Tips & Tricks for Doing Your Own ATV Customization

DIY ATV customization

Super Cool DIY Customization Ideas for Your ATV and/or UTV

One of the best parts about riding your ATV is that it’s just you and your machine. In a way, your ATV becomes an extension of your personality, and sometimes you have to treat yourself! There are all sorts of fancy custom ATVs you could buy pre-fabbed, but that’s not really personal. The best way to customize your ATV is to do it yourself! Let’s take a look at some ideas for DIY ATV customization!

DIY ATV Customization Ideas

power steering is an awesome ATV customization you can do yourself

Power Steering

We like to think our All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) can handle everything, but sometimes we can’t handle everything. When you’ve been out on the trail for 5 hours, it’s not surprising that you might get pretty bushed. That makes for a really long ride home. So what can you do about it?

Well, how about installing a power steering kit into your ATV? It might sound like a pipe dream but it exists! You can actually buy a power steering kit that you can easily install yourself. Best of all, they’re custom-made for all different sorts of makes and models, so you know that yours will work correctly. 

Adding power steering greatly reduces the amount of effort you need to turn your ATV, and the system reduces steering feedback from the terrain. It’s really great for riders who want to go out for long periods of time and not be too sore the next day. Check out how easy installation is! This is a really useful ATV customization.

tires are also awesome

Tires

Your ATV is a powerful machine, definitely. But at the end of the day it’s really your tires that make it “all-terrain”. The stock tires that come on most ATVs are “all-purpose” tires, and they’ve made so that riders from all different regions and climates can ride the same machine without losing too much handling. But let’s face it, you’re probably not riding on sand one day, mud the next, and going over rocks next weekend.

Buying tires for the type of terrain that you’re going to ride on most is going to give you the best riding experience. Sure, your all-purpose tires are going to get you where you want to go. But having tires that are specifically designed for the environment you’re riding on will give you handling as you’ve never felt before! ATV customizations can be as simple as buying tires specific to your needs!

Exhaust your DIY ATV customization by getting a new exhaust... haha, get it?

Exhaust

The beauty of putting a custom exhaust on your ATV is that it does so many different things. You can use an aftermarket exhaust to give your ATV more horsepower, to make it louder (or quieter), or just to make it a little safer. One important thing to keep in mind is that you only want to install an exhaust made by a company you trust. There are plenty of aftermarket products out there, and they’re not all the safest.

Another thing to keep in mind is that just because your exhaust is louder doesn’t mean you’re getting any more horsepower out of your engine. What actually gives you more horsepower is an exhaust that has a wide diameter. This allows for more gas to escape the engine and relieve pressure on the engine, which lets it run more efficiently.

Most slip-on exhausts are easy to install yourself. Any exhaust kit you get should come with the hardware you need, but you can pick up replacements at the hardware store. Just slip it on, secure your bolts, and let that throttle rip!

paint and decals

Paint and Decals 

One final way you can really give your ATV a customized feeling is to apply your own paint job or decals. Your ATV is an extension of your personality, so let people know you’re colorful! The best part about doing this is that it’s a pretty easy process. Just a couple rounds of cleaning and sanding and you’re ready to start applying paint!

Another ATV customization you can do is to apply decals! Whether it’s your name, your race number, your country’s flag, or whatever else. You can get just about anything in a decal. Decals are a fun way to show off who you are and where your from whether you’re racing or just riding the trails. You can even design your own custom decals!

making your custom atv your own

Make it Your Own: DIY ATV Customization

You didn’t get your ATV to blend into the crowd. You got it to be loud, show off, and have fun! So don’t settle for the original stock parts on your ATV. Not only does ATV customizations make it look cooler, but with the right adjustments, it’s going to run better, too! And it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg for service, either. Thanks to these awesome DIY ATV customizations, you can do it at home.

Check out our blog to see ATV and UTV buyer’s guides, checklists, and more from your friends at TMS Parts!

The Three Best Travel Trailers with ATV Decks

best travel trailers with ATV decks

The Best Toy Haulers Money Can Buy

Getting your family outside isn’t always easy. Between video games, cell phones, and our computers, it can be difficult to unplug and really enjoy the great outdoors. Having a travel trailer makes those outings just a little bit easier by taking the comforts of home into the woods with you. But a couch and a shower aren’t the only creature comforts you want out in the wilderness. What about getting our gasoline fix? Well, don’t worry! There are some great travel trailers out on the market with ATV decks so you can bring your four-wheeled friends along for the trip with you! Here are our picks for the three best travel trailers with ATV decks!

the three best travel trailers with ATV decks

The 3 Best Travel Trailers with ATV Decks

Keystone RV Hideout 21THWE 

The Keystone Hideout 21THWE is a beautiful travel trailer. It has all of the amenities you’d want to take on the road with you. The 34-foot trailer sleeps up to six with a huge queen bed in the front and bunk beds in the rear. Of course, you have your standard kitchenette including sink, stovetop, microwave, and a dining table. It also has a fully functioning bathroom, but the real thing to see is the ATV deck out front!

The ATV deck measures 8’3” from hitch to camper, and just shy of 8’ wide. The front deck platform is ready to hold up to 1,000 pounds. The dry weight of the trailer itself is just a hair over 5,000 pounds making it a great lightweight trailer for easy hitching and towing!

Ridge RV Highlander HT21FBD 

The Highlander HT21FBD sits at 34’5” long with a huge 8’x10’ ATV deck in the front of it. It has a grand total of 291 square feet inside with a full bath, queen bed, bunk beds, and a kitchenette. One great feature of this trailer is that the queen and bunk beds are on opposite ends. This makes for improved privacy and helps everyone sleep just a little easier. 

In addition to sleeping easy, you’re going to find it easy to bring the ATV with you because the Highlander is equipped to haul more than 2,000 pounds of cargo along with it. This one has a much higher dry weight at just under 10,000 pounds. You’ll definitely be needing a strong truck for this one! 

Palo Mino RL-177 ORV 

Maybe you want to go heavy on the ATV towing and light on the features from home? Well the Palo Mino RL-177 ORV might be the right choice for you! The exterior length is shorter at just 31’ on this trailer, and the interior is just a little more cramped but has all the features of the other trailer. It’s got a full 36” tub, stovetop with two burners, microwave, a queen-sized bed, and bunk beds.

The real reason to look at the Palo Mino, though, is the absolutely huge ATV deck on the front! It measures 9’x7’ and has ramps to make loading and unloading your ATV’s as easy as it gets. With a GVWR of just 7,400 pounds, hauling the trailer is easy as pie, too!

making camping even better with travel trailers with ATV deck

Making Camping Even Better with a New ATV Deck

Getting outside to enjoy nature is one of the best things you can do for you and your family’s health. There’s nothing quite like forgetting all of the problems in the world and just enjoying the beauty of nature. Of course, there’s nothing quite like flinging some mud on the trail in your ATV, too. So why should we have to separate those?

Using travel trailers with ATV decks are a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and enjoy your ATV, too! Need a new ATV for the trail, too? Don’t worry, head on over to our blog to see our picks for the best ATV’s for trail riding!

getting a travel trailer with atv decks is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends

Eight of the Best ATVs for Trail Riding

here's eight of the best ATVs for trail riding, courtesy of your friends at TMS

The Best Trail Blazers for ATV Riders

One of the best parts of ATVs is that they have so many uses. Maybe you can use it as a tool on the farm, or for fun on the sand dunes. ATVs can even help with rescue and emergency missions. But for every use, there’s a different type of ATV. The same ATV that gets you over rocky terrain in the mountains isn’t going to help much on muddy riding trails. So maybe you’ve discovered that the ATV you have isn’t exactly suited to your local riding conditions. Well, never fear, the folks from TMS are here! Let’s tell you about eight of the best ATVs for trail riding!

What Makes an ATV Good for Trail Riding?

Like we said above, not all ATVs are made the same. So what are the qualities that make a good ATV for trail riding?

the best utility vehicles for every job
  • Drivetrain – If you’re going to be out on the trails, conditions won’t always be perfect. Getting stuck in the mud, towing out a buddy, these are all things that are going to regularly happen. ATVs with adjustable 2WD, 4WD, and differential locking will help you get through any terrain. Luckily most ATVs come fully equipped these days, but it’s something you want to make sure of before you make a purchase.
  • Storage space – One of the best parts about trail riding is making a day of it! Whether you’re out for a few hours or sunup to sundown, bringing supplies is a necessity. Of course, you want drinks and snacks, but also you need to be prepared for emergency situations. First aid kits and towing tools are just a couple of things you should always bring with you.
  • Good shocks and tires – Trail riding can mean all sorts of different things. Steep inclines, rocky trails, mud, you name it. Having a good set of shocks is going to help you get through all of it without a sore saddle. Tires are going to be just as important if you want to make it through without getting towed the whole way.
the best atv for trail riding

The Best ATVs for Trail Riding

Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s take a look at some models. Not every model on our list hits all of these marks 10/10, but every rider and need is a little different. Even though we’re talking about trail-riders today, there are just so many ways and reasons to ride out there. From National Forests to private trail systems, these are some of the absolute best trail riding ATVs for beginner riders all the way up to the pros!

8. Yamaha Raptor 700R

the Yamaha Raptor 700R is one of the best atvs for trail riding
  • Engine Type – 686cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke; 4 valves
  • Transmission – 5-speed with reverse; wet multi-plate clutch
  • Drivetrain – X-ring chain; 2WD
  • Dimensions – 72.6 in x 45.5 in x 43.9 in

The Yamaha Raptor 700R is a great multi-use ATV. It’s classified as a sport which means it’s good for a few different types of riding, and trail riding is one of them. The 700R has the distinction of being the best-selling ATV of all time, so there are years of experience to prove just how good it really is. 

The Raptor has a few nice creature comforts. It has a seat that was meant for long rides, and also an electric starter for reliable ignition. However, you do need to keep in mind that the trails weren’t the only thing this ATV was designed for. It lacks a few of the more rugged features you’ll see in some of the other ATVs we talk about, but this is great for beginner riders who are transitioning from road to trails and other terrains. 

7. Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

the kawasaki brute force 750 4x4i EPS
  • Engine type – 4-stroke, V-twin, SOHC, liquid-cooled
  • Transmission – Automatic CVT (H,L,N,R)
  • Drivetrain – Selectable 2WD/4WD with variable control front differential lock, shaft
  • Dimensions – 86.4 in x 46.5 in x 48.0 in

If you’ve got a little more experience and want something a little more rugged, the Kawasaki Brute Force is a great model. It’s a solidly built machine, ready to tackle rocks, mud, and steep inclines. It also has racks on the front and back for tying storage compartments to or anything else!

Something else to consider is all of the accessories you can get for the Brute Force. In addition to putting miles of trail behind you, it’s also great for working on your property. There are available windshields, snowplows, and more to make your toy into a workhorse when you need it.

6. Polaris Sportsman  XP 1000

polaris sportman xp 1000 is definitely one of the best atv for trail riding
  • Engine Type 952cc liquid-cooled ProStar SOHC 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder
  • Transmission – Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft Drive
  • Drivetrain – True On-Demand AWD/2WD
  • Dimensions – 83.25 in x 47.6 in x 50.75 in

Not everyone is on the trail just to clock some miles. The Polaris Sportsman XP1000  is an ATV made with hunters in mind. Whether you’re out before sunrise or after dusk, you’re covered with high-intensity LED lightings. The Sportsman has an optional, easily detachable gun scabbard to fit your rifle or shotgun. It also has extended front and rear racks for you to fit more trophies on.

We know hunters are pretty rugged folks, but we all want those creature-comforts. That’s why the Sportsman comes with hand and thumb warmers so you can keep all the feeling in them whether you’re out before sunrise or getting back to camp from a full day. When you need to be prepared for a full day, you can go out in the morning knowing that Polaris has your back.

5. Can-Am Renegade X MR 570

can am has amazing ATVs
  • Engine Type – Rotax 570 cc V-twin, snorkeled, liquid-cooled
  • Transmission – CVT, P / R / N / H / L, standard engine braking
  • Drivetrain – Selectable 2WD / 4WD with Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential
  • Dimensions – 83 in x 50 in x 56 in

If you live for flinging mud, you can’t do much better than the Can-Am Renegade X MR 570. With a snorkeled engine coming stock on this beast, it was absolutely made to get you through anything. Fully stocked with mud-guards, skid-plates, wind-deflectors, you’re practically ready for a hurricane.

It also has arched double A-arm with a front sway bar for front-suspension and Torsional Trailing arm Independent (TTI) in the rear. If you treat the trails like an endurance test, this is the perfect ATV for you. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment or something. 

4. Honda Fourtrax Foreman Rubicon 4×4

the honda foreman is one of the best atv for trail riding
  • Engine Type – 518cc liquid-cooled OHV longitudinally mounted single-cylinder four-stroke engine
  • Transmission – Five-speed manual with reverse
  • Drivetrain – Direct front and rear driveshafts with TraxLok® and locking front differential
  • Dimensions – 84.5 in x 47.4 in x 48.6 in

The folks at Honda Powersports are always pushing the envelope with innovative ATVs. The Fourtrax Foreman Rubicon 4×4 is, of course, no exception. The newest model features a larger engine, front and rear racks, a better reversing system, a new utility box, and so much more. 

Most importantly, it features the independent suspension and comfort that Honda is known for. It’s an easy machine to ride all day without feeling it in the morning. Whether you’re tackling mud and dirt, rocks and road adventures, the Fourtrax will help you get to your next destination, or just to have fun.

3. Polaris Scrambler XP 1000

the polaris scrambler, ladies and gentlemen!
  • Engine Type – 952cc, liquid-cooled ProStar SOHC 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder
  • Transmission – Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft Drive
  • Drivetrain – On-Demand True AWD/2WD
  • Dimensions – 82.5 in x 55 in x 49.5 in

Another company that’s known for pushing boundaries! The Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 is toted as “the world’s biggest, baddest ATV”. The Scrambler stands at a staggering 55 inches wide and 14.5 inches of ground clearance, making it one of the most stable machines you could ask for. 

While the Scrambler lacks the racks and storage capabilities of some of the others on our list, it’s hard to match the durability. This machine was made to tackle any kind of terrain you ask for and then some. While it might not be the best ATV for going out for a full day of hunting, it is definitely an ATV that can be pushed as far as your passion for riding will take it.

2. Suzuki KingQuad 500 AXi

the suzuki king is certainly royalty, let alone the best atv for trail riding
  • Engine Type – 493cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 4-valve, OHC single cylinder
  • Transmission – CVT-type automatic shaft drive
  • Drivetrain – 2WD, 4WD, and 4WD Differential Lock
  • Dimensions – 84.6 in x 47.8 in x 50.6 in

Suzuki is the originators of the 4-wheeled ATV, so it’s no surprise that their KingQuad 500AXi is near the very top of our list. The KingQuad comes equipped with fully independent suspension and huge towing capacity making it great for getting your buddies out of the mud when their ATVs can’t compete. 

The KingQuad gets a great amount of torque at low speeds giving you the power you need to slog through the mud (and make the occasional tow). It also has comfortable, ergonomic seating to give you as much comfort as you could ask for on a day on the trails. If you want an ATV from a company with a proven track record of success, go with the originators. 

1. Yamaha Kodiak 700 

yamaha is at it again!
  • Engine Type – 686cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke
  • Transmission – Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking; H, L, N, R, P
  • Drivetrain – Lever-operated 2WD/4WD; shaft
  • Dimensions – 81.5 in x 46.5 in x 48.8 in

Another Yamaha on the list, and another really versatile ATV great for lots of terrains, and specifically for trail riding. One of the best features of the Kodiak 700 is Yamaha’s class-leading transmission. Feel the immediate response of features like all-wheel engine braking and you’ll know you have maximum control over your ATV. And with the ability to just flip a lever between two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, you’re definitely going to feel it. 

The Kodiak was also built with rough-riding in mind. Full-body skid plates and adjustable wide-arc A-arm suspension let you get through just about anything the trails can through your way with ease. Not to mention the front and rear racks are made of steel and equipped to hold 308 lbs! No matter what you need to bring out on the trail or back to camp, the Kodiak has you covered.

From Full-Sized to Mid-Sized and Beyond: the Best ATVs for Trail Riding

check out the best ATV for trail riding

From National Parks to national forests to your own backyard, trail riding is one of the best ways to use your ATV.  But if you’ve got one built for the sand dunes, you need to reequip yourself! Hopefully, this is a good jumping-off point for some of the best and brightest ATVs on the market for trail riding. If you’ve got the ATV and need to find a place to bring it, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered for that, too.