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    »ATVs and Land Usage«

  • TorontoSEO 8:29 PM on January 23, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , ATVs and Land Usage, , , Land Usage, , , ,   

    ATVs and Land Usage

    Since its introduction to the public in the 1960’s, the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) has encountered many controversies. Some of these have dealt with the issue of safety, as original 3-wheel ATVs proved to be too dangerous for riders. Even improved 4-wheel ATVs still represent certain risks. Another controversy has been the age limits for the riders of ATVs. Many states have prohibited minors under the age of 16 from driving an ATV. One of the most predominant controversies regarding ATVs, however, has been the defining of the areas in which they are permitted. Where and when these vehicles are driven has continually popped up as an issue, as many drivers irresponsibly disregard laws that prohibit the use of ATVs in certain areas. 

    The issues surrounding ATVs and land usage are many. A major problem is that many riders intentionally cross over into privately owned property. They also have made a habit of crossing into public and private properties where they are obviously not intended to be. Often, the use of an ATV is strictly limited to trails, but riders still feel the need to leave these trails and venture on to other property.  
    Environmentalists are some of the biggest opponents of ATVs. They believe that riders who use ATVs for sporting purposes are inconsiderate of the environment. For example, they claim that the vehicle is used excessively in areas that are largely considered biologically sensitive, such as wetlands and sand dunes. Environmentalists claim that the deep treads on some ATV tires are capable of digging channels that drain boggy areas. They also claim that these tires damage the careful grooming of most snowmobile trails and increase the levels of sedimentation in streams. Proponents of ATVs, however, argue that the deep-treaded tires are necessary for the safe navigation of muddy and often rocky terrains. They also point to a number of findings that attribute the erosion and decay of sensitive habitats to out-of-control housing planning and industries that extract goods and materials from these highly sensitive areas.     

    ATV advocacy groups have organized to address these issues. Some of these groups have even gone so far as to purchase land for ATV riders to use. They have taken additional steps, such as building and maintaining appropriate trails for ATVs and obtaining permission directly from landowners to use their land for riding ATVs. Most importantly, many of these advocacy groups have committed themselves to educating ATV riders as to the best ways in which they can safely and responsibly use ATVs.     

    Unfortunately, those who do not follow the rules often negatively affect the image of the great majority of responsible riders. Those who see fit to ride off designated trails, on private land without permission, and under the influence of alcohol or drugs create a great number of problems for those who play by the rules. In addition, self-regulation is particularly difficult since the main public complaint against ATVs is that they create excessive noise. Although the majority of ATVs comply with noise regulations, there are those whose intentional violation of these rules can disturb the activities of other recreational users for miles across open landscapes.

    Recreationists who are upset about irresponsible ATV use include snowmobilers who feel as though their trails are misused. Hunters have also complained about ATVs, as the loud noise of the engine often disrupts their attempt to catch game. These are but some of the major complaints lodged against ATVs and the problems they bring in regard to land usage and the environment. Groups that support ATV riders have tried a number of methods to lessen the negative effects of these vehicles. In addition to providing designated areas for riders to enjoy, certain advocacy groups have made an effort to educate all those who own ATVs on the safest and most responsible ways in which they can operate their vehicles. 

     

  • »Buying a Used ATV«

  • TorontoSEO 10:51 AM on January 21, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , Buying a Used ATV, , , , the dealership, , , , utility vehicle, vehicle identification number   

    Buying a Used ATV

    Not all of us can afford a brand new 2007 ATV with all the bells and whistles. As with cars or motorcycles or any large vehicle for recreation or pleasure, we sometimes have to start out with buying second hand. Of course there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a used car, bike or ATV. If you are going to buy used, you have to know what to look for, especially with a vehicle such as an ATV where you know that there is a chance the previous owner might have given the ATV some serious abuse on the trails. Before you begin to cruise the classifieds you have a couple of decisions to make. Who is the ATV for? An ATV for an adult is made differently than one made for a child. Do you want the ATV for purely recreational purposes? Do you want to race or just enjoy some leisurely off-roading with your family? Do you want to use the ATV as a utility vehicle?

    The best place to start if you have never purchased an ATV before would be at a local dealership. You may not be able to afford one off the showroom floor, but you can still go look and pick the dealer’s brain for information. At the dealership you can ‘test’ the different classes of ATVs. Sit on a few to see how they fit, each ATV will be different and you might find that some are more comfortable than others. Even though you are trying newer models, there really won’t be too much of a difference between them and the older versions.

    After getting all the information you can from the dealership, you will have some idea of what make and model you will be looking for in a used ATV. While you’re at the dealership also check to see if they have a bulletin board for other ATV resources. Sometimes if you contact a club or other organization they may be able to put you in touch with people who have ATV’s to sell. Classified ads and specialized classified magazines like you see for cars or motorcycles will also be a valuable resource. And of course the number one source for finding used vehicles is the internet. Places like eBay will no doubt have a lot to offer, the only problem with that is, unless the seller is in your area, you have no way to view the ATV up close.

    When you find the ATV you want to purchase, definitely go to check it out personally. When you see the ATV for the first time, make note of the condition of the plastic on the fenders. The overall outward appearance of the ATV will give you a pretty good clue as to how hard the previous owner treated the vehicle. If the fenders or other plastic parts are cracked and ruined you can bet that you’re going to have to replace them and replacement parts and accessories are expensive. You have to decide how much you are willing to invest in refurbishing the ATV if parts do need replacing. Check the condition of the seat for any rips or tears. Again, a ripped seat isn’t a big deal and is totally replaceable, but do you want to spend the extra money to do that?

    The next part of the inspection will take some work. You will want to lift the front end of the ATV up to inspect the undercarriage. With the ATV lifted, closely inspect the frame for any damage. Make sure there are no cracks or dents in the frame or any of the connecting welds Note any areas that might have rust and check them for cracks too. Check the handlebars for any loose play and do the same to each wheel. Loose wheels could indicate worn wheel bearings or damaged ball joints. Oil, breaks and the air filter and air box should also be checked. Ask the owner if they have any records regarding oil changes and maintenance. Some owners might have an owner’s manual that they can pass on to you. Take the ATV for a test drive too if you can to see how it handles.

    Lastly, if a title is required in your state ask the owner if they have the title and if it is clear. Most states require a bill of sale with the VIN (vehicle identification number) on it. Whether your state requires a bill of sale or not, it is always a good idea to have one to protect both you and the former owner incase a dispute crops up. Be aware that in most cases you are buying the ATV “as is”, which means the previous owner is not responsible for any problems you might find with the vehicle after you have purchased it and brought it home.

     

  • »ATV Safety Issues«

  • TorontoSEO 8:26 PM on January 20, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: ATV Safety Issues, , , CPSC, , , , , , , , ,   

    ATV Safety Issues

    Since their introduction to the public four decades ago, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) have become increasingly popular. They are very appealing to riders because of the amount of danger one feels while riding. This danger, however, should not be taken lightly. ATVs carry with them a number of safety issues which every rider ought to be concerned about. Despite the ongoing effort of ATV companies to make these vehicles safer, accidents are still happening on an all-too-regular basis. 

    ATVs originally came as both 3-wheelers and 4-wheelers. It did not take long, though, for the industry and the public to realize the risk of the 3-wheeler. With no true center of gravity, the 3-wheeler was an accident waiting to happen. It was widely assumed that once ATV companies permanently removed the 3-wheeler from the market, accidents would sharply decrease. While there has been a decrease in the number of deaths and injuries due to 4-wheel ATVs, enough have happened that the vehicle’s safety is still a legitimate concern within the industry. For example, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed that in 2004 alone, there were an estimated 136,000 serious injuries in the United States that were directly related to ATVs. The preceding year, 2003, saw 740 people lose their lives due to ATV accidents.

    The troubling aspect of this rather high number of deaths and injuries attributed to ATVs is that the industry and the CPSC recently agreed on a series of action plans designed to improve ATV safety. These action plans represent an agreement between the ATV industry and the CPSC to crack down on several issues that affect the safety level of ATVs. Some of the things that are now required of companies that sell ATVs are the labeling and safe marketing of ATVs. In addition, the CPSC has been given more say as to what ages may ride certain types of ATVs. The problem, however, is that a large number of companies that manufacture and distribute ATVs are based in Asia and Italy. Because of their international status, they are not required to abide by the laws of the CPSC. In other words, many of the companies that are making ATVs are exempt of any oversight by the U.S. government. 

    Due to the CPSC’s inability to control the safety guidelines concerning the ATV industry, focus has now shifted to state control over the age of riders. Many states have recently enacted legislation that specifically governs the usage of ATVs on state-run land. Some of the factors that states deal with are the ages of riders and the type of engines they use. Several states mandate that the use of machines greater than 90cc by riders under the age of 16 is strictly prohibited.  

    Those who criticize these blanket policies concerning riders’ ages claim that these rules do not adequately address the issue. For example, critics claim that many early teen males are bigger and sometimes stronger than fully-grown adult females. To protect themselves from this line of thinking, some states are simply prohibiting any minors (those under the age of 16) from driving ATVs. Advocates of ATVs, however, argue that training riders at an earlier age only stands to improve safety. They argue that children exposed to ATVs at an early age will gradually gain the expertise necessary to be safe drivers of ATVs when they reach adulthood.

    In 1988, the All-terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (ASI) was formed. This organization seeks to address ATV safety issues by providing training and education for ATV riders. Most states now require that new users of ATVs undergo this type of training. This is one more in a series of attempts by the industry and the CPSC to improve the safety of ATVs. The need to do provide instruction in ATV riding and driving increases as the sport’s popularity continues to grow. 

     

  • »Headgear Choosing the Right ATV Helmet«

  • TorontoSEO 10:59 AM on January 18, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: ATV helmets, , , , Headgear Choosing the Right ATV Helmet, padding, , , the helmet, , , , ,   

    Headgear Choosing the Right ATV Helmet

    You have already taken the time to choose the right ATV for you or a family member. You did your research, maybe test drove a few to make sure the vehicle had the right “fit” and found one that matched both your budget and your personal sense of style. Your shopping isn’t over yet. Along with having the right ATV for either the trails or working out in the field, you’re going to need the proper safety gear to go along with it. Gloves, jackets, pants and boots are definitely on the list, but the most important piece of safety gear you will own will be your helmet.

    How do you go about finding a helmet that fits properly? How tight is too tight? How loose is too loose? Are all helmets the same? Starting with the last question, not all helmets are the same. You want to get a helmet specifically designed for use on a vehicle like an ATV or a dirt bike. You don’t want to get a helmet that someone might use on a regular street motorcycle. Most ATV helmets cover your head completely and have a face guard that extends over the mouth. When you first put the helmet on it might feel tight because of all the padding inside. If you can slip the helmet over your head without it feeling snug, then you know that it’s too big. Try shaking your head side to side and going through as many movements as you can to see if the helmet shifts or slides when you move. Also try to decide how heavy the helmet feels. Does it feel cumbersome? Do you think you would be able to wear it for longer than 15 minutes without getting tired of it?

    The second thing to look for is how easily the helmet comes off. If you’re in an accident or get thrown from your ATV, you don’t want your headgear to go flying off in one direction and you in another, which totally defeats the purpose of having a helmet. Now that you’ve got the helmet on, adjust the chinstrap and cinch it tight under your chin. Grab the helmet from the back and try to take it off by pushing it to the front. Does the helmet slip down over your eyes and come off? Now try moving the helmet side to side. If you can feel your skin shifting with the helmet and the foam padding then you know you have a good, solid fit.

    Women have one more thing to consider when they go to look for a helmet. The way a woman wears her hair on the trail will make a big difference in what size helmet she gets. If she has short hair that won’t need to be braided or tied up, then there’s no problem. If every time she goes riding she French braids her hair or tucks it up under the helmet, then she might need to go with a larger size than she would if she didn’t put her hair up. The hair takes up extra space and if you don’t account for that your helmet won’t be the right size.

    Children’s helmets are another issue. So many parents are very money minded when it comes to getting clothing and gear for their kids that they might be tempted to get a helmet a size larger for the child to “grow into”. Unfortunately you can’t cut corners when it comes to buying a helmet. It has to fit snuggly with no exceptions. As mentioned before, a helmet that is too large is as dangerous as having no helmet at all.

     

  • »Differences between Utility and Sport ATVs«

  • TorontoSEO 10:51 AM on January 17, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , , Differences between Utility and Sport ATVs, , , , , , Sport quads, , , , ,   

    Differences between Utility and Sport ATVs

    At first glance, it’s easy to tell Utility and Sport ATV’s apart, and many people will eliminate one class of these quads solely on appearance. However, other than size, there are some important differences between Utility and Sport quads that you might want to take into consideration if you are looking for a new ATV, or the next time you go riding.

    If you’re looking to do some work, or take a quad deep into uncharted wilderness, a Utility ATV with a winch is probably the best choice for you. Although Utilities are perhaps not as extreme as a Sport quad on level ground, Utility quads can crawl over or through terrain and mud that would swallow a Sport quad alive. Although the additional size, weight, and low end torque, not to mention the optional four wheel drive, give utility quads a huge edge in dicey terrain, there are many other features that allow a Utility get through the really rough stuff. Many Utilities have a locking differential to climb out of deep mud holes and other situations where traction is a problem. The differential will either make all the wheels turn at the same speed or shift torque to the wheels that aren’t slipping. Most Utility quads also have independent suspension on all four wheels, allowing it to keep in contact with the ground and keep you in control no matter where you’re at. In most utilities, the suspension is tuned to give a soft and predictable ride that insulates riders from bumps in the trail. These features draw many people to Utility quads, especially if they plan on using it for hunting or work around the farm. However, many people overlook Sport quads, even though they may be more suited for their riding style.

    If you want to have the power and performance to simply pull away from your buddies on the trail, or carve a corner like you never thought possible, you should try a sport quad. Sport quads are engineered for quick acceleration and bursts of speed. Sport quads are designed to be run hard for optimal performance, and can stand up to hours of high-speed riding. The gearing is aggressive and the suspension is stiff for digging into corners, which is one of the complaints that many people have about Sport quads. However, you can adjust the tension and range of your suspension to give you a stiffer or softer ride, but if you soften the ride you will inevitably get more body lean and less performance. One factor not to be overlooked is the ease of getting a Sport ATV airborne and landing it gracefully. Some people can land jumps that put them over 100 feet in the air or do a back flip with small and maneuverable Sport ATVs. Although you may not feel up to flipping an ATV under any circumstances, hitting jumps is a lot of fun once you get comfortable.

    Utility quads were originally designed to be worked, but recent years have seen Utilities get a lot sportier and more suited to recreational riding. Sport quads are also getting more user friendly, which gives them more appeal. Although each category of ATV has its advantages and disadvantages, in 2006 Yamaha made a very successful attempt at bridging the gap between Sport and Utility ATV with their 450 Wolverine, which combines the best features of both classes of ATVs. It is a light ATV with sport-like handling, but it has four-wheel drive and is balanced for high speed performance, but has the comfort and low-end power for rough terrain.

    Essentially, Utility and Sport quads have different angles on how to have fun off-road. Sport bikes are designed for all-out speed and handling, while utilities seem like a Cadillac in comparison-they’re bigger, heavier, slower, but much more comfortable to ride. The type of ATV that is best for you will depend on your riding style, and how far you want to push you quad and what kind of obstacles you want to use to test the limits of your quad. However, with the popularity of Yahama’s Wolverine, you can expect to see several crossover ATV’s in the next couple years.

     

  • »Development of ATVs«

  • TorontoSEO 10:51 AM on January 17, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: ATC, , , Development of ATVs, , , , , , , , ,   

    Development of ATVs

    ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) were first developed during the 1950s. The earliest models had six wheels instead of the four that riders are now familiar with. Honda was the first company to make the 3-wheel ATV in 1970. These were famously displayed in the James Bond film, ‘Diamonds Are Forever.’ Originally called the US90, the ATV was purely for fun, made with very large balloon tires instead of the mechanical suspension and smaller tires eventually introduced in the early 1980s.  

    One of the most important versions of the ATV was the 1982 Honda ATC200E Big Red. It was a landmark model in that it featured suspension and racks. This made it the first utility three-wheeled ATV available on the market. It was popular due to its ability to go anywhere on any type of terrain. The fact that it could go over types of terrain that most other vehicles could not eventually made it very popular with hunters in both the US and Canadian. It was also very appealing to those who were looking for nothing more than an exciting ride on the trails.  

    Soon Honda broke new ground by developing sport models. Honda seemed to have a virtual monopoly on the market, due to its patents on design and engine placement. The 1981 ATC250R was important because it was the first high-performance three-wheeler, featuring full suspension, a 248-cubic-centimetre two-stroke motor, a five-speed transmission with a manual clutch and a front disc brake. For those who enjoyed the sporting trail, the 1983 ATC200X was another in a series of landmark machines. It was developed with an easy-to-handle 192-cubic-centimetre four-stroke. This simple design was seemingly perfect for new participants in the sport. 

    Honda soon found itself competing with Suzuki. Suzuki led the industry in the development of 4-wheeled ATVs. It sold the first 4-wheeled ATV, the 1983 QuadRunner LT125, used primarily as a recreational machine for those who were just beginning to ride ATVs. In 1985, Suzuki stepped up their game when they introduced the first high-performance 4-wheel ATV, the Suzuki LT250R QuadRacer. This ATV was in production from 1985-1992, during which time it underwent three major engineering makeovers. This vehicle became the ATV known as designed primarily for racing by highly skilled riders.  

    Honda then responded a year later with the FourTrax TRX250R. This ATV has never been replicated.
    Kawasaki joined the battle to develop better ATVs when they introduced their Tecate-4 250. In 1987, Yamaha introduced a different type of high-performance machine – the Banshee 350. The Banshee 350 featured a twin-cylinder two-stroke motor from the RD350LC street motorcycle. This ATV was heavier and more difficult to ride in the dirt than the 250s .It soon became a favorite with riders who preferred the sand dunes. The Banshee is still a hugely popular machine, but 2006 was the last year it was available in the U.S. Riders will be able to pick up a 2007 model in Canada, however. 

    ATVs were first introduced to the buying public in the 1970s. They immediately caught on with those who were interested in doing something different outdoors. Original versions featured much larger tires and were offered in both 3-wheeled and 4-wheeled models. Soon, though, the 3-wheeled models of the ATV were prohibited, as they gained a reputation for being too dangerous. ATVs have since undergone a number of cosmetic and mechanical changes. Companies such as Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha have developed a number of models that serve ATV riders of all tastes and interests.  

     

  • »How to Conquer the Mud with Your ATV«

  • TorontoSEO 10:51 AM on January 16, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , deep mud, , How to Conquer the Mud with Your ATV, , mud hole, mud pit, , , , , , , ,   

    How to Conquer the Mud with Your ATV

    Although certain kinds of ATVs are setup for pushing through deep mud, the technique for getting to the other side remains the same. When crossing obstacles like mud, the biggest risk is getting stuck, which means coming to a stop. Because of this, speed is your friend, although you can hit a mud hole too quickly. However, hitting the mud with speed will usually give you the momentum to slide over the mud hole and out the other side even if your tires won’t grip much. In some cases, you may want to keep at least one tire on solid terrain, if possible, so that your quad has something it can grip. You can do this by straddling the ruts and staying on the high ground, or by leaving one tire out of the mud. However, if the mud hole is too deep, you may tip your ATV over into the mud.

    Some say that you should stand on your pegs when entering a mud pit so that you are more ready to respond to the uneven terrain. However, keep in mind that you may meet a lot of resistance when you hit the mud, causing you to come to a near-stop very abruptly. If you are standing when this happens, you might go for a dive in the mud. Although standing up may work for some people, you need to be comfortable and balanced enough to be prepared to unseen rocks and roots in the mud, as well as the possibility of a nose dive, or suddenly catching traction with the throttle wide open.

    One mistake that many new riders make is giving their ATV too much gas once they start to lose traction. Once the mud starts to fly, more gas is not always the solution, since flying mud means that your tires aren’t gripping anything solid. Sometimes a tire that is spinning a little slower will grab onto something that it would just grind against with more throttle. This is especially true if you come to a complete stop in the mud. When getting your quad moving again, easy does it, since too much gas means nothing but slinging mud. However, to get out of most spots after coming to a stop, some wheel spin is necessary, but more wheel speed usually doesn’t mean more traction.

    When you get into the mud, keep in mind that the tires with the most weight over them will be the most likely to get traction. So, if your quad is two wheel drive, you will want to keep some of your weight over the back axle, which will drive those rear tires through the slippery mud on the surface and down to something it can grab. Shifting your weight side to side can also help one of your tires get the traction it needs to pull you out of the mud.

    Four wheel drive makes short work of a lot of mud that gives two wheel drive quads a lot of trouble, but four wheel drive is by no means an end-all solution for deep mud. Some mud pits may be entirely too deep for a stock setup, and a snorkel kit and exhaust extension may be needed just to ensure that your engine doesn’t suck in a bunch of mud and debris. For mud this extreme, four wheel drive is a necessity, and a set of aftermarket tires with a more aggressive pattern will also help pull you out of the mud.

    No matter what kind of ATV you take through the mud, keep in mind that you may only have one shot at getting through without getting a tow. The more you know about the particular mud hole, the better, but an experienced rider can tell a lot about a mud pit by its looks and how soft the rest of the trail is. However, a hole you can get through one day may swallow your quad after a good rain or may change drastically after other people have ridden through. The key to conquering mud is keeping cool and having several ways to get your tires to grip instead of slip.

     

  • »Nutritional Snacks for the ATV Trail«

  • TorontoSEO 10:35 AM on January 14, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , ATV Trail Nutritional Snacks, , , , energy bars, energy drinks, , Nutritional, Nutritional Snacks, Nutritional Snacks for the ATV Trail, operator, , , , ,   

    Nutritional Snacks for the ATV Trail

    Could what you put in the ATV operator really make a difference on the ATV trail? Absolutely; after all, you wouldn’t fill up your four-wheeler’s tank with maple syrup and potato chips. Filling up your own “tank” with garbage is just as likely to result in a negative outcome such as fatigue, gastrointestinal upset or distracting hunger pangs early on during a long ride.

    Want to know the secret to a long and happy ATV trail excursion? It’s replacing all those sodas and juice bottles with clear and cool water. Though many ATV drivers swear by sports drinks, they might deliver too much sugar into your system. Though sports and energy drinks are coveted by athletes who are exerting tremendous amounts of energy, you’re better off imbibing clear, pure and unflavored H2O.

    What better food stuff than a handful of trail mix to go along with your thirst-quenching bottle of water? Before you start munching on the various trail mixes available on the market, take heed. Many of those so-called “healthy” snacks are loaded with trans-fats, unnecessary sodium, and far too much sugar. Instead of trying to sort through all the supermarket options, why not make your own? In a large plastic bag, throw in a cupful of a high fiber cereal, a half a cupful of nuts, a half a cupful of unsweetened dried fruits (such as cranberries, apricots, or raisins), and, if you must have something sweet, a modest sprinkling of semi-sweet baking chocolate chips. Shake the bag and share with your ATV trail buddies.

    Though many of the energy bars on the market are woefully lacking in basic nutrition, there are some which are hearty enough to eat as a meal substitute. If you’re going to be out on your ATV all day, you can replace lunch with one of these power-packed energy bars. Just make sure that your choice has at least 250-350 calories and a whopping dose of fiber. Watch out for energy bars that are all carbohydrates; try to find one that balances carbs with protein. Try to avoid any that are made by popular candy makers because they usually contain way too high a proportion of sweetener.

    One of the most underappreciated fruits is the lovely yellow banana, a tropical delight that packs a nutritional punch. Though a medium banana is only about 100 calories, it is loaded with potassium and has reputedly therapeutic benefits. If you can stow a few of these edible golden treasures in a place where they won’t get squashed during your ATV trail excursion, you’ll be able to benefit from their natural wealth of nourishment.

    Never forget that the more planning you put into your ATV exploration, the more you’ll get out of the experience. That includes the type, amount, and quality of foods you bring with you on your next ATV journey.

     

  • »Off Roading Off the Strip«

  • TorontoSEO 10:35 AM on January 12, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , , Lake Meade National Park, Las Vegas, Nellis, Off Roading Off the Strip, , , , , , , ,   

    Off Roading Off the Strip

    What do you think of when you hear “Las Vegas”? Slot machines, casinos, showgirls, money, glitz, spectacular shows and some of the best buffets in the States, right? What very few people realize is that southern Nevada has some of the best outdoor activities in the south western United States. Lake Meade National Park not only offers a great tour of the Hoover Dam, but Lake Meade is a hot spot for boating, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing and even some scuba diving. The roads that wind around the lake are frequented by motorcyclists and bicyclists, runners and walkers. If you go far enough into Lake Meade National Park you run into the Valley of Fire, a park named for it’s spectacular fiery red rocks and stunning landscape. On the west end of Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon, more spectacular landscaping for horseback riding, hiking, camping, rock climbing, biking and motorcycling.

    And let’s not forget the trails for the ATV crowd. In Las Vegas there are two major areas where the locals go to ride. The first one is about a half hour outside of Las Vegas at the north end of the strip just past Nellis Air Force Base. There are two ways you can reach the Nellis Dunes. You can either follow Las Vegas Boulevard (aka The Las Vegas Strip) to the north and past the Las Vegas Speedway until you get to the end of it or you can take the I-15 to the Apex exit and turn right. You can’t miss the Dunes on this lonely stretch of road. If you came off the I-15 the Dunes will be immediately on your left, in fact, you will be able to see them from the exit ramp. Every weekend there are trailers and RVs parked up on the Dunes. You can watch kids and adults riding the trails on ATV’s and dirt bikes from the road.

    If you follow the Boulevard south as far as it will go, you will find yourself paralleling the I-15 going towards California. This stretch of road will take you to the Jean Dry Lake Beds. The area here is also wide open desert with plenty of space for ATV trail riding and should take only twenty to thirty minutes from the Strip.

    Venturing outside of Las Vegas you can find another ATV hotspot, the El Dorado Dry Lake Valley Area. Take US 95 or the Boulder Highway south towards Searchlight. Seven miles after the Railroad Pass Casino before you reach Searchlight you’ll find the trails. And finally off of US 93 is the Logandale Trails System.

    An inexperienced rider or first time visitor to Las Vegas might want to consider hiring a trail guide. Most of these trails are unmarked and difficult to follow if you aren’t familiar with the area. A guide will also be able to help you over the rougher patches of trail. All ATV outfitters in Las Vegas offer training on the ATV to make sure that you understand how to operate the vehicle. Off road vehicles in Nevada are usually don’t require registration, license or titles to drive, but drivers under the age of 15 require adult supervision and everyone needs to wear a helmet. Headlights are also required to be on from dusk to dawn. Another safety precaution is having a brightly colored flag attached to your ATV while riding the trails so that other riders can see you. Do not ride your ATV on the roads or highways either; trailer your vehicle to the site and stick to the trails. Above all else, do not operate your ATV or any other motorized vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

     

  • »Choices to Make for Your First ATV«

  • TorontoSEO 10:51 AM on January 9, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: ATV models, , automatic transmission, Choices to Make for Your First ATV, , , , , , utility ATV   

    Choices to Make for Your First ATV

    For whatever reason, the ATV bug has bitten you. You’ve seen them on television or maybe you have a couple of friends that already go riding on the trails. Day in and day out, in all kinds of weather and in every season, people are enjoying recreational ATV trail riding.
    But when you’re new to this activity, where to begin? What needs consideration before making a major purchase of an ATV? Do you need to take a driver’s test or a safety course? Do you want the ATV for recreation or for work? Are you thinking about competitive racing?
    Finally, how much is this whole venture going to cost? 

    The first thing you need to do is take a trip down to your local ATV dealership. Not only will you be able to look at and try out different models, but you can talk to the dealer for information as well. Don’t be intimidated about asking questions; salespeople are there to help – and also to make a sale. If you don’t like the service at one dealership, visit another.

    A good idea is to try to rent a particular model before you buy. Renting an ATV for a weekend is a smart thing to do if you plan on having a child as a passenger on your ATV. So many times, a child will want to try a new hobby only to discover they don’t like it on the first day. There are some adults like that also, so if you’re unsure whether or not an ATV is for you, then do try renting one first for a test run before you sign the final papers to purchase. 

    Currently, there are two types of ATVs on the market: Sport and utility. Some ATV models claim to be hybrids of the sport and the utility models. The utility ATV will have racks on the front and rear of the vehicle, while a sport model will have no racks. A hybrid model might have a rear rack only. The type of ATV best for a hunting, fishing, or camping trip would be a utility ATV. Those activities involve hauling a lot of stuff in and out of the bush, and you will need front and rear racks. Sport ATVs are for trail riding or racing and will usually have more speed available, as well as bright colors for high visibility on the trails. 

    Engine type is also another consideration. Two stroke engines have a system where they lubricate themselves by burning fuel. There is a specific gas-to-oil ratio mix used in order for the vehicle to run properly. A few models require that the oil reservoir be refilled every five or six tanks of gas. Noise is also a major drawback, a by-product of higher RPMs.  Two-stroke engines are fading from popularity as technology improves, and more people lean towards the clean-burning four-stroke engine. Four stroke engines are quieter and are more fuel efficient than their two-stroke counterparts.

    The automatic clutch is another feature that might cause some confusion. An automatic clutch requires putting the ATV into the appropriate gear when the engine hits the corresponding RPM for that gear. An automatic clutch does not mean an automatic transmission. Models with an automatic clutch will not have a foot peg for shifting; instead, there is a shifter for your left thumb on the handlebar. An ATV with automatic transmission has its drawbacks as well, as in order to have the machine engage the auto transmission, the driver must maintain a certain number of RPMs. This can be a problem when climbing steep, rocky terrain. 

    Another question is whether you need two-wheel or four-wheel drive, otherwise known as “two by two” or “four by four”. A two-wheeled drive vehicle has the rear wheels do all the work and push the vehicle along, whereas a four-wheel drive employs all four wheels to provide better traction. Four-wheel drives do cost more, but are good for extra traction in particularly tough terrain. Newer machines on the market will allow for “on-the-fly” four-wheel drive, where the four-wheel drive is engaged as needed.

    Finally, there is the choice of a drive shaft, chain, or belt drive. All three methods of drive are good ones, but an enclosed drive shaft seems to make better sense for various types of terrain. With a chain or a belt drive, there is always the risk of snapping the chain or the belt while out on the trails, and then you might have to do some emergency repairs. In the end, the shaft drive will pay for itself with lower maintenance. 

     
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