Prioritizing Safety for Lasting Memories

loIf you are an ATV enthusiast, you know very well that your outdoor riding activity is not the safest way to have fun. Although zipping through muddy pools or sand dunes can give you countless memories to treasure, pushing your quad to the limit or taking safety precautions for granted can get you hurt. There’s nothing amusing about spending weeks or months inside the hospital just because you deliberately chose to neglect basic safety practices. Follow these safety tips if you want to ride your ATV for many years without breaking a bone.

Wear Protective Gear

If you have the money to buy an ATV, you definitely have the cash to spend on safety equipment. In case of an accident, your protective gear can be the only thing keeping you from serious injuries. If you like to ride fast and hard, you should be wearing the following:

  • Sturdy MX Helmet
  • ATV Boots
  • ATV Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Body Armor
  • Long Pants
  • Long-sleeved Shirt

It can get seriously hot wearing all these protective gear, but it is better to take the heat than lose the teeth.

Take a Safety Course

If you have a driver’s license, you probably appreciate the value of taking a safety course. Investing a few hours of your time to educate yourself on the proper operation of a quad can pay huge dividends in terms of safety. Aside from correct vehicle handling, the course also teaches how to appropriately behave while riding, which makes the course essential for teenagers and young adults who think that going for an outdoor ride is just about fun and games.

Do Not Carry a Passenger

Most quads are designed to carry one rider at a time and there is a very good reason for it. Unlike riding an MX bike, ATV riders need to steer their weight to maintain control over the vehicle. With that in mind, a second rider on board can make the ride extremely dangerous. Furthermore, the combined weight of two individuals might be too much for the control the ATV. An overloaded quad is less stable and that means you are increasing your chances of tipping over the ATV.

Do Not Ride an ATV Under Influence

When you are driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, you are putting yourself and other people in danger. If you do not drive a car under the influence, you definitely should do the same when going for an outdoor ATV ride.

Sure, the quiet and peaceful scenery of the woods might tempt you to drink a glass or two, but resist the urge because you will not be the same person as soon as alcohol or illicit drugs are inside your system. You will not be able to react in a timely manner, perceive and filter information efficiently or have the needed level of balance and control to operate the vehicle safely when you are buzzed. Going for an outdoor ride is supposed to give you awesome memories so keep it that way by resisting any temptation.

Never Attempt Silly Tricks

As an amateur ATV rider, zooming through sand dunes on a hot summer day or riding like the wind on rough terrain are acceptable ways of having fun with your quad. What is not acceptable is building a ramp that you will use to launch you and your ATV 10 feet into the air so you can post a video about it online. An amateur attempting tricks and stunts on four wheels is a recipe for disaster and pain. A few seconds of fame for countless hours of pain is not worth it.

ATV, Dirt Bike Riding Tips and Techniques

evIt won’t be a surprise if someone thinks that the “A” in ATV stands for adventure. That could be an honest mistake considering that quads are mostly used for adrenaline-pumping rides. Unfortunately, owners who like to keep it fast and dirty are sometimes guilty of keeping the vehicle filthy for a long period of time. If you are one of those owners and you are wishing for a list of the least things that you can do to ensure that your ATV still runs, you are in luck because you can learn all about them here.

Clean the Air Filter

Whenever you take your quad on an extended spin on muddy or dusty terrain, you need to commit a few minutes of your time after the ride to clean the air filter. Your engine is bound to suck nasty elements like mud and debris if the air filter is dirty. When that happens, your quad’s engine could fail.

Cleaning the air filter is easy. All you need to do is to detach the air filter and give it a good wash using a filter cleaner. After that, blow-dry the filtering component and then apply filter oil before putting it back inside ATV. It is recommended that you also follow this procedure once a month.

Check Engine Oil

Quad engines are high revolution per minute machines that need synthetic oil for lubrication. Whenever shopping for quality synthetic oil, make sure that you buy the type recommended by the factory. The frequency of refill depends of how you use your vehicle.

Many ATV riders think it is enough to change oil once or twice per season, but if you are one of those owners who often take the quad to its limits, you need to change the oil a few more times. Regular oil drainage and replacement is necessary to keep your vehicle in excellent condition. Keep in mind that every time you change the vehicle’s oil, an oil filter change is also required.

If you have no idea how to replace oil, here are simple steps that you can follow:

  • Start the engine to warm the oil.
  • Once the oil is warm, turn off the engine and take off the drain plug. Be sure to wear gloves before touching the plug.
  • Drain the oil and remove the oil filter.
  • Apply fresh synthetic oil to a new oil filter’s seal.
  • Install the new oil filter and screw the drain plug back on.
  • Add fresh synthetic oil up to the recommended level

After following these instructions, fire the engine again and then keep an eye out for leaks. Give yourself a pat on the back for successfully changing your ATV’s oil.

Curb Condensation

As part of maintaining the quality of oil running inside your quad, you need to monitor condensation, especially if you are zipping through wet and muddy terrain. If your gear casing is hot and your front differential is splashed with cool water, you can expect condensation to occur. The moist condition can affect the quality of your ATV’s oil which could result to engine failure.

To avoid this situation from ever happening, check for the oil’s consistency. Insert an immaculate zip-tie into the plug hole. Milky oil means condensation took place and to prevent any damage to your quad, you have to follow the steps above to replace the adulterated oil.

Costly Mistakes That Could Ruin Your ATV

s3Your all terrain vehicle is not just a toy; it is an investment for either business or pleasure. However, a mistake could ruin your ATV, turning to liability. By investing a small amount of time knowing the costliest blunders you can commit to your ATV, you are protecting your investment big time.

Forgetting About the Air Filter

The air filter is essential in maintaining your engine’s efficiency. If the air filter is filled with dirt and grime, that’s bad news for your engine. From the component’s name, its job is to filter the air the engine needs to produce power and when it fails to do its one duty, your ATV’s engine might be up for serious repairs.

When the air filter is dirty for an extended period of time, the engine has no defense against dust and dirt. Over time, your ATV will show the symptoms of riding with a filthy air filter including reduction in performance and loss in horsepower. If you are not a lucky guy, your quad might need a new engine.

To avoid committing this blunder, commit to cleaning your air filter every time you go on a nasty ride. A few minutes and a few dollars will go a long way in keeping your engine in tiptop shape for years.

Submerging the Quad

Some people consider riding their ATV on terrain covered with mud and shallow water as the ultimate fun. They push their quads to the limit, measuring the number of inches of mud it takes to get the vehicle stuck. While the activity can be sight to see, you are putting your investment in a risky position.

Once your quad’s engine sucks water or mud, you are reducing the value of your investment by allowing moisture to mix with gasoline and oil. So do not be surprised if your ATV sputters in the heat of the moment; that’s just the quad telling you it is choking. However if the blunder has already been committed, the best thing that you can do is to tow the vehicle to the nearest shop. Fixing the ATV yourself is a bad move. Do not try to fix a mistake with another mistake.

Spoiling the Fuel

Does gasoline go bad? According to a report published by CNN, it does. Apparently, gas left inside your fuel tank will degrade if not used for a couple of months. This issue is not popular because car owners rarely leave their vehicles sitting inside the garage for a prolonged period of time. It’s a different story when it comes to quad owners.

Many owners are guilty of ditching their ATVs for a season and two only to expect it to perform like brand new days before summer. Bad fuel can cause your vehicle to poorly perform or not perform at all. Therefore if you live in an area where ATVs are not fun riding during the winter, you can mix fuel system stabilizers to your quad’s gas. Based on the same report, it can extend the freshness of the gas for up to 15 months.

Leaving the Radiator Clogged

ATV owners enjoy it when they take their vehicles on off-road adventures. While quads are built for that type of use, they are not designed to keep dirt and grime away forever. Different elements like sand, mud and debris can get inside your radiator and when that occurs, your engine will take the heat.

A filthy radiator can cause your engine to overheat, and it is something that you don’t want to happen when you are showing off your new ride to your friends. So whenever you ride through muddy or dusty terrain, make sure the radiator is also attended to.

ATV, Dirt Bike Riding Tips and Techniques

tyIf you’re after some solid dirt bike riding tips… then read on. If you get the technique right, the speed will come naturally. Most of your riding should be done in the standing position. To do this…

1. Have the foot pegs in the middle of your feet for easy access and control of your foot levers.
2. Grip the bike with your knees slightly bent near the bottom of the tank.
3. Your back should be slightly arched with your bum towards the rear. Keep your arms up, and elbows forward with your head over the handle bars.
4. Try and keep either 1 or 2 fingers on the clutch and brake levers as much as possible.

Practice riding like this over rough terrain and watch your speed, control and enjoyment increase!

Riding techniques:

1. Turning.
Consult your owner’s manual for information on turning your ATV. In general, when riding at low to moderate speeds, you should:
a. Move your body forward and lean in the direction of the turn.
b. Turn the handlebars while looking where you are turning.
c. If the ATV begins to tip, lean farther into the turn and slowly reduce your speed.

2. Riding uphill.
In general, you should:
a. Use good judgment. If you think the hill is too steep to climb safely, don’t attempt it. Instead, you may be able to traverse the slope.
b. Before starting the climb, shift into a lower gear and increase your speed.
c. During the climb, increase the throttle steadily to keep your forward momentum.
d. Slide forward on the seat, or stand and lean forward.
e. Always lean uphill while leaving your feet on the footrests.
f. If you can’t see over the top of the hill to check for obstacles, slow down until you can.

3. Riding downhill.
When riding downhill, remember to:
a. Move back on the seat while leaving your feet on the footrests.
b. Maintain a slow speed.
c. Brake gradually.
d. Stay in a low gear.
e. Keep your eyes focused ahead.

4. Traversing a slope.
Some hills may be too steep to ride up or down in a straight line. When traversing, be sure to:
a. Keep your feet on the footrests.
b. Shift your weight to the uphill side.

How to Shift on a 110cc Dirt Bike
Things you’ll need:
1. Open, grassy field.
2. Helmet.
3. Gloves.
Instructions:

1. Find a flat, grassy area to practice your shifting skills.

2. Climb on the bike, pull in the clutch lever, which is on the left hand grip, and then kick start the engine.

3. Place your left foot on top of the gear shift, which is near the left foot peg of the motorcycle and push straight down to shift into first gear.

4. Gain momentum to a point that you can coast and pull in on the clutch lever again. Slide your left toes under the gear shift, and pull straight upward to shift into second gear. Release the clutch lever again and gain momentum by twisting the throttle on the right-hand grip.

5. Continue shifting upward by repeating Step 4 until you have reached the top gear. When you are ready to begin shifting back down, reverse the steps by pulling in on the clutch, pressing down on the gear shift and releasing the clutch again.