Accessories

Accessories

Navigation Lights

ATV lights come with just one problem. They don’t shine in the direction you are turning until you have made the turn. A fellow in Alpine Utah came up with a dandy solution. He calls them navigator lights. They are sealed beam lights mounted on a solid steel mount that is clamped to the handle bars, that way they put a major light source in the direction you are turning. You can find them on the web at www.atvlights.com

Rear View Mirrors

This is another feature that is customary on any street legal machine. Once again the Dealership had a high cost alternative, and the grocery store had the low cost alternative. I went to the low cost alternative. I just need to know if my pals are behind me when I’m in front on the trail. Riding with a helmet on, it’s not so easy to turn your head far enough, while watching for obstacles in front. I think a rear view mirror is a great idea.

Once again, the benefit of experience with the product indicates that a bicycle product is simply not a good solution for an ATV. The problem is that there was insufficient strength in the mirror arm to be able to show a visible image in the rear. The rough trail would cause the mirror to bounce. If you were to use a stable fixed arm mirror it may work just fine. Flexible arm mirrors are not the best solution for an ATV. Another consideration is that mud quickly covers the mirror when out in the field and then they are useless.

Enclosure

Some people may have the need to domesticate their ATV. An enclosure would be a handy thing if you were using your ATV on a daily basis, in the bone chilling wind, doing chores around the barn. Most people would never think of it. You can buy them for under $250.

Personally I’d like one that wasn’t quite so sturdy, but would do the trick if inclement weather happened along during a long trail ride. Anything that would keep the rain from hitting me directly would do the trick. I haven’t found one of these on the market, but I have an idea that I might submit to a manufacturer.

GPS

At first I thought I wouldn’t have much need for one of these Global Positional System devices. When my son-in-law received one for Christmas I quickly changed my mind. This device can be a real lifesaver. As a matter of fact, just last week he was out on his snowmobile and ran out of gas. His buddies didn’t notice him fall back. Even though he was in unfamiliar territory he was having no problem. He just pulled out his GPS and on the screen before him was his route back to the car. Fortunately, he was able to get some gas from another traveler and followed his GPS back the way he came. That was enough to convince me that it would be pretty valuable for an ATV rider too. Its optional, do you want to be lost or not?

Handlebar Covers

Most ATV riders love to ride year round in all conditions. Even a great pair of gloves can make a long ride on the Mirror Lake Highway in January a bit challenging, due to penetrating cold. Innovative minds have solved the problem with handlebar mittens, or covers. They come in many different configurations and colors, but remain constant in their ability to keep your hands toasty while on the trail, summer or winter. You’ll find them priced around $40.00

Heated Handgrips

I believe that it was Volvo that first came out with heated seats in their cars. Heated seats on an ATV would be a unique feature, yet to be offered, but the next closest thing to it is the availability of electronically heated handgrips. These attach to your battery and replace the existing handgrips on your ATV. (Also available for snowmobiles). For many of our ATV enthusiasts, who have a touch of arthritis in their hands, this is a comforting feature that saves days of aching and painful hands following a ride in the chilly weather. If you can’t afford the price of the electric handgrips (about $40.00) a cheap alternative is to use chemical heating pads along with the fore mentioned handlebar covers/mittens. You can find the chemical heat pads at most sporting goods outlets.

Mobile Radios

Communication during a long ride can be a little strained. With a radio on board you can keep up the chatter, just like you are next to each other in the car. It can be very useful in keeping the group together.

Since the FCC approved the FRS band for use by families the remote communication capability has taken a quantum leap forward. A FRS has a potential communication capability of about 2 miles when unobstructed. It will be less than that with obstructions like buildings and mountains. If you have a clear line of sight you may find an ability to communicate over much greater distances. The use of FRS radios is becoming so popular among ATVers that there is a popular move afoot to get all FRS/GMRS radio users to use FRS channel 5 or any of its sub channels for use while out in the field. This will permit us to find each other more readily when and if help is needed beyond our own party.

We all remember what it was like to play with the old CB radios with 40 channels. You could be entertained by the chat of hundreds of other transmitters in the area. The new FRS radios have only 14 major channels, but they have additional 38 sub channels making the opportunity for privacy on a channel very good. You can pick a channel and sub channel and stay there all day and rarely have someone else join your conversation.
(These are not only good on the trail, but also when you visit your local mall or warehouse store; you can use them to find your spouse who has gone off in pursuit of their own agenda.)

GMRS radios are now available at reasonable prices. Some locations have them for sale for under $50.00 each. The advantage that a GMRS radio offers is a range of about 5 miles. They can also use radio repeaters out in the field that can extend the range as far as 25 miles. The disadvantage of these radios is that the FCC requires a license that costs $75.00 per family.

Helmet Communications

Carrying a FRS or GMRS radio is one thing. Being able to use them continually is quite another. In most cases you have to stop your ATV and pull out your radio to pass along a thought or vital piece of information. If you have used the mobile two-way radios for any extended period, you know that this becomes a daunting task. There is also the problems with loosing radios. Both of the radios pictured above have been lost. Some raccoon is probably using them right now.

The Helmet Comm, manufactured by Precision Electronics solves all those problems. It offers a speaker so you can actually hear the radio right within your helmet, and the microphone is also set right in front of your mouth. It attaches to your radio via a sturdy cord that can clip to your belt loop or other handy accommodation. The antenna is also mounted next to your ear on the outside of your helmet to give you a greater transmission radius.

This device will save you money in lost radios and make your riding experience more enjoyable all the way around.

ATV/Garden Trailer

If you are like me, you love to employ machine power any time there is a big job. There are lots of alternatives available when it comes to trailers for your ATV. If you put a standard ball on your machine you can even pull a boat trailer, just be careful not to put more weight on the hitch than it can carry. If the front wheels come up, you are over the recommended weight for sure.

You can find garden trailers for lawn tractors at most garden centers and home improvements stores. These will work just fine with your ATV if the tongue is long enough. These trailers will run between $150 to $500 depending on the solution that you are looking for.

ATV-Trailer

We’ve also used our garden trailer out in the field and found that it works like a charm in that environment. The one caution to take into consideration? Anything you put in the trailer has to be covered to be protected from copious amounts of mud and water that will splash up from the rear tires.

Tank Bags

The closest thing you will find to the jockey box in your car will be an over tank type saddlebag. They are not expensive, but oh so useful. You can carry your liquid refreshment and eats in your bag so you can munch as you ride, if you like. They are also a handy place to keep the ATV repair manual and maps.

Front Rack Bags
If you need a place to store your picnic for the ride, the front rack will be the preferred place. Not too likely you will sit on the chicken when on the front rack. There are lots of different configurations available. Just choose what works best for you.

Back Rack Bags
Back rack bags are an item that can be indispensable. These will provide a place to store your fishing/hunting gear, spare gloves, coat, and a dozen other essential items for a long ride.

Backbag

Most Back Rack Bags offer the feature of extended foam padding. “In order to assure the safe conveyance of your precious goods.” Let’s not kid ourselves. These are really buddy seats. The reason why they can’t say that is because they don’t want to assume the liability of any harm coming to a passenger on an ATV. ATVs are built to be a solo-riding instrument, but just like a bicycle, there are times when a passenger is a necessity. Here’s my disclaimer, if you ride with a Passenger on your ATV you are more likely to have an accident that could cause bodily injury including death. Attorneys insist on stuff like that. People make their own minds up about what is safe and what is not. If you suggest that it is safe then you become liable for any accident in some way. That is why it is clearly shown on your ATV “no Passengers”. The law does not prohibit passengers, risk management lawyers do.

MP3 Players

Some people can’t live without their tunes. You are not as likely to have great commercial AM or FM reception out in the wild, so what do you do? This is it, the reason why MP3 players were invented. You can plug them into your ears under your helmet and enjoy Beethoven or Smashing Pumpkins without anyone being the wiser as you travel along. The nice thing is that you get to choose your poison and the bumps won’t interfere with its quality, as they do with a portable CD player.

Rifle Holder

If you are a hunter you will find that it is not so easy to drive an ATV and keep your weapon shouldered on your sling. You will want one of these U shaped rifle holders. They are excellent for giving you easy and quick access to your weapon when you need it. Don’t think that you are going to find too much prey from your ATV. Your machine will give you away before you get there in most instances.

Scabbard (gun case) holder

The first cousin to the rifle holder is the scabbard holder that attaches to the rear rack of your ATV. These offer better protection to your rifle. You actually place your weapon inside the case that attaches to your ATV. They are also a lot more costly, but may be worth it.

Storage Cover

Even if you keep your ATV in the garage at home while not in use, you may find a storage cover to be handy and useful out in the field or enroute to your trailhead. If hunting, you can use a camouflage cover to “hide” your ATV in plain sight. Traditional Black covers are also available.

Snow Removal Blade

You can become the hero of your neighborhood with a snow plow blade on your ATV. You (or your children) will have so much fun removing snow that it will be a race to see who can get out there first to get the snow off the drive. It is done so quickly that two or three more drives in the neighborhood will likely fall prey to its use before you are done. It only takes just a few minutes to the sidewalk in the whole neighborhood.

The attachment kit has to be specific for your very machine year and model or it won’t work. The blades are generic as long as the fit the attachment kit.

You can also attach your electric winch to the blade to raise and lower it, if you have one.

One suggestion: If you have a snow plow mounted to your ATV be sure to remove the mounting brackets before you go out into the field. If not, you will discover next winter that your mounting brackets have been bent by the rocks encountered on the trail. This may make it necessary to replace the brackets before you can use your plow again….It is cheaper to remove them than to replace them. (the voice of experience)

Warning Flag, (aka Dune Flag, Whip Flag)

If you frequent the sand dunes or any other place where there are lots of riders it is highly recommended, required in many locations, that you have a warning flag attached to your ATV. (Even Motorcycles are required to have them in some locations.) If you wait until you get there to buy one you will pay a preimum for the privilege. You can buy them for a fair price from Quad Fever on Redwood road. Other dealers carry them also.

Winch

Winches are real cool. For some that may like to adventure out on their own (not recommended) a Winch may be a necessity. They are really great for getting yourself out of a mess that only pure stupidity got you into. There are manual winches that run under $50.00 or electric winches that can be hooked to your ATV battery for between $300 and $500. As a safety instrument it can be useful in emergencies, but a second ATV and a good rope will likely work just as nicely.

Etc.

There are lots more accessories available. The best outdoorsman catalog available on the net, that I have found, is Cabala’s. Their URL is Cabelas. One visit there and you will have Christmas and birthday gifts planned for the next twenty years.

Categories: ATV Info

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