TMS Parts Recap: the Best Snowmobile Apps of 2019

best snowmobile apps

Beyond Paper Maps: The Best Snowmobile Apps for your Smart Phone

The tech-savvy snowmobiler knows that the days of paper maps are long gone. But there are plenty of more ways that your smartphone can make your riding life much easier. The Maps app on your phone can already give you an idea of where you can ride. However, these apps will give you an idea of so much more! If you want to see your trails in real-time and navigate your snowmobile through places you’ve never seen before, keep reading! We’re going to talk about all of the best snowmobile apps out there in 2019.

best snowmobile apps

Our Favorite Snowmobile Apps of the Year!

Whether you’ve got an iPhone, Android device, or otherwise, you’re going to love these fantastic snowmobile apps. Each one offers something slightly different and has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at the best snowmobile apps of the year.

best snowmobile apps for the year

OFSC Interactive Trail Guide

This app is a little more niche than the rest on our list, but if you’re looking for the best snowmobile trail map for Ontario, you’ve found it! The OFSC Interactive Trail Guide app is absolutely the best source for trails in Ontario, Canada. The app downloads several maps daily to keep you and your ride group constantly informed of all the opened and closed trails in the region.

There are more than 18,000 miles of trails in the province of Ontario. If you’re a Canadian citizen or an American visiting for the snowmobile vacation of a lifetime, the OFSC app is just what you needed. View real-time trail conditions, fuel stops close to your location, and plenty more!

use these apps to help you navigate the back country trails

Backcountry Navigator

Maybe you’re not an Ontario native, though. What are you going to use when you get back home? Sure, you’ve got your GPS app, but you can do even better. Well, luckily for our Canadian readers and our American readers, the Backcountry Navigator app covers 5 Canadian provinces and 27 U.S. states!

The Backcountry Navigator app has nearly 200,000 miles of trails in its database. There are thousands of numbered intersections and trails, and you can even search for the specific trail you’re looking for. Another great feature is that the app doesn’t require a WiFi or data connection that drains your battery. Backcountry Navigator works offline to save your battery life. You can even view previously downloaded maps while you’re offline. Conserve your battery life without ever getting lost!

get a weather app that also helps you on the trails

RadarScope

Having an accurate weather app on your phone is important for day to day life. You want to know when you’re going to need that umbrella or pair of gloves before you leave the house. But if you’re out camping and riding, the 7-day forecast doesn’t mean so much. You need to know what weather is happening today, and where it’s happening.

One great way to keep up to date on the weather while you’re in the middle of it is with the RadarScope app. RadarScope shows you the weather radar in real-time. Watch how storms are moving around your camping area so you can know what to avoid and where to plan your rides during the day. If you love to get out into the wilderness and really experience it, RadarScope is an essential part of your tool kit. 

snocross racer snowmobile

Polaris Ride Command App

We’ve talked about a few really great apps, but perhaps our very favorite one is the Polaris Ride Command app for the iPhone and Android. Ride Command gives you the ultimate eagle’s eye view of your ride group. You can designate one of your riders as the leader, and every member will be able to see their exact GPS position. You’ll also be able to see the trail, and how you can go about getting back to them. The app even acts as a convenient portal for calling or texting the other members of your crew, and a way to invite even more members!

The Ride Command app will ask you to choose whether you’re looking for a snowmobile or ATV trail, and the rest is easy! You can record your trips and add waypoints so you never lose track of that awesome trail you didn’t plan on finding. The app also shows you points of interest and rest stops on your journey. 

We already talked about a weather app, but if you like the minimalist approach to your phone, the Ride Command app has a weather function in it. It also allows you to register your ride group’s vehicles to see warranty information, keep maintenance records, and see the closest dealers to perform services on your snowmobiles. 

We love all of these apps, but the Ride Command app really does it all!

get ready to ride with confidence

Get Ready to Ride with Confidence with the Best Snowmobile Apps

You don’t have to ride blind into a storm when you go out for the afternoon. You don’t have to spend your week researching trails to have a safe ride, either. If you’re looking for a way to enhance your riding experience this season, you’ve found the right article! Take a look at each app’s website and find the perfect snowmobile app to make 2020 the best riding season ever!

What Is Snocross Racing?

what is snocross racing

Welcome to Your New Favorite Winter Sport

The popularity of Snocross racing is on the rise, yet many people outside of the snowmobiling community still have yet to hear of it. Snocross has been around in an official capacity at least since the early 90s. However, it still hasn’t seen the same popularity as other extreme sports. Of course, people have been racing snowmobiles since they were first invented. Snocross goes beyond a simple contest of speed between sleds, though. If you’re looking for a new extreme winter sport to become obsessed with, let’s talk about what snocross racing really is.

How Does Snocross Racing Work?

snowmobile racer snocross

First of all, what exactly is snocross racing? Snocross (a combination of motocross and snowmobiling) is competitive snowmobile racing. But it doesn’t involve typical snowmobiles or your average trail or racetrack. The main thing separating it from other traditional snowmobile racing events is the added complications of the track. 

The Snocross Race Track

snocross racing track

The tracks contain “tight turns, banked corners, steep jumps, and obstacles.” The racers line up side by side. Then, at the drop of the flag or signal, they blast into the track.

Racers push their way to the front at speeds up to 60 miles per hour. However, the race becomes even more intense as riders navigate the obstacles coming at them. These obstacles include jumps up to 30 feet tall. 

The winner is generally the racer with the best holeshot. Check out this GoPro video of a racer in the world’s premier snocross series.

The Snocross Racing Sleds

snocross racing sled

Another defining feature of the sport is the sleds. Snocross racing involves high-performance racing snowmobiles which tend to be stock-class 600 sleds at the highest competitive levels. These snowmobiles are lightweight and handle exceedingly well. Most importantly, however, racers rely on a powerful engine and lightweight suspension system. This makes the machines able to carry riders through extreme conditions at top speed. 

Taken to the Extreme

snocross racer snowmobile

Chances are, even if you haven’t heard of snocross racing, you’ve heard of the X Games. The first annual event was held in 1995, announcing the arrival of an official extreme sports competition. 

The X Games brought world-class athletes together to face off and compete for medals in front of a national audience. In 1998, snocross was established as an event in the games. From that point on, its audience only grew larger. In 2002, ESPN began providing live coverage of the Winter X Games, and the phenomenon was officially up and running. 

Amsoil Championship Snocross

amsoil championship snocross racing

However, there are other snocross racing events, such as Amsoil Championship Snocross. Amsoil has been around longer and is currently “the premier snowmobiling racing organization in the world”. The X Games televised the sport and brought it into homes across the country. However, Amsoil Championship Snocross is the true center of the sport’s community and culture. 

They host events and hold races at national and regional levels in classes for men and women. Levels range from a pro, pro lite, all the way down to the Stock 200 category for kids aged 6-12. If you want to find out more about watching or getting involved, take a look at their official rulebook regarding races.

Make Winter as Fun as Possible with Snocross Racing!

pro lite snocross series

Do you love snowmobiling and want to take that experience to the next level? Maybe you’re an aficionado of dirt bikes and motocross and find yourself waiting for winter to end? No matter where you fall on the winter sports spectrum, it may be time to look into snocross racing.

Whether you’re watching a race on TV, or at a live event, or even participating, snocross could be the key to making this winter the most fun yet. 

Look at these 7 Awesome Vintage Snowmobiles

7 vintage snowmobiles you just have to read about

Respecting the Classics

Around the holiday season, it’s easy to get worked up about the new snowmobiles on the block. They’ve got new electric starts, BlueTooth sound systems, and digital displays. They’ve got all the new gear to really turn heads. But nothing really turns heads like a classic, right? There’s just something about those old race sleds that takes you back. The shape, the sound of the motor – it all makes you think of the glory riding days of yesteryear. Let’s take a minute to walk down memory lane and look at 7 awesome vintage snowmobiles!

really awesome vintage snowmobiles

The 7 Best Vintage Snowmobiles Through the Ages

People like to say, “They don’t make them like they used to.” While we’re pretty big fans of all the innovations in making more efficient engines and safer sleds, seeing these old models definitely brings you back. How many of these classic sleds do you remember from the glory days?

1966 Arctic Cat Panther 

the 1966 vintage arctic cat panther snowmobile

The early Arctic Cat Panthers were legendary in many respects. The first reason for this being on our list is that this is one of the sleds that secured Arctic Cat’s place as a major snowmobile name. In the mid and late 1960s, Ski-Doo was the major name in the snowmobiling world. However, with the Panther, Arctic Cat began to break out from the pack.

Not only did we get a beautiful body from the Panther, but it also had a beautiful design. Fiberglass replaced heavy iron on the hood, shedding a lot of weight off the sled. It also featured slide rails instead of rollers inside the track. This snowmobile also had the engine placed in the front rather than the middle or back of the sled, giving riders weight where they needed it to help with traction. It was an innovative machine, and if you can believe it, beautiful, too.

1975 Ski-Doo TNT 

the 1975 vintage ski doo TNT snowmobile

Speaking of the big boys on the block, how about the 1975 Ski-Doo TNT? That’s not “TNT” as in “this sled is the bomb” (although it is), but actually Track n’ Trail. This sled was truly ready for it all. The first model of TNT was released in 1969, and this model persisted for over a decade. 

Most notable about this snowmobile was the sleek, trimmed-down design. You can see a definite progression in design between the comparatively clunky Panther and the slimmer TNT, especially in regard to aerodynamics. This Ski-Doo really put its focus on great handling and performance. 

1976 Yamaha SRX 340 

the shiny 1976 yamaha SRX 340 snowmobile

At its inception, the SRX was meant for a single purpose: speed. This model was designed to go fast, make tight turns, and keep cruising until the 2.6-gallon gas tank ran dry. The sled had aluminum skis, a tachometer because the speedometer was optional, and no windshield. We’re talking bare-bones speed.

Something really special about the ‘76 edition, the SRX 340, was that this was the first Yamaha to use a liquid-cooled engine. While earlier models were released as great options for normal trail riding, the SRX 340 was only meant as a race sled. It did the job well.

1980 Polaris TXL Indy 

the 1980 polaris TXL indy

In the earlier days of snowmobile riding, sleds were made for just that purpose – riding. Racing wasn’t as hot a spot as it is these days. We didn’t see many designs specifically for speed, but if you’re paying attention, you can see that those are some of our favorites. The Polaris TXL Indy was another one of these race sleds built to absolutely smoke the competition.

The Polaris TXL Indy featured great handling, sleek design, and really great suspension that made it easy to ride. You might often see in those days that factory racers could really only win on the sled they knew best. The TXL Indy was so well-rounded that just about anyone could hop on and start competing – and do it well. 

1980 Yamaha Enticer 

the 1980 yamaha enticer

Okay, so we’ve talked about some race sleds, but those aren’t the only ones that matter to us. All snowmobiles are beautiful! So how about we take a look at one of the most well-rounded factory vintage snowmobiles from the glory days, the Yamaha Enticer!

It didn’t have the sharp angles of the race sleds or the intimidating front end. That’s because the Enticer didn’t need them. What the Enticer offered was a great entry-level sled that any Tom, Dick, or Harry could hop on and have a great time. It was designed for easy use, with an oil-injection engine and disc brakes, but it retailed for only $1,000 dollars when it first came out in 1977. 

If you were a newer rider looking for something that you could enjoy without getting in too far over your head with mechanics, this was a perfect choice.

1982 Arctic Cat Jag 

1982 arctic cat jag vintage snowmobiles

Around the early ‘80s, we start to see snowmobiles taking a much more familiar shape. One of our favorite sleds from this time is the Arctic Cat Jag. Its design was much closer to our contemporary ideas of how a sled looks, unlike its more boxy predecessors. The Jag had a windshield, speedometer, great rear suspension, and looked pretty, to boot. 

While this wasn’t one of the top-tier sleds giving onlookers whiplash, it was a beautiful and solid machine. It was another great design from Arctic Cat that helped to keep them at the forefront of snowmobile design at the time.

1984 Yamaha Phazer 

1984 yamaha phazer was one of the coolest vintage snowmobiles

While they can’t all be winning race sleds, the Yamaha Phazer was definitely one of the winners. The Phazer’s cousin, the Enticer, was a great entry-level snowmobile. The Phazer, on the other hand, was what you would upgrade to once you got a taste for Yamaha engineering. 

So what made the Phazer so slick? It’s all in that aerodynamic design. A pivoting headlight aided in safely making it through the course. The excellent IFS and long-travel rear suspension gave it incredible handling. The combination of the sled’s lightweight and the tapered body and running boards made it hard to keep up with on the snow.

Our Picks for the Best Vintage Snowmobiles

We’ve come a long way in the snowmobiling world. Personally, we’re pretty glad that a speedometer comes stock on your sled now. How else can you know if you’re feeding the need for speed?

But, ignoring our technological advancements, there’s just something about those old sleds. The clunky bodies, the work, and dedication we put into vintage snowmobiles… the falls and scrapes we took along the way. It was all part of the learning curve. Looking back on it now, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The History of Dirt Biking & Motocross

TMS Parts has the history of dirt bikes here for ya!

The Rich History of Motocross Racing

In 1894 German inventors Heinrich and Wilhelm Hildebrand and Alois Wolfmüller invented the world’s first motorcycle in Munich. This first iteration of a motor bicycle was meant for ease of travel, and it performed the job well. Soon, though, riders began to have more and more fun with these motorcycles. They made different variations of street bikes, and eventually, offroad bikes. These early single-cylinder motorcycles quickly gained popularity and the world’s first motocross event was held Surrey, England in 1924. The rest is, as they say, history! But if you’re unfamiliar, here is the history of dirt bikes and motocross.

The History of Dirt Bikes

the history of dirt bikes

Motorcycles and the dirt bikes that evolved from them have been around for more than 100 years. Their history involves a rich tapestry of daring riders and innovative inventors.

Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach

Even before the Hildebrand brothers and Wolfmüller created the first motorcycle, another German inventing team created the Reitwagen. The Reitwagen, German for “riding car”, was actually much closer to what we would think of as a moped. 

However, Daimler and Maybach were the first folks to create a gasoline-powered bike. Their original invention, created in 1885, set the stage for what would eventually evolve into the dirt bikes we know today.

check out the history of dirt bikes and racing

Siegfried Bettmann

The invention of the dirt bike that we love today is often attributed to German-born Siegried Bettmann. Bettmann founded a company who you may have heard of, the Triumph Motorcycle Company. Bettmann is also attributed as the first person to modify the road bikes invented by Daimer and Maybach in 1914.

Bettman modified his dirt bikes only slightly from the original design of the Reitwagen. It had a lowered frame to facilitate a lower riding position and had a semi-automatic lubricator. This did make the bikes a little better at handling rougher terrain than the first motorcycles. However, it would take a few more decades before we see the kinds of motocross bikes we know today.

check out the history of dirt bikes

Soichiro Honda

Post World War II, motorcycles were seen as something only for the rougher crowd. There was no real popularity of motorcycles (or dirt bikes for that matter) among the civilian population. A young Japanese man by the name of Soichiro Honda wanted to change that. 

Honda could easily envision a world where motorcycles were no longer just for thugs and troublemakers. That’s why he established Honda Motor Co., Ltd in 1948. Throughout the 1950s, the popularity of motorcycles surged in Japan, and soon abroad. 

The bikes were incredibly popular. So much so that people didn’t want to just ride them on the streets anymore. They wanted a motorcycle they could take to the lake, down unpaved roads, and generally explore with. 

Honda met this demand by making motorcycles with stronger suspensions to handle uneven roads. Additionally equipped with much larger tires with better tread patterns to grip the dirt and keep the bike steady. Honda was building off of the ideas of Bettmann. However, it was his motorcycle that was popular enough to warrant further innovation into off-road motorcycles.

yamaha and the dirt bike gold standard

Yamaha and the Dirt Bike Gold Standard

Honda did a lot to popularize the use of motorcycles by civilians who eventually took them off the streets. The Yamaha Motor Corporation took this rising popularity and solidified its presence in the public consciousness by perfecting its offroad use.

Yamaha released the DT-1 trail bike in 1968 and flew through its initial production of 12,000 models. It was the first motocross bike to truly fit into the frame of how we know them today. Yamaha improved upon Honda’s innovations by providing more ground clearance, block-pattern tires and more forgiving suspension. 

The DT-1 would forever change the world of motorcycle racing by giving riders the real advantages they needed off-road. But where did motocross racing come from? Let’s take another step back.

The History of Motocross Racing

the early years of motocross racing

The term motocross is a portmanteau of the French word for motorcycle, motocyclette, and cross country. By its official definition, motocross is a form of racing for off-road motorcycles on enclosed, off-road circuits. Of course, just like the dirt bike itself, it took us a little while to get there. 

The Early Years of Motocross Racing

The earliest forms of motocross racing weren’t actual races at all. The Auto-Cycle Union, the governing body of motorcycle sports in the U.K., was founded in 1901. In 1906, they began holding time trials where motorcycle riders would compete for the best times completing off-road obstacle courses. Racers would travel over various types of terrains for dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of miles. Of course, they were using the earliest motorcycles, which simply couldn’t cut it.

They were the first folks to begin trying to make these modifications to their bikes. Modifications that led to Bettmann’s innovative designs just a few years later! The early years of motocross racing is an important piece of the history of dirt bikes.

scramble races are a part of the history of dirt bikes

Scramble Races 

Competing for the best time and bragging rights wouldn’t be enough for these racers forever. Soon they were itching to take the next logical step: racing. This led to the first dirt bike races, referred to as “scrambles”, in  Camberley, Surrey, England in 1924.

For the very first time, folks were using their motorcycles specifically designed to be taken off-road and racing them. Riders instantly realized this is what they were looking for. The sport remained very popular in England throughout the early 20th century. Motorcycle clubs continued to spawn and the sport was gaining a lot of popularity.

FIM Championships

FIM Championships and the United States Introduction

The world motorcycle governing organization, the FIM, introduced the European Championship in 1952. This race featured 500cc bikes racing across varied terrains, and it became a yearly event. In 1962, the FIM’s World Championship featured 250cc dirt bikes which were much lighter and easier to ride. European motorcyclists began touring the United States in the mid-1960s, introducing the sport to enthusiastic Americans. They instantly fell in love.

Americans loved it so much they were quick to begin organizing their own events. The United States did not truly begin adopting the dirt bike until over half a century after it’s creation. However, we were the folks to hold the world’s very first motocross event at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1972.

Dirt Bikes and Motocross Racing Today

the history of dirt bikes and motocross racing

That was all it took to get America hooked! Since this introduction and first motocross event, the popularity has never died down. Dirt bike racing was not an American invention, but now you can’t find a bigger fan base.

We are a nation that loves to push the envelope and stretch the imagination of what’s possible. The history of dirt bikes and motocross racing almost exclusively comes from a place of innovation. It’s no wonder we took to it so heavily and never looked back!

TMS Parts Shows You How to Winterize a Motorcycle

how to winterize a motorcycle

How to Store your Bike until Next Riding Season

It’s officially the saddest time of the year: time to think about putting your bike into storage. For some of us in the sunniest states, it’s not something you need to worry about. For the rest of us living in a winter wonderland, storing your bike for the winter months is essential. There are a few schools of thought as to the best methods for winterizing a motorcycle. However, not all of these methods work equally well, and we want to dispel the myths. So if you’ve never done it before, or you want to see if you’ve been doing it right, here’s everything you need to know about how to winterize a motorcycle. 

Simple Steps for Winterizing Your Motorcycle

Here are a few simple steps for winterizing your motorcycle. Follow along to give your bike the best protection until those temperatures start to rise again.

take your motorcycle inside

Keep Exposed Metal Safe – Take it Inside

The best advice will always be to keep your bike inside a temperature-controlled environment like a garage. The main reason for doing so is to protect against condensation. Condensation can cause corrosion and rust that will ruin the integrity of your motorcycle.

Of course, not all of us have access to a temperature-controlled garage. One great alternative is to rent a storage unit for your bike. Many are temperature-controlled. Even if it’s not, your bike is far better off sitting inside a storage unit than parked on the street with a tarp over it. 

It’s going to save you from damage caused by condensation and one other thing. One of the biggest enemies to your stored motorcycle is going to be animals like field mice, rats, and more that are looking for a warm place to sleep. Keeping your bike inside doesn’t just keep the cold out, it keeps the critters out, too. 

Also, make sure when your bike is ready for storage that you seal it up. Plug up any hole (like your exhaust) with anything you have handy to keep animals from making it their winter getaway.

fresh lube oil and a coat of wax is how to winterize a motorcycle

Fresh Oil, Lube, and a Coat of Wax

Using a motorcycle-specific soap, wash down your bike. Get off all the dirt, bugs, and other debris it’s been collecting this season. This is going to protect the paint while it’s sitting for a while. Make sure you put a fresh layer of wax over the painted surfaces for extra protection.

Likewise, you want to treat any exposed metal surfaces with polish for the same reason. You also want to treat any moving parts with lubricant. If your bike is going to be sitting for a few months, this will help it wake up and get rolling in the spring. 

If you’ve got a chain-driven bike, don’t forget about that chain! Take your bike out for one last good ride and get the chain warm. Then when you’re ready to winterize your motorcycle, hit the chain with a fresh layer of lubricant. Doing this while your chain is still warm will help to move the lubricant throughout all of the pieces of the chain. Of course, this results in better protection from rust.

wondering how to winterize a motorcycle? winterize the fuel system too

Winterize Your Fuel System

There are two methods for protecting your fuel system. The first is to simply empty your tank entirely. Left sitting for a long time, gasoline can turn into a dense sludge that your bike won’t be able to ignite. It can ruin your fuel tank and potentially your bike.

The second method is to fill your fuel tank and add some fuel stabilizer to the tank. You want to put your motorcycle into storage with the gas tank at about 90% full if you choose this method. This is going to prevent condensation from forming in your tank. Adding a fuel stabilizer and letting it run through your bike’s fuel system will keep your fuel fresh and healthy.

time to do some work!

Fresh Oil and Filters

Nothing fancy here. You just want to be prepared for that first spring ride. Along with your fuel, you don’t want your old oil to get stale sitting around for a few months. You can prevent that from happening by changing your oil and filters. This is going to keep the inside of your engine happy and healthy.

Check Your Levels

To give your bike the full treatment, you really want to change your brake fluid, clutch fluid, and transmission fluid if your bike uses them. At the very least, you want to top off those levels to make sure your bike is ready for the first spring ride. 

Remove the Battery

This is another simple one. You just want to remove your battery and make sure you store it in a cool, dry place. If you have an older battery, you might want to think about picking up a battery tender. That way you can make sure your battery keeps its charge over winter.

keep your tires good by figuring out how to winterize a motorcycle for the cold weather

Keep Your Tires Protected From Flat Spots

When you finally winterize your motorcycle, it’s going to be in one place for a long time. During that time you want to take the stress off of your tires. Use a center stand (not your kickstand) to elevate your bike. Getting your tires off the ground will keep them from forming flat spots where it’s been sitting. 

If you don’t have a center stand, put a rug or piece of plywood under your tires. This will help prevent those flat spots and will also keep your tires from absorbing moisture from the ground.

how to winterize a motorcycle for a better spring ride

Winterizing Your Motorcycle For a Better Spring Ride

Winterizing your motorcycle can take some work. However, don’t focus on the work. Focus on how much easier it’s going to be getting back on the road in spring. If you properly winterize your motorcycle, getting it running when the weather gets warmer will be a snap. If you’re planning on doing a little early riding, make sure you check out our tips for winter riding and stay safe out there!

TMS Parts’ Tips for Mudding with Your ATV

TMS Parts' Tips for Mudding with Your ATV

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 you Need to Know Before You Go Out Mud Riding

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

Tips for Mudding With Your ATV

Mud Tires

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.

Tips for Mudding With Your ATV

Snorkel Kit

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 
make sure you're doing some upgrades for mudding with you atv

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. 

atv mudding for the win

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.

Snowmobile Maintenance Tips: Prepping Your Sled for the Winter

snowmobile maintenance tips for winter

Getting Your Snowmobile in Working Order Before You Hit the Trails

Can you feel it in the air? The cold nights, the crisp wind, winter is almost here! It’s been a great summer and fall for ATV and dirtbike riding, but now it’s time to give your snowmobile it’s time to shine! But before you hit the trails for the day with your buds, you have to make sure that your snowmobile is ready for the season. Here’s everything that should be on your snowmobile maintenance checklist this year!

snowmobile maintenance tips and checklist

Snowmobile Maintenance Tips and Checklist

One thing you want to do before starting any of this is to take a look at your owner’s manual. Make sure that you know any critical information about fluid types your ride requires, manufacturer suggestions for track tension and anything else. This will give you an idea of how things should look and feel, and it’s also going to keep you from voiding your warranty!

time to get in that garage and fix up the ol snowmobile

Visual Inspection

Before you start really getting into anything, you just want to give the entire snowmobile a quick visual inspection. You’re just looking for any sort of major cracks, dents, breaks, or anything else out of the ordinary. Take a look at your drive belt, how your rear suspension is sitting, and everything else.

Make a checklist of anything you note. Even if it’s not critical, it’s something you can get to when you have some time later on.

check the fluid levels and filters

Fluid Levels and Filters

In a perfect world, we drained all the fluids from our snowmobile in spring after the season was over. That means gasoline, coolant, and brake fluid. If you’re like me and you’re a little less than perfect, you want to drain your old gasoline at the very least. Gasoline that’s been sitting over spring and summer can deteriorate and really reduce your snowmobile’s performance.

Top off any coolant or brake fluid that your snowmobile needs. Or if you want to strive for that perfect, drain them and replace them entirely. As far as your filters go, you should be replacing them every 1,000 miles or so. If you replaced yours at the end of last season, you should be all set to go!

 snowmobiles you have to check out

Check Your Electronics

Make sure that your head and tail lights are in working order. Replace any bulbs as needed. It’s also a good idea to check your battery. Especially if you have an electric starter. If it’s not holding a proper charge, it’s time to swap it out. You don’t want to be 20 miles in the woods with a snowmobile that you can’t start.

check your skis and adjust your track

Check Your Skis and Adjust Your Track

Your skis are one of the most important parts of your snowmobile, so you want to make sure they’re ready for riding season. If you have steel skis, you want to inspect them for any holes in them. For plastic skis, you want to look for any major gouges, and replace if necessary.

Of course, your track is just as important for traction and handling. Check for any tears, missing lugs, or if you’ve studded your track, any missing studs. Then you want to adjust it for proper tension that feels comfortable for you. Take the play out of it, but don’t tighten it too much!

polish it on up and break out the grease gun

Break Out the Grease Gun

That’s if you didn’t already apply chaincase oil in the Spring. If you didn’t, no worries! Your snowmobile won’t suffer for sitting with the old oil. But make sure that you change your chaincase oil at least once every year. 

make sure you follow these awesome snowmobile maintenance tips

Polish it Up!

One final step is to just give your baby a little TLC! Clean it, polish it, get all that dirt and grime off of it and make it shine like new! The cleaner you keep your ride the better it will perform over the years.

get out there

Snowmobile Maintenance Tips for Getting Ready for Riding Season

Getting your snowmobile ready for winter doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Most of these snowmobile maintenance tips take only a few minutes, and they’re great for giving your ride a long, healthy life. There are plenty of other repair jobs you can do yourself that are also going to give you a better ride. We hope you’re snow-season, and hopefully, this gives you a little help getting there! 

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.