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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 wanted to share an experience and a fix.
Headed out was following a pole line, was looking for a cross track that may take me to this speckle trout looking spot on a creek. All paths and semi paths... failed. Second objective was to reach a speckle trout lake that has been recently stocked... followed 1 trail to dead end, followed second trail to dead end.... while investigating options on foot and the quad idling it died.
It wouldn't start. eventually it did... and when it did … it was essentially a pinned idle. activating the throttle did seem to speed it up but it wouldn't knock out of the racing idle. couldn't put it in gear at that idle speed. got towed out.
when I first got the quad, I ran it off a trail and buried it pretty good in the soft snow... eventually winched out. It wouldn't start. eventually did and it was fast idling. not as fast as this last time. but still fast. it eventually seemed to settle and I got it in gear and by the time I was back to the truck was acting ok. chalked it up to the bike being at a bad angle in the snow.
My investigation last year lead to the throttle position sensor TPS. how to jumper the diag block to see the sensor position on the display,. I focused on this nearly sure it was a detuned sensor or broken sensor again this time.
I tore down the front plastic and stuck my head into the TPS area to see what I could see. What I found was that the throttle body assembly had actually come out of the mounting area (not sure what it is called). the ring clamp was loose I could move it easily. Hopeful, I tore down the air intake assembly above it (air filter...etc) removed a sensor clip and a hose.
I backed off the clamp some more and was able to reseat the throttle body assembly. put some blue lock tite on the clamp screw. When I was cleaning off the air intake assembly to ensure I dropped nothing down the intake, I noticed the underside of the air intake "box" also had a clamp. this screw was completely missing.
I went to the hardware store, bought a metric replacement (brought clamp with me), seated the assembly, settled the clamp blue lock tite that as well...
quad fired right up, idled normal, idled up without hesitation and dropped right back off. Cost of solution $3.87 CND for a pack of 5 metric screws. moral of my story was don't assume an idle issue is a throttle position sensor problem... there are a number of other factors including air pressure, which I believe was my issue.
I came across an odd temporary fix for a 1985 yamaha 80 ATV. It has no spark, yet if I warm the CDI unit up a bit with a heat gun or hair dryer then it fires right up and runs fine until shut off then it returns to no spark until warmed up again. Partzilla shows $217 for a new CDI
It's sort of nuts how I found out the fix to warm it up. My old shop TV requires my heat gun warm up around the transformer area every day before it will turn on too.
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If you look at pic closely, you can see the frame has a slight twist in it. The handle bars have been leveled and now the motor is sitting higher on the right.
When it is sitting on all 3 wheels, the front is then lower on the right.
What I have done is already taken in to shop and heated and pulled the majority of the bend out, however, it doesn't quite straighten.
The down tube in front of motor looks as though it was broken by PO and welded. Should I cut this and attempt to take twist out, or do you think this is driveable the way she is?
The difference is about an 1/8" off level at the top of steering tube with bare frame on table, but looks worse when sitting on all 3.
Just looking for advise, before going any further.
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