All-terrain vehicles provide an enjoyable hobby. However, the purpose of riding an ATV is usually to go over uneven ground. While the vehicles are structured to maintain their balance while going over such terrain, accidents can still happen. So, you need the proper gear to protect yourself not only from accidents but from the general hazards of a thrilling ATV ride.
A helmet is probably the most important safety gear for your ATV riding. At the bare minimum, you need a helmet with a Department of Transportation (DOT) certification sticker. Helmets can also meet other standards, such as those set out by the SNELL Foundation. The more standards met, the safer the helmet usually is.
Even within those standards, you'll have different models from which to choose. The motocross helmet is the most popular — it features a chin bar for full-face protection. You can also find open-face helmets. You may even use a motorcycle helmet.
Additionally, measure your head so you get a properly sized helmet. It should fit snugly with no rotation. You shouldn't be able to fit your thumb between the helmet and your forehead. However, it also shouldn't be so tight that the chin strap presses against your neck. Finally, make sure it doesn't obstruct your vision.
The second most important safety gear is likely a set of goggles. Unless you opt for a full-face motorcycle helmet, your eyes will be exposed to dust, rocks, and other debris during your ATV rides.
The goggles should feature a sturdy frame with a foam perimeter. The foam keeps sweat and dust out of your eyes. Make sure the foam allows for air circulation so the lens doesn't fog up. Most good goggles will also allow you to replace the lenses when they become scratched. If possible, try the goggles on with your helmet to ensure they fit comfortably together.
Riding Pants and a Jersey
You should wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt whenever you ride an ATV. Essentially, you don't want to expose any skin. If you even brush up against a tree or rock, your skin is more likely to get hurt if it's exposed.
That said, if you intend to engage in a lot of rides, consider investing in riding pants and a jersey. Manufacturers usually make these dedicated riding outfits out of breathable material. Therefore, you sweat less even on warm days. What's more, you'll experience less chafing. They also protect you in inclement weather. As a safety measure, such outfits usually incorporate padding.
In a similar vein, you likely want gloves especially for ATV riding. If you plan to ride in all weather conditions, you may even consider buying both warm-weather and cool-weather gloves. Riding gloves can be leather or manufactured fabrics, such as neoprene, reinforced with silicone and hardened plastic. Look for reinforcement around the knuckles and wrists.
When you shop for riding gloves, you'll want to consider certain factors. One is the density and thickness of the material. You want good protection from flying debris but also flexibility to move your hands inside the glove. Likewise, you want to ensure your hands move with the glove, not within the glove.
Riding boots are another important piece of equipment for both safety and comfort. Manufacturers construct ATV riding boots out of leather and plastic with Velcro fasteners. True ATV boots feature cleats on the bottom to keep your grip while you walk over uneven terrain.
You'll use your feet and legs a lot to control your position while taking turns or jumps. Riding boots reach well above your ankle to offer support during those movements and also to protect your skin from exhaust burns.
Concerning size, they should fit like any other pair of boots would. Make sure they're comfortable but not too loose. Likewise, look for special features, such as reinforcement around the ankle where your leg will rub against the ATV.
Wear the proper safety gear so you can enjoy even the most challenging off-road trails. Visit the showroom at Lancaster Sport Cycles for a wide range of ATVs.