Skip to main content
Advertisement

MotorBiscuit

We are going on a learning journey together, dear reader. Have you ever heard of a “wet bike water cycle?” Me neither, until recently. While some might refer to jetskis as the watercraft equivalent of the motorcycle, they aren’t. That honor belongs only to the completely insane 1978 Spirit Marine Wetbike. Strap in, folks; this junk is wild. It might be one of the strangest watercraft we’ve ever seen.

A photo of the wetbike brochure from 1978.
The 1978 Spirit Marine Wetbike | Arctic Cat

Have you ever heard of the Spirit Wetbike?

According to Silodrome –the unearther of all strange automobiles – the Spirit Wetbike was invented and devolved in the 1970s. The personal watercraft was released for the public to gnar on in 1978. 

When you see the strange craft, the only thing that will come to any sane person’s mind is,” that is a motorcycle for the water” The thing rides on two skis, one up front and one in the back, just like the wheels on a bike. The pilot merely leans to one side or the other to steer the wild device. It is a water motorcycle. There are no two ways about it. 

What engine went in the Spirit Wetbike? 

The Spirit made the water cycle, but the parent company was Artic Enterprises which later became Arctic Cat. If you thought the water bike was crazy before, wait until you find out it was powered by a 723cc Spirit reed-valve two-stroke engine producing 50 hp. Two-stroke! Later models would get an upgraded 800 cc unit from Suzuki, making 60 hp. Despite its massive two-stroke engine, the wet bike only did about 33 mph-36 mph, depending on the engine. 

When did they stop making the Wetbike?

Amazingly, this aqua death trap stayed in production from 1978-1992. Despite its long run and relative obscurity, it still had its moments in the culture. Roger Moore rode it up to the baddie’s lair in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. Silodrome says the bike also made it into an episode of Chips. It spent some time on screen in Police Academy 3: Back in Training and the 1990 the George Clooney film Red Surf.

How much does a Wetbike sell for? 

Wetbike brochure
Wetbike brochure | Arctic Cat

The one we see here is currently for sale on Bring-a-Trailer. It is a first-year 1978 model that seems to be quite clean and original. The listing says that it recently had its battery replaced and a freshly-cleaned fuel system. 

It’s being offered for sale out of White City, Utah, and it comes with a Utah registration in the seller’s name and a bill of sale.

The bid is currently at $2,700 as of this writing. Head over to Bring-A-Trailer to check out the listing and learn more about the Spirit Marine Wetbike.