ATVEA recommends that operators and passengers of ATVs, regardless of the type of use, wear a helmet at all times.
In addition to a helmet, ATVEA recommends that riders wear appropriate protective gear at all times including all items mentioned above (non-exhaustive list).
ATVEA recommends that operators and passengers of SbS, regardless of the type of use, wear appropriate head protection when operating the vehicle.
Please consult your owner’s manual, or contact your dealership for information on suitable use of head protection. In addition, appropriate protective gear including other items mentioned above (non-exhaustive list) may be recommended by the manufacturer.
Although ATVs and Side-by-Sides maybe fun to ride, they are not toys. Only ride an ATV which is specified for your age (youth models exist) and always supervise riders younger than 16. You should never allow somebody (even adults!) to ride or drive your ATV or SbS unless they possess the appropriate driving licence and have received some basic training.
Although some homologated ATVs and SbS are allowed on-road, ATVs & SbS are primarily designed to travel on unpaved surfaces e.g. trails and their use on paved surfaces should be avoided or limited to the minimum (e.g. to go from one trail to another). If riding on paved surface in unavoidable, users are advised to be extremely careful when doing so and to adapt their driving behaviour accordingly.
Whenever motor vehicles, motorcycles or tractors are forbidden, the rule generally applies for ATVs & SbS as well. Obey trail markers and closure signs. There are many reasons why an area may be closed including the existence of fire hazard, refuge to wildlife or plant life and safety hazards. The reasons may not be obvious but if it is posted as closed, stay out.
ATVs & SbS users share the environment with other outdoor activity enthusiasts. In order to maintain an enjoyable and pleasurable coexistence, users must avoid excessive sound levels, minimise their impact on the terrain, respect the natural surroundings and wildlife, and behave responsibly towards other trail users and local residents.
ATVs are rider-active vehicles meaning that the operators will be required to move their weight to allow the machine to handle correctly, hence providing safe manoeuvring performance.
Body position is paramount to an ATV rider’s safety irrespective of the speed that the ATV is travelling. To operate an ATV in maximum security conditions, riders must learn safe riding techniques to position themselves correctly on the machine depending on the terrain and motion. For example, riding with your weight far forward stabilizes the vehicle when climbing steep slopes. ATVEA strongly recommends to all riders to undertake ATV rider training course for a minimum of 4,5 hours.
Side-by-Sides may look similar to 4x4 cars but they are very different in design and usage. Your SbS handles much differently than other vehicles such as cars, trucks, go-carts or golf-cars. Its steering response will depend on the capabilities and limitations of your specific vehicle.
We recommend you to read carefully the owner’s manual and to take a training course when available.
In principle, ATVs are manufactured for the rider only: the seat is designed with a long length to assist the rider-active use. You should never carry a passenger, unless your machine is specifically designed and equipped by the manufacturer to do so. We call these ATVs “Type II” and you can recognize them easily: they are longer with a padded seat and additional footrests for the passenger. Specific riding recommendations apply for ATVs Type II, so read carefully your owners’ manual and make sure you understand them fully. If you are not sure, ask your local dealer for advice.
When driving a SbS, operators should always fasten their seatbelts. Depending on the vehicle maximum speed and homologation, the seat belt type may vary (either 2-points or 3-points linkage). This should not preclude users to wear a helmet.
The seatbelt requirement aims at ensuring operator and passengers’ body always remain within the protected area and preventing any safety hazard: otherwise, even the ROPS will be ineffective to protect you.
All the answers above are good thing to remember when braking but to apply both brakes simultaneously is the most important. Of course, your braking technique will depend upon your ATV’s braking system (individual front and rear brake controls, or linked brakes operated by a single control) and the type of terrain you are riding on. When operating in four-wheel-drive mode, keep in mind that using only the front brake or the rear brake has the effect of braking both the front and rear wheels, even if the vehicle is not equipped with linked brakes.
Other important tips:
The cargo bed of SbS is designed to carry loads and should under no conditions be used to carry passengers. It is forbidden by law as passengers are totally exposed and can suffer from severe injuries even at low speed. Instead of taking such a risk, take a look at the SbS line-up: they are available in various seating configurations and the biggest models can carry safely 4+ passengers.
Before towing a trailer, read the Owner’s Manual to make sure your vehicle can be used for towing. Keep in mind that only experienced riders should tow a trailer, and that a trailer will affect your vehicle’s handling and braking ability. To ensure that you do not exceed your vehicle’s load capacity you need to consider the trailer tongue weight. Refer to your ATV or SbS and trailer’s owner’s manuals for information on how to properly load your trailer and determine maximum weight capacity. When towing a trailer, follow these general guidelines:
Before going for ride, you should always perform a full-check of your vehicle to minimize the chance of being injured or stranded. The pre-check should include (but not limited to):
Please check your owner’s manual for more information.
As you can ride farther in one hour than you can walk in a day, always ride with a tool kit (including for instance first aid kit, food and water, tools & equipment, cell phone, appropriate safety apparel, vehicle recovery kit, work gloves, operator’s/owner’s manual, pen and paper).
Finally, always plan ahead your ride by checking weather conditions, travel maps & regulations. It is recommended to ride in a group of two or more (the “buddy principle”) or at least tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
Cargo affects how an ATV/SbS handles. Before hauling cargo, consult the owner’s manual to determine weight limits and never exceed them. When loading cargo, keep the cargo centred both longitudinally and transversely, as much as possible. Place heavier objects on the bottom and lighter objects on the top to keep the vehicle from being too top-heavy, increasing the risk of rollover.
Consider making two trips when you are transporting a lot of cargo or heavy cargo, especially in rough terrain. Secure the cargo with a net, bungee cords, straps, or ropes to prevent it from shifting. You could lose control of the vehicle if cargo shifts while you are traveling.
Take extra precautions when carrying liquid (e.g. a sprayer or water tank): when a liquid sloshes back and forth, weight shifts on the vehicle which could affect its centre of gravity.
Ensure that tanks carrying liquid do not exceed the load carrying capacity. You should look for tanks with a low centre of gravity and internal baffles to reduce liquid surge and improve stability when turning and on slopes.
While going for a ride, you should always have an environmental friendly behaviour and limit your impact as much as possible. In many countries, riding outside designated trails in public areas is forbidden is order to protect the natural habitat. When riding on the trail, you should always be courteous towards other users e.g. by giving right-of-way to ramblers. In all cases, you should ride carefully, at a reasonable speed, and avoid excessive noise (which stresses wildlife, annoys landowners and other users) to minimize your impact on the soil and the environment.