How to Prepare Your ATV for Winter
While most people think of an all-terrain vehicle as something you ride on a warm summer day for fun, these vehicles are certainly an all-season affair for some. Since an ATV can handle any season or terrain with ease and power, winter riding is certainly an option. If you are going to ride in the snow, there are a few things to know about how to prepare your ATV for winter. Let’s take a look at the best tips on this topic.
1. Prepare the tires.
One of the biggest things in how to prepare your ATV for winter is to prep the tires. If you have tires that are radial tires, you may be instructed by the manufacturer to adjust them for the season by making sure they are inflated to just above suggested riding pressure. If the tires are bias-ply, you will want to let out a little air to remove moisture and then re-inflate to suggested riding pressure.
2. Care for important areas.
There are certain things you can do for important components to make sure they are ready to ride before their first winter run this season. For starters, make sure the engine has a usable filter that isn’t clogged up with last winter’s gunk and then make sure you have enough oil to ensure the engine has what it needs for this season. You also want to make sure that if you have a carburetor engine, you properly drain the carburetor, especially if the fuel stabilizer isn’t alcohol-free. An accumulation of alcohol can lead to erosion of important parts of the engine over time. You should also look into whether your engine needs to be fogged to prevent erosion. This is only recommended with certain types of engines so always check with your manufacturer or mechanic before doing any fogging. You also want to check your coolant levels to see if you need to top it off as well as your brake fluid. You should also fill the fuel tank with the right fuel and a fuel stabilizer allowing it to run and circulate through the system for at least 10 minutes before the first ride.
3. Do critter control.
In the winter, animals look for a warm place to rest and your ATV may be the spot they choose. If you want to avoid any issues or accidentally harm any small critters, doing a little preventative critter control is key. Animals like to crawl into spaces like a tailpipe or intake so putting a little tape over those areas before you store it for the night will remedy the problem. You should also use a cover to prevent nesting in general.
4. Clean and lubricate as needed.
Before that first winter ride, you need to make sure the ATV is in good condition. This means checking for any damaged areas, cleaning away anything that may be detrimental to the way it handles or rides, and most importantly, lubricating in areas where it is essential. Make sure to lubricate areas such as chains, sprockets, lug nuts, cables, and any other spots which may need extra help staying lubricated during a dry and cold winter.
5. Consider heating accessories.
In the winter, heating is a great addition to your ATV. If you are planning on riding in the snow for extended periods of time, you may want to invest in heated seats or heated handlebars. There are also suits you can wear which come with heating built in which can be an important part of your ATV riding gear for the season.
6. Protect against winter-related damages.
When you aren’t actually riding the ATV, you need to make sure it is properly stored to avoid issues. For instance, your ATV should be stored inside a garage if possible during winter. If it must be stored outside, the key is to protect it against the elements as much as possible. A few great ways to protect the life of your ATV when stored outside is to use a cover, put it up on blocks to avoid tire damage, and bring the battery inside so it doesn’t freeze. You should also make sure you never ride it cold and you give it ample time to warm up before you head out.