People look at ATVs and they think of mud, muck, water, and dirt. Those are the kind of environments that ATVs excel in. After all, they are called all-terrain vehicles which sort of implies that they can manage, well, all kinds of terrain including wet areas.
However, when you look at an ATV, you’ll notice that a lot of the inner workings and electrical systems seem to be uncovered. ATVs typically don’t have enclosed bodies which means that water can spray up into the engine compartment as well as at the rider.
If you go through a body of water like a stream or brook, the underside of your ATV will not be sealed against water. This can make you wonder whether ATVs are actually safe to get wet.
The truth is, yes, of course you can get your ATV wet. That is, in essence, what they are designed for. They won’t flinch at a bit of rain, mud, or even small streams and rivers.
ATVs do have a limit, however. They are not submersible machines and should not be ridden through high water. If significant amounts of water enter the engine, it will cause damage.
You can overcome this by using a snorkel adapter for the air intake pipe. Like 4 x 4 cars, this snorkel adapter increases the height of the air intake pipe which makes it less likely that water will get in.
However, snorkel adapters still do not make your ATV fully submersible. You will need to avoid fully submerging your ATV.
Can you ride an ATV in the rain?
You can indeed ride your ATV in the rain. ATVs are designed to handle mud, muck, and rain with ease. However, there are a few things you should bear in mind.
Firstly, you need to remember that most ATVs are not enclosed. This means that you are going to get wet if you ride in the rain. Our advice is to make sure you dress appropriately with waterproofs and layers. This will keep you warm as you ride.
The other thing to remember is that rain makes for dangerous driving conditions.
If the rain is very heavy, you’ll find that your visibility is reduced. You might also struggle with rain drops on your visor. This can warp and impair your vision.
Rain will also make the ground slippery and reduce the traction you get. When you’re out riding in the rain, make sure you adjust your speed according to the ground conditions. It’s important to remember that you can’t drive like it’s dry in the rain.
Finally, you need to be aware of how the rain affects different kinds of terrain. Streams and rivers, for example, will swell in the rain. This could mean that your route becomes impassable.
Dirt will become mud and you’ll need to adapt your driving style to compensate. Rocks may become slick and slippery, while sand and gravel can become loose.
Can you ride an ATV in the snow?
You can but you will need to winterize it in a similar way to winterizing your car.
Snow presents challenges that standard, off the line ATVs aren’t designed to cope with. The major issue is the slippery surface of ice or compacted snow.
You’ll need to invest in some wider tires with deeper treads. These will provide better grip and traction on ice and snow. If the snow is particularly bad, you might want to buy some snow chains for your ATV tires.
Another thing to check and change in time for winter is your oil. You need to fill your tank with oil that can withstand lower temperatures without freezing.
You should also add a little antifreeze to your gasoline before your ride. This reduces the condensation that can build up when burning gas in cold conditions. In severe cases, condensation can actually break your gas tank, so it’s super important to reduce it as much as possible.
Finally, you’ll want to check how your carburetor is coping in the cold weather. Sometimes it is necessary to add a carburetor heater to prevent damage and maintain operation.
Once you’ve prepped your ATV, you’ll need to prepare yourself. It is important to wear layers to stay warm. If your ATV breaks down, you don’t want to freeze while you wait for help.
Just because you’re layering up, it doesn’t mean you can skip the safety gear. Always wear your helmet and padding when you’re riding. The snow won’t save you from a crash, but your helmet will.
When you’ve finished your ride, make sure to check and rinse your ATV. Snow and ice that builds up on or under your ATV can cause damage if they get a chance to solidify.
Also, the salt that is put down as grit can corrode your ATV. If you frequently ride on gritted streets or trails, make sure you wash your ATV after use. If you don’t properly rinse and clean your ATV, you’ll find that it has rust spots, come spring.
Will rain hurt my ATV?
Unless it’s acid rain, no, rain will not hurt your ATV. These four wheeled vehicles are designed to cope with rough and rugged terrain and weather. A bit of rain will do the machine itself no harm.
You can easily and safely drive your ATV in the rain, provided you take the conditions into account. You can also safely store your ATV outside in the rain. Neither of these things will hurt your ATV.
Storing your ATV outside in all weather can reduce its lifespan. Mainly this is because some of the materials are damaged by UV light or constant heating or cooling. The rain does little damage in comparison to the sun or temperature changes.
The only thing to be aware of is fabrics like ATV racks or seat covers. These can be damaged by the rain even if they claim to be water resistant. Over time, these fabrics will get wet and fail to dry completely. This causes mold and fungus to grow.