ATV History

The ATVs (all terrain vehicles) we know today had very humble beginnings in the mountainous farming regions of Japan. The muddy mountain roads became difficult for the farmers to travel during spring thaws and were almost impossible to drive over with conventional vehicles or big machinery. The Japanese, always a culture to modify and tinker with something until they could improve it, created the three wheeled ATV. This vehicle did wonders for helping the local farmers. The ATVs were less expensive than the larger farm vehicles and it proved to be an excellent little workhorse.

The Japanese didn’t stop there, though. ATV manufacturers took it a step further and realized that they could market these ATVs to Americans. America had nothing like the ATV and the first ATV arrived on our shores in the early 1970’s. Honda was the forerunner of the ATV, and had a proven track record with motorcycle sales in America, having introduced the Honda Cub to millions of Americans only a decade before. The successful marketing slogan “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” came at a time when bikers had a bad reputation and proved to people that the average Joe could enjoy motor sports as well. By the 1970’s, Honda had a reputation for building reliable, state of the art machines and their ATV was no different. This time the marketing scheme would be to show people how thrilling recreational ATV riding could be.

Over thirty years ago the Honda US90 made its debut and was called the ATC90. Oddly enough, the initial intent of the ATVs may have started out at the opposite end of the spectrum from Japan’s working class ATV, but in the end the results were the same. After gaining popularity as a recreational vehicle, the ATV soon became popular as a working vehicle as Americans began to realize exactly how versatile this little three-wheeled vehicle could be.

The ATV proved to have several advantages for the working class man. First and foremost, the ATV was cheaper to operate than a tractor or pickup truck and during the gas crunch of the 70’s that was a big plus. The ATV was also easier to maneuver in tight spots and could travel over practically any type of terrain. The only problem people found was the tires. The tires of earlier ATVs were low-pressure and while this worked fine on mud or sand, the tires punctured easily when going over sharper terrain, like a harvested field or sharp rocks. Overall, the ATV did work that no other piece of heavy equipment could do. The original tires weren’t repairable either.

In 1975 the hubless wheel design was replaced with steel hubs and a wheel lined with a tough fabric on the inside. More durable plastic fenders were added. This time they produced fenders in bright colors for better visibility out in the bush. As the ATV’s popularity grew the Japanese engineers didn’t stop their research and development. They had a good thing going and they were determined to make it better. Their engineers went into the field to see how the ATV’s performed and started gathering data to help with the next round of modifications.

By the 1980’s, ATVs had gone the same route as dirt bikes and motorcycles. The ATV’s were being used as a utility vehicle and for racing. More and more people were buying ATV’s for riding off road trails and competing in races similar to motocross events. By 1985 ATV usage had gone from only 30% in the 70’s to the whopping 80%. In the 1988, Honda made another groundbreaking leap with the ATV’s design, the introduced the FourTrax 300 and a second model called the FourTrax 300 4×4. Up until this point the ATV still had the three wheels, now Honda added an extra wheel and gave the ATV four wheel drives, which provided more stability and power. They also fitted the FourTrax with a four stroke single cylinder engine which was air cooled and gave it a five speed transmission, automatic clutch and a maintenance free drive shaft. Honda also thought to give the FourTrax an extra low gear for hauling particularly heavy objects as big as 850 lbs.

Today, ATV’s are fully ingrained into our way of living. You can find ATVs on the dirt bike trails, on farms, on construction sites and a host of other places. Now countries all over the world are discovering the same thing Americans have; the ATV is a fun and efficient vehicle for handling a wide array of jobs in almost any environment.

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ATV Riding Gear, More Than Just Safety

ATV riding gear was originally designed to keep riders safe. While today this is still its primary function, many ATV riding gear manufacturers have begun to add style to their products. ATV riders can now display their affinity for ATV’s by wearing their favorite gear and look great. ATV riding gear is versatile and now is multifunctional and can be a part of a person’s everyday casual attire.

Many ATV riders buy riding gear for the purpose of safety while riding and to wear out and about as a fashion statement. Many manufacturers look at riding gear more as a line of clothing than simply utilitarian equipment. They design ATV riding gear including jackets, pants, and gloves with style in mind so that riding gear can be worn in a variety of situations. A riding jacket will look fine over jeans and even riding pants look cool with and ordinary shirt on top.

Having great looking ATV riding gear will do more for you than expand your wardrobe. When you look good, you have confidence and this will help your riding performance. The more confident you are, the better you will perform. If you often ride with friends or belong to an ATV group, having members who have the same style of riding gear will help to unite you and form a bond of comradery. Racing teams often dress alike to support each other and sport similar styles.

While looking good and dressing as a part of a team can help in driving performance, safety is the number one purpose of ATV riding gear. Every rider should wear a helmet, gloves, and specially designed pants and tops, especially f they are riding competitively. A helmet is the most obvious and important piece or riding gear. A helmet can be designed with style in mind, but it should also be high quality and meet all safety standards. The array of colors and design for ATV helmets are astounding so you are sure to be able to find a helmet that is both safe and stylish.

Gloves are another important part of a rider’s safety gear. They help ATV riders keep a firm grip and protect fingers and hands form scratches and abrasions. An ATV rider’s pants should also be designed with safety in mind. Durable riding pants will not rip easily and will keep riders from injuring and scraping their legs in the event of a fall and suffering other abrasions. A heavy duty riding jacket will also serve to protect a rider’s upper body from similar injuries. Wearing protective clothing and driving safely are the best ways to prevent injury while riding an ATV.

Always pick riding gear that is of the highest quality. Because there are some many styles and choices, finding ATV riding gear that is both strong and stylish should not be a problem. The internet offers the best selection of safe ATV riding gear that will also make you feel confident and will integrate well into your everyday wardrobe.

ATV Accessories

Having the right accessories for your ATV can heighten your riding experience and make it more enjoyable. Accessories can also serve a utilitarian purpose and help you to complete tasks such as hauling loads and carrying heavy equipment. They can also add to rider safety by protecting against abrasions from trees and reducing the risk of falls.

ATV’s serve many purposes, most of which can be aided by the right ATV accessories. The purpose of your ATV will determine which accessories are right for you. Safety equipment is essential for all riders, ramps will come in handy for most riders, and hitches, wenches and racks are a must for those who use their ATV’s for work purposes.

Every ATV owner should have safety equipment. Safety gear is an essential accessory and can prevent serious injuries. All riders should wear goggles, helmets, and gloves as well as rugged pants and a jacket to protect against abrasions. Many states require minors to wear safety equipment and even if your does not, no one should ever ride without proper safety accessories. Safety accessories for your ATV include bumpers and heavy duty covers.

If you ever travel with your ATV an indispensable accessory is a ramp. A ramp will make loading and unloading your ATV from your truck or trailer easy and safe. Do not be tempted to use some old 2×4’s as a ramp as they will be likely to break under the weight of your ATV and are not safe. Another crucial accessory for your ATV during transport is tie down straps. Make sure you buy heavy duty straps that will secure the weight of your ATV to your truck or trailer. If you travel often, you should think about buying a trailer made specifically for your ATV as it is a safer way to transport your ATV than in the back of your truck.

If you ruse your ATV for work purposes or just want to have the ability to tow things if the need arises, a hitch is an important ATV accessory. You can pull virtually anything with your ATV if it has a hitch from other ATV’s to wagons and carts. This can prove very useful if you do a lot of yard work or have heavy things to transport around your property. Winches are also useful accessories to have whether you do work with your ATV or not. With a winch you can pull your ATV easily out of the mud or pull other stuck ATV’s.

Some ATV accessories improve the look of your ATV including ground kits and custom made body parts. If you want to make your ATV unique and customize it to your liking, these accessories are a good way to do it. Make sure whatever accessory you buy is compatible with your ATV and that you can actually use it.

Most casual riders can go without some of the utilitarian accessories and others can benefit from them greatly. Even if you don’t get a lot of extras with your ATV, make sure you have safety equipment and always ride safely.

ATV Forums, Answering All Your ATV Questions

If you are new to ATV’s, chances are you have many questions. Your local ATV dealership will be able to answer many of your questions during a sale but afterwards you will probably have more questions that come up. You may also want to get impartial advice before you purchase your ATV or just network and meet fellow ATV enthusiasts.

The internet has opened up great ways to communicate with anyone, and you can find may ATV forums that will provide you answers to your ATV related questions as well as places to make fiends that share your passion for ATV’s. You can find information on specific ATV models, advice on riding techniques, places to go to ride and information on ATV clubs and events.

One of the best things about ATV forums is the wealth of knowledge available for people considering buying an ATV for the first time. If you want to get information and advice on which ATV is right for you but do not want to bother with the pressure of discussing it with a sales person, and ATV forum is a great place to go for answers. Community members are usually happy to give advice to new ATV owners and will answer all your questions about different ATV types and models.

Best of all, joining a forum is free and you have access to answers 24/7. Buying an ATV is a big investment, and can be quite costly. You can avoid buying a model with problems or one that will not suit you by consulting with experienced rides in a forum prior to buying your ATV.

Another good aspect about ATV forums is that you can find out what ATV events and activities take place in your area. If you are looking for an ATV club to join or want new places to ride, ATV forum members will probably know what is available in your area, all you have to do is ask. You can also get advice on places to go for trips with your ATV and new places to explore. If you are looking for a race track or off road area open to the public, it can be hard to find this information locally. The members in an ATV forum will likely know what areas have such offerings and be able to send you in the right direction.

If you are a beginner, you probably could benefit from some advice on proper riding techniques. An ATV forum is a great place to go to get advice on how to ride and how to properly care for your ATV. You can find out virtually everything you need to know about riding and maintenance from experienced riders in a forum.

If you live in an area where there are few people who ride ATV’s, a forum is a great place to make friends and connect with people who share your passion. You can get lots of god information on every aspect of ATV’s from riding techniques, maintenance, and where to find the best deals on ATV parts and equipment. You can improve you skills while you make friends all from the comfort of you home.

An ATV Trail Date

The ATV trail is a place for dirt, mud, gravel and romance?

Today’s ladies are hardly the proper models of the Victorian Era; in fact, there are plenty of gals out there just itching to ride their four-wheelers with as much gusto as their male counterparts. So if you’re a dude who’s scratching his head for the perfect place to woo your next girlfriend, why not choose an ATV trail excursion?

Of course, in order to ensure that your adventure is on the amorous side, you’ll need to incorporate a little bit of heartfelt and sincere sweetness into the occasion. Start off by sending your “special friend” an invite for an ATV cruise to watch the sunset from a trail nearby. The invitation should be handwritten and sent via the mail, or, if you’re cyber-savvy, emailed.

Plan your date as you would any other. First, map out the perfect ATV trail based on your companion’s four-wheeling level. If she’s just starting out (or hasn’t ridden before), choose a smooth path that will leave her breathless and smiling, but definitely not terrified. On the other hand, if she’s a veteran ATV operator, you can up the ante by picking out a more technically difficult trail filled with twists and turns. Regardless, make certain you know the mileage so you’re at the appropriate spot come nightfall (a sunset always makes a lovely date backdrop.)

Because this is a date, you’ll want to look your best. Though ATV riding can be a dirty proposition, a suit and tie is wildly inappropriate; however, that doesn’t mean you have to show up looking like a slob. At least comb your hair and trim your fingernails. Remember to brush your teeth, too, as most people like fresh breath.

When you pick up or meet your sweet thing, show her how much you care by holding up a bag packed with plenty of goodies for the two of you to enjoy during your adventure. These could include some non-alcoholic beverages, yummy snacks, a radio or CD player for music options and a camera so you can capture your moments together.

During the ride, you’ll no doubt have a plethora of opportunities to wow your significant other by pointing out exceptional scenery or by picking her a handful of wildflowers. Since this is a date, don’t be in a hurry to get from point A to point B; allow yourselves to linger when feasible. And, of course, if the mood strikes, “stealing” kisses is always appropriate if mutually desired.

Should something go wrong along the way, keep yourself calm, cool and collected. Remember, this ATV trail date is about the journey, not about the destination and she’ll recall fondly how you handled an unexpected situation if you keep a level head.

Though an ATV trail date of this sort isn’t guaranteed to produce a relationship that will last the test of time, it’s still likely to be a terrific experience for you both. You just have to put a little planning into the excursion and be open to possibilities.

Assessing ATV Trailer Quality

If you have or are planning to buy an ATV, chances are that you will need an ATV trailer as well. An ATV trailer allows ATV owners to transport their ATV safely and much more easily than trying to use the bed of a truck. ATV trailers come in a variety of sizes depending on your needs. You can find trailers designed to haul from one to six ATV’s at a time. While other flat bed trailers can be used to transport ATV’s, a trailer designed for the task is the safest option.

An ATV trailer is made up of a deck that the ATV’s are loaded on to and a ramp that folds up during transport and serves as a safety device for holding the ATV in place. Single ATV trailers usually come in two sizes, 5′ x 8′ and 5′ x 10′. The size of your ATV will determine the best size for your ATV trailer. If you have two or more ATV’s, you can find trailers that measure 5′ x 13 or 5′ x 14′ that will fit the job. If you need to haul more that two ATV’s, you can have ATV trailers custom made to your specifications.

The trailer you choose should be sturdy and strong enough to hold the number of ATVs you intend to haul. Trying to fit more ATV’s on a trailer that was not designed for it can cause extreme stress on the trailer and the added weight can cause it to break. Most ATV trailers have a tongue mounting system and you should make sure it is sturdy and will not bend, crack, or twist during transport.

The main support beams on the trailer also need to be strong as this is where the axels attach. The weight of the trailer’s load is transferred to these beams during transport and if they are not high quality, they can bend or break. The trailers cross members should also be strong because if they twist or warp it will cause the corners to flex and will crack the trailers welds.

The safest system in an ATV trailer is the tilt clamp system. They are also easy to use and more stable. The tilt clamp system is also faster to attach than a traditional hitch system. The tilt clamp system pulls the trailer and tongue together with a T-bolt that also reduces vibration. No matter what attachment system your ATV trailer uses, make sure it is properly connected and secure. You do not want bumps and vibrations during transport to cause your trailer to become unhitched.

ATV’s can be very useful or a fun hobby. Make sure your transport method is the proper one for ATV’s and that you use the proper precautions. Always secure your ATV on the trailer and make sure the ramp is secured in the upright position so that it does not fall during transport. An unsecured ATV on the back of a trailer can be extremely dangerous. Only use a high quality trailer to ensure that it will not warp or break and it will last you many years.

Are ATV’s too Dangerous for Kids?

An ATV is not a toy and is a machine that should be respected and taken seriously, or the potential for injury is great. It is true that many ATV injuries occur every year, especially with children. When children do not wear protective gear, are not supervised, and do not ride in a safe manner, the potential for injury is great. However, with the proper precautions the chances for injury are greatly reduced.

ATV’s are not too dangerous for children, providing that you and your child take the necessary safety precautions. If your child does not have the right attitude towards ATV’s, they do not wear safety gear, and are not supervised while riding, then yes, an ATV is too dangerous for them. But, if you plan on teaching your child safe driving practices, have them wear safety gear, and supervise them, an ATV can be a safe and enjoyable pastime.

One of the most important things you can do to keep your child safe on an ATV is to teach them safety practices and give them the right attitude about ATV’s. If you assume that your child will not view an ATV as a toy and will drive it responsibly without any instruction, you are probably asking for trouble. Taking an ATV safety course with your child is a great way to tech them safe driving practices, and in many places it is required before your child can ride.

Never assume that your child will be responsible right off the bat, they need to be taught how to responsibly drive and supervised to make sure they follow safety protocol. If you drive an ATV as well, you should try to set a good example by always wearing your safety gear and riding safely.

If your child does not wear safety gear, then an ATV is too dangerous for them. Many ATV injuries involving children are preventable if the child had been wearing safety gear. Everyone who rides an ATV should always wear a helmet, goggles, and gloves. The best way to get your child to wear safety gear is to wear it yourself and set a good example. Durable pants and a jacket designed for ATV riding are also a good idea as they can protect from scrapes and abrasions. If you do not intend to enforce the use of safety gear, then do not get your child an ATV as unprotected rides face the biggest risk of injury.

While there are many injuries involving kids and ATV’s, with the proper precautions they are not too dangerous for kids. As long as kids know the rules of safe driving and obey them, they should stay safe. It is a parent’s responsibility to keep their kids safe and to always supervise them.

If you do not think your child is mature enough to handle the responsibility of safe driving, wait until they are older to get them an ATV. Kids should only drive an ATV that is the correct size and should always be supervised. If kids follow the rules and parents enforce them, ATV riding can be fun and safe.