About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Utah Offroad Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Utah OHV Safety Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

Rider Active Challenge

Press the play button (▶) above to start the video. Trouble with this video?

Video Transcript

On screen: RIDER ACTIVE CHALLENGE

Rob

All right. So today, we’re going to be practicing our rider-active skills, so go ahead and watch Haley. You see, these machines are rider-active, which means the rider, that’s us, are always shifting our body weight when turning, crossing obstacles, and riding hills to maintain control. And because the terrain is constantly changing, we need to constantly change our body position while maintaining the right posture. And today, we’re going to practice our skills on the ATVs. Here, just watch Haley. Check out her posture. You see, her head is up, eyes looking ahead, elbows slightly up and bent, with the shoulders relaxed, back straight. Her hands are on the handlebars, knees in toward the side panels, and the feet are on the footrests, with her toes pointing straight ahead.

On screen: RIDING POSITIONS

Rob

All right. Now, what position is she in? That’s right. She’s sitting. That’s one of the three main riding positions.

On screen: SITTING

Rob

Sitting gives the rider the lowest center of gravity, which, in turn, it gives you the most stability and safety. Plus, it’s the only position recommended for carrying passengers if your ATV is designed for two riders.

Haley comes to a stop, and Rob rides off on his ATV.

Haley

OK. So I was in the sitting position, and Rob is in the standing position.

On screen: STANDING

Haley

Now, what advantages do you think that gives him, or you, for that matter? It’s the best position for viewing. By standing, the rider can see better over the terrain or obstacles to watch for hazards. And at road crossings, it gives you the longest line of sight. It allows quick weight shifting. When you’re standing, you can shift your weight quickly in any direction, plus change your riding positions. The last position is between sitting and standing. It’s called posting.

On screen: POSTING

Haley

That’s your best position for rough ground and climbing hills. See how it allows the rider to better absorb those bumps? It also gives you the most control in all sorts of rocky terrain.No matter which of these three riding positions you use, keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the footrests. Losing any of those four points of contact could cause you to lose your balance or fall off.

Rob

All right. Now it’s your turn. Show us your stuff! All right. You’re looking good! All right, now let’s take you to the next level with some turns. I’ll take you through it.

On screen: TURNS

Rob

OK. At slow speed, move your body forward and lean in the direction of the turn. Turn the handlebars, keeping your head and eyes up, looking through the turn. As the speeds increase, or you’re making a sharp turn, shift more weight to the inside of the turn, and move forward on the seat to maintain control of the ATV. It’s OK to increase your speed slightly as you come out of the turn.

Haley

And now it’s my turn to tackle some hills.

On screen: HILLS

Rob

First, match the hill to your ability. They can be dangerous. If it looks too steep, it probably is. Start the climb by shifting into a low gear. Speed up to maintain your momentum. Move up on the seat and lean forward, or stand with your torso over the front wheels. The main thing is to keep your weight uphill and your feet on the footrests. Now, if you can’t see what’s over the crest of a hill, slow down until you can. Now, if you don’t have enough power to reach the top of the hill but have enough momentum and room to turn safely, try this: a U-turn.

On screen: U-TURNS

Rob

To initiate a U-turn, turn the handlebars into the turn, and then lean to the uphill side of the turn. This is the big difference in U-turns. You don’t always lean into the turn. It all depends on the terrain. You see, you want to be rider-active to keep the ATV from tipping. OK. Now let’s head downhill. As you can see, downhill is a little easier. But we still need to check the terrain and choose a path that’s as straight as possible without obstacles. You see how Haley is shifting her weight to the rear? She’s also using a lower gear with low speed while braking gradually.

Haley stops her ATV and removes her helmet.

Haley

That was fun, and with the proper technique, it wasn’t too hard. Now picture this. What if you don’t want to go up or down the hill? What if you want to go across? That’s called traversing. Rob? He’ll show us how.

On screen: TRAVERSING

Haley

We can easily traverse, or drive across the slope at an angle. However, we wouldn’t try that on a slippery, rough, or loose surface. See? Keep both feet on the footrests while you lean uphill. If the surface is soft or sandy, turn your wheels slightly uphill to stay in a straight line. No matter where you’re riding your ATV, you’ll want to keep your speed and braking steady. And make sure you’re always staying rider active.

Rob

And what about you? Have you passed the Rider Active Challenge? Well, we hope so. Because we want to have safe adventures, no matter what the terrain or destination. All right. Let’s ride.

To ride an ATV safely, you need to learn how to position your body properly as you maneuver through various types of terrain. Mastering the basic riding positions is a major key to your success.

Proper riding posture on an ATV
  • To make sure that you can shift your weight quickly when necessary and reach the controls easily, always maintain proper posture:
    • Head up and eyes looking far ahead
    • Hands on the handlebars
    • Feet on the footrests, toes pointing straight ahead
  • Removing one hand or foot reduces your ability to control the ATV and can cause you to lose your balance and fall off.
  • Removing your feet from the footrests or dragging your feet on the ground can result in serious injury if your feet get under the rear wheels.

Animation: Posture