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Rider Basics

UTV (side-by-side) Terminology: The Controls

 

Choke:
Often an adjustable lever or knob, the choke controls how much air is delivered to the engine and should be used when starting up a cold machine. The choke is automatic on fuel-injected UTVs.
Start Button:
This button is pushed to start up the machine. The ignition switch must be in the ‘ON’ position in order to start the machine.
Range Selector or 'Shift Lever':
Located between the front seats, this lever or handle allows you to change gears or select a desired gear. If the machine has an automatic transmission, you can only shift gears when the machine has been brought to a full stop and the brake is engaged.
Parking Brake:
When set, the brake mechanism will prevent your machine from accidentally moving while parked or while being transported.
Ignition Switch:
This switch is used activate the ATV, in order to start up the machine.
2WD/4WD:
Some modern UTVs will have both 2WD and 4WD options. They can be engaged with the simple flick of a switch. The best option will depend on the type of terrain you’re riding over.
Light Switch:
This switch turns the headlights on and off. Some modern machines will have low-beam and high-beam options.
Brake Pedal:
Located on the floor in front of the driver’s right foot, this pedal will slow the machine or bring it to a full stop, when pushed down.
Accelerator or 'Gas' Pedal:
Located on the floor in front of the driver’s right foot (to the left of the brake pedal), the gas pedal will make the machine accelerate forward when pushed down with your foot.
Instrument Panel:
Located directly in front of the seated rider, this panel is like your ‘dashboard’ and includes the speedometer (your speed indicator) and tachometer (your Rotations per Minute (RPM) indicator).

RIDER SAFETY TIP: SIDE-BY-SIDE SAFETY

Wearing a seatbelt while riding in one of these big machines, doesn’t guarantee your safety. UTVs can still be very dangerous and for this reason may have age restrictions, depending on which state the machine is being operated in. Always follow these safety tips when operating or riding in a side-by-side:

  • Wear your safety gear! A roll cage overhead DOES NOT mean that you don’t need a helmet.
  • Stay off paved roads. A side-by-side may function like a car, but it’s still an off-road vehicle.
  • Want to keep your arms and legs? Of course you do. Then keep your limbs in the vehicle at all times. Hold onto your grab bar for stability and never reach out for a tree branch.

 

Take a course

Boat in the water with people sitting aboard
Hunter with a bow in tall grass at dusk
Man on yellow ATV riding through dirt tracks
Person on snowmobile riding through snowy trail
Person paddling in white water rapids
Three individuals backpacking across a yellow, grassy plain
Boat in the water with people sitting aboard
Hunter with a bow in tall grass at dusk
Man on yellow ATV riding through dirt tracks
Person on snowmobile riding through snowy trail
Person paddling in white water rapids
Three individuals backpacking across a yellow, grassy plain

LET'S WORK TOGETHER

 

Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

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LET'S WORK TOGETHER

 

Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

CAMPFIRE STORIES

Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.