When you purchase an ATV or UTV, there’s a lot of information to take in.
In order for you to be a well informed rider, we rounded up helpful advice about new or used ATVs and UTVs, shopping tips, safety equipment, and things to do.
Keep reading to discover some things you need to know a before hitting the trails!
Know What You Want: ATV or UTV?
To begin, determine if you would prefer an ATV or UTV.
ATV stands for all-terrain vehicle, and generally is used recreational purposes. Because an ATV is meant for the joy of riding, they tend to be smaller than a UTV. UTV stands for utility-terrain vehicle, and is both functional and fun. It can be used for hauling miscellaneous items or cruising your favorite muddy trails.
After determining the kind of vehicle you’d like, decide between getting used or buying new.
When buying used, make sure you give the ATV or UTV a thorough test drive and ask about vehicle history. Doing so will inform you of the condition of the vehicle or the potential for maintenance needs.
When buying new, you’ll typically visit a dealership to explore your options. This is where you can look into different styles, colors, accessories, and more to get exactly what you want.
Where to Look for an ATV or UTV
It’s easy to find a new or quality used ATV or UTV. When making a purchase of an ATV or UTV, you can shop in-person or online.
If you prefer to keep your shopping local, visit dealerships around town to see what they offer. Most dealerships have new and used options—call ahead to know for sure.
Must-Have ATV & UTV Safety Equipment
Accidents happen. Take the necessary safety precautions that will protect you from the unexpected. Both an ATV and UTV, whether it’s new or used, require the same type of safety gear.
You’ll need to find a special helmet that fits snug. ATV Freedom recommends that you shouldn’t be able to fit your thumb between the helmet and your forehead.
Get a pair of goggles to protect your eyes from dirt, rocks, and dust on the trails. Goggles will also keep sweat out of your line of vision, so you can focus on the ride ahead.
You won’t regret buying yourself a pair of sturdy boots for riding. Find a pair that offers you enough foot support while also providing protection from the heat coming off the engine.
Upper Body Protection
Protect your chest and arms by wearing a long sleeve shirt or thick jacket specially made for riders. Covering your entire upper body will keep your skin safe if a fall happens.
Gloves can seem like a luxury item, but most ATV and UTV riders recommend protecting your hands with a pair. While you ride, you’ll likely be gripping the handle bars tightly the entire time. This can lead to sore or blistered hands.
Making it Street Legal
ATVs and UTVs are legal to ride on roads and highways in South Dakota. But most are not completely ‘street ready’ when first purchased. To get an ATV or UTV ready for the road, you will need to:
1. Get it titled and licensed
2. Install a horn and rear view mirror
3. Make sure the headlights and brake lights are working properly.
4. Install an exhaust and muffler
For more information, call or visit your local county courthouse.
Recreational Trails That Won’t Disappoint
The South Dakota terrain offers fun trails for ATV and UTV riders to explore. Here are two popular locations for riding in our great state!
- Talsma’s Trail Park
Talsma’s Trail Park is located on the east side of South Dakota near Yankton has excellent trails for all rider levels—whether you’re a beginner or professional.
- Northern Black Hills
According to Travel South Dakota, the Black Hills National Forest has more than 600 miles of trails. If you’re looking for a more scenic trail, you’ll love these trails.
Outdoor Work Your UTV Can Assist With
With a UTV, you can get outdoor work done faster and more efficiently. If you’re doing yard work with a companion, you’ll enjoy the comfortable side-by-side seating a UTV offers.
Here are several ideas for work to get done with the help of a UTV. Some require special utility attachments to get the job done.
- Snow plowing
- Killing weeds
- Field plowing
- Raking the yard
- Spreading loose rock or seeds
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