Buying an ATV and not making it yours, at least a little bit, sort of defeats the purpose. This is your vehicle; you might as well customize it to fit your needs.
Still, that shouldn’t be intimidating. To be honest, that doesn’t mean you need a lot of expenses or professional help to make legitimate improvements to your four-wheeler, side-by-side, or off-road vehicle.
You can take on a few tasks yourself and make a big impact on your enjoyment, and the performance, of your ATV.
1. Change the shoes
Odds are a new ATV will come ready with some good tires, but adding new ones (catered specifically for the terrain you’ll ride most often) will be one of those things that show instant improvement.
And do we really need to tell you to get new tires on a used ATV? Whether you’re buying it from someone else, or you’re the one who did the “using,” you always want to ensure you’ve got fresh tires. Don’t go more than a few seasons on any one set.
A tire change does require some tools, but nothing too different from what you’d use for a car or truck.
2. Make a bucket holder
Here’s a useful project: Using some flexible metal strips and sturdy brackets, design a simple system of loops, up to three wide, and size them to a standard five-gallon bucket. Fit it so the lip of the bucket stops it from slipping all the way through the loop. Then attach the loops to the bracket.
This is great for carrying lots of smaller items, helping haul or spread seed, and even transporting water if need be.
3. Construct a trailer
Yeah, it’s big; it’s roomy. But as soon as you get an ATV, you’ll start thinking about the sort of things you can haul behind it.
You don’t have to go all out and buy a brand new trailer; instead, look for a sturdy secondhand wagon with large, inflatable tires. Use some brackets and fasteners to attach the wagon’s handle to the hitch.
4. Make it a people mover
Take number three a step further and add some seats. Used seats from an old golf cart, truck, or even chairs from backyard furniture collections work well.
Get creative and see what sort of safe and smart ways you can move a good group of people. Just make sure everyone riding on an ATV, in a trailer or not, is wearing a helmet and has the proper safety equipment.
5. Dream big
Need a shovel for clearing and scooping snow in the winter? A place to hold your cooler? Want to haul a mini, pop-up camper far into the backcountry? It can all be done with your ATV.
The possibilities are only limited by your abilities and imagination, but we bet you’d surprise yourself. Get a second opinion, and maybe a pro’s help, if you’re doing huge modifications to an ATV; but also have fun, be thrifty, and make it yours.