ATV Mud Riding: An Ultimate Guide

ATV Mud Riding: An Ultimate Guide

All-terrain vehicles are made to be driven through muddy bogs and thick patches of dirt, so you can make a mess to your heart’s content. Lots of riders actively search out the muddiest trails, revving their engines right after a fresh rainstorm. Even if you’re not actively searching out the mud, you might have to drive through on your way to your destination. A little bit of watery soil shouldn’t slow you down, but excess mud can damage your ATV and may even leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Use this ATV mud riding guide to make sure your vehicle can weather the storm.

Prepping Your ATV for the Mud

Most ATVs are designed to handle the mud, but you need to modify your vehicle to do some serious mud-slinging. If the air intake valve gets clogged, it will suffocate the engine. Make sure the intake box is sealed with a lid. Install an aftermarket air filter to keep particulate matter out and one-way check valves that prevent water from seeping through without cutting off the air supply. If you plan on fully submerging your ATV in the mud, use snorkels to get the air intake and exhaust off the ground.

The radiator needs to be free of debris to let the engine cool. Insulate it from mud by reconfiguring the body so mud and dirt can’t get through.

Clean off the ATV before you depart and spray everything but the seat with WD-40 to prevent rust.

Insulate electrical components and connections in silicone and grease to keep moisture at bay.

a quad with two riders

What to Bring When ATV Mud Riding

Mud riding can increase your risk of injury, so be sure to wear the essential ATV riding gear, including a full-face helmet with a visor or half-face helmet with goggles to shield your eyes and face from all the mud flying through the air or you won’t be able to see.

Wear ATV Riding Gear to Stay Safe in the Mud

Everything on your body should be mud-friendly. You shouldn’t mind getting these items dirty because it will be nearly impossible to keep them clean. Choose light, moisture-wicking materials such as blended wool or synthetic fibers that dry quickly when wet so you don’t get bogged down by muddy clothes.

Riding on slick terrain can increase the risk of accidents. Wear knee, shoulder and elbow pads underneath your clothes in case you wipe out.

Your technology and accessories should be completely waterproof, including your GPS and wireless headset. Use durable off-road communication that connects automatically in range, so you don’t have to reset the device when your fingers are covered in mud.

If some of your companions don’t have this equipment, you can use your hands to communicate instead. Learn about the most common ATV hand signals to help your group stay on the same page.

An ATV quadbike sandy road

Bring dry clean rags to wipe yourself off if you get drenched. You can also use them to clean off your ATV and riding accessories if they are coated beyond recognition.

How to Ride an ATV in the Mud

When you’re ready to get wet, slow down and spend some time scoping out the area. Identify any potential hazards, including obstacles that may be hard to avoid on slippery terrain and deep waters that could ruin your engine. Go around the deepest part of the water to err on the side of caution.

Controlling your speed is key to driving through the mud. Ease off the accelerator to avoid splashing the mud without losing your momentum. If you don’t mind wiping out, give yourself plenty of space to slide around and stay away from rocks, trees and other hard surfaces.

Try shifting your weight and wiggling the handlebars when you lose traction to help the vehicle make more contact with the ground. If you get stuck, you’ll need to use a winch or have a buddy tow you out of the bog. That’s why it always helps to go mudding in a group. Keep this equipment on hand in case of emergency.

Use Waterproof Off-Road Communication to Coordinate with Your GroupMud riding is considered the most extreme form of ATVing. It’s hard to know where you’re driving when everything is covered in murky brown water. Use these tips to stay safe in the mud, so you can go wherever the trail takes you.