A look at Some Essential ATV Accessories
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There’re many aftermarket ATV accessories and ATV parts for Utility Quads or four wheelers. The question is which ones do you really need for your off-road experience? We’ll examine some of the ATV accessories starting out with a few basics and then progress to the more advanced motorsports accessories.
Basic ATV tool kit
Most Quads come with a basic tool kit that should include a low-pressure tire gauge, several open-end wrenches, pair of pliers and a combination screwdriver/Phillips that also doubles as a handle for the spark plug socket. Carry a spare spark plug too!
I also carry fencing pliers (combination pliers, wire cutters, hammer and pry tool) they are great for removing staples in order to lower a section of fence for vehicle crossing when necessary. Afterward, the fence is restored back to normal by stapling the wire back into position on the fence posts. A very handy all-around tool.
Miscellaneous ATV accessories
- Tape, both duct and electrical.
- Tow rope.
- Small first aid kit.
- Flashlight(s) with extra batteries.
- Rain Poncho, cheap plastic fold-up type.
- Bungee cords in various sizes.
- Steel stake for winch anchor and prying tool.
- Ball for trailer hitch to attach tow straps too.
- Good quality gloves.
- Suitable boots for your riding style.
- Insulated coveralls for winter riding.
- Handheld 2-way radios.
- Handheld GPS, aways comes in handy.
- Knife and matches.
- ATV cover for overnight trips.
- Water bottles.
That takes care of some of the basic, but still important items. Now for some more ATV Accessories.
Recently, I got stuck in the sand and had to dig my way out. It took me about 15 minutes using my folding (fox-hole) shovel. I’ve had to use it several times in the snow, too. It’s small but does the job in a pinch.
Hatchet or small axe
Enables you to clear trail obstructions, cut firewood, and shape wood pieces into tools for getting unstuck.
I always carry a mini air compressor ($10 at Walmart) or small bicycle pump. The pump, along with a low pressure tire gauge and tire-plug repair kit, pretty much takes care of your off-road tire maintenance needs.
Back-up lights are inexpensive and
easy to install. I always mount one on all my ATVs. You would be surprised how many times it comes in handy for backing on and off a pickup truck or trailer at night. Back-up lights are great for any after dark situation that requires driving in reverse.
ATV Storage bag
You need someplace to carry many of the ATV accessories mentioned above, along with extra clothing, cameras, food, water etc. These bags come in many sizes, shapes and construction (soft or hard). There are rear-rack bags, front-rack bags, fender-bags and fuel-tank bags. You can buy just one, or any combination, to suit your needs.
Hand protection is very important too, especially when traveling through thick forests and brush. I’ve had tree branches hit my handlebar guard so hard that it caused me to lose steering control, still without injuring my hand.
ATV grips are usually hard rubber and rough on the hands, sometimes leaving blisters and bruises. I suggest that you purchase the soft foam and velcro type grips that easily install over your present grips, making the ride a much more pleasant experience.
Not everyone needs a winch, especially if you ride in good weather on dirt roads and groomed trails. For those of us who push the envelope on unimproved trails, snow, sand and mud, you shouldn’t leave home without one! Winches also give the rider confidence to go where you otherwise might not venture.
The tires that come stock on most ATVs are plenty adequate for moderate all-around riding conditions. Traction is fair to good and the ride is soft, just be prepared for punctures. For more demanding riding conditions, a tough 6 ply tire is in order. For more tire information see
ATV tire replacement tips.
Skid-plates and A-arm guards
Most late model ATVs come with plastic skid-plates and A-arm guards. These guards are ok for light duty riding, but, when you get into the rocks and uneven terrain, they just won’t hold up. I now put aftermarket, heavy duty skid plates and A-arm guards on all my bikes. Don’t forget front brush guards, too.
Helmets are now required in many jurisdictions and it just makes good sense to wear one. Always buy DOT approved models that suit your riding style. Me, I prefer an open-faced model with a full, flip-up face-shield. This type keeps the bugs, rocks, dust rain, wind and snow off your face and opens easily for some fresh air.
Good foot protection is, in my opinion, one of the most important ATV accessories for rough trail riders. Older ATV’s usually came with only a foot peg. I always purchased rugged aftermarket foot baskets for my older bikes. They saved my feet from numerous rocks, limbs and even snakes. Many newer ATVs come with strong plastic floorboards.
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