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Gibbs Quadski Review: Top Speed, HP, Specs, Prices [Video]

Gibbs Quadski Review: Top Speed, HP, Specs, Prices [Video]

In the world of PWCs, we’ve seen several unique models over the years, like the huge 4-seater Sea-Doo LRV or the transformable Sea-Doo 3D.

But we can say that there is no other vehicle in the world like the Quadski manufactured by the Gibbs Sports Amphibians. Since its first introduction in 2006, this amazing vehicle has gotten a lot of media attention and gained many fans.

What’s more, Gibbs surprised the market with many new vehicles over the years like the Quadski XL, the Aquada, and some concept models like the Biski, Triski and the Terraquad. Not to mention the shocking Humdinga and Phibian Amphitrucks!

As you can see, there are several amazing models in Gibbs’ fleet, but as the Quadski has always been the main focus, without further ado, let’s get into this Gibbs Quadski review!

Gibbs Quadski Review

What is Quadski?

Everything started in 2003 when Gibbs released the Aquada, the predecessor of the Quadski. After the regulatory problems with this amphibious sports car, the company decided to focus on developing a quad-jet ski hybrid.

The first concept of Quadski appeared in 2006, but the market was skeptical as many concept vehicles never became available for customers.

But six years later, in 2012, Gibbs surprised the market and released the first commercially available model. This new machine quickly became well known for its unique appearance, features, and skills.

What is Quadski? The Quadski is an outstanding amphibious vehicle; to be more precise, it’s a quad-jet ski hybrid but it’s also labeled as “amphiquad”.  You can ride it just like a regular All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), but after a quick transformation, you can continue your trip even in the water.

That’s why it has attracted the attention of both jet ski and quad enthusiasts, as well as movie makers! There are rumors that just like the legendary WetBike, the Quadski also had a chance to appear in the movie series 007, but finally the company refused the offer.

Anyway, although many attempts have been made over the years to design amphibious vehicles, the Quadski was one of the few commercially-available models!

The Original Gibbs Quadski

Over the years, Gibbs launched two different ATV-jet ski hybrids; the first was the original Quadski, which was the smaller brother in this family.

This model arrived with a 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, 1293cc BMW engine which produced 140 HP and 87 ft-lbs (118 Nm) torque. Whether it’s on land or the water, the Quadski is powered by this engine with a unique transmission.

Speaking of the Quadski’s dimensions, this machine seems a little bulky compared to the regular jet ski and ATV models. This smaller model is 128.3 inches long and 62.5 inches wide, with 70.5 inches of wheelbase and 8.9 inches of ground clearance.

When it comes to the seating capacity, this smaller Quadski offers a seat for only one rider. This is quite surprising, as most of the current sit-down jet ski models have the capacity for 3 riders.

Despite its lightweight composite hull, the Quadski’s curb weight is no less than 1,333 pounds, which is one-third heavier than the biggest regular jet ski models on the market.

Gibbs Quadski XL Review – The Big Brother

In 2015 Gibbs introduced the big brother, the Quadski XL with a new longer seat with capacity for two riders. At first glance, it’s quite similar to the original model, except the new XL got a bigger hull and a much heftier price tag as well.

It means not only the seat, but the Quadski XL’s dimensions also got bigger, as it was 140.2 inches long, which means an increase of near 12 inches compared to its predecessor, while the width remained unchanged. The ground clearance is also slightly increased (8.9”) and the Quadski XL’s wheelbase was reduced by 11.8 inches.

As you can assume, the new model became heavier as well; it has a remarkable 1,437 pounds of curb weight. Based on the above, the Quadski XL is considered a slightly big and heavy machine in both leagues. But let’s face it, it’s a unique land-water vehicle which does a really good job in both fields!

Speaking of the propulsion system, Gibbs used its own specially designed, proprietary jet drive with a stainless steel 5-blade impeller.  Performance? Far more than you expect!

Gibbs Quadski’s Top Speed and Performance

Because of its powerful engine, the Quadski is known as a high-performance amphibian. In the past, we’ve seen many amphibian vehicles that could barely exceed 5 mph on the land. Unlike these failed models, the Quadski is really fast!

Powered with the 140 HP BMW engine, the Quadski’s top speed is around 45 mph on the water and you can expect the same speed on the land as well.

As the two Quadski models share the same 140 HP engine, you can expect pretty similar performance on both, however, the classic Quadski is a little more lively thanks to its ligher weight.

While on the water you’re allowed to pull all of the 140 HP from the engine, on land, the power is reduced down electronically. But don’t worry, this is still plenty of power to move the vehicle quickly and offer enough torque.

So even if it could reach a higher speed due to the high-performance engine, the Quadski’s top speed is limited by the computer to 45 mph.

Riding Experience

The controls are a mix of classic jet ski and ATV, which means operating the Quadski really easily, especially if you’re familiar with powersports.

When it comes to the first ride on the land, be prepared. Due to its large dimensions and weight, you can’t control this machine with your body like other regular ATVs.

On the other hand, thanks to the wide footprint and the low center of gravity, the Quadski is really stable even during sharp turns (on land and the water as well)!  Additionally, the Quadski’s 25x8x12 tires seem a little bit small, but when it comes to stops, the 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes do a good job on land.

Many consider the Quadski a jet ski because the game just begins when you drive it into the water.   You may be interested in what happens to the wheels after you drive it smoothly into the water.

The Quadski features a special water depth sensor on the stern, which gives a green light when you can start folding the wheels. Thanks to the Gibbs’ unique wheel retraction, the transition time no more than 5 seconds!

This means you can turn this quad into a jet ski smoothly and effortlessly, just by pressing a button.  When you start the engine, you don’t have to be afraid to suck up rocks or debris from the water, which can be a pain on the regular jet ski models. It’s because the Quadski features a specially protected intake.

On the water, you can control the steering nozzle with the handlebars just like on the regular jet ski models, and it also features a reverse system.

When it comes to the riding experience, many riders say that the Quadski handles better on the water. During the turns, it’s extremely predictable, so it moves like a regular jet ski with a very stable hull and has a lot of torque thanks to the 140 HP engine.

The 15-gallon fuel tank offers a 372-mile range on land, but if you stick to water, you can still expect two hours of fun. But be aware that a watercraft’s fuel range depends on many factors, like weather conditions or your riding style.  Unlike regular jet skis, the Quadski features trail and marine navigation lights which makes it perfect for a night jet ski ride.

The Compromises

As they say, there are two sides to every coin, so let’s talk briefly about the compromises. Some consider the Quadski a “Jack of all trades, master of none”, and for good reason.

Let’s face it, this vehicle is less nimble and responsive than any current sit-down jet ski models on the market. This comes from the large hull and curb weight which results in lower power-to-weight ratio.

The other drawback of the Quadski is its top speed (45 mph), which is significantly less than you can expect on a regular jet ski model. For instance, the “average” jet ski can hit the top speed of 50-55 mph, while the top performance models can reach the 65-70 mph range.

Moreover, although the Quadski needs less than 3 seconds to plane, it probably won’t win any drag races.  Considering its price tags and features, it seems that Quadski was mainly designed for rescue and military purposes rather than a recreational vehicle for the public.

Because of this, if you are looking for the fastest personal watercafts for great adrenalin rushes or doing tricks, the Quadski is probably not for you.  When it comes to riding on the land, the Quadski also has some limitations. However, these are to be understood given this amphibian machine’s special abilities and dimensions.

Although its independent suspension ensures smooth rides, this machine likes the flat terrain best. Let’s be realistic; this rear-wheel-drive vehicle is not designed for rock crawling or riding on rougher trails!

So finally, it seems it’s not the best jet ski and not the best quad, but you can be sure that it does a good job on both land and water.

Gibbs Quadski Price Tags and Availability

As there are some rumors about Gibbs Quadski’s price and availability, we’ve gathered the most frequent questions on the topic.

Who makes the Quadski?

Quadski was developed and produced by the Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc., headquartered in Michigan, USA. The company is the world leader in amphibian technology and developed several concepts as well as commercially available models during the last years.

How much is a Quadski from Gibbs?

Speaking of Gibbs Quadski’s prices, it has to be mentioned that this model was never one of the cheapest recreational vehicles. The first Quadski was available for around $40,000, while the Quadski XL’s price tag was much heftier, as it cost $48,000.

Is Gibbs Quadski still in business?

If you’re considering buying one, the bad news is that the Quadski is now out of production, so you can’t buy one off the shelves. According to the manufacturer, from 2013 to 2016, over 1,000 vehicles were sold, but there are no new Quadskis available for purchase. If you want one at all costs, you can still find a few Quadskis on the second-hand market for $6,000-$8,000.

When will the Quadski be available again?

Unfortunately, there are no clues about when the Quadski returns to production, but the company is working on a new version of the Quadski and Quadski XL. Moreover, they are also developing some new amphibian vehicles like the Terraquad, Triski, and Biski.

Is the Gibbs Quadski street legal?

After the regulatory issues of Gibbs’ first amphibian car, namely the Aquada, the company started developing amphibious ATVs. But unfortunately, the Quadski isn’t street legal in the US, and according to the manufacturer, it should be registered as both jet ski and an ATV.

Conclusion

Gibbs Quadski is a unique and exciting amphibian ATV, which gets a lot of attention wherever it appears. Known as jet ski-ATV hybrid as well, as the Quadski operates as both a jet ski and a regular ATV.

We’ve seen many amphibian vehicles appear over the years, but none of them were as fast as the Quadski. Powered with a 140 HP, 4-stroke BMW engine, this machine can reach 45 mph on water and land as well.

The concept of this model was introduced in 2006, and six years later the company released the first commercially available Quadski. Although the vehicle had quite a large hull, it had a seating capacity for only one rider.

The Quadski XL was released in 2015 which featured a longer hull and a seat for two riders.  The Quadski’s original target customers were probably yacht owners or hunters/fishermen who are interested in riding on land as well as water.

These unique vehicles arrived with really hefty price tags of $40,000-$48,000, depending on the model. But let’s face it, developing and producing an ATV-jet ski hybrid isn’t a cheap project, so it’s understandable that it was reflected by the prices.

To the regret of many fans, the production of Quadski and Quadski XL is now finished, but the good news is that you can still find some on the second-hand market.

According to the manufacturer, they are at work on a new generation of Quadskis, beside many other amphibian vehicles. We hope that we can see Gibbs’ concepts in mass production pretty soon!

This was our Gibbs Quadski review; we hope you liked it!

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