Your Pre-Ride ATV Inspection Checklist
Ready to hit the trails on your ATV? Before you start your engine, follow this ATV inspection checklist to keep you and your vehicle safe. As a bonus, a quick inspection also helps you get maximum performance on your ride. As you go down the list, your owner’s manual will have all the specifications, settings and steps outlined to keep your ATV off-road ready.
Fluids. Take a look at your brake fluid, fuel, oil and any other fluid levels. If any fluids are low, dirty or rancid, add more or change them out before starting your quad.
Tires & Wheels. Check your air pressure and look for wear and tear in your treads. Off-road ATV wheels take a lot of abuse, so ensure your axle nuts, lug nuts and cotter pins are secure before every ride.
Brakes. Test the brakes to make sure they work properly and are adjusted correctly.
Air Filter. It’s time to clean your air filter if it looks like a used coffee filter — dark brown. If the air filter is ready for a cleaning, so is your air box.
Chain & Sprocket. Oiling your ATV chain should be part of your regular maintenance routine, but don’t forget to check your chain tension and adjust it according to your owner’s manual specs.
Radiator. To prevent your ATV from overheating, make sure your radiator is clear of any mud and debris before you ride. The radiator will be too hot to touch once you’re already on the trail.
Grips. Your handlebar grips can come loose easily. Secure them with wire or adhesive, and if they wobble too much or have tears in them, it’s time for a replacement pair.
Suspension. Check the interior side of your wheels where they connect to your ATV for any damage, wear and tear. If you notice wobbling in your front end or too much play in the handlebars as you steer, it’s a sign that your tie rods or ball joints could use an adjustment or replacement.
Nuts & Bolts. In addition to those on your wheels, there are plenty of nuts and bolts all over your machine that can use a regular check to make sure they’re tight. Giving them a once-over before you ride can prevent trouble while you’re out on ATV trails.
You don’t have to be a certified mechanic to keep your ATV in top shape. With help from your owner’s manual, a quick pre-ride inspection will help you stay safe on ATV trails, and will keep your off-road adventure machine performing at its highest level.