SkiBike Review - Flaschmann Keeda Racer KR90 / Vintage MIFLA

Posted: Saturday, 5 November 2011 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: ,

It's not everyday that you are invited to try out 2 of the skibobs used in a World Cup Final, so I had to say yes and get off down that hill for an all too brief evaluation.

The first was a brand new Flaschmann KR90 in High Gloss SkiBiker Black from Vincent Berod owner of Berod Sports in Crest Volland, the other a vintage MIFLA owned by Richard Platt chairman of the Skibob Association of Great Britain.

On first impressions, they look remarkably like a Yamaha FS1E sixteener moped without the engine. When you try to lift one or push it uphill you wonder if they are made from lead. Both weigh an absolute ton, as much as 20kg. This is a quite deliberate aspect of the design, heavier skibikes go faster, there is even a stipulation about the maximum allowed competition weight for a skibob to keep things fair.

These are not recreational models that you would want to carry up the chairlift on your lap. Trying to drag one up the T-bar lift was an ordeal I would rather not repeat. Petty gripes over with, you have to ask yourself why are they so popular with the racers?

The answer is simple, awesome steering, the best that I have ever experienced, I actually forgot it was a ski not a wheel at the front, so precise, stable and predictable was the ride.
The frame has a very low centre of gravity for the ultimate in stability. To ride them requires a whole new technique, hunched over like a demonic imp, your knees fit between your forearms touching your ribcage.
The cranked handlebars allowing just enough room for it all to work together.
The payback is a ride like no other, it doesn't feel like it wants to skid sideways at all, only carve graceful arcs downhill as fast as you dare.

Could I tell the difference between the modern and vintage models? Apart from the finish it was beyond my abilities to detect any obvious characteristics. They were both very, very, good.