Monster Mini: El Burro Sand ‘N Sno Bike

Here’s a genre I wish would come back: mini-scooters with huge tires that are actually off-road capable. This 1971 El Burro Sand ‘N Sno Bike (what a great, great name) was built for road use and also designed for off-road excursions, provided you aired-down those huge tires. It’s not very fast, but it probably feels like you’re flying if you grab some air over a sand dune in one. Find it here on craigslist for $1,500.

The El Burro was the creation of Worth Industrial Processing Company of Lexington, Michigan (thanks to Bike-Urious for the background) and was advertised as being just as comfortable on-road as it was in the snow, sand, and off-road trails. The comfort factor is virtually nil given the simplicity of its construction, but hey – less stuff to break.

It originally came with a 5 b.h.p. motor but was later upgraded to an 8 b.h.p. unit. Good for 24 m.p.h. on road, the El Burro looks like it was designed for people with a cottage at the beach or a cabin in the woods. The manufacturer recommended airing the 12-inch tires down 1-2 PSI for maximum traction when you left the pavement. This one still needs a new coil and the fuel system cleaned.

The seller has done some pain-in-the-neck work as it involves the obsolete tires and wheels: “These bikes originally came with NON-maintainable wheels , meaning the tires are molded into the rim making it all one piece. Those wheels were discontinued in 1975. I contacted and ordered 3 bolt to 5 bolt wheel adapters along with brand new 5 bolt rims. I also installed brand new 20 x 11 x 8 inch Ocelot Tires.” For $1,500, this is a ton of cool that doesn’t take up much space.

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  1. Howard A

    Cool little bike, but not for sand or snow. Riding in sand sucks, and wheels on snow, no matter how big, just doesn’t work. Admiral Byrds “Snow-Cruiser” proved that. Snow builds up in front of the tire, creating a wedge, and stops the wheel, and down you go. Been there. Maybe with a ski up front, but traction will still be a problem. It’s why snowmobiles use tracks. For barreling down a dirt trail, be a gas.

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      That’s why marketing people love their jobs. Never have to prove anything.

  2. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    This is painfully desirable, I wonder if I could ride it home from Albany, at 20 mph…

  3. Dick Johnson

    Coleman offers a camper version of this. Haven’t ridden one yet, but looks like it should work as advertised.

  4. Classic Steel

    Woo hooo. Speed and power 👀😜

    I want to jump a little curb in this beast

  5. angryjonny

    I’m surprised that this thing has hand brakes. I had a Rupp Mini Bike built on the same engine/tube frame/wheels/go principle, and the brake was a slab of 1/8″ steel with a spring attached to a foot pedal that you’d press down on in a hopeful attempt to stop.

  6. Mark A Baker

    Tractor Supply sells several models that are similar to this one for between $400 and $500. They even have an electric model.

  7. Doug

    I like the wide tires for putting around on packed dirt. The ground clearance wouldn’t lend itself to any real off-roading , but it would be fine for a farm. One downside to any scooter is small diameter tires can land you on your head where a motorcycle tire would roll over the dip, bump, or pothole with no drama. For this kind of money, a used 125-250cc motorcycle can be had in good rideable condition. Fall / early winter is often a good time to find used bikes at reasonable prices, since folks aren’t as likely to want to go riding for several months, and there are fewer buyers out there.

    • LAB3

      Very true but if you’ve got younger kids or are in love with absolute simplicity a rig like this is hard to beat. As mentioned, you can get a similar one that’s brand new for less than half the price, not sure if there’s a collector market for these to justify the price. Then again the old Cushmans are fetching a pretty penny considering what you get.

  8. Dave Mika

    Holey Kow, it would rattle the fillings right out of your teeth, but what fun!

  9. Ike Onick

    I’d like to see the left leg of the dude who realized it needed a chain guard. Ouch! Also wondering how long it took to get the pants untangled.


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