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It’s finally spring, and the search is on for a new ride to get your camp ready for the next season. When you’re standing in the dealership, you’ll hear everything that’s good about every machine your salesman shows you—but none of the downsides. So you may need to address your own wishlist instead of allowing the sales guy to convince you what might work for you. Here are some simple tips to keep you on the right track for what you need.

  1. Be realistic. Paying for what you want—and more than you need—can turn into a significant financial expense. The old saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted,” is definitely applicable for a lot of us when it comes to new ATVs. Set a budget and goals for the vehicle you actually need.

  2. Know the property you typically ride on and the type of riding you will be doing. If you have varying terrain, you might want a machine that’s a little more powerful. Climbing hills and digging through deep mud takes a toll on the power of your machine, so be sure to have a little reserve. Towing is possible with your ATV as long as the engine is powerful enough to safely perform the task.

  3. Think about any after market parts you may want to add to the ATV to make it work- or hunt-ready, because some machines have limited availability with certain accessories. Adding a gun scabbard is not typically a difficult task but if the machine is on the small side and you can’t get the scabbard you need, then you might end up using valuable space to ensure your gun rides safely.

  4. Ask plenty of questions about any of the machines you’re really considering. There are many models with simple recalls for problematic issues, and then some with problems that manufacturers just haven’t overcome yet. Know the machine you are buying, its track record of reliability, and maintenance costs.

  5. Most of all: be patient with your purchase. Running into the dealership on a whim and buying the first machine the salesman says it the best of the best could leave you with buyer’s remorse. Plus, it could be difficult to resell that ride.