5 Tips For Off-Roading

Eli Madero
by Eli Madero

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or someone who is just getting into the sport of riding ATVs, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you have a great time while staying safe.

Regardless of what kind of sport you’re out to enjoy, there are always some recommendations to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience. What do you pack? How do you prepare your machine? Do you even know where you’re going? While they might seem like dumb questions to some, there is no such thing as a dumb question. These are all reasonable things you need to ask yourself before you head out on your next ride to have a safe and enjoyable time.

ATV.com thanks Yamaha for sponsoring this New Rider series.

Be Prepared

This is a very large blanket statement that really can make or break your next ride. Before you’re headed out, get prepared at home by knowing where you want to go. Do you have your routes planned out? If not, it’s a great time to get a map or GPS to figure out where you want to go. While you’re doing this, make sure that you also have the current registration for your ATV and that it’s prepared with any safety equipment that is required for the area where you are riding.

Pre-Ride Check

When you know you’re going to be heading out for a ride day or weekend, take some time in the week leading up to it to make sure that your machine is up to the task. Doing maintenance like an oil change and air filter cleaning is a great place to start. Additionally, make sure that your tire pressures are set so you’re not trying to figure out why your ATV isn’t handling the way you know it should be. At the same time, put a wrench on all the nuts and bolts that you can to make sure that nothing is loose, leaving you open to a mechanical breakdown on the side of the trail.

Wear The Proper Riding Gear

We can’t emphasize wearing the proper safety gear enough. As always, WEAR A HELMET! The same goes for goggles, because if you can’t see then you can’t ride. It’s also worth wearing a good pair of over-the-ankle boots, riding pants, and jerseys.

Common Sense

It seems to be something that a lot of people lack these days. We’re not saying you, but maybe others out on the trails you might be sharing. Common sense would be to use caution when riding to minimize any chances of crashing into another person. Be sure to stay to the right side of the trails that you’re going down and approach blind corners with the assumption that someone is coming in the other direction. In addition to others, use common sense by ensuring that you ride within your comfort zone. If you’re riding with new friends or a new group, it can be easy to feel persuaded to ride at a pace or on terrain you’re not entirely comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or search for an alternate line within the boundaries of the trail. Don’t be one of those people that ride off of a designated path of a trail system. These kinds of actions can lead to closures of public lands that can minimize our list of available places to ride.

When seeking exceptional riding destinations, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative stands out. Over the past 15 years, this initiative has taken a leading role in the powersports industry. Its mission involves backing projects across the country that promote secure and mindful access to public lands, fostering motorized and outdoor recreation. Remarkably, they have dedicated over $5 million to this cause.

Prepare For The Unexpected

While you can’t plan for everything, you can be prepared for things that happen regularly on the trail. This means having a tool kit so you can perform basic repairs to your or friends’ machines in the event of a mechanical breakdown. You don’t need to pack the entire garage, but carrying a tool kit that has the most common sizes of sockets, wrenches, and screwdrivers can make your day, preventing you from being stranded on the trail or being towed home.

Just as important as any tool kit when you’re out in the wild is a good first aid kit. You don’t need to purchase or put together one that had you prepared for open heart surgery in the wilderness, but you want the basics of band-aids, antiseptic spray, aspirin, medical tape, and other basic supplies.

With this general knowledge, you should be prepared for almost anything on your next outing. While there is plenty more that you can do to plan ahead for a great trip, these are some very basic tips for you to use. Use these as a baseline for trip prep and even add to them for a better experience as you go out more often.

Check out the New Riders Hub for more articles geared towards new off-road enthusiasts.

Eli Madero
Eli Madero

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