|4×4||Foot Brake||Spark Plug|
Today’s vehicles offer a number of different drive train systems designed to help out in slippery conditions. For example, a four-wheel drive vehicle may come equipped with “Full-time 4WD”, “Part-time 4WD”, or “Automatic 4WD”.
The first digit refers to the number of wheels, the second digit refers to the number of driven wheels. 4×4 (four by four) is a vehicle with four wheels that are powered by four wheels (4WD). 4×2 (four by two) is a vehicle with four wheels that’s powered by two wheels (2WD).
Synonyms: 4wd, 4×4, 4wheeling
Children’s ATVs are smaller than the other different types of ATVs. They usually come between 50cc and 110cc, and in some cases go up to 125cc. They offer little or no suspension, little power and an automatic transmission or no gears at all.
Synonyms: Kids ATV
To reduce the air pressure in a vehicle’s tires in order to improve traction while offroading. When you reduce the tire’s air pressure you make the tire’s footprint bigger, which gives you more surface area to get traction in sand and dirt.
While offroad you can air down to 10-15 lbs per square inch (psi, or lbs/in^2) and get a noticeable increase in traction. Just be sure to re-inflate the tires when you get back on the pavement, as they will decrease fuel mileage, reduce handling and will be more prone to un-beading from the rim in corners if you drive on cement with aired-down tires.
An ATV is short for All Terrain Vehicle. It describes any of the many different types of 3, 4, 6 and 8 wheeled motorized vehicles designed to be driven off-road.
The most common ATVs are used for sport and work. There are nearly limitless accessories you can get for your quad to enhance performance, capability, and looks.
Synonyms: 4-wheeler, quad, quad-bike, ATV
There are two types of transmissions on ATVs, automatic and manual. An automatic transmission change gears automatically based on engine speed. These types of transmissions automatically change gear ratios as the ATV moves. This frees the driver from having to shift gears manually.
Automatic transmissions are typically found on youth ATVs and utility ATVs. On a youth ATV, it gives the youth more confidence while learning to ride because they don’t have to worry about learning to use a manual transmission as they start riding.
Utility ATVs often use automatic transmissions to make it easier to tow, plow or do other types of work while using the ATV.
Bump starting an ATV is a method of starting the engine without the use of a kick-starter or electric starter. It can only be done with a manual transmission.
Bump starting an ATV is done by putting the ATV into gear, getting the quad rolling at more than a few miles per hour, then releasing the clutch to start the motor. It works by substituting the starter motor or kick starter with the wheels to turn the motor and causing it to fire.
Synonyms: push start, compression start
CCs (Engine Displacement)
The displacement of an internal combustion engine (ICE) is usually measured in cubic centimeters, or CCs. The number of CCs in an engine is written as 500cc which is equal to half a liter, or 30.5 inches.
The total number of CCs can be in one single cylinder or spread across multiple cylinders. Usually in even numbers to maintain balance but not always.
Synonyms: cubic centimeters
The term compression ratio is used in reference to internal-combustion piston engines. It indicates the ratio of volume if a combustion chamber when the piston is at the top and bottom of the stroke.
On a 1000cc engine if the piston moved from bottom to top and compressed the air-fuel mixture down to 100cc it would be a compression ratio of 10:1. Even on a small engine can benefit from a high compression ratio, like the 2011 Yamaha Raptor 125’s 10:1 CR.
Having a bigger compression ratio is usually better because the engine makes more power. The bigger the compression ratio the more possibility there is for knocking, or pinging. This can be dangerous for an engine, but if the engine is from 1996 or later, it already has a knock-sensor that will retard the timing.
EUV is short for Electric Utility Vehicle. This is a utility quad that runs on electric motors instead of internal combustion engines (ICE). The theory is that electricity is cleaner than fossil fuel.
One of the first production Electric Utility Vehicle was the Model One EUV, made by Barefoot Motors.
Synonyms: electric utility vehicle, earth utility vehicle, Electric ATV
A foot brake is a type of device on just about every moving vehicle we have. It allows the rider to slow down the vehicle by pushing down on a pedal with their foot.
Autos only have foot brakes, and they apply pressure to all four tires at the same time. On an ATV there are typically two sets of brakes, one set for the front wheels and one set for the rear wheels.
Having independent control of the front and rear brakes give the rider much more control while braking because the front and back brakes react differently.
Synonyms: foot brake, toe brake, rear brake
A Hand Brake is a type of device on just about every ATV and motorcycle we have. It allows the rider to slow down the vehicle by squeezing a lever in their hand.
Using a hand brake gives you more control over the amount of stopping pressure applied, therefore it is usually used on the front wheels.
Hydrolocking is a condition that happens when you get water inside your engine via the airbox. It usually happens in very deep water and can destroy an engine.
An internal combustion engine works by compressing an air/fuel mixture in a cylinder and igniting it. But air and fuel can be compressed, water cannot be compressed.
When water gets into the cylinder and the cylinder tries to move towards the valves to compress the air/fuel mixture for ignition it is stopped by the water. This can cause the piston arm to bend, it can blow the valves out, it can literally blow a hole in the engine block.
If you’re going to be going through deep water you should know the basics of how to forge through water correctly, it will help prevent this kind of damage from ruining your trip.
A manual transmission requires the rider/operator to change gears using a clutch and either hand or foot levers based on engine speed. This type of transmission is not as easy to use, but provides better control of shifting points and is therefore used almost exclusively for racing.
Manual transmissions are usually found on sport ATVs. It will be more difficult for a person to learn to ride an ATV using a manual transmission, especially if they haven’t used a clutch before.
Synonyms: manual transmission, m/t, manual trans, manual tranny
A knobbie tire is a type of tire that is used primarily for riding in hard-packed dirt such as at the desert or in wooded trails. It has hundreds of bumps all around the outside of the tire and allow it to get better traction.
Using a knobbie tire gives you more control in dirt and gravel than you would with regular street tires..
Synonyms: dirt tire
Off Highway Vehicle (OHV)
An Off Highway Vehicle, also known as an OHV, is a type of vehicle that was designed specifically for use off road.
OHVs come in all shapes and sizes with anywhere from 2 to 8 wheels, or even tracks. Motorcycles, jeeps, quads, trucks are all OHVs.
OHVs typically have to be registered if they are going to be used on public lands, such as that managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Many OHV areas require the users to pay fees to use the area, others are offered “for free”, meaning the money comes from taxes for fuel and other items that may (or may not) relate to offroading.
Synonyms: 4×4, jeep, truck, 4wheeler, atv, motorcycle, dirtbike, quad, sand car, dune buggy, sand rail
A paddle tire is a type of tire that is used primarily for riding in deep sand such as at the beach or in the sand dunes. It has cups that span the width of the tire and allow it to get better traction.
Using a paddle tire gives you more control in the deep sand than knobbies.
Synonyms: sand tire
Power to Weight Ratio
A power to weight ratio is the measurement of power that an engine (or other power source) creates divided by the weight the engine has to carry. It is a way of gauging how powerful similar engines can be when everything else is equal.
The power to weight ratio is often used to determine the effective power, acceleration and handling of a vehicle’s engine. Typically having a higher power to weight ratio is desirable because it allows you to accelerate faster.
When it comes to offroading a good power to weight ratio is important especially when it comes to competition. Quick acceleration is key to getting out of corners before the competition.
A spark plug is part of an internal combustion engine that provides a spark inside the cylinder to ignite compressed fuel like gasoline or ethanol.
Spark plugs have ceramic insulation around a copper electrode and typically resides in the cylinder head of the engine.
The condition of the spark plug can be an indication of how the engine is running. For example, melted insulation or electrodes can indicate a hot-running engine, and a black, wet plug can mean there’s a ring leaking oil, (or you may be running too high of a fuel/oil mixture on a 2 stroke engine)
A Sport ATV is one of several different types of All Terrain Vehicle in which the rider sits astride the seat with hands forward on a handle-bar. Sports ATVs have higher acceleration, better suspension and less weight than the Utility type ATVs.
Synonyms: Sports ATV, Racing ATV, Quad
SUV is short for Sport Utility Vehicle. This is a type of vehicle that shaped somewhat like a station wagon but more like the size of a mini-van.
Most SUVs try to portray some sort of offroading capability and many actually design Sport Utility Vehicles to be used for offroading including Jeep Liberty, Toyota FJ, Ford Bronco and many others.
Some SUVs are designed on larger frames to give them the towing capacity of a 1/2 ton pickup truck while still enabling them to carry more passengers than a 1/2 ton pickup truck.
Synonyms: sports utility vehicle, minivan,
SxS is short for Side by Side. They resemble a golf cart in shape and size but have much better performance with powerful engines and long-travel suspension.
Unlike Utility and Sports quads that have handlebars, the SxS has a steering wheel and peddles like a car for accelerating, brakes and a clutch on SxS with manual transmissions.
SxS have become very popular in industry and motorsports because they are small, powerful and can carry people (2 to 6 depending on the model) and equipment effectively and efficiently.
Synonyms: Side by Side, Ultimate Terrain Vehicle, UHV, Rhino
A “Thumb Throttle” refers to a method of controlling the speed of an engine or motor. A thumb throttle is located on the right side of the handlebar and is a small lever on the underside of the handlebar that is operated by pushing inwards with your thumb.
When you push your thumb in you are increasing the engine speed (going faster). When you bring your thumb back towards you (or let go of the throttle and let the springs return it), it slows the engine down.
A “Twist Throttle” refers to a method of controlling the speed of an engine or motor. A twist throttle is located on the right side of the handlebar and is part of the grip.
It is used by twisting your wrist up and down. When you twist your wrist so your hand moves up (with your palms down) you are increasing the engine speed (going faster). When you twist the other way (or let go of the throttle and let the springs return it), it slows the engine down.
Synonyms: Twist grip. Hand throttle.
Utility ATVs are the most popular type of ATV. This type of ATV typically has short travel suspension, a big motor and more accessories designed for working or hunting.
Utility ATVs are used in industries such as agriculture and ranching where repair work, feeding and other tasks are done. They are also very popular with hunters who traverse rugged terrain, often carrying heavy cargo. Electric ATVs are becoming popular with hunters because they can move more quietly.
You see a lot of Utility ATVs being ridden at recreation spots like desert OHV areas and on private property. Some are bought with every intention of being used as a tool but often see just as much recreation time, which isn’t a bad thing.
A Youth ATV is an ATV that is smaller, lighter and slower than full sized quads. They are made especially for children.
There are size/speed limitations that help prevent small kids from riding ATVs that are too big for them.
Youth ATVs are classified in 5 different categories with speed ratings:
- Y6 age 6 and older 15 mph max speed, 10 mph restricted
- Y10 age 10 and older 30 mph max speed, 15 mph restricted
- Y12 age 12 and older 30 mph max speed, 15 mph restricted
- The age 14 and older 38 mph max speed, 30 mph restricted
- age 16 and older no speed limits
The reasons for the age restrictions are many, but the main reasons are size and strength. Smaller children cannot physically control bigger quads and they are more susceptible to injury in a crash.
Synonyms: Youth ATV, youth quad, kid ATV, Youth Quad