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Taking Your ATV Airborne

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and should not be construed as expert opinion but rather the author's individual experience in riding.  All riders should consult the owner's manuals and product specifications for their individual machine and components.  Midwest Traction encourages all riders to seek professional training.

Once the beginner’s exhilaration of riding your ATV starts to wear off, you might want to try stunts. If you've seen an ATV sailing through the air, it might seem easy, but catching air requires technique and an ATV in peak condition. The key to mastering ATV jumping is to start small and gradually build up the distance.

Proper Gear

Before taking your first jump, utilize proper safety gear: goggles, helmet, chest protector, boots, gloves, and other protective padding. Next point of focus should be on your vehicle. Check the tires, tire pressure, suspension, and shocks. Devote an entire day to checking your ATV thoroughly before jumping.

Proper Technique

Avoid landing at a downward slope. Start is with a ramp whose top connects with higher ground. Construct a solid, smooth ramp, strong enough to bear the weight of you and your vehicle. From some distance, approach the ramp at a good speed. Open the throttle further upon contact with the ramp, as the slope will slow your ATV. Raise your body off the seat a little and keep elbows out. This stance absorbs the force of landing.

Do not let off the throttle as you climb the ramp; maintaining speed is crucial to the jump. Slacking the throttle results in a nose dip upon ramp departure, which results in crashing. Do not land while seated. This compresses the shock, turning it into a catapult that will launch you from your vehicle. 

Buffer Room

It's unlikely you'll go far your few first times. If you're concerned about overshooting your mark, stand up higher to create more resistance. As you progress, lower into a crouch, but avoid sitting at any point during a jump sequence. Slack the throttle upon landing so you don't lose control once the vehicle returns to the ground. It takes several runs to find the right speed, stance, and distance, so do not be discouraged. As always, be safe, and enjoy your jumps! 

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