Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version

Getting to Know Your All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

An ATV is not a toy. It's a vehicle built primarily for off-road recreation. ATVs can provide hours of safe, enjoyable off-road riding. But ATVs also can be dangerous if you don't understand your vehicle or know proper riding procedures.

Because there are different types of ATVs and each has its own handling characteristics, it's important for you to study your owner's manual and understand how to operate your particular vehicle. For example, most ATVs have front and rear brakes, but some have linked brakes. You need to know the correct braking techniques for your vehicle.

ATVs also use different transmissions, shifting mechanisms, throttle mechanisms, starting mechanisms, cooling systems, and axle designs.

Controls and their locations also differ from one model to another. Learn to find each control without looking at it.

Above all, remember these facts:

ATVs are designed primarily for off-road use.

Operating an ATV on paved surfaces can be hazardous because of handling issues.

Riding on paved roads is a leading cause of ATV-related fatalities.

Only carry a passenger if your machine is designed by the manufacturer to carry another person; most are not.