As freeing and fun as it is to ride your ATV in the rain, there’s a lot you need to consider while you are riding. Normal conditions change when the rain starts to fall. There are a different set of best practices to help you stay safe when the terrain gets slick. Keep in mind that after days or weeks without rain, oil buildup on the terrain makes the first rainfall even more treacherous.
Use the Right Equipment
Before you hit the trail, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right equipment. First and foremost, this means wearing the right clothes. Not only will you protect yourself from the elements, but you’ll also prevent having a miserable riding day. You’ll want rain gear that repels the water but also is breathable and doesn’t get in the way.
If you find yourself in an area that receives a lot of rain, you could invest in a one-piece rain suit for seamless protection and less gear to haul around. However, they’re a little more expensive and tend to be bulkier, so if you’re staying in the area, odds are, a waterproof jacket and pants are enough. On top of your clothing, your helmet will need to be able to keep the water out, and fog-resistant eyewear is a must.
Slow Down in Wet or Marshy Areas
As stated above, not all rainy driving conditions are the same. The first big rainfall after a string of dry or hot days can make for slicker conditions when it mixes with the oil buildup on the terrain. Plus, the harder the rainfall, the bigger the spray from other vehicles. And standing water can lead to dangerous hydroplaning.
The only general piece of advice for all rainy conditions is to slow down and take it easy. Acceleration and braking will take longer, so give yourself plenty of room between other ATV riders. Avoid hard corners in the rain, as you’re more likely to lose traction and slip. If you can help it, avoid roads with slick surfaces altogether.
Low-Traction Surfaces and Obstacles
You also want to know how to identify low-traction obstacles so you can avoid them. Things like intersections or other high traffic areas generally create low traction or slippery conditions. Sometimes, they’re impossible to avoid. When you come across a hazardous area that you just can’t get around on the ATV trail, make sure you slow down and keep the course. Avoid making sudden changes and allow your momentum to help you coast through the hazard. If you’re turning through a trail intersection, give yourself enough time to slow down and speed up again. You’ll also want to keep an eye on other drivers. Whether it’s an aggressive driver or a confused driver, you’ll need to employ defensive driving habits just in case someone pulls out in front of you.
Ride in Drier Areas if Possible
Actively look for dry spots to take advantage of. The ruts in the terrain caused by repeated use can also form trenches of water that can lead to hydroplaning. The middle of these two trenches is probably a safer place for you to be, even if it’s not perfectly dry. It’s ideal when that middle patch is dry, as you’ll avoid slippery terrain altogether. And you’ll give yourself more traction and more control.
Trail-Ready CFMOTO ATVs and Side-by-Sides
When you are ready to get out on the trail, you want equipment you can depend on. We manufacture top-of-the-line ATVs and off-road vehicles for your work and play. Get out and experience the outdoors with CFMOTO. For more information, contact your nearest CFMOTO dealer today.