ATV Riding Season Preparation Checklist

Oct. 03, 2013 By Seth Fargher
 

ATV Riding Season Prep

Battery
Not every ATV is equipped with a battery, but if you have the luxury of merely pushing a button to start it up, then you have a battery. And that battery can go dead, ruining your day of fun and leaving you with a long walk back to the truck. A good way to make sure the battery stays juiced while stored is to keep it connected to a trickle charger. At the very minimum, get yourself a small charger and recharge the battery before you head out on your first ride of the season.

Brakes
Brakes are one of those things we tend not to pay much attention to until they become a problem. Inspecting the brake pads for wear can save you from expensive damage down the road, and also potential injury if the brakes were to fail. Take a quick second to check the beak pads for wear, and if necessary, replace them. If theyíre in good shape, top off the reservoirs with brake fluid and youíre good to go.

Chain
The chain is one area that is very easy to overlook. Most people reason if itís still connected itís doing its job. However, if the chain is out of adjustment and has an excessive amount of play, not only will it wear out your sprockets faster but you run the risk of snapping it. A snapped chain can cause all kinds of damage, including breaking engine cases. If that happens you could be out several hundred dollars to replace a broken case when a few minutes to check the tension on the change could have avoided it. Also, make sure it is well lubricated before each ride. Keeping the chain properly adjusted and lubricated is a quick and simple way to prolong the life of your chain.

Check coolant levels along with cracked coolant lines.

Coolant
Itís not likely that youíll have a coolant leak because if you did you would have known it before putting your machine away at the end of last season. However, make sure you check the coolant level, add some if necessary and inspect the radiator cap for wear.  It also doesnít hurt to check all of the radiator hoses for wear. If the coolant level is down, your leak may be as simple as tightening up one of the hose clamps on a radiator line.

The amount of regular maintenance you do on your ATV throughout the year will affect how much you need to do when you get it back out of storage. While this is not an exhaustive list, these are the major areas we recommend giving some attention to and the most likely to need attention after having sat for a period of time. Once youíve done that, itís time to gear up and bring in the new riding season! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave a comment in the section below.

Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!