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.