Have fun flying through the air with your ATV
So, you've seen the other ATV riders do it and you feel that it's about time you try that flying through the air stunt yourself too, but you are not sure how to go about it. You could try asking those who have tried it before to teach you, but then again, they may not have enough time to sit through with you to guide you from A to Z on the skills of jumping your ATV. The theoretical part of learning may sound easy, but you need to practice again and again to perfect your skills.
You may be sitting there and reading this while at the same time wonder how do they make their ATVs fly through the air almost effortlessly? You could be asking yourself a lot of questions and that is a good start to learning. When you have learned how to jump an ATV, it sure adds a whole lot of fun to your riding. However, many people do not understand the mechanics involved between themselves and their ATVs and it is usually the "not knowing" part that frightens people - and it should. When you do not know something, you would usually go all out to learn about it and the first and foremost important thing about jumping your ATV is to learn the very basics on how it's done.
Jumping an ATV is equivalent to learning to walk for the very first time. When you were a child, you didn't just suddenly get up and run without first learning to walk. The same concept goes with jumping your ATV. You have to start out on a smaller scale and not try to outdo yourself by going to a supercross track or something like that.
Here are some helpful tips, that we, at Jackel Motorsports, hope will get you started on learning to jump your ATV and more importantly, to land safely too!
Getting started - safety first!
Before you ride out to experience your first jump, please check and make sure that your ATV is in good working condition. Check the tires, wheels, shocks and suspension and be sure that everything is tight. And remember, no ATV ride (or jump for that matter), is safe without you first putting on your safety gears - that is, your helmet, goggles, gloves, boots, chest protector, long sleeve shirts, pants and any other protective gears that you have.
Since you are only going to start out learning to jump, there is no need for you to jump with a downward-sloped landing. If you do not already know, you should never hit a jump while sitting - your rear shock will compress and fling you off like a catapult, which is not going to be a very fun thing to happen during a jump. Start by selecting a smooth ramp-like take off and keep steady on the gas and start out slow in the attack positions - that way, you are neither standing all the way up or sitting down. Keep your arms bent, elbows out because this will help to absorb the landing as well as the impact of hitting the face of the jump. When your front wheels approach the face of the jump, blipping the throttle will keep the front end of the quad up so that you will be able to make a safe landing. Once you are comfortable and confident with small jumps, you can slowly move on to bigger and more exciting jumps.
The importance of landing well
After your first few jumps, you should be able to gauge your speed to make a perfect landing on the down side of the jump. Once you are more comfortable with your jumping skills, you can start to work on landing on the front wheels first. This has to be done with great care. Should you land with the nose of your machine too far down, you will be in for an ugly experience. One way to do is will be to press down on the rear brake to stop the momentum of the rear wheels, bringing the front wheels down. Another method is to manually push down the bars to bring the front end down. Depending on the jump, speed and position of your ATV, you could also combine both methods during your jump. In the event that the front end is too low and you think that you may just go over the bars, don't give up - hold the throttle wide open to speed up the momentum of the rear tires which will bring up the front end.
As the saying goes - practice makes it perfect, so our last word of advise is to practice and keep practicing until you have mastered the basic techniques. Once you are confident with the small jumps, it is time to 'gear up' and take on the big ones!