February 2, 2022

Don’t let the dust collect on your ATV, Use it this Winter

Are you missing out on tons of fun this winter? You sure are if you have yet to winterize your ATV. All-Terrain Vehicles are to be used on snowy landscapes, dry or muddy ones. A minor upgrade to your ATV can make winter riding a blast.

Check your owner’s manual to determine whether your ATV is designed to withstand cold temperatures. A battery charger and cold-weather fluids will keep it starting nicely, and snow tires for maximum traction will keep your ATV moving.

Upgrade your battery for reliable cold weather starts and, when not in use, leave it hooked up to a battery maintainer to keep it charged and ready. Adding a windshield to protect your face and torso from frigid temperatures is a valuable investment to make your ride more enjoyable. 

You may wish to check out a track kit, which helps your ATV stay on top of the snow and lessens the chance of getting stuck in drifts. Or perhaps you’d like to attach a snowplow blade to your ATV. Now we’re talking about versatility.

When driving your ATV in the snow, you will need to maintain slower speeds than dry weather riding. The snow covering the terrain is deceptive. You will need to carefully watch the shadows to read the underlying landscape and give yourself ample braking time. 

Speaking of braking, you will need to remember to pump your brakes, just like in a car or on a snowmobile. The same problem of locking up your brakes in icy conditions also affects ATVs.

With just basic ATV riding skills and some warm layers of clothing, you should be good to go. Try wearing a polyester or wool blend next to your skin, followed by a cotton layer to whisk away moisture, a cozy next layer or two, and finish off with rain gear to keep dry and block the wind. Don’t forget a hat, gloves, goggles, and even earmuffs.

The buddy system holds for winter ATV fun just as it does in any other season. Rather than have just two of you on one ATV, make sure you have at least two ATVs going out together. The buddy system not only ensures your safety but as a rule of thumb, the more, the merrier when it comes to making memories.

Good trail etiquette is important, too. Snowmobiles are faster machines, as they are built solely for snowy conditions, so yield to snowmobilers should they come your way. We recommend you take advantage of the trails they make with their tracks. The hard-packed snow trails made from snowmobiles often create the best terrain for ATV snow riding. 

As always, pack some emergency supplies and remember to include water, rope, shovel, first aid kit, and a tool kit. No matter how short or long the trip, it is imperative to have it on hand for your safety.

With an upgrade to snow tires, most 4×4 ATV quads can handle all snowy trails, but if you own a sport quad with two-wheel drive, you’d best wait for the bigger ATVs to pack down the snow for you to ride on.

 Ready to go? With a few upgrades and cold weather preparations, you can indeed use your All-Terrain Vehicle on snow. Don’t wait for winter to end; get out there and enjoy it!

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