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How to Start Riding an ATV

A person riding an ATV on a muddy terrain!

If you’ve ever imagined yourself zooming up and down muddy terrain while perched atop an ATV, then it’s time you learn how to start handling one! 

At Avalanche Adventure, we know that there’s a lot you need to learn about an ATV before firing it up and hitting the off road trails. With that in mind, our experts have put together a handy beginners guide explaining everything you need to be familiar with.

Let’s take a look at these ATV riding best practices and ensure that you’re all set to hit the ground running (while keeping all the safety tips in mind, of course)!

1. Understand the Basics of Your ATV

When it comes to riding an ATV, common sense can go a long way – it’s also the best place to start!

A black and grey all-terrain vehicle with a yellow fender parked at the edge of a field during daytime.

That said, when you’re starting out, make sure you keep it simple and understand the basics of your vehicle. Here are some things that can ensure your first-ever experience with an ATV is a safe one:

Begin With a Simpler ATV

Whilst choosing a high-performing vehicle might sound thrilling, too much power could go badly for you, especially if you’re a beginner. The last thing you’d want is to lose your ATV’s control early on. This is why it makes complete sense to choose a vehicle that’s easy to understand and use.

However, if you aren’t sure which type of ATV would be best for you, make sure you speak with an expert for professional advice.

Check the User Manual

No two ATVs are the same, which is why it’s best not assume what your vehicle is capable of.

In order to fully understand the essential features of your ATV, identify which parts are located where and how to properly operate the vehicle. 

We’re not saying you need to go through the whole manual, back to front, but it helps to know the important bits. It’s also important to know your ATV inside out as that’ll help you tackle rough terrain while ensuring complete safety of your vehicle.

With all this information at your disposal, you’ll be not only ready to take full control of your ATV but also have an amazing off roading experience!

Educate Yourself About ATV Safety

Before you start riding, ensure that you’ve educated yourself about all the essential safety tips and had the required training to prepare for an exhilarating experience.

Additionally, it’s also crucial to wear suitable protective gear and clothing to protect yourself from serious injuries. 

When you visit our activity centre for an exciting off road driving experience, we provide you with all the necessary protective equipment – after all, your safety is our top priority.

2. Learn About Your ATV’s Throttle

When learning to ride an ATV, always stay vigilant and understand the way your vehicle accelerates. However, it’s best to seek assistance from a professional as they can properly guide you every step of the way.

A female in black helmet riding an ATV amidst a dense forest.

Here are some of our throttle tips that you need to keep in mind:

Go Slow

An ATV’s accelerator is typically a thumb throttle, which is pressed to increase the speed of the vehicle.

In order to build confidence, you need to firstly get a good understanding of how and when the throttle is used. This is because too much acceleration can lead to your ATV’s front end to open.

Once you nail the usage of the throttle, riding an ATV would be much easier and safer!

Choose a High-Octane Fuel

Filling up your all-terrain vehicle with high-test gasoline can go a long way, as it makes your machine perform far better while maintaining its efficiency for a longer period. It helps improve the performance of your throttle too.

3. Get the Hang of Your ATV’s Gears

Based on the type of ATV you’re riding, it’s likely that you’ll need to ramp up your vehicle’s manual shifting.

Normally, it’s the left foot that controls the shifting lever while the left-hand takes care of the clutch, and your right thumb manages the vehicle’s acceleration with the help of the throttle.

A group of people racing through muddy terrain while sat atop their ATVs

That said, you’ll need some finesse to manage both the release of the clutch and the use of the throttle in order to avoid stalling.

Here’s what you can do:

Practice How to Change Gears

If you’re riding an ATV, you probably already have a manual driving license. If not though, you’re going to want to familiarise yourself with changing gears and getting to grips with the clutch. 

Make Controls Your Second Nature

While you may get familiar with the controls and gears of your ATV over time, it might take some getting used to. That’s why it’s essential to practice as much as possible until you’re fully comfortable to take your vehicle on tricky terrain.

4. Understand the Riding Position and Posture

When riding an all-terrain vehicle, it’s vital to maintain the right posture. All you need to do is have a firm grip on the handles and keep your feet planted at all times. Doing so will not only help you maintain your balance and stay in full control of your vehicle but also prevent serious injuries.

A man riding an ATV with firm grip on the handles and feet properly planted, representing the perfect riding posture.

Here are some of our tips to maintain a good posture:

Work on Your Riding Position

Although your ATV has a handlebar just like the ones on quad bikes, it’s steering is completely different.

You’ll still need to use your body to evenly distribute your weight. However, while you’ll be leaning into the curve when riding a quad bike, you may have to lean in the opposite direction of momentum when riding your ATV.

Know When You Have to Hover

When on a flat trail, you can sit down and ride your ATV; but if you’re on bumpy terrain, then you may have to stand up. Make sure you’re above your seat, with your knees bent and your elbows out to fully enjoy your ride.

To learn more about how and when you need to hover your ATV, seek assistance from a professional.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

Know that mastering the art of riding an ATV will require a lot of time, efforts and practice from your end.

Man on an ATV practicing how to ride the vehicle on rough terrain

Here’s how you can improve your ATV riding skills:

Keep Working on Certain Tasks

Keep in mind all that you’ve learned in your training sessions, especially those tasks that were a bit difficult to master.

Revisit those situations, assess what went wrong and keep working on your skills until you are sure you’ve got better at it. 

Don’t Stop Practicing

In order to master any kind of skill, it’s important to keep practising and the same goes for ATV riding.

Once you start improving, you’ll slowly find the coordination and confidence that you need to ride an ATV like a pro. 

Moreover, after getting a hang of how an ATV is to be ridden, you’ll be able to experience the joy of being able to do so on your own and that’s something to look forward to!

Fine Tune Your ATV Riding Techniques With Avalanche Adventure

Make the most of your time by booking yourself in for an exhilarating off roading driving experience. To take the excitement level up a notch, you can also book your slots for other activities like quad biking, clay pigeon shooting and more.

Get in touch with us today to show off the ATV riding skills you’ve mastered!