Gear ATV Safety Tips Your first ATV ride is an important step to a safe, rewarding experience that can turn into a life-long adventure... By Peter B. Mathiesen | Published Jul 15, 2011 9:57 PM Gear SHARE Your first ATV ride is an important step to a safe, rewarding experience that can turn into a life-long adventure of getting into remote places to hunt and fish. ATV’s are powerful machines that require basic skills imperative for your safety. Many experience their first ride with a friend, and although most owners have good equipment and are careful with new riders, you need to know how to keep it safe. Here’s a list of the basics. The Mandates Everyone needs to wear a helmet, no exceptions. Riders must be at least 16 years old to ride a full-sized machine over 110cc’s. For additional protection wear gloves, eyewear, a long sleeved shirt, heavy pants and boots. First Steps Before anyone starts the engine, start with a walk through. Review the basic functions of the machine like the throttle, brakes, and steering. Pick an open area where you can drive slowly, practice making turns, braking and getting a feel for the bike. Avoid pavement! ATV’s are not designed to drive on blacktop or concrete surfaces and can react erratically even when in experienced hands. The Lean When going up a steep hill, lean forward into the handlebars toward the front of the bike. When descending, lean back into the back seat towards the rear-end of the machine. If your bike is traveling across the side of the hill, lean toward the higher hillside. Watch your speed, don’t go faster than you are comfortable traveling and let your partner or group know that you want to slow down. Let a dealer show you how Just walk into any ATV dealer, tell them you would like to learn how to ride, and they’ll share information on local class schedules and often have one on-site that you can sign up for. On-Line Safety Get the skills on the web with the ASI rider course. It’s free and a great place to start: www.atvsafety.org Your first ATV ride is an important step to a safe, rewarding experience that can turn into a life-long adventure of getting into remote places to hunt and fish.