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A whole new off-road dimension – July 3, 2006

July 3, 2006
Filed under Features

Australian firm Scarpar P/L hopes to shake up the market with the pending release of a motorized board designed to take riders off-road.
First dreamed about 12 years ago after a typically short Australian snow season, the Scarpar combines snowboarding, skateboarding and motocross into a single vehicle.
What’s unique about the Scarpar is its ability to travel on any land-based surface, and in any condition, including snow.
“The way we see it is that the Scarpar is a whole new vehicle class,” said Scarpar CEO Andrew Fern. “We appeal to the GenX and GenY market, the same market said to be driving growth in the U.S. off-road market.”
Fern said the vehicle is mechanically driven by direct-drive. “This is something that I don’t really want to go into too much detail on, but needless to say that keeping direct mechanical power to tracks that articulate is not easy and is the subject of a pending patent,” he told Powersports Business. “The traditional methods, using a belt or chain, don’t work. This is one of the issues that has taken quite a bit of trial and error to engineer a solution that is sufficiently robust, whilst still meeting the goals related to weight minimization, acceleration and speed.
“The specs are still under wraps, however I can give you an idea of what we are aiming for in ranges. We may do better than even our outside goal, but as a guide we’re looking at a weight of 44-55 pounds and a top speed of 35-50 mph.”
Fern said Scarpar is debating a few alternatives for the engine, “but power-to-weight ratio, drive line efficiency and the EPA will determine the ultimate choice,” he said.
“Strategically, we want to hit four major goals,” Fern said, “ 1) it must look great; 2) must be very robust; 3) must be great value for money; and 4) must scare the hell out of our customers if that’s what they want. We think that if we hit these, the demand will build very quickly.”
Plans are to sell the Scarpar via a dealer network to be established during the next year. The price of the unit is yet to be determined.

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