Tips for Tackling Rock Riding

hWhether you’re competing on a rugged cross country course or cruising with fellow ATV riders along a country trail, you can encounter harsh terrain filled with rocks and boulders that can damage your machine and put a strain on your wrists and ankles as you struggle to maintain control. To keep your quad – and yourself – together when you encounter these obstacles, follow a few simple tips.

If you regularly run into boulders and rocky areas, outfit your machine with a set of skid plates. PRM Products manufacture a variety of aluminum protection parts for most models of ATVs and they come in different thicknesses so you can find what suits your needs. Tires get a lot of wear and tear on rough terrain, so consider a 6 ply tire – something like the ITP Holeshot GNCC – in a 22 inch front size and 21 inch rear. Tires like these have a thick construction to help prevent punctures, and the bead-saver can eliminate pinch flats that happen near the edge of the rim. If you’re running on air tires, setting the pressure a little higher can also help prevent those pinch flats.

Nerf bars and a set of quality wide foot pegs make a difference when the going gets rough, and will prevent your legs from flailing around as you bounce over the biggest bumps. Mount a set of Flexx Bars…revolutionary handlebars that use rubber grommets to cushion blows, to help your hands during hard hits. This product from Fasst Company can really make a noticeable comfort difference. They’ll absorb the shock and vibrations normally transferred to hands, arms, elbows and shoulders.

Riding rocks in rainy and wet conditions can be treacherous, so traction is always a big priority. Throttle control is what you should concentrate on, with a finger kept on the clutch lever in case the wheels begin to spin up. Pick a line on the edge of the trail where you might be able to keep your wheels in the dirt for more grip and a steadier momentum. The easiest way to win the battle with rocks is to search for a line around the most questionable formations by looking ahead and avoiding tall outcrops that can high-center your machine, bend a tie-rod, or break a spindle. Sometimes conquering extreme rocks just means being smart enough to figure out a way around them!