woman riding an ATV

Common Mistakes Beginner ATV Riders Make: Part 2

ATV riding is a great way to explore large areas of land that are inaccessible by any other means. ATVs can be used on rough terrain and in places where there are no roads. The popularity of this type of vehicle has increased over the last few years, but many people do not know how to properly ride an ATV responsibly. We’ve given you a few of them in part 1 but there are a few more that you have to know and they are as follows:

Not Reading the Manuals

If you purchase one, read it! Manufacturers provide manuals for new vehicles with instructions on safety precautions, maintenance tips, and specifications about your machine’s performance abilities (think speed limit). It may seem like a lot to take in at first glance but reading these manuals will help you understand the capabilities of your ATV and how it should be used when you go out exploring. It’ll also show you how to properly do maintenance on your machine to have it last longer.

Driving without Protective Gear

The biggest part of riding is being safe, so why wouldn’t you want to protect yourself? The most important safety gear that every rider must wear is a helmet. Without it, head injury or death can occur if you are involved in an accident or if you fall off your ATV. Full-face helmets are available for purchase online through various retailers. Boots are another item that riders wear because they offer protection during falls and give good traction while driving over rough terrain.

Gloves are another item that will protect your hands in the event of a fall or when you are getting into or out of your machine. A good pair of gloves will keep your hands from becoming blistered. Arm, leg, and chest protectors are also available.

Taking Weather Forgranted

When you get on an ATV, it’s important to check the weather forecast so you can decide what to wear when riding. You should wear protective gear that fits comfortably and allows for free circulation through the arms, legs, and torso.

The current weather will also affect the safety and difficulty of the terrain or trail you are going through. For example, mud is not easy to deal with when it is wet and you’ll slip if the ground is covered in snow. You should be well informed about the possibility of rain or other weather elements when you ride so you can better prepare for it.

Riding With No License

Many state laws require that ATV riders have their machine registered, carry valid registration & title documents with them, and carry proof of insurance. But, most importantly, all ATV riders must have a license to ensure they know how to handle these vehicles safely and responsibly. If you’re under 16 years old, it’s more than likely that your state law will require you and the driver of the accompanying vehicle (with whom you are riding) to wear a safety helmet while operating an ATV on public land.

Riding in Unfamiliar Terrain

If this is your first time going off-roading with friends or family members who ride often it’s best to stick to areas that are familiar to them until you get used to riding. This way you’ll avoid getting lost or stuck in deep mud or water where there aren’t any trails around.

Be Careful with Your Throttle

This is common sense when learning how to ride, but it’s also an easy mistake for beginners. If you’re not used to riding it’ll be natural for your speed and turns to vary, so be aware of how much throttle you are using to become accustomed to its use on these vehicles.

Not Checking Tire Pressure Before Going Out Riding

Most all-terrain vehicle tires need more air pressure than most car tires would need. This is something you must check before taking your ATV out for a ride because it’ll affect how well the tires grip the terrain and handle turns.

An under-inflated tire will give you less traction to improve turning or driving through mud, sand, and snow. Additionally, an over-inflated tire has more chance of blowing out and getting a puncture so it’s important to know what pressure your tires should be at.

If they are not properly inflated, you could lose control or tip over if you try to turn too sharply or drive up steep hills with loose soil or mud. It’s best to either check this pressure before every ride or keep a gauge in your vehicle as a precaution.

Final Words

In part 1 of this series, we looked at some common mistakes that beginner ATV riders make. In this final installment, we’ll look at a few more tips to help you stay safe while enjoying your ride. Be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out, dress appropriately for the conditions, and be aware of how much throttle you’re using. Most importantly, make sure you have a license and are familiar with the terrain before riding in unfamiliar territory. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your ATV rides without any worry!

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About the Author

Fred Willett

Fred Willett, an off road junky from Memphis who, from the best of his recollection, was born on back of an ATV riding the trail north of Hotsprings, Arkansas. In addition for writing for a couple other ATV blogs including this one, Fred spends whatever money & time visiting Offroad hotspots throughout North America.

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