Always wear protective gear.
Just like operating a motorcycle or bike, riding an ATV requires you use proper protective gear. ALWAYS wear a helmet. Most serious or fatal accidents occur when the rider is not wearing a helmet and falls on his or her head. Helmets may not be the most stylish accessory, but they can literally save your life. Also, since most riders operate ATVs in wooded environments, be sure to wear proper eye protection, as a rock, branch, or even a bug can fly into your eye and cause damage. Furthermore, be sure to wear boots and gloves to protect your hands and feet while operating the ATV.
Only one rider per vehicle.
ATVs are designed for only one rider at a time. Since you have to manipulate your weight in order to control the vehicle, two riders on a vehicle is incredibly dangerous. Also, the ATV may be unable to successfully hold the combined weight of two riders, making it less stable and more apt to roll over. Finally, having an additional rider can distract the driver from the task of properly operating the vehicle.
Check Tire Pressure.
This one is so easy yet extremely vital to the handling characteristics of your quad. If you run without enough air in your tires, you’re opening yourself up to all kinds of difficulties, such as poor handling, snakebite flats, dinging your rims and even the bead rolling off your rim. On the other hand, running with too much air can cause your quad to bounce around uncontrollably as if you were on a pogo stick. Lower pressure means a tire is easier to puncture but offers added traction in softer soils. Higher pressure results in higher durability and allows for more predictable sliding but gives less traction. The point is to find your happy medium. Start with the manufacturer’s recommended psi and begin dialing in the tires to the air pressure that best fits your needs.
Tighten Lug Nuts.
The first thing I do is tighten and properly torque each lug nut on all four wheels.It’ll only take a few minutes to tighten them. Also note, aluminum wheels are notorious for allowing nuts to loosen, so they should be inspected periodically.
Oil The Air Filter.
Air filters are the nostrils of your engine. Sucking in water, dirt and other harmful debris will certainly wreak havoc on your motor, which will lead to costly rebuilds. The factory filters come bone dry and will not properly filter out all dirt and debris. To keep dust out of the motor, liberally grease the portion of the filter that comes in contact with the airbox and add a good coat of filter oil to catch the fine debris from passing through. You’ll not only prolong the life of your engine, but by feeding it clean air will allow it to run like a champ.
Maintain The Swingarm Bolt.
Swing-arm pivot bolts are notorious for working their way loose and surprising unsuspecting riders. So before you hit the trail, be sure to tighten them up Over time, you’ll need to repack the pivot bolt bearings with grease to keep them from rusting and creating a whole new slew of problems.
Check The Axle Nut.
Just as swingarm pivot bolts are notorious for working their way loose, the axle nut is even more likely to be loose. Make sure that the axle nut is good and tight. For a little added insurance, wrap it up really tightly with electrical tape. This is one of those deals that should be inspected before every ride.
Inspect and Tighten Everything.
Check all important bolts, such as the shock mounting bolts and the suspension bolts. Be sure to look at your ATV protection components like the heel guards and the swingarm guards. What it boils down to is it’s your responsibility to inspect and make sure that everything is tight and functional.
Carry a communication device with you at all times.
ATV operations should be sure to carry a cell phone or walkie talkie with them at all times so that they can call for help in the event of an emergency. This is especially true if you are riding alone, which is not encouraged, so that someone will be able to find you if you become injured. Whenever you plan to ride your ATV, you should either have another individual with you or notify someone of where you are going and when you plan to return.
Do not attempt tricks or stunts while riding an ATV.
The most injuries on ATVs occur when the vehicles are operated improperly. Take great care in riding your ATV and be sure to avoid any tricks or stunts that will encourage an accident. Furthermore, avoid improper interaction with other individuals, whether they are on an ATV or not.
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