You can have a lot of fun cruising down the highway in your trusty SUV or pickup truck, but sometimes you want more. That “more” can usually be found by taking it off road. But if you’ve never purchased or driven an ATV or side-by-side, breaking into the industry can be a little overwhelming. There are so many options out there and an endless amount of decisions to be made. What kind of machine do you want? Should you buy new or used? And where is the best place to ride?
Luckily, new riders have the hookup here on SuperATV’s Off-Road Atlas. We’ve compiled an extensive guide of everything you need to know to break into the industry. Whether you’re trying to decide between an ATV or a UTV, wondering what upgrades to make right off the bat, or just looking for a place to start riding, we’ve got you covered!
The most obvious thing you’ll need to get into off-roading is a machine. But should you go with an ATV or a UTV? Unfortunately there’s no cut-and-dry answer here, but we can give you some criteria on which to base your decision.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when making this decision:
Check out our ATVs vs. UTVs article for a full breakdown of the pros and cons of each machine.
Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to start shopping! Like most of us, we’re guessing you’re on a bit of a budget. If that’s the case, you’ll most likely want to buy used—especially if you’re just getting started and trying out a machine for the first time. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide on what to look for when buying a used UTV.
Very few off-road enthusiasts purchase a machine—either new or used—and then leave it as is. One of the most exciting parts about busting into this industry is taking the time to customize your machine using aftermarket parts and accessories. But how do you know where to begin?
No matter which type of machine you’re going with, we’ve got some suggestions to help you get started. Check out our articles on the must-have upgrades for ATVs and for UTVs and start adding those aftermarket parts and accessories to your wish list!
For some new riders, you may already have an idea of what changes you’d like to make to your new rig. Maybe you know that you want some type of lift, but you just don’t know what size or type you want. In that case, we’ve got some product-specific guides and FAQs written just for you.
Check out these articles talking about some of our most popular products:
Whether you want to spruce up your machine to perform better in a certain climate or specialize it for specific terrain, SuperATV has the parts you need.
Off-road vehicles are super fast and super powerful, so driving them shouldn’t be taken lightly. For new riders and experienced riders alike, we strongly recommend reviewing our basic off-road safety tips on a regular basis. When accidents and injuries are possible, you can never be too careful.
And if you plan on taking your kids along for the ride, you’ve got even more work to do. We’re all for including the little ones in your favorite hobby, but only if the proper precautions are taken. Check out this article to see what you need to do to keep your kids safe while out on the trail.
Pro tip: learn everything you can about your machine. Not only will you save a ton of money by being able to perform basic maintenance and repairs on your own, but you’ll also feel way more confident if something were to happen while you’re on the trail.
We’ve got some great resources to get you started and help you be more self-sufficient while off-roading. Let’s start with what you keep in your garage. Basic machine maintenance doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and it shouldn’t make you want to rip your hair out, either—as long as you have the right tools. We’ve compiled a list of the top 7 tools that every beginner should always have on hand.
Something else that’s good for new riders to know is how to take your machine from dirt to pavement. If you’re interested in making your ride street legal, we’ve got a guide for that, too.
One of the best parts of breaking into the off-road industry is immersing yourself in the culture and community that go along with it. And the more you immerse yourself in the industry, the more you’ll learn! We’re not just talking about technical knowledge, like how to take care of your machine. We’re talking about those insider secrets, like the best “hidden gem” riding spots near you.
To learn all you can about the industry, we suggest starting with social media. Most of you are probably on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter already—why not add some off-road content to your feed?
You may also enjoy checking out some online forums, like these:
If you find yourself in the midst of a forum or social media comment section and can’t seem to figure out what people are talking about, don’t worry! We can help with that, too. Check out our article on UTV jargon to decipher what all those off-road enthusiasts are talking about.
One more thing—becoming more familiar with the off-road industry doesn’t have to happen only online. We keep this list updated with all of the off-road events we plan on attending throughout the year. See something near you? Get your tickets and come say hello!
If your family or someone you know has a bunch of land, finding that perfect ride spot might not be too tricky. But for most people, a little legwork is required before settling on the best place to ride.
Like we mentioned above, getting involved in the community and talking with other riders is a surefire way to discover the best riding spots in your area. If you’ve reached out to locals via social media or forums and are still struggling, let us help!
We’ve thrown together some guides spilling the details on some of the best places to ride all across the country, boasting everything from beginner trails to expert-level obstacles. No matter where you live, there’s a good chance you’re only a quick drive away from one of these sweet ride parks:
If your thirst for knowledge still isn’t quenched, you may want to spend some time exploring SuperATV’s Off-Road Atlas. Our team works hard to keep you up-to-date on the latest industry news, stories, how-to’s, and more.
If you’re looking for some specific information, like how to install a certain product on your machine, head on over to our YouTube page! It’s chock full of helpful video tutorials, and you’ll find some other informative and entertaining content there, too.
And if all else fails and you’re still struggling to get your questions answered, reach out to us! Our customer service department is made up of off-roading experts and enthusiasts who would love to answer any questions you have.
For any experienced riders out there, jump down to the comments and share your most valuable piece of “new rider” advice. What do you wish you had known when you were first starting out?
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Building a UTV on a Budget
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What to Look for When Buying a Used UTV