June 22, 2021
A Beginner’s Guide to ATVs
Let’s start with the basics – What is an ATV?
ATV stands for “All-Terrain Vehicle”. As opposed to UTV, which stands for “Utility Task Vehicle”. An ATV is also known as a “four-wheeler”, can drive along different terrains and comes in various sizes. An ATV is designed for single riders, as opposed to a UTV which can have passengers.
What should you do before purchasing an ATV?
Well, have you ever driven an ATV before? Taken a ride on a friends’ ATV? That’s probably a good start before just going out and buying one. But once you’ve done that (or not . . . we don’t judge here), you should study ATV’s and look into the basics. I know the word “study” might turn you off, but just jumping on an ATV and taking it for a spin can be dangerous. ATV’s are massive machines with a lot of power, take it from me! The first time I saw an ATV, I jumped on it, went to take it for a spin and literally did just that. I ended up in a ditch about four seconds later. Follow my advice—study!
How do you study? Read the owner’s manual. Again—yawn—but it’s very important to know what you are getting into. Each ATV has specific features and you need to know what they are. Or take a safety course, there are probably ones locally you can take. Or have an experienced friend show you some tips and tricks. This is all common sense stuff, but also important stuff!
Before riding your ATV, you need the right gear to wear! This will protect you as you ride and, by the way, probably required by law, depending on where you live. People wear protective gear on bicycles and motorbikes, so of course it’s recommended for ATV’s.
Essentials for when you get started are of course the jacket, gloves, boots, and pants for riding. And also it’s good to have different gear for different seasons. In the summer, you wouldn’t necessarily want to wear a heated vest, but in the winter that would be an invaluable item to have. And you might not always need waterproof gear, but on certain adventures, it might come in handy!
Oh and the most important piece of gear of all—the helmet! How could we have forgotten that? Make sure you try it on to make sure it fits and it’s comfortable. You need to protect that big brain of yours! Ans goggles too for your eyes—need those!!!
Other tidbits of information . . . ATV’s are designed for driving on all terrains but stay away from highways. Have a proper toolkit with you, even if it’s a screwdriver, air pump, and a first aid kit. And a map would be useful too, or if you aren’t an 18th century explorer, we recommend a GPS, but this can be tricky if you’re in an area with no Wi-Fi and you may need to resort to a good old fashioned paper fold up map.
Before you do anything, make sure you inspect your ATV, whether that means checking the tire pressure, the brakes, oil level, fuel—again all common sense stuff, but important for you to do in order to have a fun and safe ATV experience!
What else do you need to know before going out and purchasing your first ATV? Don’t attempt wheelies, or anything dangerous, on your first ride? But that’s just obvious, right? We don’t have to tell YOU that . . . right?
Whether your goal is just to have some fun on the weekends or to one day become a professional ATV rider (yes they exist!), if you follow all these steps, you should be a proud owner of your own ATV and have any off-road adventures! If you’re ready to take that next all-important step and purchase your new ATV, give Throttle Powersports a call and our team will be more than happy to help!
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