The Handbook of Iowa All-Terrain Vehicle, Off-Road Utility and Off-Road Motorcycle Regulations
The Official Off-roading Handbook of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources - Web Version
Table of Contents
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 ATV: Starting procedures vary from model to model, so consult your owner's manual. Typically, you need to:
- Position the ATV in a safe direction and 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.
- Start the engine.
Adjusting Your Posture: Correct riding posture matters. Like riding a bike, you need to shift your weight as you maneuver your ATV. Proper posture helps you move your body quickly when necessary and reach the controls easily.
Proper posture includes:
- Head up and eyes looking ahead
- Hands firmly gripping the handlebars
- Feet on the footrests
- Removing one hand or foot can reduce your ability to control the ATV or could cause you to lose your balance and fall off.
- If you remove a foot from the footrest, your foot could come into contact with the rear wheels, causing an injury or accident.
Starting Off: After warming up the engine, follow these steps.
- Apply the rear brake.
- Shift into gear.
- Release the parking brake.
- Increase the throttle slowly.
Shifting Gears: Different types of transmissions are available, so read your owner's manual for instructions on your model. For manual transmissions, let off the throttle as you shift. This helps to keep you from "popping the clutch," which can cause the front of the ATV to flip backward.
Braking: The proper braking method depends on whether your ATV has brakes in the front, rear, or both. Consult your owner's manual for the correct braking procedures.