6 BOLT-ON PRODUCTS THAT MAKE ATV LIFE BETTER

SIX PRODUCTS THAT MAKE ATV LIFE BETTER

By Lane Lindstrom

While the ATV aftermarket accessory segment isn’t as big as the UTV side, it still represents a significant amount of dollars. Estimates we’ve seen say riders are adding $800–$1000 (compared to nearly $2,000 for UTVs) in parts and accessories to their ATVs right after purchasing them.

There is a bevy of practical, fun, affordable and impressive accessories on the market. Our six—three each for utility ATVs and sport quads—barely scratch the surface of what is available and what we would add to our quad. Accessory options not on our list include lights, snow blades, mirrors, grips, fenders, nerf bars, flag mounts, graphics/wraps, navigation, anything for hunting and the list goes on.

We purposefully did not include performance products like engine enhancements, pipes, clutching, tires, etc. The six products we highlighted here are geared towards creature comforts and safety.


1. CARGO BAG OR BOX FOR UTILITY ATV’S

ATV CARGO BAG

 

If you plan on carrying any gear or equipment and want to protect it from the dust and elements, then you’re going to need a cargo bag or box. Most UTVs have some sort of cargo bed; ATVs offer racks. You can easily attach gear and equipment to racks, but there’s not much to protect your gear from the elements.

2. WINCH FOR UTILITY ATV’Satv winch

 

You don’t know how handy a winch is until you need one. You can get stuck in mud or even sand. You might need to winch over rocks or logs or even pull a fallen tree off the trail. They are handy doing work around your property, ranch or farm. We think you will find ways to use the winch.

YOU WANT IT BECAUSE…

A winch is inexpensive insurance. A tow strap is also handy, but a winch is always there. No need to remember to include some sort of towing aid. And with a winch, you don’t always need another vehicle to help you get out of a pickle.

Do you want steel or synthetic winch cable? Wire/steel rope is durable, as well as abrasion-resistant, and holds up well if there’s any chance the line will rub against rocks, logs, farm equipment or other abrasive things. Steel rope is heavier but less flexible than synthetic line. It’s also usually less expensive than synthetic rope.

While synthetic rope may not be as strong as steel rope, it is more flexible and lightweight, making it easy to handle. Also, it will float on water.

YOU REALLY SHOULD…

Learn to use and practice with your winch before you need your winch to get you out of a sticky situation. Winches do need to be used properly and within the weight limitations of the winch unit.

TIP

Pay attention to the sound when rewinding the winch after use. It needs to be rewound evenly, and it helps to have a little tension on the rope while it’s been rewound. We’ve seen improperly rewound winch rope that became so bound up that the winch case had to be taken apart to unwind the rope.

MSRP

Starting at $189.

3. WINDSHIELD FOR UTLITY ATV’S

atv windshield

 

Putting a windshield on an ATV might raise some eyebrows, but they are welcome on cold mornings when riding a trail with heavy brush or when riders ahead are kicking up rocks/pebbles/dust/debris. Oh yeah, and then there’s the bugs.

YOU WANT IT BECAUSE…

It’s a simple install with basic hand tools in just a matter of minutes. On days you want to ride without the windshield, you can easily remove it.

Most ATV windshields include fairings that protect the handlebar ends, which mean no wind, rocks or debris hitting your hands while riding. More elaborate windshields and fairings include side mirrors, which basically come as one piece with a headlight cutout.

Windshields are available in different heights and tints. Generally, they’re available in low, mid or high sizes and are from 14 to 22 inches tall. The height of a windshield is measured from the headlight opening to the top of the windshield.

YOU REALLY SHOULD…

Pay attention to the size, type and shape of the windshield. Some windshields are model-specific and others are universal, meaning they would fit a few different models. In addition to deciding how tall your windshield should be, you should consider the width, which varies between 20–36 inches. Bigger, taller and wider windshields offer lots of protection, but bigger ones reduce the vehicle’s aerodynamics and are literally a drag at speed.

TIP

ATV windshields are made of 

poly and require careful atten

tion to keep them clean. Don’t wipe your windshield with a paper towel or regular cloth. We prefer microfiber cloths. You can still scratch the surface by moving the dust particles across the poly surface.

MSRP

Starting at $130.

4. SKID PLATE FOR SPORT QUADS

atv skidplate

We are big proponents of skid plates for all powersports, including quads. For sport quads, skid plates do more than just protect the underbelly of your quad. They can improve the rideability of your quad. They keep the undercarriage from hanging on sand, rocks or logs. A skid plate helps your quad skim right over the top.

YOU WANT IT BECAUSE…

Skid plates add a level of protection for your engine, chassis components and frame tubes. Quads are so low to the ground (comparatively speaking), it doesn’t take much for a rock, stick or thick, gooey mud or a combination of both to take a toll on your bike.

Most skid plates are made of lightweight aluminum and don’t add much weight at all to a bike. Some companies manufacture their skid plates out of plastic, which is also a good choice.

Although skid plate installation is a little more involved, they are not too difficult. If you know your way around a bike, you should be able to easily install a skid plate.

YOU REALLY SHOULD…

Figure out if you want access to your oil-drain plug, because that will help you decide which skid plate to purchase. Some aftermarket skid plates come with an opening for the oil to drain while a few don’t. If you work on your own quad, having an opening for the oil to drain is very handy—and necessary. The skid plate should have holes so water will drain out instead of pooling up on the upper side.

TIP

If you’re an aggressive rider, then you might consider A-arm and swingarm protection plates. Aftermarket quad skid plates are designed for the underbelly of your bike, not the A-arms and swingarm. These need to be purchased separately.

MSRP

Starting at $125.

5. HAND GUARDS FOR SPORT QUADS

atv handguards

 

Sport quad riders fall into one of two camps regarding handguards: I’ll never put those on my quad, or they’re one of the best accessories I’ve added to my quad. Those who don’t like them say they feel restricted when riding with them. They don’t think they can move around on the bike as easily because the handguards get in the way. Others want the protection from cold days, brush, flying rocks and bomber bugs.

YOU WANT IT BECAUSE…

If you’re a racer (or wannabe racer), handguards are just about a necessity. Unless you’re always in the lead and don’t have to worry about a racer in front of you, then you’re following someone who will kick up dirt, rocks and sticks that pelt your hands.

Despite nearly all handguards coming in one basic design, there is a surprising array of options when it comes to colors and graphics. Closed, wrap-around guards that attach to the bar ends protect the grips, control levers and handlebar switches, but may feel even more restrictive to some riders.

This is another accessory that is quick and easy to install with a few hand tools.

YOU REALLY SHOULD…

Pay attention to the type(s) of handguards you’re looking at. While some are interchangeable between dirt bikes and quads, not all are. Add to that that not all handlebar setups are the same, and you need to pay attention to what you’re buying so you’re not wrestling with your new purchase to install it.

TIP

If you’re worried that your hands will overheat because handguards do block the wind/air flow, look at vented handguards. They provide air flow while still protecting against rocks and sticks that get kicked up.

MSRP

Starting at $40.

6. FRONT GRAB BARS FOR SPORT QUADS

atv front grab bar

A sport quad’s front grab bar offers a solid place to grab when loading and unloading, moving the quad around the shop, or for getting unstuck in sand or mud.

YOU WANT IT BECAUSE…

A front grab bar makes a quad look more aggressive. Sport quads are relatively light, so a grab bar doesn’t need a lot of metal to make it effective.

Grab bars are light, usually made of aluminum and powdercoated. They add little weight to a quad, which helps keep them sporty and light on their tires.

Many front grab bars are easy to install. Most come with four bolts and require few tools to install.

YOU REALLY SHOULD…

Decide how much of a grab bar you want. Some are simple, while others have more elaborate designs, which results in more weight. Even elaborate front grab bars are lighter than utility ATV bumpers.

TIP

Next time you’re at the dunes or your favorite mud pit, look at other sport quads that have front grab bars. Look for what might work best for your quad. Looking online is helpful, but seeing them up close is best.

MSRP

Starting at $65


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