ATVs, 4-wheelers, and Other Off-Road Vehicles

An ATV or an All Terrain Vehicle is a vehicle that is designed in such a manner that it can be used on various kinds of tracts, terrains or roads. These are sometimes called quads or quad bikes. The American National Standards Institute defines an ATV as a vehicle that uses low pressure tires along with a seat for the operator and a handlebar for steering. While this definition may make you feel that an ATV is a two or a three wheeler, an ATV can also be a four wheeler too. Driving an ATV on the streets is considered to be legal in some countries. However, this is not the case in most states of Australia, United States, Canada or England.

Most of the ATV's that have been developed are intended only for the driver. And this is also in line with the definition provided by the American national Standards Institute. However, there are some models that have been created that allow for the operator plus an additional rider. These are often called tandem ATV's. The design element of an ATV includes a large ground clearance, sturdy tires and a locking differential that is different for the front and the back.

ATV's were introduced in 1970's and in these early stages they caused an immediate cause of alarm with regards to security. The National Trauma Data bank analyzed that these were more dangerous than dirtbikes and this was attributed to the failure to wear proper gear.

If you are looking at buying your first ATV, there are various things that you need to keep in mind. The first thing that you need to do is to think about the specific category of ATV that you want to purchase. Think of the reason why you want to purchase an ATV and then take your call without being lured by the models that you see on the shop floor. A utility quad is one that you buy if you want to use it for taking material and stock up and down a farm or for carrying camping gear. It is not meant for recreation. Such vehicles usually have a stronger and stiffer suspension, full skid plates, tow hitch, large racks and a four stroke engine. These have better mud protection than the ATV's designed for recreational purposes. They have better torque and allow for a super slow first gear too. A weight between 150 pounds to 250 pounds and more can be attached to these vehicles.

A sports quad is a fast and lightweight machine. It may have a two stroke or a four stroke engine and it is tuned for maximum performance. They have 5 or 6 gears with a manual clutch and also include a reverse gear in most cases. The steering for these machines is extremely responsive and you will see that the vehicle responds to the lightest of touches.


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