Is your inner off-road enthusiast begging you to get a new ride? Are you tossing and turning at night thinking about ripping across some sand dunes on a four-wheeler? If you answered yes, chances are you’re ready to buy an ATV. While it may seem as simple as showing up to a dealer, picking a model, and calling it a day, there are some tips you should keep in mind before you open up your wallet. Here’s what you need to know if you’re getting ready to buy an ATV.
Know What You Want
Regardless of whether you’re going to a dealership or searching the internet for the perfect used ATV, it’s always a good idea to have a general concept of what you’re looking for in a ride. This means you need to do your research. Manufacturer sites are a great resource for seeing what’s available for sale. You’ll be able to get an idea of price points while also narrowing down your choices.
Keep in mind that different ATVs come with different sizes, body shapes, and engine capabilities, so there are a lot of different components to consider. A good way to narrow down your field of search is by creating a checklist of desired features. There are so many machines out there with different capabilities that a checklist will help prevent the buying process from getting too overwhelming.
Do an Inspection
While this is applicable to new purchases as well, inspecting the ATV should always be on your to-do list if you’re buying used. While it’s tempting to take an online listing at face value, never buy a vehicle sight unseen. It’s all too easy for a deceptive seller to fudge some of the claims on their listing or to include outdated photos of the vehicle.
When inspecting an ATV, make sure to take a look at the oil, the tires, and the coolant. Use the ATV’s dipstick to check the oil. If the owner has been regularly maintaining the vehicle, the oil should be an amber color. If it’s black, that means it’s dirty and likely hasn’t been changed in quite some time. Next, investigate the tires. If you see a lot of wear and tear, you may be able to use it to negotiate a lower price point. Keep in mind that you’ll need to find some ATV tires for sale so you’re not riding around on shredded rubber. Lastly, the coolant should be green or orange unless the owner states they’ve added aftermarket coolant. If the coolant looks oily, there may be engine problems and that’s a red flag.
Don’t Forget About Gear
So you did it. You bought an ATV, took it home, and can’t wait to ride. That’s when it hits you: you didn’t pick out ATV gear. Don’t let this happen to you. Know what gear you want to grab before you make a purchase. No matter what, get a helmet and at least some protective clothing. Safety is paramount on an ATV and if you’re an inexperienced rider, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to fall off of your machine. It also doesn’t hurt to have a basic tool kit for any maintenance issues and a first-aid kit to patch yourself up after one of those aforementioned falls.
Time to Ride
If the ATV buying process seems a little overwhelming, you’re not the only one. From makes and models to gearing up, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration before you make a purchase. Do a good amount of research and have a clear idea of what you do and don’t want in a ride. You’ll be off-roading sooner than you think!