ATV Riding Tips and Advice for Beginners

Featured image for post: ATV Riding Tips and Advice for Beginners

Before we take our guests out on our scenic Rocky Mountain mining trails, we teach all guests the most essential safety and riding tips. Above all, we want to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience by helping each new rider get comfortable handling an ATV.

Riding four-wheelers is only somewhat like driving a car, and ATV riding can be so fun that you might forget the importance of taking things gradually. That’s why ATV Tours Colorado takes our time answering all questions and giving riders the chance to practice at low speeds on a flat, wide-open space before our expert instructor guides take the crew out for the day.

ATV Safety Basics

Learning to ride an ATV requires a healthy respect for its major power-to-weight ratio, but it’s nothing to be afraid of if you keep these essential riding tips in mind.

Getting Familiar With the Throttle

One of the most important things about riding four-wheelers is getting comfortable with the throttle, a thumb lever on the right handle. Since ATVs can have well over a hundred horsepower and little weight, you’ll have a lot of power in your bare hands.

You’ll also need to handle the throttle while keeping a continuous grip on the handle and minding your turns while taking them gradually. You’ll get the hang of it, but it’s important to start slow and make only gradual adjustments.

Resist the temptation to squeeze the throttle in response to any unanticipated speed boosts. This can be counterintuitive at first, but remember that releasing your thumb’s grip is what slows you down.

Controlling Your Inertia

Remember that the faster you go, the faster your stopping speed must be. Try to always keep a couple of fingers around the brake lever (which is also usually on the right side).

We take our crews on a moderately swift pace, but if you accidentally gun it too much during a turn, counter the inertia by leaning in the opposite direction. An overly zealous ATV rider can tip when turning at excessive speeds. Keep your turns under 45°, and even less as you’re learning.

Posture Matters

For that matter, don’t be afraid to stand up and adopt the “attack position” when increasing your speed. This involves standing up and keeping your knees and elbows slightly bent (in fact, never lock your elbows when riding four-wheelers). You’ll feel a bit like you’re hovering over the machine.

Most importantly, never let your feet drop to the sides! Keep them on the pegs or heel guards at all times because the rear wheels are closer than you think.

Always Wear Protection

Your ATV riding gear should include the following:

  • Thick gloves with a good grip
  • Boots that are ankle-high or more
  • Goggles, or at least high-quality wrap-around sunglasses
  • A powersports helmet (which we’ll provide)


Thick pants, like jeans, are also important to protect your legs as you whip by the half-groomed forest trails.

Keep in mind that we’ll be riding at high elevations in the Rockies. Dress warm, and let us know if you have extra gear ahead of time so we can book you a UTV that has extra cargo space.

Create Lasting Memories and Embark on an Unforgettable ATV Adventure in Colorado

These ATV riding tips should get you through your first four-wheeling adventures, but nothing beats experience and professional guidance. You’ll get up to speed quicker by heading out on the trails with our expert trail guides and riding instructors.

Learning to ride a four-wheeler isn’t hard, but it does require a healthy respect for an ATV’s power and speed. Practice each of these pointers, one at a time, until each becomes second nature. You’ll know you’re getting the hang of it when you combine these tips without thinking through each motor action.

Contact us with any questions, or book a ride through some of the most beautiful terrain the Colorado wilderness offers — and you’ll be riding confidently in no time.


Featured Image: BoJack/Shutterstock