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Pre-ride Guide. Tips and inspections to prepare you for the ride. Two people in a vehicle in the mountains.

Preparing for a ride

A safe and enjoyable ride begins with good planning and preparation. Always ride with at least one other person, and let someone know where you're going and when you expect to return.

Before riding, get acquainted with your ATV or Side-by-side and how it works. Read your owner's manual for important instructions, safety tips and information on break-in guidelines. In addition to regular scheduled services, perform all pre-ride and other periodic checks to keep your ATV or Side-by-side well maintained.

Prior to riding in an unfamiliar area, find out if special permits are required. Get maps so you can study the terrain and talk to other riders who know the area. The Ministry of Natural resources, riding clubs, and off-road magazines are also good sources of information.

What to take with you

What you take with you during a ride depends on the kind of terrain you'll be exploring, how long you expect to ride, how far you might go from your base camp and how experienced you or your companions are in making repairs.

Along with your proper riding gear, you should always pack tools and supplies in case you have a problem. We recommend:

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Owner's manual
  • Tool kit
  • Tire repair supplies and spare tires
  • Extra parts, control levers, cables and spark plugs
  • Wire, duct tape and rope

If you decide to take some tools, spare parts, or other supplies on the trail, be sure you can carry them safely and know how to use them. Always follow the loading guidelines and weight limit for your ATV or Side-by-Side. If you require more information on the cargo you can carry, speak to your Honda dealer.

Pre-ride inspection

Your ATV or Side-by-side is designed to be ridden over rough off-road terrain, so careful pre-ride inspections and good maintenance are especially important before each ride. For your safety, take a few moments to walk around your ATV or Side-by-side to check its condition. If you detect any problems, be sure you or your Honda dealer corrects it.

Check the levels of engine oil, fuel, and coolant. Look for any leaks and fill up if necessary.
Check the operation of the front and rear brakes and make sure there is no brake fluid leakage.
Check the condition and pressure of the tires.
Check the condition and amount of slack in the drive train and lubricate if necessary.
Check the throttle for smooth opening and full closing in all steering positions.
Check that the headlight, tail/brake light, and horn function properly.
Check that the engine stop switch works properly.
Check that the ignition cut-off system works properly.