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   Getting Ready for the Riding Season

Welcome to SPRING!  Spring is that time of year when many of us dust off our quad that has been neglected sitting in the corner of the garage, or maybe outside in the cold all winter. 

After winter storage, it’s time to give your long neglected ride a once over to make sure your ATV/UTV is ready for another fun filled season of use.  If you properly readied your machine for storage, getting it ready for this season should be a Piece Of Cake (POC), and take less than four hours to complete.

Items to do before your first ride of the season:

          1)  Check the tires and rims, are they still properly inflated, are there any cracks or breaks in the side wall?  How about the rims, are they bent?

          2)  Check the battery, is the water level right?  If it’s sealed all you can do is clean the terminals and make sure the connections are tight, both on the battery and the starter solenoid, as well as the ground wire where it connects to the frame.

          3)  Have the local wildlife (mice) found your machine, made a nest or taken up residence while dining on the wires and whatever else may taste good to eat? 

          4)  Change the oil and filter.  Check the fluid levels in the differential and other gear boxes.  If it's been more than two years it may be time to change the gear box fluids.

          5)  Check the tool kit; Does it still have the tools and other items you need in case of a break down on the trail?  Does it have the items needed to fix a flat?  Don’t forget the duct tape.  First aid kit?

          6)  How about the gas?  If it smells like turpentine it's time to dump it and start with fresh fuel.  After a long storage period, I always add a few ounces of carburetor cleaner making sure I follow the directions on the container.

          7)  Look it over thoroughly; Are there any bent things that should be straight, or straight things that should be bent?  Is the skid plate securely attached, or is it tied up with barb wire?  Check the tire alignment, does it look like it’s sitting level or is it leaning to one side? 

If you are unable, or don’t want to fix the machine yourself, take it to your local friendly ATV/UTV repair shop before you ride a mile or more down the trail.  There’s no fun in walking or pushing your machine back to your tow vehicle, just because you failed to give your machine a good visual inspection and required service before the first ride of the year.  


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