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By Thomas Brooks
I know...I feel stupid for asking. I find it impossible to use the thumb throttle with my thumb when I have the bars turned full right. I have to reach across the top and grab the throttle from the front with my fingers. It isn't very smooth and I can't help but think that there must be a technique, mod or adjustment for this. How do I get past this?
2017 Polaris Sportsman 570 X2
I saw this article on Motosport and thought it was pretty good. Anyone add anything?
You might think hopping on-board an ATV and going for a spin is just as easy as taking your regular 4-wheel car for a ride around the block. After all, both have four wheels. How hard could it be?
In many respects, you're right. Some adventure riders choose quads over their two-wheeled counterparts of the dirt because there's less chance of crashing and it's easier to learn. ATVs also offer more manageability for younger riders to get acquainted with outdoor riding than a dirt bike.
However, beginner riders on ATVs tend to make the same mistakes that result in crashes, roll overs and injury that could be avoided with some instruction and know-how. If you're looking at a fun family outing by renting ATVs or want to get into the sport take advantage of the following points and avoid the same mistakes so many other first time ATV riders make that end their day early or before they barely get started.
1. Nerf Bars
Get Nerf bars. These are not soft cushy add-ons that are cousins to the football you use during backyard football games. In many respects, Nerf bars are gigantic foot pegs. Don't bother with traditional foot pegs because you'll constantly slip off and because of the "I feel safe factor" that comes with riding a quad you'll also have a tendency to let your feet drag when riding. That's a recipe for getting one or both of your feet caught in the back tire resulting in serious injury. Nerf bars allow you to stabilize your feet and get maximum control over the ATV
Rest your feet easy on Nerf bars
2. Rolling Over
Believe it or not, it's fairly easy to roll an ATV over. And you don't want to be on the bottom of that sandwich.
The most common way of ending underneath a quad is looping out. That's done by hitting the gas and having little to no experience with the power of an ATV. The front spikes up like an out of control stallion, throws you onto your back like a bucking bronco and then pins you like a UFC Champ.
The second way is when you're having a bit too much fun sliding around in mud or other slick conditions, the tires finally do what they're designed to do and grip the ground but the rest of the bike, with you on it, keeps going.
Finally, those who think they've found their bearings take aim for a steep slope and try to conquer it only to end up upside down or in their attempt to arch alongside said steep hill, tumble over the side.
3. False Sense of Security
This goes somewhat hand-in-hand with the roll over capability that many riders fail to appreciate therefore they also neglect wearing proper protective equipment. Don't think wearing jeans, t-shirt and sneakers is adequate protection when riding a 4-wheeled machine powered by a gas engine that doesn't have seatbelts. You need a helmet, goggles, gloves and riding boots at a minimum. Once you start ripping it on the track or trails add a chest protector, neck brace, knee brace, etc.
4. Throttle Control
Everybody wants to skip the kiddie stage and get right into hair-raising speed when it comes to riding ATVs. OK, most everybody. But for those who do so many put on the cloak of invincibility and think a quad is merely a mini car that finally enables them to release all sorts of pent up childhood inhibitions.
So they jab their thumb into the throttle with the expectation of a controlled roller coaster ride. Instead, they loop out and end up underneath the quad or manage to stay seated only to careen off course and introduce their 4x4 to a large tree. ATVs normally have a thumb throttle and most have an automatic clutch so the clutch is one less thing to worry about. So go slow and figure out how much "thumb" is too much and get used to the speed and power an ATV delivers before really going for a ride. Oh, one more thing, learn to take your thumb off the throttle!
It's not to hard to loop out on an ATV
5. Loading the ATV
Never, ever ride an ATV up a ramp into the back of a pick-up. If you want to know why just go to YouTube. If you want to know how to load an ATV check out this fine piece of quality information on How to Load a Motorcycle, Dirt Bike or ATV into a Truck.
The bottom line to riding an ATV the first time is treat it like you would anything that comes with a modicum of danger. Careless behavior endangers you and others but with common sense and a willingness to learn you'll enjoy of lifetime of riding quads.
For additional information on riding and/or maintaining ATVs see:
10 Quick Safety Tips for ATV Trail Riding Tips for New ATV Owners Choosing the Best ATV for Beginners 10 Things That Alter Your ATV Performance Written By: AndrewT
For some of us that live in the northern states with brutal winters, spring often means warmer weather and the ability to run a garden hose without the fear of water freezing up. For everyone in more warmer climates or those in the southern states that have never even seen snow, you may already be using your garden hose or power washer all year long 😁! So in the spirit of Spring and Spring Cleaning, we decided to take a look at what products exist out there specifically for ATV cleaning, washing off the mud, and general care. ATV bodies are plastic in most cases, and it's important not to use abrasive chemicals or hard brushes, so you don't scuff up the plastic...let the trail riding do that for you, you won't get a shortage of scratches from all the trees and branches if you're riding in the woods! For those of you that like to do some ATV mud'ing, you've probably already adopted a routine for cleaning your ATV after mud-bogging a bit and may have a favorite product you already use. Some even use basic soap and water or a basic car wash. Hey, if it works for you great!
For the purpose of this article, we are going to look at some of the items available on the market and encourage our members to reply with what they use and what they like. Don't forget to let us know where you buy it. You can buy car wash products in stores like Advance Auto Parts, Autozone, and Walmart and also online auto parts sellers like Auto Anything, Auto Barn, and Amazon. Let's take a look at some OffRoad ATV Washes...
Slick Off-Road Wash, 32oz
Removes heavy dirt and mud Won't strip lubrication Safe on bearings, paint, plastics, and metal surfaces Biodegradable Non-corrosive Currently available on Amazon for $24.99 which is the same price on the manufacturer's website https://www.slickproductsusa.com but you'll get free shipping if you are a prime member. Slick products free shipping is over $75.
X-Tream Clean XTC01-1 MX ATV Wash - 1 Gallon
Spray and rinse No brushing and scrubbing required Removes mud, dirt, grease and general grime Safe on all surfaces Biodegradable, non-corrosive and phosphate free Currently available on Amazon for $22.48 but if you check out the manufacturer's page and buy from them, it' $15.95!
Chemical Guys CWS20264 Tough Mudder Truck Wash Off Road and ATV Heavy Duty Soap Oz-1/2 Gal, 64. Fluid Ounces
Surface-Release additives repel future mud, dirt, and filth for easier cleaning Perfect for dirt bikes, quad bikes, mudder trucks, ATVs, and dune buggies Safe for use on paintwork, glass, metal, plastic, engines, and undercarriage parts Versatile formula works in bucket wash, foam gun, and high pressure foam cannon pH-balanced formula does not strip wax or sealant coatings 1/2 Gallon is currently available on Amazon for $23.99, but the manufacturer has is for $21.99 on their website but you'll most likely have to pay shipping.
Alco Dirt Bike and ATV Wash 1 Gallon
ALL NATURAL cleaning product Safe on the machine, safe for the environment Will not tarnish aluminum parts or damage seals Currently available on Amazon for $34.90 with free shipping but check the website where it sells for $19.98 but you'll most likely pay shipping unless you order over $99.
Hopefully for those that were not aware of specific ATV washes, this gives you some idea of what is out there. Keep your ATV clean by washing down the plastics, undercarriage/frame and tires. Some go as far as little tire protectant and shine as well as plastic protectant. However you do it, have fun and think of it as prepping your ATV for the next ride...don't leave a dirty ATV in the garage!
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