Riding Tips

Make sure your machine is well prepared. Use the PRE-RIDE CHECKLIST (below) and fix any small problems at home before they become big problems in the back country.

Make sure you have all of your safety gear. Always wear a compliant helmet as outlined in the Riding Gear section of the website, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. As the weather cools, you can further prepare by:

  • Dressing in layers.
  • Wearing a waterproof/breathable outer layer.
  • Wearing a wicking base layer (not cotton).
  • Wearing protective but comfortable footwear that could facilitate a long walk if necessary.
  • Keep a change of clothes in the car/truck in case you get wet.

Try not to ride alone. If you do ride alone consider using an emergency location transmitter. These units use satellites to locate you and/or send an emergency message in areas outside of cell phone serviced areas.

Make sure someone knows where you’re riding.Know where you are riding and stay within your abilities. If you don’t have the experience for a difficult trail, choose an easier option. Don’t let peer pressure ruin your ride or your machine.Never drink and ride.


  • Fuel Level
  • Engine Oil Level
  • Visible Engine Oil Leaks
  • Coolant Level (if applicable)
  • Brakes
  • Brake Fluid Level (if applicable)
  • Chassis (cracks, etc.)
  • Suspension (action, leaks, etc.)
  • Steering
  • Tires (pressure, condition, punctures)
  • Wheels and Wheel bearings
  • Air filter condition
  • Body work (loose nuts and bolts)
  • Controls, levers, cables, etc.
  • Lights
  • Battery
  • Toolkit


  • Wallet, ID, local club membership card / trail permit
  • Cell phone and charger or battery pack
  • Change of clothes
  • GPS or trail map
  • Emergency locator transmitter
  • First aid kit and emergency blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Food & Water

It’s always important to remember how far you can travel on an ATV or Side-by-Side in comparison to having to walk the same distance. If you get stuck a half hour ride into the back country it can takes you hours to walk out. Being prepared for the ride certainly goes a long way towards ensuring your ride is a great ride.

You can either download or order ATV Tips and Practice Guide or Tips for the ROV driver through COHV.

ATV & Quad Safety Week is June 3 to 12, 2022

Whether you’re joining the sport for the first time, coming back to riding after an extended time away, or looking forward to another incredible season of off-road adventures, these tips will keep you riding safely all season long: