What’s the first thing we all want to do when our sparkling new quad like my Bombardier Spyder hits the ground? If you’re anything like me, you want to ride it as you stole it. However, it’s always better to make the transition slow and easy to let the machine ease up to you.
Get to know your quad
The very last thing that most new quad owners want to do is read the manual, and we totally understand. But keep this in mind: The information that’s tightly packed into the manual about your new quad is vital to properly maintaining, understanding and protecting this pricey investment. OK, we’re not saying to read and memorize it from beginning to end, but rather you should familiarize yourself with your ATV’s functions, maintenance schedules and proper break-in procedures. If you choose to store your manual under the seat of your quad, it’s a good idea to seal it up in a Ziploc bag; I keep mine in my toolbox where I know it will be safe.
Inspect and top off all fluids
Did you know that engine failure due to low oil or coolant are quite common mishaps that can certainly destroy your new motor’s internal organs? It’s so simple to just twist off the cap, check to see that the engine oil, coolant and differential fluids are at the proper level. Staying on top of this will ensure that your new machine will thrive for many years to come. Although most dealers will take care of this before you walk out of the dealership door, do you really want to take that chance? I don’t!
Fine tune the seats
While performing our sport 450 shootout last issue, we were reminded of this very important tip. As we mounted up all seven machines, which were delivered straight from each respective factory, we realized we’d forgotten one thing; the placement of the handlebars, brake levers and clutch levers on every machine was way out of whack. So the tools came out and we began to adjust. I usually adjust the handlebar to the position that feels most comfortable while standing and sitting, then tighten it back down. Next, I slightly loosen the brake and clutch levers, stand crouched in the attack position and adjust them to the very same angle as my arms from that attack position. That’s how I do it, but the important thing is to adjust the controls to your own liking.
Follow the break-in Procedures
Most ATVs have a simple break-in procedure that you’ll have to study up on in your owner’s manual. The initial break-in is designed to properly seat the valves and piston rings. Making sure to follow OEM specs will ensure the newest lion in your pack will be running for a long time to come. Most manufacturers require an oil change along with an oil filter change after only the first few hours on the motor. It never hurts to take preventative steps to make the fun last longer and keep you out of the shop.