You’re dressed, have your helmet in your hand, and you’re ready to hit the trails for some fun with your friends. But wait, is your ATV as ready to go as you are? Here’s a quick 10-minute tuneup to make sure your machine is good to go!
1. Tire Pressure
Make sure first that there is actually air in your tires…it’s important, trust us. If you’re riding on a hard-packed trail, then put the recommended air pressure in the tires. If you’re riding on sand or in mud, feel free to let some of the air out and run your tires a little flat. That way they’ll have a bigger footprint on the ground, giving you more traction. Oh, and always have a flat repair kit with you. Always. Seriously, don’t leave home without it.
2. Top Off Oil, Coolant, and Gasoline
Peek inside your gas tank to make sure it’s filled up before you hit the trails. We’ve yet to find a fuel station in the middle of the woods. Also, make sure the engine oil is topped off and the coolant, as well. That way, you don’t have to worry about this stuff when you’re having a good time.
3. Cable Check
Check that the throttle cable and brake cable are snug, not damaged, and aren’t catching on anything when you twist the handlebars from left to right. If they are binding, find the source of the problem before you hit the trails. There’s nothing worse than the throttle cable getting stuck when you’re heading for a tree!
4. Brake Check
Check that the brakes work, both foot and lever. If we need to explain to you why this is important, maybe you shouldn’t be in charge of a moving vehicle.
5. Air Filter Check
Make sure your air filter is free from dirt and debris. One of our staff members opened their airbox to find that a small rodent decided to make a little nest in it. That will definitely affect how your ATV performs. If it’s dirty, clean it. If it’s clean, get out there and ride!
6. Chain Check
If you have a chain-driven ATV, make sure the chain is properly lubed (you can use chain lube or WD-40) and isn’t rusted or catching on anything. If you have a belt-driven ATV, check that the belt is in good shape, hasn’t slipped off its seat, and isn’t cracked or damaged.
7. Wheel Lug check
Wheels on tight? It’s kind of important. Check the lugs.
8. Start It Up
Does your quad start? If it doesn’t, you’ve got some work to do before you’re going anywhere on that trail. If it does…well, stop reading this and get out there!