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Prepping Your Ride for the Summer

Don't Forget the Insurance

Published in the May 2014 Issue Published online: May 14, 2014 White Out & Wide Open—The Blog Rick Drewry
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Which parts do you recommend inspecting closely before the start of the summer riding season?

Before the start of the summer riding season, riders should closely inspect several parts of their ATV, including:
Carburetor and Air Filter – If your model engine is carbureted, take some time to clean out the bowl and check the linkage. For fuel-injected and carbureted models, you should clean or replace the air filter element before the start of every season.
• Grease Fittings – Make sure to grease the ATV’s fittings, by taking the time to check the owner’s manual for all locations. Depending on the model you own, there could be at least one or two fittings you didn’t see or might have forgotten about.
• Chain - Adjust the tension and lubricate thoroughly.
• Tire Pressure – Although some tires may not seem low, having the right pressure helps keep them seated on the bead. Take the time to check the tire pressure before riding.
Battery Connections – You can check battery connections by un-bolting the battery cables and using a soft wire brush to clean the battery posts, the cables and the bolts. When you are re-assembling, make sure to use electrical contact grease.
• Check Oil – When checking the oil before the season starts make sure to check not only the oil level, but also check for moisture in the oil. If you see water on the dipstick or if the oil is milky, change the oil even if it isn’t due for an oil change.
• Spark Plugs – Once a year, take the time to inspect your spark plugs and evaluate if you should clean or replace them. By doing this, you can get an indication of how your engine is performing. Oil on the plugs could be an indication that you have engine wear or a mechanical problem that needs to be addressed. You can also tell if the ATV is running rich or lean, in which case there are a few things you can do to correct the problem.
• Coolant – Test your antifreeze and replace it, if necessary. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended changing intervals.

What are the major areas that will likely need attention if the ATV sat in storage during the winter?
If your ATV sat in storage over the winter, the top three major areas that will need attention include the oil, carburetor/ air filter and the grease fittings. Ignoring these parts before starting to ride your ATV for the summer season can result in potential costly repairs.

What’s the biggest mistake owners typically make when prepping an ATV for the summer?


The biggest mistake owners typically make when prepping an ATV for the summer is not doing any type of inspection of their ATV and just start riding. This can cause immediate problems and, in the long run, shorten the lifespan of many components of the ATV.

What are the advantages of doing preventive maintenance on an ATV?


By taking the time to do preventive maintenance on an ATV, you’ll save money in the long run. Also, maintenance is a lot easier than fixing costly, unplanned failures. Lastly, by taking these steps, you’ll be able to know the ATV is performing at its best at all times and won’t let you down on the trails.

How often should owners review their ATV insurance policies?

It is most important when you first take out the policy to know what is covered and what is not. Once a year or every other year after that, make sure that the coverage you are paying for fits your ATV and how you use it. For example, some people will drop the collision coverage from their policy when their ATV gets older and less valuable.

What red flags should they look for
when shopping for insurance?

Stay on the lookout for insurance policies that are only for part of the year. You will want coverage year round and don’t want to be limited on when you can take your ATV out

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