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Course Outline

Before an ORV may be operated on any property, the operator is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle has the required equipment.

Braking System: The braking system must be in good working condition, operate by either hand or foot, and be capable of slowing down at a rate of 14 feet per second on level ground from a speed of 20 miles per hour.

Throttle System: The throttle system must be designed to return the engine speed to idle automatically and immediately when pressure is released.

Spark Arrestor and Muffler: A U.S. Forest Service–approved spark arrestor and muffler must be in good working condition, be in constant operation, and meet applicable sound-level standards. Exhaust noise must not exceed 99 dB(A)—or 94 dB(A) on vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1986—when tested according to the provisions of the SAE J1287 test. (Refer to the manufacturer’s documentation.)

  • Do not increase your exhaust noise or operate with your exhaust system in excess of normal operation.
  • Make sure that your ORV has a U.S. Forest Service–approved spark arrestor and that its sound does not exceed the decibel limits set by law.

Seating: The ORV must be equipped by the original manufacturer with a seat for each passenger.

Lights: If operated during the hours of one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, the ORV must have and display all of the following:

  • A lighted headlight
  • A lighted taillight
  • A brake light, brighter than the taillight
Riding an ATV at night
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