Hartley G. Lesser brings us some tips for powersports vehicle adventures in this guest post.
Powersports vehicles can be more fun when a rider takes into account the experience of others who enjoy the same sport, whether you ride a snowmobile, an ATV, dirt bike or off-road motorcycle. Without consideration given to some of the basics of recreational riding, falling off your vehicle may result in more than just a simple bruise. Here are four things to consider, from experience, when planning your next powersports vehicle adventure:
1. Geographic Groundwork
Before riding or driving in an area unfamiliar to you, be certain you have a map and/or GPS unit with you, whether on a roadway or in the wilderness. A sudden change in the weather could obliterate from view local landmarks you have counted on to help steer your course. A map and a GPS unit are two items you will want to add to your list.
2. Overcoming Obstacles
If you are an ATV rider, be aware that just because your vehicle has an engine and three or four wheels does not automatically entitle you to use a public or private roadway. Once that’s clear to the rider, another tip to keep in mind is that obstacles, such as fallen trees, are best-approached straight on and slooooowly. Once your wheels are touching the obstacle, increase the throttle just enough to slowly crawl over the obstacle. Make certain your ATV has enough ground clearance to manage this task safely.
3. Heading for High Ground
If you are a dirt bike rider, heading for higher ground up a steep hill means nothing to you. You trust your skills and your bike. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to take into account the knowledge of professionals in this sport. You might believe caution in approaching an uphill is best—not so! Most riders slow down too much, which then requires them to pump up the throttle. By then it can be too late, and you’ll be in a wheel spin or wheelie. In this case, speed saves.
4. Icy Endings
One of the leading causes of serious injury and even death when riding a snowmobile is drowning. Ice conditions are never a safe bet. It’s best to never ride on frozen lakes or rivers. What may have been a stable, iced-over pond a few hours earlier may now be a tragedy waiting to happen. The best advice is “If you don’t know, don’t go.”
There is a great deal of fun and sense of personal accomplishment when you engage in any powersports activity. When riding a powersports vehicle, from snowmobiles to dirt bikes to ATVs, make certain you have the necessary equipment to ensure a safe, enjoyable time and keep a firm grip on your helmeted brain. And don’t drink when riding if you wish to thrive.