Riding Uphill, Downhill, Traversing, and Other Advanced Techniques on your ATV

Riding Uphill, Downhill, Traversing, and Other Advanced Techniques on your ATV


If you apply good riding strategy you’ll be
less likely to have to make a quick stop. Scan and identify potential hazards in your
path seconds ahead. Be prepared to stop quickly at all times. An animal may dart out in front of you, or
you may meet another rider rounding a bend. Terrain will change, as nature often does, so
be alert for fallen trees, ruts or washouts. Some key things to remember when making quick
stops are: ride within your ability; use both brakes while stopping; slow your vehicle when
resting a hill, approaching a turn or when your visibility is limited; shift your weight properly when you have to
stop during a turn. If your wheels lock up accidentally, release
the brakes and reapply them gradually, keeping your feet on the footrests. Emergency swerves will undoubtedly be necessary
to avoid hazards. When swerving quickly, keep your feet on the
footrests. Look in the direction of the swerve. Shift your weight to the inside of the turn. Never brake while swerving. Brake only after you swerve and when moving
in a straight line. In the event you have to stop quickly during
a turn, shift your weight to the inside using the same technique as a regular turn, making
sure to keep your head and eyes level, braking gently, not allowing the wheels to lock up. Avoid obstacles wherever you can. Large obstacles should be avoided, even if
it means turning around and taking a different route. Smaller ones can be crossed with proper judgement
and skill. Attempting to cross and obstacle improperly
could result in losing control or overturning your vehicle. When riding over them, keep your knees and
elbows flexed. Use your legs and arms as shock absorbers,
keeping your elbows bent away from your body in a flexible posture. Stand on the footrest when crossing mounds
and ruts. Be especially aware of single track obstacles
that when the wheels only on one side make contact and not the other. In this case, shift your weight toward the
obstacle and maintain balance as the ATV moves to one side. Keep your knees flexed, ready for jarring
impact. Use only the momentum of the vehicle without
applying any throttle. Never pull up on the handle bars or attempt
to loft the front wheels. When obstalces are unavoidable, remember to:
approach as close as ninety degrees as possible; stand on footrests; adjust your speed beforehand
but don’t lose momentum; grip the handle bars firmly with your knees and elbows slightly
bent and your body weight back. Riding hills offers a unique challenge since
it’s easier to overturn your ATV. Before your start, check your parking break. To start, always check your parking break
before riding in hilly areas. You will need it. The key to being a good hill rider is to keep
your weight uphill at all times. You may encounter hills that are just too
steep for your ability. Use common sense. If the hill looks too steep, it probably is. When cresting a hill, your visibility will
diminish. Slow down and make certain you have a clear
view. When you approach an uphill climb, keep your
feet firmly on the footrests. Shift the ATV into a lower gear and speed
up before climbing the hill, so you can keep your momentum. Move up on the seat and lean forward, or stand
with your torso over the front wheels. As you are climbing you may need to shift
to a lower gear to prevent lugging the engine or stalling. The shift to a lower gear, keep you body weight
forward, shift quickly while you release the throttle momentarily. This will help keep the front wheels from
lifting. If you don’t have enough power to reach the
top of the hill, but still have forward momentum and room to turn around safely, keep your
weight uphill and make a U-turn before losing speed. Then go downhill in a lower gear, keeping
your weight on the uphill side. Remember, never back down the hill. The ATV could flip over. If you’re riding uphill and lose all forward
momentum, stop. If you begin rolling backward, don’t apply the rear brake by itself. This could cause the ATV to flip over backward. If you being rolling backward, keep your weight
uphill and apply the front brake only. Apply the rear brake only when you are fully
stopped. Now, apply the parking brake, then dismount
on the uphill side. If the ATV keeps rolling backward, get off
on the uphill side immediately. Always check the terrain carefully before
you start down any hill. Choose a path that is as straight downhill
as possible, with a minimum of obstacles. Shift your weight to the rear and use low
gear. Keep your speed slow, look ahead and brake gradually, not abruptly. Going across a slope rather than directly
up or down is called “traversing”. Sometimes when a hill is steep, it is necessary
to either climb it or descend by traversing. However, traversing a slope is tricky. You should avoid traversing slopes that have
slippery, loose, or rough surfaces. When you traverse a slope, keep both feet
firmly on the footrests. Learn your body uphill, and avoid making sudden
throttle changes. When riding on soft terrain, you may need
to turn your front wheels uphill to keep your ATV traveling in a straight line across the
hill. If you ATV begins to tip, turn the front wheels
downhill if terrain allows it. If the terrain doesn’t allow this, dismount
on the uphill side immediately.