Whether you race ATVs, ride them for fun, or use one for good use around the farm, it's always best practice to incorporate a pre-ride checklist and include it as part of routine maintenance. An ATV's maintenance needs to closely resemble that of a dirt bike, not an automobile. The lives of the engine oil, coolant, and other lubricants get replaced based on the hour of usage rather than miles.
Remembering to double check that your ATV is ready for action is something easily forgotten. That's why a pre-ride checklist is so important. Riding with a low oil level or damaged suspension can ruin the day's ride, or worse, sideline your quad with expensive repairs.
So, before heading out to the track or trails, or before hitching up a trailer for yard work, perform a pre-ride check and use the following as a guide. You may also want to check your user’s manual.
1. Check Oil Level
Check the oil before every ride. It's an easy way to discover a leak or other issue that can quickly burn oil. If the oil level keeps dropping in between oil changes, you may need to check your ATV for repairs.
2. Check Air Filter
Every time you check your filter, you'll know when it's time for a fresh filter. Have a pre-oiled filter ready in a bag so you can clean it after the ride.
3. Check Coolant Level
ATV engines operate hard and at high temperatures. Low coolant levels can cause serious damage to the internal parts of the ATV's engine.
4. Check Brake Fluid Level
Top off the brake fluid if necessary. If you have to top it off all the time, you may want to check the brake line for a leak or damage.
5. Check Chain and Sprocket for Wear
Look for tooth wear, cupping or bent teeth on the sprockets. Check for rust or corrosion on the chain. Also, look for a flat-wear pattern on the top or bottom of the chain. Replace all of the drive components if just one needs replacing.
6. Check Chain Slack and Lube
While you're checking for wear, double check the chain slack, then add a coat of lubrication. The rule of thumb on chain sag is two to three fingers of slack.
7. Tighten All Nuts and Bolts
See those bolts holding the wheels to the A-arm? Always check the bolts holding the wheel to the A-arm. Give a quick wrench check to all the other nuts and bolts throughout your CFMOTO ATV or side by side.
8. Check and Adjust Control Levers
Tightening all the nuts and bolts before every ride reduces the chances that the levers and controls get bumped when riding. Most drivers check their mirrors before driving off, so check your controls and levers.
9. Check Air Pressure
Air pressure changes with elevation, so check your tires just moments before you take off. If you're heading out to the track or riding trails, wait until you reach your destination to check the air pressure. Add or subtract air as necessary.
10. Check Suspension
Check the tie rods and ball joints for any damage or wear and tear. Riding on a damaged suspension when racing or traveling at a high rate of speed is dangerous and can result in serious injury.
Premier ATVs for Your Next Adventure
If you are looking for the perfect ATV for all your off-road needs, choose CFMOTO USA. We offer a wide range of ATVs that can handle adventure you want to go on. To find out more about our all-terrain products, visit a CFMOTO dealership near you.