ATV Racing: An Ultimate Guide

ATV Racing: An Ultimate Guide

How to Start ATV Racing

ATV racing can feel like an exclusive club if you’re unfamiliar with the off-road community. But that doesn’t mean you can’t break in if you’re persistent. Most fans and riders love being close to nature, where the ground can be anything but predictable. You will need to wear durable clothes and use the proper riding equipment to participate in your first race.

Use the Proper Gear

Start by shopping for ATV riding gear that you can wear during the race. This includes a light long-sleeved shirt and pants. You don’t want to leave your skin uncovered as it will get hit with all kinds of debris. The clothes should be made of a moisture-wicking material that will dry easily when wet. You will also need riding boots that can withstand the mud and dirt, gloves for keeping a grip on the bike and a full-face helmet to protect your head, face and neck. You may also want to insert pads underneath your clothes in case you fall off your bike. Use off-road communication to wirelessly connect to your coach or teammates while riding so you can stay focused on the road.

Use Off-Road Communication to Stay Connected


ATV racer takes a turn

Source: homydesign/

You will also need to either rent or buy an ATV before you start racing. Choose an ATV based on the size of the engine. The size is listed in cubic centimeters. Engines in the 150 to 300 cc range tend to be best for racing because they are light and easy to handle in tight situations. Larger engines are best for casual trail riding and aggressive off-roading.

Consider making additional modifications to your ATV before the race to protect yourself from injury. Add a tether cord/kill switch to turn off the engine fast in case you lose control of the ATV. Nerf bars will insulate your hands and feet from bushes, trees and other debris that can knock you out of position.

Many races also require number plates so they can identify each vehicle on the track. You may also need to buy a transponder so the judges can track your location in real time.

Practice Riding

Once you have all the required gear, it’s time to start practicing your racing skills. Speed is key to winning a race, especially across long distances, so practice gradually increasing your speed on open stretches of land. You will also need to learn how to stay balanced on the bike when driving over rocks, dirt and unstable ground. Use your thighs to hug the side of the bike and keep your back straight and your core engaged to avoid getting fatigued.

Turning on a dime can also throw some riders for a loop. You’ll need to reduce your speed by hitting the brake as you approach the turn. Get into a crouched position with most of your weight towards the back. There are two ways to make a turn on an ATV. You can square off by making a quick turn, which will help you pass someone on the track. You can also round it off by turning wide, but that might not be an option if you need to make another turn in rapid succession or are dodging other ATVs.

portrait muddy ATV rider


Source: Amelia Martin/

Sign Up for a Race

Once you feel ready to put your skills to the test, look for a race in your area. Races are typically listed by age, gender, vehicle size and class. Each event comes with its own rules, so be sure to follow the instructions when you arrive.

Be a good sport and practice honing your skills over time to be the best racer you can be. You’ll be winning trophies before you know it!