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Basic ATV Riding Tips

ATVs are quite easy to operate; however, they can behave unpredictably in certain situations, depending on weather conditions and terrain. Here are some basic riding tips that will help you master this multi-purpose vehicle.

atv rider in water

Getting Started

Before you speed off, make sure the engine is sufficiently warm. Engage the rear brake and shift to forward gear. As you release the brake, slowly apply the throttle. If your ATV has a manual clutch, it should be gradually let out. Releasing too quickly causes the vehicle to lurch, which can launch you off your vehicle. While riding, keep feet firmly planted on foot rests to aid balance and avoid leg injury.

Gear Shifting

ATVs have different transmissions; check your owner's manual for model-specific information. Before riding, know how to shift gears. If handling a manual clutch, practice feeling the point of engagement. This will prevent stalling and allow for smooth transfer between gears. Close the accelerator before shifting, as that will prevent lifting the front wheels. Learning to recognize the various sounds your engine makes at different speeds will help you maintain a fuel-efficient speed range.

Safe Braking

Check the manual for the specs on your ATV’s braking system. Some have separate controls for front and rear wheels, while others operate on a single, linked control system. Safe braking techniques vary from system to system, and don’t forget to account for terrain.

While braking, remember to loosen the throttle. It is advisable to shift gears to a lower notch before braking, as it will slow down your vehicle. Avoiding hard brakes on corners and apply gently on slippery surfaces. While descending slopes, shift to lower gears. Riding the brakes will burn them out.

Handling Turns

Turning can be tricky on the ATV, especially on rough terrain and high speeds along the trail (or on no trail at all). Operate the machine slowly or moderately while turning, moving the your body weight slightly forward and into the turn. If driving with a passenger, have them mirror your weight shift. If you need to turn sharply or at increased speeds, you need to move the weight of your body much more towards the inside of the turn to maintain balance.

Check your tires; wear and tear can cause them to slide and will influence the way they perform when you're handling the ATV. While turning, if your vehicle starts to tip, reduce throttle, and make the arc of the turn wider. If you need new tires, our store has plenty to choose from. 

Always be sure to observe safety precautions, start slow, wear protective gear, and enjoy your ride! 

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