While some people might think of soft green grass and fragrant blooms when the sun starts to melt away the snow, ATV enthusiasts are probably dreaming of all that mud. The season for some serious fun is nearly here. Is your ride ready to power through soggy trails, muddy ditches, and giant puddles? Let's check out some basics to make sure that you and your ATV are ready to hit the trails at full speed.
Inspect Your Machine to Prevent Problems
After a winter of storage, it’s a good idea to carefully inspect your entire ATV and replace any parts that are showing wear. There is nothing like a broken belt or clogged fuel filter to ruin an afternoon of mudding.
- Regap/replace spark plug
- Inspect air filter
- Inspect the fuel filter
- Inspect all belts and gaskets
- Test the ignition
- Test and inspect your brake and clutch cables
- Check your headlights
Upgrade Your Gear for Improved Performance
Now, you could just take out your ATV as is and get plenty muddy. However, with a few upgrades, you can take your adrenaline-fueled fun to the next level. Let's see how some simple add-ons can have your friends eating your dust.
Mud-Season Tires for the Win
Your standard all-terrain tires will do a fine job of churning up plenty of muddy chunks, but if you want extra traction through those deep pits, consider adding on a new set of tires designed specifically for mud season. A good set of mud tires has a larger circumference and deeper treads ready to grab onto any shred of solid trail they can find. Some top performing tires to consider are the Maxxis Bighorn, the more affordable Kenda Bearclaw, or the durable and dependable ITP Mud Lite.
New Clutch Kit for New Tires
If you step up to a beefier set of mud tire, you may want to upgrade your clutch plate as well to prevent undue wear and tear on your transmission. Look at a high-performance kit ready to stand up to tons of low-speed demand for power. The constant change in speed as you work your way through the bog places a severe strain on the clutch. Replacing it will prevent the belt from slipping and give you improved throttle response.
Are you getting caught up on rocks, fallen branches, and thick, kicking up mud to your axles? A lift kit can leave the dirty work to your tires and allow your chassis to steer clear of trouble.
Get a Grip on Handlebar and Foot Pedals
Mud can get slippery. Give your riding boots a little extra grip when you replace your foot pedals with ones featuring rubber studs. Look for handle grips with a deep texture that can stop your gloves from slipping and allow the control to stay in your hands while working your way through the next obstacle.
Have you ever powered through a big puddle and had your engine sputter and die? A snorkel kit raises the air intake to your engine above the spray produced by a rapid ride through a creek. You can keep moving on while you drip-dry.
For the ATV enthusiast who plays outside of the park, it’s important to be able to pull yourself out of trouble. A winch can tug you free of a deep bog or move a fallen tree that’s blocking your path. You can become the hero of your crew.
Upgraded CV Axles
When your rides tend to push your machine to the limit, it’s smart to replace your OEM axles with ones designed to stand up to your extreme riding style.
Top Tips to Keep Moving
Once you’ve got your ATV ready to conquer the trail, remember that forward motion in mud season is always your friend. Use these tips to work your way through mud pits:
- Stay in low gear while working your way through the goo—this lowers stress on mechanical parts and provides the most torque to your wheels.
- Four-wheel drive is key—use it if you got it. One wheel can provide the needed grip to get the others grabbing onto something solid.
- Steer straight ahead—turning your wheels will cause you to lose traction.
- Clean it off when you get home—wash down your ride, including the radiator, after every trip to make sure your ATV is ready to go again tomorrow.
For more tips on maintaining and improving your ATV during mud season, or to check out our complete line of mud-hungry ATV's, give us a call at Tousley Motorsports. We look forward to assisting you with your purchase and are ready to ship anywhere in the United States.