An all-terrain vehicle (ATV), sometimes called a quad, is a fun way to explore the environs of Lake Havasu City where there are no roads. In fact, the area around Lake Havasu features nearly two dozen trails through varying terrain for you to enjoy.
With seats you straddle like a motorcycle and steered with handlebars, these motorized vehicles have four fat tires, soft and high range suspensions, and low centers of gravity so they can navigate—some would say crawl–through tough and uneven terrain.
All ATVs are not created equal. Some models are designed for a single driver, while others, called two-ups, have longer seats that can accommodate a passenger. Some manufacturers make a sized-down version for younger, smaller operators. Consider them a faster, more agile, sporty alternative to a side by side.
Primarily designed for recreation, beefier models can do a bit of hauling. Withs stronger engines and a wider wheel base, they can push tree trunks, haul gear up a steep slope and even launch a boat. On the other end of the spectrum are performance models, are made for speed and maneuverability. They are driven on tracks and raced like motocross—complete with bright jerseys, and flashy body armor.
Beyond buying the ATV itself, you have a ton of choices of features and add-ons. Power assisted steering can cut fatigue on extended drives through rocky and rutted terrain. Adjustable suspension can accommodate different weights and terrain features. All-wheel drive provides additional traction when needed.
Then come the toys. A GPS can keep you from getting lost. Windshields and cab enclosures can give you a little weather protection. Enhanced lighting can up your safety in dark and foggy conditions. Racks and storage let you protect and carry gear. Stereos, coolers, and cup holders are nice for long cruises. You can even get a gun rack. And to add utility to the sport, winches, plows, mowers, and other workhorse add-ons are available.
After you are done kitting out your ATV, you’ll want to kit yourself out. You need a helmet and googles. Gloves are a good idea. Ramps are a must for loading and unloading.
As with any major purchase, it pays to do your homework. Research models to find those that give you the features you want. Understand how they are priced, from the base price to the cost of accessories and add-on fees. Pay close attention to warranties and research repair track records and the brand and model’s resale value.
Put as much effort into picking a dealer as you put into choosing a brand, model, and feature package. When you work with a reputable dealer, you start a relationship that will enhance your joy of ownership for years. The company will be your partner in maintenance and repairs and can get you a good deal when it is time to trade in or trade up.