ATVing In The Snow: Are ATVs Good In Snow & Which Is Best?

atving in snow

ATVs are designed to ride on all terrains, including snow. However, snow is the most difficult terrain for all vehicles due to the low temperature and white flakes. Hence, it is no surprise that you are worried about whether it is safe to ride an ATV in the snow.

You can ride an ATV in the snow. If you plan to ride one in the snow, you should get an ATV with a range of 400-800cc. Some of the best ATVs for riding in the snow include:

  • Polaris Switchback Assault 146
  • Polaris 800 Titan XC 155
  • KTM X2 Hybrid
  • Arctic Cat Blast M 4000. 

If you want to go ATVing in the snow, there are some modifications that you should carry out. If you use your regular ATV for snow riding, these modifications help you ride better and keep you safer. Once you have these additions installed on your vehicle, there is less possibility that you will get stuck during the ride.

ATVing In The Snow

The snow in winter should not stop you from riding your ATV. However, if you are using a regular ATV instead of an ATV snowmobile, your vehicle needs to be modified in a few ways to make it safer.

An Engine Block Heater

In the winter, when riding your ATV, there is a possibility that the vehicle’s engine can get cold. If this happens, the ATV’s engine could be damaged and its lifespan reduced. Letting an ATV’s engine get cold can increase engine wear, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions. Using an engine block heater keeps the engine warm during the winter season.

It also increases the lifespan of the engine and the vehicle’s starter components. An engine block heater allows the vehicle to consume less fuel and reduce CO2 emissions to the environment. Some engine block heaters you can get for your ATV include:

  • ATV block heater Titan- P1
  • VVKB ATV block heater
  • Magnetic engine block heater

Lubricate Control Cables

There are lubricants that you can get that are suitable for cold weather. These lubricants should be applied to the control cables of your ATV. Using a lubricant prevents the cables from rusting, and they will function properly when they are needed.

The cables to be lubricated include accelerator cables, choke cables, and brake cables. Other electrical connections should also be lubricated with white lithium grease. This grease protects the electrical connections of the ATV from water and ensures you have a stable and quality connection. You should also lubricate the battery terminal to prevent corrosion.

Get Warmers And Wind Protection

If you are riding in the snow, you have to be warm and protected from frostbite. Hence, you will need a windshield for your ATV. You should also get gauntlets and handguards. These items provide extra warmth by protecting your hands and face from the wind and snow.

You should also get seat warmers for your ATV, as driving in the snow can also make the inside of the vehicle cold. Having a seat warmer keeps your hindquarters warm. It is also important that you get heated grips on your ATV so that you can ride comfortably and your hands stay warm.

personmaneuveringatvthroughsnow

Are ATVs Good In Snow?

The important factor determining if your ATV is good in the snow is the tires of your ATV. Riding in the snow requires special ATV tires. The tires that come with your ATV may not be equipped enough to ride in the snow. When you want to get a tire for your ATV, you must consider these features.

Large Radial Paddles

The name alone describes what the tires should look like. A radial paddle is the tire’s raised section that can span the tire’s entire width. These paddles make the tires look like the actual paddles of a paddling boat. A radial paddle allows your ATV to move freely in the snow.

Additionally, they support the ATV, thus allowing it to push forward through the snow. The paddles dig into the ground, generate a forward thrust supporting the vehicle’s wheels, and prevent the ATV from bottoming out. A radial paddle also takes the pressure off your engine in cases where you are trying to get your ATV out of the snow when it is stuck.

Width Of The Tires

You will require a wide tire when riding in the snow. If you are going to be riding in deep snow, the weight of your ATV has to spread to a wider area. Hence, you will need wider tires to help. Your ATV is less likely to sink into the snow and get stuck when the weight is spread out. A wider tire equals a larger distribution of the ATV’s weight.

Ridged Tires

The tires you are getting should have ridges on them. Using ridged tires on your ATV allows it to dig into the snow, and you have more traction, unlike when you use a smooth tire. The ridges on the tires are called tread blocks. They are the raised patterns all around your tire.

groupofpeopleridingatvsinsnow

What ATV Is Best In Snow?

Although ATVs are all-terrain vehicles, not all ATVs can be operated on snow. However, if you want to modify your ATV to make it ride on snow, ensure your ATV is 400cc and above. Some of the ATVs designed to operate on snow include:

Can-Am Outlander Backcountry 

The Can-Am Outlander Backcountry is one of the best ATVs for snow riding with its incredible traction. Its tracks are 13.5 inches at the front and 14 inches at the rear. This vehicle is for winter use only; it has 89 horsepower and also features tri-mode dynamic power steering. To use this ATV, you will need the Apache 360 backcountry mounting kit.

Polaris Switchback Assault 146

The Polaris Switchback Assault 146 is an ATV with one of the most advanced technologies. It has a ride command feature, smart warmers, and thermostat-controlled hand warmers. This vehicle is lightweight, and its frame is made from aluminum and carbon fiber. It also has an enhanced windshield design that protects the rider from the snow. It has a touch screen and a digital display of all the controls.

Arctic Cat Blast M 4000

The Arctic Cat Blast M 4000 has a single-cylinder 2-stroke engine. This ATV is a 400cc ATV. It has a single beam rear suspension that allows you to control the vehicle in the snow easily. It also has turn-key electronic start features. Its windshield is 4 inches high, and it also has a proclimb ski. This ATV comes with a digital gauge and a 4.5-inch riser.

greyatvonsnowheadlightson

How Cold Is Too Cold To Ride An ATV?

Riding an ATV in the winter can be a lot more fun than riding in the summer. However, you must know that there is a limit to how you ride your ATV in the winter season. Some people think it is never too cold to ride an ATV.

However, you should not ride an ATV when the temperature is below 320 F or 00 C. this is because staying outside at this type of temperature can be dangerous to your health and your ATV’s safety.

At this temperature, it is easy for different parts of your ATV, including the engine, to freeze, causing it to shut down. If this happens, you can get stranded and eventually fall sick due to the weather.

Final Thoughts

Snow riding is a popular activity in winter. It is a bonus when you own a snow ATV. You do not have to worry about damaging your ATV because you are riding it on the terrain it was designed for. When riding an ATV in the snow, it is advisable to be very cautious, ride in a group, and not stay out for too long.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.