Projections show that the Canadian ATV market will grow by a CAGR of 8.21% between 2021 and 2026.
ATVs can be a lot of fun for hobbyists, and very useful tools for work purposes. Whatever you’re planning on using your ATV for, you need to make sure you look after it. Proper ATV maintenance will keep your ATV in good working order, helping to maximize its overall lifespan.
For 10 key maintenance tips for your new ATV, keep reading.
1. Inspect and Top off All Fluids
With regular use, dirt will start to collect in the oil of your ATV. You’ll need to do an oil change when there’s too much dirt to ensure your ATV can keep running.
Doing this is relatively easy, you just need to be sure that you’re using the correct oil. The manufacturer’s manual will tell you what oil you should use, and it will give you a guide on how often you should be changing the oil.
You also want to regularly check other fluids like coolant and brake fluid, as these need to be at suitable levels when riding.
2. Tighten Lug Nuts and Secure Hand Grips
One of the worst things that can happen when riding an ATV is losing control. Make sure your grips are secure to reduce the risk of this happening. You should use glue to hold them in place, and carry this with you on every ride just in case one comes loose.
You also want to make sure all nuts and bolts are tight. You’ll bounce around a lot when riding, and lug nuts might come off if you haven’t checked them to make sure they’re secure.
3. Inspect the Chain
You should coat your chain in a protective spray to prevent it from rusting. On top of rust, you should keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear. Eventually, your chain will wear down to a point where a replacement is necessary.
When you replace your chain, you should also replace the sprockets. If you keep the old sprockets on, they’ll wear down your new chain much faster.
4. Check Tire Pressure
A flat tire will usually be obvious, but sometimes the pressure could be too low and you may not notice. Around 6 to 7 pounds of pressure is common for most ATVs, but this can vary so you want to ensure you know the correct pressure for yours. You should also inspect the tires for other issues such as being worn down or uneven.
5. Oil the Air Filter
The air filter of your ATV is one of the key components that will keep things working properly. You need to oil it regularly, and it’s important that you use the right type of oil. It needs to coat the filter evenly, and remain sticky so that it can repel moisture and trap dirt/dust.
To do this you’ll need to remove the filter and submerge it in oil. Then leave it to rest for a couple of hours and it will become sticky. Apply some axle grease to the sealing ring, then put the filter back.
6. Pay Attention to Underside Protection
When riding your ATV, you’re likely to go over various types of terrain. Some of these may present potential ways to damage the underside of your ATV, so you want to keep it protected. A quality skid plate will help with this by protecting more crucial components from loose debris.
ATVs generally come with skid plates that will offer a reasonable level of protection. If you’re tackling tougher terrain than most people, you might want to consider upgrading your skid plates for improved protection for your vehicle.
7. Grease Zerk Fittings
Zerk fittings feed lubricants into various moving parts of your ATV. For these to work properly, they need to be greased. You can do this using a grease gun.
It can be tricky to know how much grease to apply. As a general rule of thumb, you should keep greasing until you feel resistance – this should be before the fitting is completely full.
8. Follow Break-In Procedures
When an ATV is brand new off of the production line, many of the parts won’t have had time to fully lubricate. For the first 10 hours of use, you should try not to go above 1/2 throttle too much. You should vary throttle speed while you’re riding so that it can operate at varying throttle positions.
After 10 hours (but before 20) you shouldn’t go above 3/4 throttle position too much. After this, your ATV will be “broken in”. At this point, you should change the oil, and then you can take it for a real spin.
9. Set up the Suspension
The suspension is one of the most important components of an ATV. There are various types of shocks available such as:
- Standard non-adjustable
- Pre-load adjustable
- Adjustable Piggyback
Whatever type you have, you want to make sure it’s set up properly. This will provide a smoother ride, which you’ll be very thankful for when going over rough terrain.
10. Protect New Plastics
When buying anything new, you’ll want to keep it looking good for as long as possible. With an ATV, this can be tricky. After all, off-roading isn’t exactly the cleanest activity.
One thing you can do to help with this is to apply a sealer to the plastic surfaces. This will make it much easier to keep it clean, and you’ll need to clean it after every ride if you want to keep that brand-new look. You should also store it in a garage or out of direct sunlight to prevent the colours from fading.
ATVs are designed to tackle tough environments, but that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. You want to make sure you take good care of your ATV or it won’t last very long. Regular ATV maintenance is crucial for this.
You need to check the engine and other parts regularly for signs of wear and tear, keep all nuts and bolts tight, routinely check the oil, replace components at the end of their life, and generally keep things clean.
Muskoka Powersports is a leading ATV supplier, and we offer ATV servicing so we can help keep your vehicle in good condition. To find out more about what we offer, click here to contact us today.