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By Robert Dabe
Thanks to our first responders, and the marvelous tools they have today
I'm an experienced ATC rider, but the last time riding one was 1996.
A couple of weeks ago I really got the bug to go riding again. I ended up buying a 2000 Honda TRX400EX in decent shape, and took it up to the Interlake State Recreation Area, near Linville, In, yesterday. The park sets on an area where coal had been mined. there are a lot of rocks there. It was a cool day so I made sure wear thermal underwear. I rode mostly easy trails until I felt more confident. The trails were pretty wet, but still manageable, until I went down one hill too many. I wasn't unable to climb up the other side. I spent a couple of hours trying to figure a way out. In the end I pulled the key, and started walking, back to the parking lot. The more I walked, the darker it got. It turned out I was on the wrong trail. I turned around and wend on a different trail. My legs were very sore so I took a break, and laid down under a tree, and shivered. I had fallen several times in the darkness. One thing that really helped my rescue was the ability of the Sheriff to ping my phone, and locate my truck.
Around 5:00 am I heard a drone, then saw some headlights. I walked down to them. It turned out they were looking for me. I didn't know they were part of larger group. They took me to the ambulance, and started checking me out. Once that was done I got to see the tools they had at their hands. Each of the people looking for me were assigned a radio number, that was tracked by the main computer. The screen showed the searchers paths. Where they had been, and where they were at any given time. Once they determined I was ok to go home, I was in between the ambulance and a second vehicle. I can't provide enough praise to people dedicated to helping others.
Now the, rest of the story... Before leaving home I told my wife I was going to do some riding, for about an hour. After not hearing from me for many hours, she decided to call the Sheriff for help. She gave him all the information she could. She knew the color of my truck, the ATV, and my phone number. I am very happy she looks out for me. You can bet this won't happen again. Thanks sweetie!
All of this could had been avoided if I was riding with another person, and had my phone with me.
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
By Rick Shropshire
Im rick, and im new here. I just got a Bayou 220 for $125. It locks up after a few rounds, Im pulling the motor now to see wtf. It didnt rattle or knock when it fires a few short times and it cranks and cranks with the starter before it locked up again. Ill know more tonight, but I actually bought it for the wheels to upgrade a G1 golf cart but if I can fix it, Ill keep it a bike, otherwise it gets cut up and merged with a golf cart. I have a larger bayou rear axle merging with a honda shadow vtwin 1100cc shaft drive bike and and yamaha golf cart. I am building "Frank" or "Frankie" the monster cart with around 10 to 12 inch and 26's. I like building modified toys especially when its done and it works, and doesnt cost me a fortune! lol I can weld and all that crap, been a mechanic all my life, I fix shit!! Im just disabled now and not as pliable as I was 20 years ago. I still fix shit, just takes me longer now with health and age, and Im on a low budget now. Good thing I have tools to do things myself or I'd be forced to be a couch potato. Anyway, thanks for letting me join. I have already read lots of cool threads and cant wait to show more pics of my progress
Took the quads out today, decided wife ,son and i needed a break between house guests, lol party yesterday, and the next two days as well so we went out ridding a bit today , it was brisk but refreshing , came home had a few drinks by the fireplace , nice day , suppose to get some snow tomorrow? I dont think it will be much though .. Airborne
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