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ATV Riding Tips Every Beginner Should Know

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Anyone looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity should consider buying an ATV. All-terrain vehicles, as they’re commonly called, offer a great off-road experience at a cheaper cost than a pickup truck or motorbike. Still, as with any vehicle, any first-timer must know the proper safety precautions to take. Here are some ATV riding tips every beginner should know to keep you safe on the trail.

Know the Machine

As with any new vehicle, the first safety tip is to know your machine. While the best and newest models may seem attractive, start simple. A basic ATV is for off-roading and other adrenaline-inducing rides. Therefore, any ATV—even the basic models—will provide you with an exhilarating experience. Read over the owner’s manual to understand how to safely operate and maneuver the machine. It may also help to take courses or watch tutorial videos. Once you’re more acquainted and have riding experience, feel free to customize your ATV with different performance mods to get the power and drive you crave.

Maintain Foot Control

Another important aspect is foot control. Riding an ATV may feel unfamiliar to you. Unlike driving a car, you may not know where to place your feet. That’s okay. ATVs require solid footwork. Always use your Nerf bars and heel guards for proper stability. The Nerf bars are giant foot pegs designed to plant your feet during a ride. Heel guards offer greater control and handling.

Start Slow

Of course, you should also familiarize yourself with the throttle. A crucial ATV riding tip every beginner should know is how to accelerate. When using your throttle, start slow. The thumb throttle acts as the accelerator, and pressing too hard may lead you to a hard start which can cause the front end to pop up. Make sure to ease on the throttle for a safe, comfortable ride. Remember to use high-octane gasoline to further provide a smooth, longer ride. This will also help preserve the ATV’s engine to run more consistently.

Know the Trail

Lastly, know the trail. ATVs are not for on-road travel. They are all-terrain vehicles meant for snow, dirt, mud, and other uneven surfaces. Local jurisdiction may also restrict ATV use in your area, so stay off the road to avoid penalties. Always research the trail before riding. You don’t want to end up stuck or lost if you don’t know where to go. When on the trail, it’s also crucial you wear proper safety gear, like protective clothing and a helmet. A jacket, gloves, boots, goggles, chest protector, shin guards, and DOT-certified helmet will protect you in case of falls or accidents.

Written by Kevin O'Neill

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