Are you interested in ATV racing? If so, this is the post for you.
Maybe you’ve recently purchased a new or used ATV and want to test its’ power by competing against other riders. Or, perhaps you’ve had an ATV for years, but you’ve never considered racing it…until now. Whatever the case, if you’re ready to experience the thrills and excitement of ATV racing, we’ve got all of the information you need to know, right here, in our complete beginner’s guide.
So, hang on tight as we explore everything you need to know about ATV racing for beginners!
Off-Road Vehicle Recreation Across America
Off-road vehicle recreation is a popular activity among Americans who are looking for fun and adventure. The sport attracts people from all over the country, including thrillseekers, outdoorsmen (and women), hunters, and all kinds of other riders.
According to the 2008 National Report From the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (the most recent survey of its’ kind), over 18% of the United States population ages 16 years and up participated in off-highway vehicle recreation during the time that the survey took place.
ATVs and UTVs are two of the most common off-road picks. These two types of vehicles are similar, but ATVs only have just one seat, while UTVs have side-by-side seating. You can find out more about UTVs online, but in this post, we’ll focus on ATV riding and racing.
Most people ride their ATVs for fun. Some people use them as a convenient way to get around their property or job site or to travel hard-to-maneuver trails that can’t be accessed by automobile during outdoor excursions, such as hunting and camping. But, for riders with a need for speed, nothing beats ATV racing.
On Your Mark: How to Prepare For ATV Racing
So, you’ve decided you want to try your hand at racing ATVs?
Before you take part in a race, you’ll need to prepare yourself and your vehicle. Preparation is a key factor in every successful race, whether it’s the first or the thousandth time you’ve participated.
Know the Law
First, you’ll need to review any local or state laws regarding ATVs to jog your memory on any that you might have forgotten. Breaking the law during a race is a sure way to get disqualified.
Schedule Any Necessary Maintenance & Repairs
Prior to race day, schedule a maintenance tune-up. If your ATV needs any repairs or needs to have any parts replaced, make sure that arrange for this well in advance.
Get Your Race Gear
Be sure that you have all of the equipment and race gear that you’ll need to perform your best, including a helmet, goggles, gloves, sturdy shoes and your race-day uniform (usually pants and a long-sleeve shirt or racing jersey). It’s important that your clothing, shoes, and helmet are made with high-quality materials and provide a good fit.
Check Your Health
Also, it’s a good idea to schedule a check-up with your general practitioner before signing up to race your ATV. Tell your doc about your racing plans, and make sure that your health and your heart are up for the challenge. If you have certain medical conditions or a history of heart problems, your physician might advise against your participation in a race.
Join the Club
Last, but not least, you’ll need to join the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA). Membership in ATVA is required for anyone who competes in ATVA-sanctioned and AMA (American Motorcyclist Association)-sanctioned races.
Joining ATVA is easy and prices start at just $49 dollars for a one-year membership. If you have a race in the near future and need to rush the process, you can call the toll-free number that’s listed on their website.
Get Set: Plan For Your First Race
Once you’ve received the okay from your doctor, and you’ve gotten your wheels and your gear in place, it’s time to start planning for the big day.
Choose a Race
Obviously, you’ll need to decide on a race. You can join either a competitive or recreational race via the AMA/ ATVA website. Although the choice is ultimately up to you, recreational racing tends to attract amateurs, while competitive racing is a top pick among professionals.
You’ll find a wide variety of ATV races listed on the ATVA/AMA site. You might want to choose one or two to attend as a spectator before becoming a participant. Take a look at the racecourse and the skills that are required for each race and make sure that you’re comfortable with the one you choose.
Arrange Travel & Accommodations
After you sign up to join a race, clear your calendar, make travel arrangements, and book your accommodations (if needed) as soon as possible. Then, you won’t have to worry about this as race day approaches and, you’ll be able to focus all of your attention on the race.
Go! It’s Time to Ride!
Before you know it, race day will arrive.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be. You’ll receive instructions letting you know the protocol for checking in and the schedule of the day’s events and activities. At check-in, you’ll most likely be given a number to wear during the race.
Make sure you follow all of the rules for your event. And, be sure that you display your number so that it can be clearly viewed by judges and spectators.
If you’re able (and the rules allow), you might want to drive by and check out the racecourse.
Finally, get in a good night’s rest and eat a light, nutritious breakfast before heading out for your first race. Remember, race traffic can be a pain, so give yourself extra time to get to your location, park and find the start line.
Remember: Be Safe & Have Fun!
ATV racing attracts people of all kinds, from all over the United States (and beyond!).
Since you’re a beginner, you’ll probably find that some of your co-competitors have more experience. But, don’t let this make you nervous. After all, everyone was a beginner at some point, and there are probably plenty of participants racing for their first time, too.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, just remember to be safe and have fun. Everything else will fall into place.
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