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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 live in Vancouver Washington but don't have many riding options so I head to Bend Oregon there is a ATV park called East Fort Rock that offers 315 Miles of trails. I have flexibility to ride during the week (which I prefer) rather then weekends if anyone wants to ride let me know I can be reached at [email protected] it is about a 3hr drive but I don't mind making it as long as the Government Camp pass is not snowing or iced in.
Hello there, i am wanting to know, what would be a good 4 wheeler with a manual transmission? Either a real manual with a clutch, or a semi automatic transmission. Either 2 or 4WD will do. What i do want is one that has a rack at each end and can pull a small trailer. So what are your suggestions? I am open to most any brand though Linhai is the only one from China i would buy.
So far it looks like Arctic Cat is overwhelmingly what fits what i'm looking for, but like i said, i'm open to almost any make. If there is any rivalry over brands count me out, i like them all. What i do want is one that will last through farm use, hauling feed sacks and so forth.
BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Del Albright, BlueRibbon Ambassador
Phone: (209) 304-7693
Email: [email protected]
Date: April 27, 2009
Rubicon Trail Update: Water Quality Board Meets - Rubicon Stays Open
SACRAMENTO, CA (April 27) - The Rubicon Trail is open and OHV recreation is sustained on this icon of four-wheeling, according to the Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) and Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR). The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB) voted unanimously to issue a Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO) to El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest for the world-famous Rubicon Trail that sustains motorized recreation while enhancing stewardship of the trail.
Not only did the Board enact an order that recreationists can live with, but they also went so far as to praise the efforts of the volunteers for addressing trail issues in such a prompt manner all these years.
The Rubicon Trail traverses the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains of California from roughly Georgetown, CA to Lake Tahoe, CA. Water runoff and erosion are always concerns on trails in the west, but thanks to the efforts of all the clubs and members of Friends of the Rubicon in partnership with Eldorado County, landowners and the USFS, the Rubicon Trail is well maintained.
"FOTR has invested thousands of hours of organized trail work and maintenance since our beginning in 2001," said Del Albright, co-Founder and Trail Boss, Friends of the Rubicon. "We are well-prepared to address any concerns or issues on this famous trail, and we are working towards a future of stewardship we can all be proud of," Albright added.
Greg Mumm, Executive Director of the BlueRibbon Coalition, pointed out that "BlueRibbon has sponsored Del's leadership of efforts on the Rubicon Trail since the beginning, and we are confident that FOTR can handle this like they have everything else thrown at this famous trail."
The Rubicon Trail Foundation is the 501©3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting efforts on the Rubicon Trail. They led the effort to ensure the Water Board understood all trail issues. RTF has position statements covering many aspects of trail use on the Rubicon, including topics like water quality, sanitation, camping, and year-round use.
The Rubicon Trail Foundation does not support the blanket restriction of Rubicon Trail use by season, or by vehicle numbers, type or size. Further, the Rubicon Trail Foundation encourages the establishment of reasonable and practical operating procedures for training of volunteer groups and others to install and maintain trail drainage structures, stream crossings and new trail segments.
Other issues being addressed by the dedicated volunteers of FOTR and RTF include mitigating oil spills and managing human waste. The Rubicon Trail Foundation supports requiring every Rubicon Trail user to carry portable human waste disposal devices and requiring every motorized user to carry oil spill kits.
The Rubicon Trail Foundation works hand in hand with the Friends of the Rubicon and together, with the agency partners, these groups are ensuring an access-friendly future for the Rubicon Trail.
"We look forward to implementing this order from the Water Quality Board in conjunction with our great partners in the county and USFS, because we all will benefit, and our trail will stay open, alive and well," Albright concludes.
More information on RTF position statements, mission, and the CAO is available at Welcome to Rubicon Trail Foundation - or by emailing Board Director Scott Johnston at [email protected]
# # #
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. BlueRibbon Coalition: Preserving your recreational access to public lands.
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