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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
I have a 2003 Kodiak 450 that i purchased a while back with around 300 hours on it. It has never ran right from the beginning. Initially i thought it was just a carburetor issue because it was all clogged up from sitting for months. It has been cleaned, rebuilt, and taken off probably about 10 times troubleshooting this problem. I have quadruple checked everything including float height ect and it is set correctly, the jets are also brand new, needle and seat have been pressure tested as well. So after all of that I am convinced that the carburetor is not the culprit. I have an issue where the idle is very choppy, almost as if it is misfiring with a rich condition on top of that. I can use a brand new plug and run the machine for just a few minutes and it will be a dry and and coated in black carbon build up. The exhaust also has a strong smell at idle. I had trouble restarting it when hot for a while, but i adjusted the valves and it seemed to solve that issue. They were both way out of tolerance (tight). The weird thing is, outside of idle it seems to run pretty well.
So with all that being said I have ruled out the carb/valves/compression and moved on to the ignition and this is where i have a few questions about factory specifications. I guess the main question I have is, how strict are these tolerances? And could them being off by this amount cause the issue I am having? Do all three of these parts really need to be replaced? I would like to know before I spend the money on these new parts, and it not fix my problem. Below I will list what the specs were in the service manual along with the reading i got. This is my first experience testing ignition components. I just found it odd that all 3 are out of spec according to the service manual.
Spark plug cap resistance: 10 kΩ at 20 °C (68 °F)
My Reading: 8.90 kΩ
Primary coil resistance: 0.18 ~ 0.28 Ω at 20 °C (68 °F)
My Reading: Fluctuated between 0.4 - 0.5 Ω
Secondary coil resistance: 6.32 ~ 9.48 kΩ at 20 °C (68 °F)
Reading was within the specified range.
Pickup coil resistance: 459 ~ 561 Ω at 20 °C (68 °F)
Reading was within specified range.
Rotor rotation direction sensing coil resistance: 0.085 ~ 0.105 Ω at 20 °C (68 °F)
My reading was 0.3 Ω
So yesterday I picked up a 07 polaris sportsman 800efi stealth edition for 3k. Will lead a pic ltr. In good shape. Here's what's wrong with it:
The rpm needle doesn't work just like my other sportsman... not too worried ab that.
The motor doesn't sound like it's running quite right and doesn't feel like it has much more power than my 500. I'm thinking it needs a tune up and some fresh oil.. but also it feels like it's running rich. It's a little buggy when you goose the throttle and sometimes farts when you let off (like I little backfire out the exhuast). I'm gonna check timing and valave clearence on the motor first but thinking of putting a tuner on it? Anybody got a suggestion? Mainly looking for more power.
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