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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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.