How to Start Riding an ATV

An ATV is an excellent hobby, and a great way to bond with friends and family. Whether you ride for fun or sport, ATVs are a nice way to spend your free time.


Preparing To Ride

  1. Choose an ATV. Some brands include Polaris, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Arctic Cat, Can-Am and Honda.

  2. Choose a size. ATVs come in all shapes and sizes, and size is often measured by engine’s displacement. A good starter size is 200cc.

  3. Buy proper safety equipment. Get a helmet, goggles, boots, and gloves. Though expensive, you’ll be happy you got them if you wipe out.

  4. Take a safety course. These courses will teach you how to safely ride an ATV.

Your first ride

  1. Start the ATV. The ATV starts either by a pull cord or by turning a key and pushing the starter button.

  2. Disengage the parking brake. This is usually done by shifting from park to another gear, or depressing the rear brake.

  3. Put the ATV in drive. An ATV with an automatic transmission is highly recommended. To put the ATV in gear, you’ll usually be moving a lever forward.

  4. Slowly press the throttle. This is done by pushing a thumb lever forward, or twisting the right hand grip.

  5. Drive slowly along flat ground. Don’t go over 20 mph.

  6. Pick up speed. Once you feel confident start driving faster and along bumpier terrain.

Ending the ride

  1. Press the brakes to slow down. By pulling the brake levers on the handlebars and/or pressing the foot pedal.

  2. Put the ATV in neutral when you come to a stop. This will prevent you from accidentally accelerating away as you dismount.

  3. Dismount the ATV. This is easy, just swing your leg over the seat and step off.

  4. Remove the key from the ignition. Pull the key out to prevent theft.

  5. Set the parking brake. This is detailed in the owner’s manual.


  • An ATV is a tough machine, so don’t worry about wrecking it.
  • For most ATVs, you won’t need to mix the fuels.
  • The first 10 hours should be used for break in if it’s a new ATV.
  • Attending a training course can help ease fears and teach you to ride safely.

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