What you Need to Know Before You Go Out Mud Riding
Summer is generally considered the prime-time of the year to get your ATV out on the trails. The weather is nice, trail conditions are good, and you’ve got the most sunlight you’ll get all year. But just because the sun has now started setting earlier doesn’t mean you need to put the ATV away just yet! Sure, you probably shouldn’t go riding in the rain, but hitting the muddy trails after a good rainfall is just as much fun as summer riding! But before you take a serious spill, we have some tips for mudding with your ATV!
What’s the Difference Between Normal Riding and Mud Riding?
When you take your ATV out on the trail in the summertime, the dirt is nice and dry. Your tires can easily cut through the dirt particles and grip into the earth propelling you forward. Now let’s think about that same trail when you want to go mudding with your ATV.
When water sinks into that same dirt, the water acts as a bonding agent. The dry dirt, made of billions of small particles now becomes a much less permeable mass of mud and water. You lose traction in the mud because the once coarse particles are now both slippery and bonding to each other making a terrain that’s much harder to penetrate.
Tips for Mudding With Your ATV
Most ATV’s come stock with all-terrain tires. The tread designs in these tires give you the ability to grip on to dirt when you’re offroading as well as the pavement when you’re on the road. This makes it easy for you to get your ATV to different trails without needing a trailer or truck to tow it.
It also means you’re losing out on more traction in the mud. If you’re planning on doing some dedicated mudding, you definitely want to consider investing in mud tires. The long treads of the tires do a great job of digging down into the earth for those coarse particles to grip on to. It will give you better throttle response than you’ve ever felt when mudding with your ATV.
Part of the fun of going mudding is hitting those deep mud pits. But when you’re ground clearance level is about up to your shoulders, your ATV isn’t having as much fun as you are. If you want to hit those puddles that are deep enough to cover your exhaust, you really want to think about a snorkel kit.
There are a few important components you want to make sure are getting the proper air intake/exhaust with your snorkel kit. These most essential parts are your airbox and your clutch kit, specifically the belt housing intake and exhaust.
Some other parts you might want to consider covering:
- Electrical Connections
- Crankcase Breather Tube
- Differential Vents
- Carb Vent Tubes
Upgrade Your Skid Plates
When you go mudding with your ATV, you’re mostly just thinking about the mud. But there’s a lot more under the surface. Tree roots, big rocks, and branches are just some of the things that are going to be assaulting the undercarriage of your ATV. Your ATV was made to be tough, but over time, a lot of abuse is going to put your ATV’s health in jeopardy
Your stock skid plates are meant to protect your frame from accidental damage. However, the stock plate isn’t as tough as it could be. Your stock plates are meant for protection against small rocks and other debris that gets kicked up by your tires. However, it was not meant to protect your against a boulder you can’t see in a deep mud puddle that you confidently hit at 25 mph.
Mudding With Your ATV: Go Prepared
You wouldn’t put a stock Honda civic onto a NASCAR racetrack. Why not? Because it’s going to get blown out of the proverbial water by cars that are better equipped to handle the situation at hand. So why do it to your stock ATV? If you’re making the decision to become a dedicated mud rider, you need to have the right tools for the job. When you go mudding with your ATV, you want to be prepared for what you know you’re going to encounter. That’s the way you’re going to get the most out of your mud season.