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Inspecting Your ORV Before You Ride

Nothing spoils an outing faster than mechanical problems. In some cases, malfunctioning equipment also can cause injuries.

Set the parking brake.

Consult your owner's manual for items that may need to be lubricated, tightened, adjusted, aligned, or checked for wear.

Always Make a Pre-Ride Inspection

Key items include:

  • Wheels and lug nuts
  • Throttle
  • Foot shifter
  • Brakes
  • Air Filter
  • Drive chain or drive shaft
  • Steering system
  • Spark plugs
  • Lights
  • Engine stop switch
  • Spark arrestor/muffler


ORV tires take a lot of punishment, so maintaining the correct tire pressure is critical. Most ATVs have relatively small, low-pressure tires. Motorcycle tires vary, depending on the model. Consult your owner's manual for the recommended pressure.

Check the tire pressure before each trip. Over- or under-inflated tires:

  • Can result in tire or wheel damage.
  • May change the handling characteristics of your ORV.

For low-pressure tires, use a low-pressure gauge.

Be sure all tires have the same pressure. Otherwise, vehicles may pull left or right.

Check for damage that could cause an air leak.

Routine Maintenance

Off-road riding puts a strain on your ORV, so it's important to perform the scheduled maintenance recommended in your owner's manual. You can avoid a breakdown and possible injury.


Your vehicle isn't ready to ride unless it has an up-to-date ORV license. See "Licensing and Titling Your Vehicle" for details.