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Winter ATV Maintenance

We’ve been having one of the mildest winters I can remember as a lifelong New York State resident. Where we’re usually deep in the middle of snowmobile season, we were fortunate to have enough snow to get our demo riders out at the Genesee Forestry a few weeks ago. With all that in mind, you may be putting your ATV to good use this winter. Of course the more you use a machine, the better and more frequent maintenance is needed. Though these are some general tips, please check your machine’s owner’s manual for specific maintenance needs.

If you ride through snow and ice, be sure to clean off as much snow and ice from the radiator while riding and again off of the whole machine before storing the ATV post-ride. Otherwise, this water can re-freeze and make using your ATV the next time a pain. Additionally, make sure you don’t force any plastic pieces that are frozen. Plastic can break off in cold temperatures.

Winter fuel in New York means that sometimes gas line anti-freeze is already added to it at the pumps. For that reason, be cautious when adding any more. One of the best things you can do is to keep the fuel level up in your ATV to avoid condensation forming in your fuel tank and water getting in the fuel. If your machine is an EFI system, you’re going to have a much easier time getting it started when you’re ready for the cold air ride. If you have a carburetor, you may need to bring your ATV in to our Appolson’s service department so we can jet your carburetor for you. The jetting process finds the right combustible combination of fuel and air for your machine to run at its best.

When performing an oil change, whether it is in the winter or summer, you should always change the oil filter. In the winter, an oil change should include paying attention to the viscosity and temperature range on your oil. Always check your ATV’s particular owner’s manual for the best oil for your machine, or check with our Parts Manager Josh when stopping into the store.

If you follow these tips and tricks or stop in and talk to our knowledgeable staff, you should be able to enjoy this extra riding time. Make sure you give your ATV a little longer to warm up, and don’t forget to add an extra layer of clothing to your body to keep yourself warm. Let us know your favorite riding spots this winter and send us any cool pictures of your ride!

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ATV Safety: Part III

We are wrapping up our ATV riding tips this week with some great general tips for all riders to keep in mind. Check out our other blog posts in the series by clicking here and here.

There is a great safety course that you can take for ATV riding. It’s only a half day class, but it’s great for new riders (or even experienced ones) to get the general lay of the land. If you are under 16 years old, you must be supervised by an adult. The adults in charge should make sure the little ones are on an appropriately sized ATV. You can ensure this by reading the manufacturer’s minimum age warning label on the machine, and then from there use your best judgment on the actual size, strength, and maturity before letting them ride.

Make sure to ride only on trails or on property you’re approved to ride on. Never ride on public roads because the cars and trucks might not see you. There are approved trails within driving distance of Western New York. If you are riding in fields, make sure you’ve received approval from the owner.

Always check out the condition of your machine before heading out for a ride. Check the air pressure of your tires and make sure there is no damage to the tire or wheel to ensure you won’t be stranded on your ride. Test your hand controls to see if they are in good working order. If you will be riding in low light, be sure to check the lights on your ATV before heading out. Keeping on a proper maintenance schedule can alleviate many common issues, such as low oil, improper chain lubrication, loose nuts and bolts, or dead spark plugs. If you’re going for a long ride, fill your gas tank up before heading out so you’re not ending your fun early as the needle points closer to E.

ATVs require a sort of rider action, such as leaning your weight forward and toward the inside of turns. If you are a passenger on a two-up vehicle, your weight shift should always mirror the driver’s weight shift. For other driving tips, check your owner’s manual. The book is designed specifically for your machine and can tell you how to park, brake, shift, and more. IT will also give you the proper maintenance schedule.

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In last week’s blog entry, we spoke about the proper clothing for going out in both cold and hot weather. This week, we’re going to talk about safety equipment.

If you’re on an ATV like the Polaris Sportsman, there’s no seatbelts, roll cage, doors, or safety nets. If you flip this machine over, you’re going to be on the ground. To keep safe, you should wear a DOT-approved helmet. When purchasing a helmet, utilize the knowledge of a salesperson on checking if the fit is right for you. There is a multi-step process they can help you go through. If you purchase or wear an open-faced helmet, make sure you also wear goggles to keep your eyes safe from dirt, debris, and low-hanging sticks.

Wearing appropriate sport gloves and boots will save you from brush burn, as well as keeping any little bugs from attaching themselves to your skin. For younger riders, things like chest protectors can help protect their young bones from injury.

Finally, try not to ride alone. You’re safer and it’s more fun to ride with company. Either way, keep a fully-charged cell phone on you or with your group at all times. If you’re going to be riding through mud or water, keep it in a water-tight bag.

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Fall ATV Riding Tips: What to Wear

With chilly, dark mornings, sunny, colorful afternoons and weekends, and pumpkin spice everything, Fall in full swing here in Western New York! It is a great time to go riding on the trails on your ATV or side by side. However, you should be aware of a few tips to make riding safe and enjoyable for all. This is going to be a multi-part series over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes out for these posts!

Firstly, we all know how changeable the weather can be here in WNY, with the memories of the 2006 October Storm and last year’s November Snowpocalypse still fresh in everyone’s minds. Look up the weather forecast before you head out on the trail and dress appropriately. If it’s going to be cold, dress in layers appropriate to the activity. If you’re riding out to hunt, you’re not going to be generating much body heat and need more layers to insulate against losing your body heat. If you are riding out to go hiking, you’ll likely need to take some of the layers off so you don’t get over heated. Keep a bag or backpack handy to put the layers in after removal. Regardless of your activity, gloves, thick socks, and a hat are important. Now, you should be wearing a helmet but we’ll get to that later. If you still find your fingers and toes getting chilly, most places have those one-time use warmer packs by the check-out stand.

On the flip side, if it’s going to be warm and sunny, make sure you wear sunscreen, drink some water, wear loose-fitting and breathable clothing, and be aware of the signs of heat stroke and exhaustion. If you or your ride partners start feeling any of these symptoms, get in the shade immediately and get some water in you. If someone passes out, use your cell phone to call for emergency help – either the park staff or 911. Just like with hypothermia, speed is of the essence.

Riding into the Sunset

When Mother Nature does her job – she does it well! At least this is what we’ve been hearing from customers around the region with the past two weekends full of sun and fun on the water.  Chautauqua Lake was warm, clear, and ready for riding as this photo submitted by one of our long-time friends shows.

Enjoy your summer Buffalo!

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One Day = Three Ride Club Events

Appolson’s Ride Clubs were in full force Saturday the 7th with a Family Ride, an Adventurer Ride and the Expert Ride. Feedback  and photos are coming in with some great reviews and even better views.

The trails were great with groomers out doing their best to keep up with the amazing snowfall we keep enjoying. Temps were on the warmer side making it an enjoyable day on the trails for all. Nary a mis-hap with reports of just two “gentle rolls,” and a slight delay in one ride getting lost.

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Led by  Janet – the Adventure Group rode for 70+ miles dropping at Emery Park with stops at Old Orchard Inn and FlipSide. their tour of Sprague Brook Park featured fantastic scenery – including some curious  deer along the way.

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The Family Ride, led  by our own Jerry  and assisted by Ryan, departed from the showroom Saturday afternoon with Hamburg trails in fantastic shape. Some of our newest customers joined in for the ride through East Eden, stopping along the way for snacks and beverages. The “polite factor” of drivers-by was amazing, with  cars stopping on the road to let our group cross over. Dinner was enjoyed at the Armor Inn and then back to the showroom at 7:30 – smiles on the faces showed that the ride was enjoyed by all.

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And the expert ride, led by Jim Appolson – met right on the trail at Jim’s house in Boston, NY with six riders hitting the trails hard. With a quick stop to help a stranded rider they came across on the trail they hit beautifully groomed trails after Sardinia.  A quick tour of Franklinville for a stop for soup then sent them to the south side of Ellicottville and then to Salamanca for the Amsoil Snocross races. With a stop on the way home for a late dinner, they arrived back in Boston at 1am – a full day with great stops along the way.

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Be sure you are signed up for our Ride Club here.

 

Last Saturday Jim and Jerry took some very special friends on a private ride with the Polaris Demo Tour film crew and some brand new 2015 Polaris Snowmobiles! Even though the conditions weren’t the greatest everyone did an awesome job and it was definitely an adventure to remember. Can’t wait for Round 2!

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It’s here! The Winter X Games have finally arrived and this year’s games include 4 snowmobile competitions: Speed & Style,‬ Long Jump, HillCross, and‬ SnoCross‬. Root for your favorite athletes January 22-25 and see who dominates Aspen!

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Snowmobile season is here, but that doesn’t always mean the trails are open. Make sure before you go riding to always check with your local snowmobile club on the conditions of the trails before you ride them!

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Even though there’s snow on the ground the conditions on the trails may not always be suitable for riding, and that can lead to a messy situation. Here’s a list of common abbreviations you’ll encounter when researching snowmobile trail conditions and what they mean:

CL-S  This clubs trails are Closed for the season – Riding this clubs trails on anything is considered trespassing!

O/S – Trails for this club are Closed – Trails will open soon for the season!

B/P – Trails are Closed and Being Prepared for your winter riding experience.

W/S – Trails are Closed but ready to ride, the club is Waiting for Snow or trails may have been open and are now waiting for conditions to improve so trails can reopen.

Limited – Trails are OPEN for this club but conditions are Less than favorable. Riders can expect mud, rocks, stumps, corn stalks and water on the trail at any point. Many trails may have deep ruts in farm fields and open areas. Trails are probably not groomed and some sections of trail may be Closed. Trail base will be very thin. Use Caution if you are going to ride the trails.

OPEN – Trails for this club are OPEN Grooming has begun or will begin soon. Your riding experience should be favorable!

Winter, is that you?

The Weather Channel is calling for snow – and lots of it. Snowfall up to 2 feet is predicted in some areas over the next few days, looks like winter has finally arrived! ⛄

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