Part 1 – Let’s Learn about ATV Specs and Built in Safety Features
When teaching kids to ride ATV’s, it is important for both parents and kids to know a little about the ATV’s they are riding. We are not going to address the good, better, best brands here, as youth ATV’s are commonly made very similar at this cc level.
In our experience with training new riders, we find two common areas that are vital for safety that can be overlooked by both the rider and parent.
The first key component is the kill-tether that is located on the back of the ATV. This is a great tool that can be used to teach new riders throttle control and breaking without letting them get to far ahead or losing control. Parents can walk or ride behind the youth while holding the tether, when the child get to far ahead or going to fast, you can pull the tether and the machines engine will stop. This is a good opportunity to discuss why you stopped them. We encourage parents to use this as an alternative to throttle limiters which limit speed, but also enable children to drive with full throttle most of the time. This is not a safe practice as it gives the youth a false sense of the actual speed and power of the machine and does not teach them to properly use the throttle. If you do not feel that your kids are able to understand and control the throttle, then they are too young to ride, period.
The second component is the actual kill-switch located on the handle bars. We encourage everyone to know where your kill-switch is and when we could use it. A kill switch is another feature that is vital to ATV safety. Adults and youth alike need to know and appreciate that sometime there are throttle issues, break issues and machine failures, the kill switch can be used at any time that you feel your machine is not responding. For inexperienced youth riders, this is a last resort if they panic and cannot use their hand break. Kill-switches should always be used with the breaks, not instead of them.
Here you will find a quick video on where to find the above features on most youth ATV’s in addition to the basic specs of a 110cc ATV. Similar videos are available online for most cc levels and brands. This is just one we found describing the features of the ATV’s we use for training purposes.
This is part 1, of our three part series on How to ride an ATV. Keep watching in the new year for parts, 2 and 3.
See Ya in the Mudd!