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Buying an ATV in 2023? 6 Things To Look For in a New Ride

ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, are motorized vehicles designed for off-road use. They are popular due to their versatility and ability to handle rough terrain. ATVs come in many different shapes and sizes and are manufactured for different uses, including racing, recreation, hunting, ranching, military, emergency services, and industrial purposes. Utility, Sport, Side by Sides, and Youth ATVs are the most popular types of vehicles. Utility vehicles are the most popular type of ATV and are typically used in industries such as agriculture and ranching, where repair work, feeding, and other tasks are done. They are also popular with hunters who traverse rugged terrain, often carrying heavy cargo. While you narrow down your options, pay attention to the following attributes.

Good Suspension

If you want to experience superior handling and a smooth ride, an ATV with good suspension is the way to go. The suspension helps the vehicle remain stable on rugged terrain and resist rapid compression and unstable bouncing. It also helps the vehicle rear maintain better contact with the ground when riding over rocks, logs, and ruts. A properly dialed-in ATV suspension setup can unleash the quad’s full potential, making it more capable and efficient on rough terrain. The stock suspension is designed for a rider of average weight and skill.

Flexibility in Ride Quality

To fine-tune ride quality in an ATV, it is important to adjust the suspension to match the rider’s weight, skill level, and terrain of routine use. This is why it is important to focus on modifying the suspension. The system consists of springs and shock absorbers that protect the rider and offer a comfortable ride. The shocks’ preload, rebound, and compression can be adjusted to make the ride softer or stiffer and raise the ride height. A properly tuned suspension will make a world of difference in the performance of the vehicle.

Ground Clearance

Imagine effortlessly cruising over rocky terrain and navigating obstacles without worrying about damaging your vehicle’s undercarriage. Ground clearance is important as it impacts accessibility, ease of use, and where the ATV can safely drive. The clearance is the distance between the underside and the ground below, best measured when parked on a flat surface. The higher ground clearance allows the ATV to easily cruise over obstacles, making it less likely to get damaged and more capable of tackling rugged terrain. 

Lower clearance makes loading, unloading, mounting, and dismounting the ATV easier. Higher ground clearance is especially important for trail riding, riding in areas with a lot of rocks and mud, and for riders who want to tackle rugged terrain. Riders can explore options from Polaris ATV with bigger tires, longer shocks, or a lift kit to increase clearance.

Safety Features

Some safety features in an ATV include DOT-compliant helmets, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. This gear provides added safety while operating the vehicle. Some vehicles come factory-fitted with seatbelts, which should always be worn during the ride. While ATVs are designed to be used off-highway, riding on paved roads is not recommended. Look for motorcycle-type handlebars for steering control, large, low-pressure tires, single-worker capacity, and other safety features to ensure safe use.

Rollover Defense

Some ATVs come with fold-down rollover structures for operator protection, which can protect during a rollover. Additionally, many vehicles have crush protection devices (CPDs) to reduce rollover injury. These devices are designed to prevent the vehicle from crushing the rider in the event of a rollover. However, it is essential to note that the best way to avoid rollovers is to ride safely, wear appropriate safety gear, and take an ATV driving lesson.

Boxes and Racks

Boxes and racks can be useful for an ATV as they provide additional storage space and allow riders to carry more gear and equipment. The boxes are designed to fit on the rear rack and offer secure and weather-resistant storage space for tools, equipment, and other items. Some ATV boxes double as seats or loungers, providing a comfortable resting place during breaks. On the other hand, racks offer a convenient solution for carrying more stuff. They can carry hunting gear, camping equipment, and other items.

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