Summer is widely considered the ideal time to ride your all-terrain vehicle (ATV). The sun is out, the trail is dry, and everyone is generally in a good mood but that does not mean that you have to wait for those three precious months to roll around each year before you can hop onto your ATV and take it for a spin.
In a province like Quebec, where the seasons are clearly defined, you need to adapt to the changing weather conditions in order to be able to do what you love all year round. Riding your ATV is no different.
Although you might not have considered such a possibility before, you can definitely ride your ATV in snow. With a few small modifications, your vehicle will be ready to take on any kind of snowy winter terrain. Keep reading to discover how to prepare your ATV for winter and what you should do to stay safe on those icy tracks.
Can ATVs shovel snow?
Yes, your ATV can be used to effectively clear away accumulated snow on your driveway. One of the most underrated and overlooked benefits of an ATV is that it makes snow shoveling a million times easier.
Gone are the days when you had to bundle up and take your lone shovel out to the front of the house for a job that could take hours to complete. All you need to do is attach a plow blade to the front of your ATV and start driving. Once you have set the depth that you want the ATV to plow, you can begin straight away.
Not only is this far easier than manual shoveling but it is also a great deal of fun. Along with the satisfaction of knowing that you are completing a necessary task, you can enjoy the added bonus of your regular ATV buzz.
In fact, it can be so enjoyable that you might end up volunteering to be the designated neighborhood plower, going from driveway to driveway in order to ride in the snow and spend more time on your ATV. Just make sure you stick to the speed limit.
Do I need ATV snow tires?
Yes, we recommend fitting ATV snow tires in the winter. Although ATVs are all-terrain vehicles, they do not come ready to endure every single type of terrain. While generic tires may be able to deal with a small amount of snow, the winter conditions that are typical to the east coast of the USA and Canada require tires that are a bit more enduring.
Luckily, the process of changing a tire is not too complicated, and can be done every year when you change the tires on your regular car. When it comes to winter tires for your ATV, you are going to want to look for tires that are rigid and wide, and have large paddles and raised ribs. Tires that meet these conditions will be able to gain enough traction to ensure that your off-road vehicles can remain firmly planted on the ground without skidding.
How much snow can an ATV handle?
In theory, an ATV can handle around two feet of snow. However, in order for it to be capable of reaching this capacity, it needs to have gone through a series of modifications.
The main modifications that you will need to make if you want to ride your ATV through a large body of snow are:
- Traction modifications
- Power modifications
- Plowing and terrain modifications
3 tips for riding ATVs in the snow
To help ensure that your ATV riding is as safe as possible in the winter, we have collated some of our best ATV winter riding tips.
1. Know your ATV
It is essential that you know your ATV inside out. Whenever you are considering riding it on new terrains or in unusual conditions, you should consult your user manual in order to have a clear idea about your vehicle’s capabilities.
Most ATVs have a minimum temperature that they can function in, so you need to first find out what that temperature is. If the temperature in which you want to ride your vehicle is lower than minimum, you should consult the area of the manual that informs you how to modify your ATV to be able to deal with colder conditions.
There are many ways to reduce the minimum running temperature of your vehicle. These include investing in an engine block heater, a battery charger, or freeze-resistant fluid. Whatever you do, do not go out in freezing cold winter conditions without checking your user manual.
Changing your tires is a must if you want to ride in the snow. The tires are what dictate how good your traction will be on the road. If your traction is bad, you won’t have a good grip on the road and could end up sliding all over the place. This can be extremely dangerous, as you will find it difficult to actually stay on top of the snow and may end up losing control of your vehicle.
By simply changing your ATV tires for winter tires every year, you will be able to enjoy winter ATV riding, knowing that your vehicle is as safe as it can be. In order to gain extra peace of mind, you can also attach ATV tire chains to your vehicle. These will provide you with a better tread and safer ride.
You also have the option to ditch tires altogether. If you are only planning on using your ATV in the winter, it might be more economical and efficient to install ATV tracks on your vehicle instead of tires. These tracks are designed for winter and will give you the smoothest possible ride in the snow.
3. Do not ride alone
Although in summer, you can sneak away for a little drive on your own to clear your head and get your adrenaline fix, you should not drive your ATV alone in winter. Even though winter riding can be safe if you do it properly, it is more dangerous than riding during any other time of the year.
The snow and ice on the trails and even on flat public roads makes riding any kind of vehicle more dangerous, which is why you always need back up with you when you ride. Since ATV driving is a social sport, it should not be hard to find someone to take with you. All you need to do is to find an ATV buddy and make sure you have each other's back if something were to go wrong.
What are the best ATV snow accessories?
If you want to use your four-wheeler in snow, there are some things you should consider investing in to make your riding experience smoother, safer, and more convenient.
Here are some of the best ATV snow accessories that you should buy for the cold season:
- Tire chains
- Additional lights
- Snow plow
- Waterproof clothing
- Face and head protection
- Track kit
- First aid supplies
- ATV covers
Personalize your ATV
Riding a four-wheeler in snow is an amazing experience but you need to make sure your vehicle can handle it. To begin with, you should personalize your vehicle to enable it to meet your winter needs. At Perfex Industries, we sell a wide range of ATV accessories to personalize your vehicle such as:
We stock customizable components for eight of the most popular ATV brands on the market, so no matter how you are looking to transform your ATV, we can help.