MotoTrax Snow Bikes
A BTE Bootcamp™ Successful Alum
What Are Snow Bikes?
If you haven’t seen a snow bike yet, chances are you will soon. Based in Moscow, Idaho, MotoTrax designs, tests, manufactures and markets snow bikes for the power-sports industry. In 2015, after 8 years in development, MotoTrax went from a “cool project” to a real “bricks and mortar” facility with an expanding dealer network, online sales and ongoing research and development emphasis.
After making 100 units for the 2015 winter sports season, MotoTrax increased full-time employees from two to five and acquired enough inventory to produce 1,000 snow bikes for the 2016-2017 riding season. With the industry’s only fully-pivoting front skid and single swing arm snowmobile-like track at the rear, MotoTrax answers the dirt bike rider’s seasonally recurring question: “How can I keep riding when all the trails are covered in snow?”
“The BTE Bootcamp™ experience was very valuable. The program makes you think about aspects of being an entrepreneur that you wouldn’t have thought about on your own.” – Randy Gentry, co-founder of MotoTrax
The MotoTrax Snow Bikes Backstory
Prior to attending the 2015 BTE Bootcamp™, Gentry, his wife Tallie, and partner Zak Garrett had won four business-plan competitions with his snow-bike concept. Now that the company has officially launched, Gentry believes the Palouse is an ideal home base for MotoTrax.
“I grew up in Weippe [Idaho], so I know this area, and where we can go ride,” he says. ‘That’s important because we ride and test designs every day during winter.”
It’s not just access to snow trails that makes the Palouse a prime location.
“We’re in the middle of a decent manufacturing area, between Spokane and Lewiston/Clarkston, for getting our parts made. We also have access to colleges and universities – another plus – because a growing company needs interns and new recruits. Rent prices aren’t high, cost of living isn’t high, and we can get seasonal workers when we need them. If you crunch the numbers, it makes a lot of sense for us to be here.”
Though it may seem as though MotoTrax zoomed to success in a short time, the incubation period began in 2008, when Gentry designed his first machine for riding on snow.
“Two years ago, I built an awesome one, and we started entering business plan challenges,” Gentry explains. “We entered four and won them all, for $54,000 in start-up funds. We closed on a Small Business loan right after the 2015 Bootcamp experience, and we’ve been building ever since.”
Gentry says MotoTrax was able to get maximum value from BTE Bootcamp™ because its business plan was written and had already been critiqued, thanks to the competitions.
“We were probably farther ahead than most,” he recalls. Gentry offers advice to future Bootcamp attendees.
“If you’re going to attend while still at the ‘good idea’ stage, come with more than one idea. A single idea may not make it past a business-plan test, leaving you without something to work with for the rest of the Bootcamp sessions.”
As a high school freshman in Weippe, Idaho, Randy began building track systems for what would become a “snow bike”. Now the lead engineer for MotoTrax, he attended the University of Idaho first for engineering, then for business. The 2016 Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ 5-day intensive, begins on June 12.