Biski is going to be far cheaper than the other Gibbs machines, because it doesn’t need the complex folding front suspension the others do. As a functioning motorcycle, it’ll be useful in a wider range of contexts as well, and will take up very little space in the shed – maybe about as much space as a large touring bike as opposed to its stablemates, which will occupy a whole car space.

If and when they make it to production, the Biski and Triski will be the most convenient way by far for the average Joe to get his powerski kicks short of living on a lake. Jump on the bike, ride down to the lake, ride straight in, muck around having fun for half an hour, ride right out of the water and home again without needing to put a foot down.

Head through to the photo gallery for a closer look.

Very cool!

10 comments
Bob Stuart
"Barely losing momentum" implies the ability to transition at speed on suitable terrain, and really made me fear for the wetlands. These barely lose time, but have to re-establish almost all the kinetic energy.
Jason Catterall
Now please Mr Gibbs, make it reasonably priced, I've been dreaming of this for years. What a great way to commute from the North Shore of Auckland into the city.
Old_Rider
Please tell me the Biski is going to be affordable AND have a salt water version :) It would be the perfect vehicle for my area (Fort Walton Beach/Destin, Florida). I hope to see a dealership nearby.... these would sell like hotcakes here.
Game Changer
Mr. Gibbs, I can structure the sale to make the payments, for all buyers. Can do same for manufacturing cost. Thomas thomasadair@live.com
Bricorn
I want one. I don't need one. I can't afford one. But I REALLY want one. :)
steveofthenw
I've always been a form-follows-function kinda guy but that thing is so ugly it hurts my feelings. It's just an abomination. I love the way the article mentions "the average Joe" going into his pocket for whatever silly amount (what,$35000?) will be asked for this useless perversion.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really cool. It looks like an over sized scooter with a really cool feature. I think they make some cool vehicles.
Scion
Amphibious bike. That is just too cool. I mean it looks like a set of dogs ... well it isn't pretty but at least it is distinctive. Commuting from south shore to north shore would be made easy. I live near an estuary and often have to ride around it the long way. It would be just too cool to ride through it.
Gizzyfuel
have you tested in salt water where I live will rust out most thing so fast
KonfradKonfratelius
I'll change my BMW K1200 LT for this BISKI! Great inovating bike!