Transitioning from driving a regular vehicle to driving an all-terrain vehicle is not as easy as most people imagine. You need to learn lots of things; an ATV is completely different from a car or even a truck. Hop in, and we will show you how to ride an ATV like a pro.
The best way to learn how to ride is to enroll in a driving school. A professional ATV rider will take you through the etiquette, basics of driving, driving techniques, state laws, and other essentials of riding an ATV. Nevertheless, we will explain how to ride an ATV making it easier to learn.
We know you will have many questions regarding riding an ATV and we are prepared to answer them all in this blog post. Relax, prepare your mind, and you will have a thrilling experience riding an ATV.
How To Ride An ATV
Driving an ATV is a fun and exciting way to explore. ATVs are capable of scaling through terrains you will find difficult to drive through with your regular vehicle. Before you jump into an ATV and start driving it with the experience of a regular driver, learn how to ride an ATV.
Before you can start riding an ATV, you need to do these first. These will facilitate your learning and will keep you safe.
- Choose an appropriate ATV.
- Wear protective gear. This includes a helmet, boots, gloves, and riding pants.
- Use nerf bars when riding. They widen the footing area of the ATV, making it easier to keep your feet steady during the ride.
- Select the best accessories that you will need, like a winch and heel guards.
- Read the vehicle's manual.
- Perform all pre-ride maintenance. This includes checking fluid levels, the air filter, tire pressure, gas, and oil.
After completing these prerequisites, you are ready to learn how to ride an ATV. Let us see how to go about it.
Start The ATV
You should know that the way to start your ATV is dependent on the type of ATV you have. This is why it is important to read the owner's manual before you start riding the ATV. There are three ways to start an ATV; some start when you turn the key, others when you push the starter button, and a few start with a pull cord.
If the ATV you are riding has an automatic transmission, you need to put the ATV in gear by moving a lever forward. Move forward by pressing the throttle slowly. To do this, twist the right-hand grip or push the thumb-lever forward.
Drive The ATV
After starting the vehicle, you need to get familiar with it and how to control it. The best place to learn how to ride an ATV is a large, flat area with no obstacles. Turn on the engine and let it warm up for a while. Put the vehicle in the first gear, release the brake and press the throttle.
Drive slowly, apply the brakes to ensure they are fully functional. To learn the basic maneuvers, you would have to practice on a hard dirt surface. Avoid practicing on paved surfaces or public roads. ATVs are designed for off-road use. Most ATV accidents occur on paved roads.
Make sure you continue practicing, get used to the acceleration and braking, then advance to turning. It would be best if you familiarize yourself with the controls, so you would be able to operate them without thinking of the functions of each part.
Once you can comfortably ride in an open area, you should move to ride on easy trails before advancing to more rough terrains. You are a new rider, so you must not drive too fast. Practice in this routine, start, stop, and turn over until you are used to it and can do it effortlessly. Practice is all you need to become a professional rider.
Have The Correct Posture
The correct posture makes riding an ATV easy, operating the controls is also easy, and you can react quickly when adjusting your body weight. Practice with the right posture from the beginning so you will not get used to poor posture. Here are the right postures when riding an ATV.
- Keep your head and eyes up. Focus on what is in front of you.
- Relax your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent away from your body. Avoid locking your elbows; it hinders your control of the vehicle and can hurt when you hit a bump.
- Keep your hands on the handlebars.
- Place your knees inwards towards the gas tank.
- Place your feet on the footrests, ensure your toes are pointing straight ahead.
Try To Stand When Riding
Do not be afraid of standing up on an ATV. Some think it is a bit dangerous for beginners, but you will not perfect it if you do not start practicing it. Most people do not know that standing on an ATV is safer than sitting in most situations. It is easier to adjust your weight when standing than sitting.
If you are taking a casual stroll on an easy trail, you can sit during the ride. However, if you are riding at high speed and going through sharp turns, it is best if you stand up. It is much easier to control the ATV standing than sitting. When you stand on the ATV, hover above the seat, and keep your elbows out and your knees bent.
Learn How To Turn
Turning is an ATV driving skill, and it takes lots of practice to become good at turning. As a beginner, you should stick to simple turning techniques. These are the techniques.
- Move your body weight forward and towards the direction of the turn.
- Turn the handlebars towards the direction of the turn while looking in that direction.
- Depending on your speed, shift your body weight further to maintain balance.
- If the ATV tips while turning, lean your body further in the direction while reducing the throttle and making the turn wider.
Learn To Reverse
Every ATV has a reverse gear, and most come with a rev-limiter you activate when in reverse to control your speed when reversing. You might think this feature is unnecessary; you will find it helpful because when in reverse, the ATV can be difficult to control, and it helps you, especially if you are going fast in reverse.
Most ATVs come with an override button to reverse the rev-limiter. Depending on the situation, you know the best option.
Safety Precautions When Riding An ATV
To avoid accidents when learning to ride an ATV, there are some precautions you must follow strictly. Injuries sustained from ATV accidents range from minor injuries, like cuts, scratches, and burns, to fatalities like broken bones, internal organ injuries, and even death. To prevent any of these from occurring, follow these precautions:
- Always wear a helmet and protective gear (gloves, boots, long-sleeves, and riding pants).
- Avoid riding on paved surfaces and public roads.
- Never ride a single-rider ATV or a youth ATV with a passenger.
- Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Do not allow a child (under 16) to ride an adult ATV.
- Ride only the correct size ATV. Children should ride children's ATV, youths should ride youth ATV, and adults should ride adult ATV.
Riding an ATV is a great experience, and everyone should add it to their bucket list. However, before you take a ride on an ATV, you must learn how to ride it safely. Nobody will get behind the wheels of a car without learning. It is the same with an ATV.
If you are looking for a way to spend your holidays, you should consider learning how to drive an ATV. It will be a fun and exciting experience.
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.