Gone Outdoors

How to Drive an Automatic 4 Wheeler

by Patrick Nelson
Approaching a curve on an automatic four-wheeler, slow down by reducing the throttle.

Approaching a curve on an automatic four-wheeler, slow down by reducing the throttle.

Driving an automatic four-wheeler rather than a manual four-wheeler allows you to concentrate on some of the finer points of driving this popular recreational product. Four-wheelers or ATVs (all terrain vehicles) are a cross between a car and a motor bike. Some of the techniques you'd use in driving a motor bike apply to driving an automatic four-wheeler--like the positioning of your body weight. There are tricks to safely driving a four-wheeler that can be learnt in a few steps.

Start the four-wheeler by switching the engine on. Move by placing the four-wheeler's gear control into drive and releasing the brake. Move forward slowly.

Turn the four-wheeler. As you approach a curve, slow down by reducing the throttle rather than shifting as you would do with a manual four-wheeler. Start to turn the handlbars in the direction you want to go, like a bike. Put your weight on the footboard to the outside of the turn (opposite the desired direction), and lean your upper body into the turn.

Climb a hill. Keep an even speed with the throttle, rather than shifting gears as you exit the turn. Move your weight forward, and keep it balanced equally between the left and right sides of the four-wheeler.

Ride down the hill. Turn the four-wheeler around at the top of the hill where it is flat, and ride down the hill. Shift your weight as far to the rear--the uphill side--as possible. Move back on the seat, and keep your arms straight. Release the throttle, and use the brake to slow you down, rather than simply shifting down a gear, which you would do in a manual four-wheeler.

About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.

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