Barn Burro: 1971 El Burro Sand ‘N’ Sno Bike

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

This wacky minibike is a 1971 El Burro Sand ‘N’ Sno Bike and it’s on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $699 or make an offer. They are pretty rare, but as you can see there are a few missing parts and some of them may be hard to find. This El Burro is located in Sayville, New York. An anonymous Barn Finds fan sent in this submission so I know that I’m not the only one out there who likes these unusual little minibikes! The seller says that this was a barn find, now let’s check out this wacky little ride.

As is far too often the case with online ads, the photos aren’t the best. There isn’t one overall photo of this thing, for some odd reason. You should be able to piece it together mentally, or here’s a photo of an amazing original Torque 5 Sand ‘N’ Sno for reference. The hardest part to find, and really the only missing part that matters, is the chain guard with the logo on it. The next owner may end up having to fabricate one.

These are wide tires! The El Burro Sand ‘N’ Sno Bike came in either the Torque 5 with a torque converter transmission and a 5-hp, pull-start, four-cycle Briggs & Stratton motor or the Super 8 with a centrifugal clutch transmission and an 8-hp motor. This is an early model with the 5-hp and it’s missing the transmission, but it shouldn’t be hard to track down what you need and get this one running like a watch again in no time. A clutch assembly should be able to be located, it’s the chain guard that I’d be worried about. Or, you could always just drop an SBC in it and.. well, maybe just an 8-hp and create a resto-mod Sand ‘N’ Sno, I’m sure it’s been done before. This model is rare and for those of you who are plugged in to the minibike world, you already know that. A restored Super 8 Sand ‘N’ Sno sold for a couple of thousand dollars a while ago but I’m not sure what a Torque 5 is worth. The seller’s asking price may be on the high side since this one will have to be restored and that missing chain guard will be a bear to locate.

This should be a fairly straightforward restoration: take a ton of photos, take everything apart, refinish everything, and put everything back together again. Badda-bing bodda-boom, Bob’s your uncle, pretty soon you’re riding on either sand OR snow! I mean, sand ‘n’ sno. These bikes were made by Worth Industrial Processing Company (WIPCO) in Lexington, Michigan and you could deflate the tires to around 2 psi and get the traction that you need from those 12-inch wide tires! Owners reported going through foot-deep snow. I would love to add this to the oddball collection but I’d be worried about finding that chain guard. Have any of you minibike fans (if you’re out there?) heard of the Sand ‘N’ Sno?

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Comments

  1. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    I’d love to have one of these! It would be fun to putt around at the dunes and see if it really could handle the snow. I have no idea if the price is right, but it would have to be a little cheaper before I’d take the plunge.

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  2. Fred W.

    My dad constructed a nearly identical vehicle for me at the age of 11 in 1968. He made the frame and seat, engineered a foot controlled belt drive torque converter with jackshaft and heavy chain drive, powered by a brand new 8HP Briggs and Stratton powerhouse. I was the baddest kid on the block compared to the kids with factory made 3HP minibikes.

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  3. Howard A Member

    Never heard of it. I’d think, and by watching a video of it in action ON snow, not going through it, it would be a better sand machine, and I found out, riding in sand really chews things up. If it had a ski on the front, perhaps, but it is too hard to push a big tire like that through deep snow. On hard packed, or a groomed trail would be ok. This one looks a little rough. Looks pretty stable here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA3qZkPzK90

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  4. JW

    While I was at home in northern Illinois for Christmas my son and I headed to the farm store “Farm & Fleet” and they had 2 mini bikes that looked identical to this one but I’m sure made by someone else, they had 8hp motors B&S and one was camouflage green while the other was camouflage pink which I told the son my granddaughter needs that since pink is her favorite color. I think they were $1,000 to $1,200 and had those big fat tires.

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  5. Adam T45

    The front tyre on this looks the same as the front tyre on the early 3-wheel farm bikes of the 1970’s. If it is and the tyre is in good condition then it alone is worth $500 + as they are no longer manufactured and there are people out there who are restoring the 3-wheelers now.

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  6. Guggie 13

    always wanted one ,thought it would be cool

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  7. Righteous Bob

    Perfect for pulling a sled full of Ice Fishing equipment..

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  8. Dave

    My dad used to pull us on tubes through the snow with one of these, identical to the one shown! Wow.

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