Take Advantage of These Tips to Ride Your ATV All Winter
Like it or not, winter weather will be here in a few months. There are two camps when it comes to ATV’s in the winter: park them until that white stuff goes away or ride ‘em all year because months off your wheeler just might give you separation anxiety. This article is for the latter of the two. It’s still relatively warm out so now is the time to get your ATV ready for the winter months to come. Here are 10 things that you can do to make sure the winter months won’t slow you down on your ATV.
- Change your oil. In colder temperatures, the weight of your oil matters. The thinner the viscosity of the oil, the easier it is for your machine to turn over in the cold. Synthetic oils may be the best choice because they tend to not thicken as easily as petroleum-based oils. Cold starting your machine can be hard on the motor, so the easier it is to turn over, the better.
- Get snow tires. If you’re going to be running your wheeler through the snow a lot this winter, some good ATV snow tires can really make a difference. The lugs on the tires are placed further apart to help clear the snow from the tire to allow them to keep digging forward. If you change to a taller tire, you will also get more clearance to help you from hanging up on the snow pack.
- Add a plow. If you’re going to be riding your wheeler, you might as well make it your work horse, too. You can clear any driveway in no time when you have the right plow setup on your wheeler. Save your back and let your ATV be the muscle when it snows.
- Winch your way out. Having a winch in the winter can help you out in multiple scenarios. If you have ever got your ATV stuck in deep snow, you know how much of a workout it can be to get it out. With a winch you can hook up to a tree or any other unmovable object and let it do the work for you. Also, if you have a plow, a winch makes lifting it up as easy as hitting a button.
- Stay warm in a cab. If you want to use your wheeler, but just can’t stand being in the cold, then an ATV cab could be your ticket to warm city. If that isn’t enough for you, there are also cab heaters that can be hooked up to the wheeler’s electrical system to keep you nice and toasty.
- Make sure jetting is correct. The cold and dense air in the winter can lean out your ATV so be sure that your jetting is correct. Remember, it’s always safer to be on the richer side, so you might want to step your jets up. Check with your dealer or Dennis Kirk’s Tech Team to get recommendations for your machine.
- Keep battery charged. The cold weather will slowly drain the charge from your ATV battery and ruin over time if nothing is done about it. There is nothing worse than being stuck out in the middle of frozen nowhere and not being able to start your machine. To avoid this, make sure the battery terminals are clean and corrosion free and attach a trickle charger, like the Battery Tender, to keep your battery juiced up when you are not using it.
- Dry out your gas. Keeping the water out of your fuel systems in winter is huge to prevent the gas line freezing. Condensation can occur when the wheeler goes from a cold environment to a warmer one. By adding a fuel stabilizer, the water is not able to form. Another tip is to keep your gas tank completely full to not allow room for condensation to occur.
- Keep your hands warm. For many people, the hands are the first things to get cold when riding, because they are up and exposed on the handlebars. One remedy for this is to add heated grips. With a little work, you can hook the grips up to your ATV’s electrical system and keep your hands warm. An easier addition to add warmth is to add some good hand guards. This will keep the wind off of your hands. With warmer hands, you will have better control over your machine and be able to stay safer.
- Keep it rust free. With all the rust and wet snow in the winter months, rust and corrosion can occur on your wheeler far more rapidly than in the summer. To keep it clean after riding, wash your ATV and then spray the metal parts down with a water displacement like WD 40. This will keep the water away and not let the metal rust. Also, if you are going to be trailering your machine, consider investing in a cover to keep the salt off of your wheeler.
With some new ATV accessories and some upkeep, you will be able to enjoy your wheeler all winter long. Don’t wait until the snow is falling to get your machine ready. Now is the perfect time to get ready.
Let us know in the comments what some of your winter ATV tips and tricks are.