To ride an ATV (all terrain vehicle)?

How to Ride an ATV?

Atv Riding / October 11, 2022

Image titled Start Riding an ATV Step 1

Choose a size. ATVs come in all shapes and sizes, and size is often measured by engine's displacement.

Buy proper safety equipment. Get a helmet, goggles, boots, and gloves. Though expensive, you'll be happy you got them if you wipe out.

Take a safety course. These courses will teach you how to safely ride an ATV.

Method 2

Your First Ride

  1. Start the ATV. The ATV starts either by a pull cord or by turning a key and pushing the starter button.
  2. Disengage the parking brake. This is usually done by shifting from park to another gear, or depressing the rear brake.
  3. Put the ATV in drive. An ATV with an automatic transmission is highly recommended. To put the ATV in gear, you'll usually be moving a lever forward.
  4. Image titled Start Riding an ATV Step 2 Slowly press the throttle. This is done by pushing a thumb lever forward, or twisting the right hand grip.
  5. Drive slowly along flat ground. Don't go over 20 mph (32 km/h).
  6. Pick up speed. Once you feel confident start driving faster and along bumpier terrain.

Method 3

Ending The Ride

  1. Start to drive up to a safe place to store your ATV to prevent damage or theft of your ATV.
  2. Press the brakes to slow down. By pulling the brake levers on the handlebars and/or pressing the foot pedal.
  3. Put the ATV in neutral when you come to a stop. This will prevent you from accidentally accelerating away as you dismount.
  4. Image titled Start Riding an ATV Step 3 Dismount the ATV. This is easy, just swing your leg over the seat and step off.
  5. Remove the key from the ignition. Pull the key out to prevent theft.
  6. Set the parking brake. This is detailed in the owner's manual.

Community Q&A

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  • Which brake is the front and rear brake if they're both on the handlebars?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Usually the rear brakes are operated by the left lever and the front brakes with the right lever. Some ATVs have all of the brakes operated by the left lever and the rear brakes with a pedal, usually on the right side.

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  • For most ATVs, you won't need to mix the fuels.
  • The first 10 hours should be used for break in if it's a new ATV.
  • Attending a training course can help ease fears and teach you to ride safely.
  • An ATV is a tough machine, so don't worry about wrecking it.
  • As a rule of thumb, don't buy an ATV for under $1000, they're not very durable.


  • Do not attempt to race or take jumps your first time out.
  • Know your limits and your machine's limits.
  • Always read the owners manual.
  • Always wear a helmet when you ride. You can buy a specialised ATV helmet, otherwise a motorbike helmet is good enough. Most people who die in ATV crashes aren't wearing helmets.
  • Always read the warning stickers on the ATV.
  • Don't ride with passengers.

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