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Ajmboy

5 Mistakes ATV Beginners Make

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I saw this article on Motosport and thought it was pretty good. Anyone add anything?

ATV-Riding-Mistakes-1100.jpg
 

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

ATV-Nerf-Bars.jpg

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!

ATV-throttle-control.jpg

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:

Written By: AndrewT

 
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Great topic post. Just got my oldest his new quad reallly went through the motions to make sure he was well aware of the hazzards of flipping fast turns etc. Anyway he almost rolled regardless of the training and information I gave him . Straightened him right out though after he almost went over lol. Can't stress enough the importance of self awareness when riding and proper riding equipment. 

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My recommendation is start with a smaller quad and get comfortable with it before getting something bigger like a 700cc

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Great topic and information, for everyone who rides.  I was new to ATV riding last year.  The dealer I purchased from included a free entry for The ATV Safety institute safety course.  I'm a senior so, crashes are something I cannot afford, I jumped on that free course.  New riders do need to take precautions, there are too many ways to end up with a serious injury or death if you are not careful on ATV's. 

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I've seen people get on and ride it like they stole it when they have never rode one before... It didn't end well.  Where I live the hills can be so steep you will end up dead quick, so I'll be slow and slow on mine...

  • Haha 1

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On 10/3/2018 at 11:38 PM, michael absher said:

I've seen people get on and ride it like they stole it when they have never rode one before... It didn't end well.  Where I live the hills can be so steep you will end up dead quick, so I'll be slow and slow on mine...

I've seen people disregard safety and act like maniacs on quads and end up hurt.

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if you are new on a quad, i say up the hill is dangerous

Edited by Awakzrx

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I worked at a Honda dealer in Vero Beach Fl. when they introduced the atc 90. We set the first two up as demos and spent every weekend at Hobart Park (about 2 square miles of sand dunes and a few wooded trails) where we first learned what they would and would not do, then made every effort to instruct customers on what we learned. Some learned and some did not. It was a sad day for me when those who would not or could not learn brought about the end of the 3 wheeler. Quads are far more stable and versatile. They should have been an addition instead of a replacement. Having learned to ride on a 3 wheeler I will always miss them. My advice to any new rider; the biggest safety issue with any machine is the operator, know the limitations (yours and the machines) and last you will never be it's master treat it with respect or it will bite you. Ride safe and never stop learning.

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On 9/27/2018 at 7:54 AM, brotho said:

My recommendation is start with a smaller quad and get comfortable with it before getting something bigger like a 700cc

lol I learned on a sportsman 500cc 😎  havnt rolled or wrecked yet...been riding them for over three yrs now

On 11/15/2018 at 11:21 AM, lagomu said:

I worked at a Honda dealer in Vero Beach Fl. when they introduced the atc 90. We set the first two up as demos and spent every weekend at Hobart Park (about 2 square miles of sand dunes and a few wooded trails) where we first learned what they would and would not do, then made every effort to instruct customers on what we learned. Some learned and some did not. It was a sad day for me when those who would not or could not learn brought about the end of the 3 wheeler. Quads are far more stable and versatile. They should have been an addition instead of a replacement. Having learned to ride on a 3 wheeler I will always miss them. My advice to any new rider; the biggest safety issue with any machine is the operator, know the limitations (yours and the machines) and last you will never be it's master treat it with respect or it will bite you. Ride safe and never stop learning.

completely agreed.  the biggest safety issue with a machine is the operator!  all the machine does is responds to how your driving it.

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It's good to  know  your limitations and those of  your machine , but it's fun ( and occasionally painful) to exceed them.  I  must admit at 75 I tend to  nudge them  more rather than  push them.

 

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7 hours ago, davefrombc said:

It's good to  know  your limitations and those of  your machine , but it's fun ( and occasionally painful) to exceed them.  I  must admit at 75 I tend to  nudge them  more rather than  push them.

 

I know what you mean at 71 I stopped pushing them a long time ago

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Oh geeze, I thought I was a little old to start using (58).  Apparently I'm a youngster compared to you guys!

I am a little worried that a LT230 is too small for me (220lb), anybody have any feedback on the size of the bike?

 

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6 minutes ago, Frisbie6 said:

Oh geeze, I thought I was a little old to start using (58).  Apparently I'm a youngster compared to you guys!

I am a little worried that a LT230 is too small for me (220lb), anybody have any feedback on the size of the bike?

 

You'll be ok on a 230 but personally I think after some time you may outgrow it.  Here's a 230 video..

 

 

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Mine has a rack on the back and front, hoping to drag a deer out with it next year.  This video makes it look like I will be ok!  Thanks for sharing!

 

Oh wait, one other question.  Why are his back tires so big compared to the front?  Mine are closer to the same size.  Should it matter?  Do you think someone switched mine, and should I switch back?

 

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Rear tires on most 2 wheel  drive quads are a  little bigger than the fronts.  Your  quad likely  has stock size tires on it  and the one in the video  has rear tires that someone has  swapped for the stock.

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12 hours ago, Frisbie6 said:

Mine has a rack on the back and front, hoping to drag a deer out with it next year.  This video makes it look like I will be ok!  Thanks for sharing!

 

Oh wait, one other question.  Why are his back tires so big compared to the front?  Mine are closer to the same size.  Should it matter?  Do you think someone switched mine, and should I switch back?

 

You have a utility quad, you'll be good to go! Exactly what @davefrombc said about the tires is probably why they look different. Is it a quadrunner?

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OK thanks guys.  I posted this on another thread yesterday, maybe you could take a look and see what you think....

 

I just joined the forum and you're the only guy I have found with a LT230.  I have a barn find that I have been tinkering with, I think it's about ready to go.

I rebuilt the carb, drained the gas tank, changed oil and filter, new air filter (well, sort of...had to adapt a Honda filter, couldn't find original).  I also had to loosen the throttle cable, it was seized.  Mine is a QuanRunner, not Racer. 

Yours looks very nice, mine is pretty dirty.  The mice were living in it for quite a while!

Can you think of anything else I should do, check, change, before I try to fire it up?

It looks like people generally burn 32:1 so I think that's what I will start with.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Oh, one other thing.  There is a small hose that comes off the top of the carburetor, I'm thinking it's a vent of some kind.  Do you happen to know where that routes to?  I don't see any obvious place for it.

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I watched a dealer try to ride a quad up into the back of a pickup one time. He made it to the tailgate with the front tires and promptly fell off the side smashing up the left side of the quad and banging up his leg pretty good. stupid.

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On 1/2/2019 at 5:36 AM, Alexandre Leblanc said:

I just buy a kodiak 450 do you have hints to put it in the back of a pick up?

in terms of loading/unloading: borrow/find some wood (plywood?) or if you are committed.. invest in some aluminum atv loaders (amazon/etc): Aluminum Tri-Fold Ramp

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I know this is an old topic but Im knew to the ATV world and had no idea of these safety issues. Thanks

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