Let’s dispense with the obvious: invest in and wear properly fitting protective gear, including a helmet, and buckle your seat belt in that UTV! Safety is the most important first step toward an enjoyable day on the trails. It’s also wise to invest in a class to improve your control skills; check your state for locally available options or learn more at atvsafety.org.
Here are a few more recreational riding tips to keep in mind every time you fire up your ATV or UTV.
This includes climbing in and out of steep ditches and up or down embankments. Avoid riding sideways across steep inclines to prevent barrel-rolling if a rock, rut or other obstacle throws your quad off balance.
Always remain mindful of what’s on the other side of a hill before climbing it. If you can’t see your exit, dismount and go look. There could be obstacles, other riders or even a ravine on the other side.
Test traction before your ascent by starting slowly and gauging how the vehicle handles the terrain. Try to climb and descend slowly to avoid unnecessary risk.
Slow your roll
Taking corners too fast can cause the vehicle to roll. This is more common on tall, narrow-track vehicles like ATVs, but deep ruts or holes can even flip a wide-track UTV while cornering. The terrain can also make it hard to see what’s around a curve, which can lead to unpredictable consequences. Slow down through the corners, then speed up in the straights.
Secure your payload
You don’t want your toolbox, supplies or other materials scattered across the bed of the UTV or, worse, lying on the ground a mile back. Stopping abruptly with loose items in the vehicle can launch hard items into the back of your head. Use ratchet straps and bungee cords to secure your load before you embark.
AMSOIL Technical Writer and 20-year veteran of the motorcycle industry. Enjoys tearing things apart to figure out how they work. If it can’t be repaired, it’s not worth owning.