Getting to Know Your Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV)

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

Because there are different types of OHVs 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 OHVs have front and rear brakes, but some have linked brakes. You need to know the correct braking techniques for your vehicle.

OHVs 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.

OHVs are designed primarily for off-road use.

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

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

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