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How to Make Your Hobie Mirage Drive Reverse: DIY GT to 180 Pedal Drive Conversion

Are you ready for full forward and reverse functionality on your kayak? Maybe it's time for a DIY conversion!

Outdoor Sportsman Group's COO of Publishing and Branded Media, Mike Carney, joins Chris Kujawa at Quest Watersports in Ottawa, IL to learn how to convert his MirageDrive GT into a MirageDrive 180, allowing for instant reverse capability without having to purchase a whole new pedal drive! If you want to give your kayak's capabilities a big upgrade on a budget, this one is for you.

What's the difference between Mirage Drive GT and Mirage Drive 180?

You may ask "What is Hobie GT drive?" The MirageDrive GT, aka MirageDrive with Glide Technology, is Hobie's entry-level pedal drive that delivers smooth, efficient forward pedal power. This drive comes standard on the Hobie Passports as well as all Duo and inflatable models.

What is Mirage Drive 180? The MirageDrive 180 is Hobie's upgraded pedal drive that utilizes two pull levers to allow kayakers to toggle forward and reverse capabilities. A quick pull of the forward or reverse tabs pivot the fins 180° to seamlessly alternate directions. This drive comes standard on the Mirage Outback, Mirage Compass, Mirage Compass Duo (one GT & one 180), the Revolution models, Oasis as well as the Pro Anglers.

The last pedal drive model from Hobie, the MirageDrive 360—which allows for a full range of propulsion—is only available on the Pro Angler 360 and Ike series'.

All Hobie MirageDrive models feature Hobie's patented kick-up fins to prevent damage from underwater hazards.

Does MirageDrive GT have reverse?

No, the standard GT MirageDrive doesn't go in reverse, it only has forward capabilities. But you can make your GT Hobie Mirage Drive reverse by simply converting it to a MirageDrive 180, which we cover the full process of in this video.

Can I convert my MirageDrive GT? Is it hard to do?


Ever wondered if you could convert your MirageDrive at home? Absolutely! And it's relatively easy too! Just takes a little time and some additional parts. 

How much will it cost to convert to a MirageDrive 180?

The main items ring in at $391 for the MirageDrive 180 spine and the Shifter Sets run at $15.99 each. If you have everything else at home, it will cost around $423. The other supplies may run you around $40 in total. All in all the full MirageDrive GT to 180 conversion should range from $423 to $463.

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Some websites offer Mirage Drive 180 Upgrade Kits, but run upwards of $650 to $850 because they include unnecessary parts like extra kick-up fins. If your fins are in good condition, just purchase your spine assembly and shifter sets at half the price. At the time of this article, I was able to locate a bundle with Delaware Paddlesports titled "Hobie Mirage 180 Drive Spine V2 Assembly with Forward and Reverse Pulls" that has everything you need for our conversion at $16 less than purchasing the items separately, not including shipping.

What supplies and tools will you need?

  • MirageDrive 180 V2 spine (Can be found through Mariner Sails, West Coast Sailing, or other sources)
  • Shifter sets (forward and reverse tabs)
  • Spray lubricant (Sailkote, silicone spray, WD-40, etc.)
  • Marine grease
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • 3/8 wrench
  • 7/16 wrench
  • 5/32 hex key
  • Flathead screwdriver (anything to spread grease)

How long will it take?

About 30-45 minutes

How to do a MirageDrive GT to 180 conversion:

Are you ready for full forward and reverse functionality on your kayak? Maybe it's time for a conversion! Watch the video above for a step-by-step breakdown of the conversion process to make your Hobie Mirage Drive reversible, a list of all the tools you'll need, costs and how long the DIY job will take.

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