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A mud path with the tire tracks from a dirt bike imprinted in it. A mud path with the tire tracks from a dirt bike imprinted in it.
How-To Installation Product & Troubleshooting Problems Power Sport, ATV, UTV, Snowmobiles, Dirt Bikes, and Off-Roading
July 6, 2020

A QUICK 5 IMPORTANT TIPS FOR OFF-ROAD DRIVING

Ready to hit some trails or go mudding?

Off-road driving is a fun hobby for many drivers. Such driving requires more than turning the wheel and seeking adventure. Knowledge of how to traverse unpaved roadways and having the proper equipment can help off-roading enthusiasts avoid pitfalls. Anyone new to off-roading should know the basics, but even experienced off-roading enthusiasts can benefit from brushing up on their skills. The ROP Shop has provided this article to help their customers and others learn about basic ATV, UTV & dirt bike subjects to keep in mind when out doing motorsports.

1. EQUIPMENT

A vehicle equipped to traverse unpaved roads is a necessity. Although many ATV’s, UTV’s and dirt bikes are promoted for outdoor living, many need some modifications to handle the rigor of off-roading. While aftermarket experts can help motorists prepare their vehicles for off-road excursions, drivers should know that the wheelbase and clearance of their vehicles may need to be adjusted. Modifying traction control, choosing the right tires (and possibly lowering the air pressure for more grip), and determining if axle strength is sufficient are additional considerations.

2. SKILLS

Choosing the right off-road route is key, especially for novices. This means avoiding obstacles such as trees or rocks. The presence of existing tire tracks may help, but drivers should still anticipate muddy ruts or slippery conditions in areas that might already have been traversed.

Climbing hills can be tricky, and crossing deep water, descending hills, and crossing ditches is also challenging. Knowing to cross ditches at an angle, avoid braking when descending hills and skip fast-moving water until you are more experienced comes with time and probably some trial and error.

3. SPEED

One thing that can take some time to adjust to when off-road driving is slowing down. Navigating tricky terrain means slowing down considerably. Speed can be the enemy because reaction time is greatly diminished when off-roading. Slowing down means being able to gauge obstacles and focus on surroundings — including wildlife — more readily.

According to Popular Mechanics, much of off-roading takes place in low gear. Depending on what you are driving to do your off-roading, you might need to adjust. If you use a four-wheel drive or, for AWD vehicles, lock the center differential early on for maximum control.

4. EXTRA GEAR

Off-roaders are bound to get stuck from time to time. Recovery gear, such as towing straps, mats to place under stuck tires, hiking survival gear, and flares, can help in emergency situations.

A day off-roading on trails or in rural terrain can be an enjoyable way to spend time, but such driving requires skill and practice. You can find many accessories at www.theropshop.com

A man working on the underside of his ATV or UTV. A man working on the underside of his ATV or UTV.

5. MAINTENANCE

Finally, you need to ensure that your off-road vehicles are well maintained and running at peak performance. You don’t want your day of fun to be ruined by a broken-down vehicle, getting stranded, or worse  —  an accident caused by a faulty product. Give your ATV, UTV, or dirt bike a good inspection before taking any trip, and order the parts you need to protect yourself and those who will be with you. Check out The ROP Shop website (www.theropshop.com) for a complete list of parts and accessories to have the maximum fun during your off-roading experience. FC17A355

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