The Handbook of Michigan Off-Road Vehicle Laws
The Official Off-roading Handbook of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Web Version
Table of Contents
Operating Your ORV
Before you do any serious off-road riding, you need to find a safe, unchallenging location where you can practice riding your new ORV and get comfortable operating it. The location should be large, open, flat, and free of hazards.
Starting the Engine
Starting procedures vary from model to model, so begin by consulting your owner's manual. Typically, you will:
Position the ORV 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
Correct riding posture matters. Like riding a bike, you need to shift your weight as you maneuver your ORV. Proper posture ensures that you can shift your weight quickly when necessary and reach the controls easily.
Proper posture includes:
- Head up and eyes looking far ahead
- Hands firmly on the handlebars
- Feet on the footrests, toes pointing straight ahead
Removing one hand or foot can reduce your ability to control the ORV or could cause you to lose your balance and fall off.
If you remove a foot from the footrest, the rear wheel could run over it, causing an injury or accident.
After the engine is warmed up:
- If your vehicle has a sidestand, retract it.
- Apply the rear brake.
- Shift into gear.
- Release the parking brake.
- Release the rear brake.
- Apply the throttle slowly.
There are different types of transmissions on ORVs, so read your owner's manual for instructions on shifting your model.
If you have a manual transmission, always let off the throttle while shifting to prevent the front wheels from lifting.
The proper braking method depends on whether your ORV has brakes in the front, rear, or both.
Consult your owner's manual for correct braking procedures.
Stop the ORV on a level surface, not on an incline.
Stop the engine.
Shift the transmission into neutral or park.
Set the parking brake.
If your vehicle has a parking mechanism, allow the drive train to lock.