The Handbook of Indiana Off-Road Vehicle Laws and Safe Operating Procedures for ATVs and Snowmobiles
The Official Off-roading Handbook of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Web Version
Table of Contents
Operating Your ATV
Before you do any serious off-road riding, you need to find a safe, unchallenging location where you can practice riding your new ATV and get comfortable operating it. The location should be large, open, flat, and free of hazards.
Starting the Engine
First, consult your owner's manual. Typically, you will:
- Point the ATV in a safe direction.
- Put the transmission in neutral or park.
- Set the parking brake.
- Turn on the fuel valve.
- Make sure that the engine stop switch is in the "run" or "on" position.
- Put the choke in the "on" position if the engine is cold.
- Start the engine.
Adjusting Your Posture
To make sure you can shift your weight quickly when necessary and reach the controls easily, always maintain proper posture:
- Head up and eyes looking far ahead
- Hands on the handlebars
- Feet on the footrests, toes pointing straight ahead
Removing one hand or foot can reduce your ability to control the ATV or could cause you to lose your balance and fall off.
Removing your feet from the footrests or dragging your feet on the ground can result in serious injury if your feet get under the rear wheels.
After the engine is warmed up:
- Apply the hand brake.
- Release the parking brake.
- Shift into gear.
- Release the hand brake and apply the throttle slowly.
The three general types of transmissions are manual, automatic, and semi-automatic.
Consult your owner's manual for correct shifting procedures.
The proper braking method depends on whether your ATV has brakes in the front, rear, or both.
Consult your owner's manual for correct braking procedures.