ATV for Beginners
An Introduction to ATVs
Since the first ATV was introduced a few decades ago, the ATV has been extremely popular. An ATV is very exciting to ride, and the sense of freedom and exhilaration a rider feels is a major draw for repeat riders. ATVs are a sport that the entire family can enjoy. But more people are hurt every year riding ATVs than nearly any other recreational activity. If you are interested in taking part in this exciting activity, there are a few things you should know before you get started.
Don’t Go it Alone
The first thing you should do is hit the back trails along with someone who knows what they are doing. This could be a friend, an ATV safety instructor, or a relative that has been riding for a while. the important thing is that you actually get to ride an ATV so you can see if you really want to get one and to get a feel for the machine.
Purchasing your first ATV
Once you are decided, it is time to go pick your vehicle. There are guidelines of ages and
weights VS the class of ATVs that are recommended for operation. Use common sense here,
don’t go buy your 85 pound son the biggest monster of an ATV you can get a hold of.
It is recommended that your first ATV be a used one. As a beginner, there will most likely be damage done to your first ATV while you learn the ins and outs, and learning the best maintenance practices are best done on an older ATV. Even if you are very careful, you still may wish to stick with an older machine until you are familiar enough with ATVs in general to decide what new machines fit you best. Everyone you talk to will have a different opinion, and you don’t want to buy an expensive ATV only to find out that “that model” is better, according to someone else. It can be very easy to get caught up in the “grass is greener” syndrome, so stick with a cheaper older ATV until you are SURE which new ATV you want is always a good idea.
Learning the Ropes
After you purchase your first ATV, it is HIGHLY recommended that you take an ATV safety and instruction course. These courses are usually between 2 and 4 weeks, broken up into 2-3 hour sessions once a week. Try and get into a course where the instructor will actually take you out onto the trails at some point. A sport as active as ATVs can’t be taught entirely in a classroom.
Secondly, you should read the owner’s manual. There is a ton of useful information, procedures, and explanations of parts and terminology in the manual. If you bought a used ATV, and it didn’t come with an owner’s manual, you can usually get one from an ATV dealer that carries your make of ATV. Just get the serial number off your ATV, and the dealer should be able to get the owner’s manual for you.
Last, but not least, get out there and ride! There is truly no other way to learn how (and how not) to drive an ATV. Make sure you get permission from the property owner if you will be riding on private property. Be careful, especially at first. Start off slowly, and ride safely. Always ride with more experienced people, but in the beginning, don’t try to emulate the “fancier” moves they may be capable of. Learn how to ride safely first! And never ever ride alone. This cannot be stressed enough. Someday, you WILL roll your ATV. And unless you are a bodybuilder, you will probably need help getting your ATV upright again. This goes double if you get injured.