Are you considering or planning to join the ATV racing community? If the answer is yes, you’re making a fantastic decision. Of course, we’re a little bias, but we at DRR USA can give you a few good reasons: Racing helps strengthen physical abilities, it teaches great life lessons, it promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, and you will meet amazing people along the way. With all of that in mind, here are a few tips to prepare you for your first race.
How to prepare for racing season
- Safety Gear is a MUST. Make sure your racer has all of the essentials: helmet, chest protector, gloves, goggles, boots, and long-sleeved clothing. It’s no secret racing ATVs can be dangerous, but with the right equipment and safe riding techniques, the risk decreases immensely. DRR USA also recommends all new riders to take an ATV safety course. For safety course information, contact your dealer or call (866) 847-4571.
- There should not be any distractions the first time you ride an ATV – if you’re an adult it’s good to have a buddy with you that knows what they’re doing, just in case. If you’re prepping a child to race, there should only be a responsible adult, like a parent, and the rider present. This way, there is no urge to impress people and they’ll get a feel for the quad without eyes on them. Once you’ve got that down, you should go to a track where there are people. This way, they are not completely blindsided by the crowd during their first race.
- The first few rides should be done in a wide-open area. This is the best way to teach anyone to ride when they’re starting out. It will eliminate any obstacles, allowing you to focus on getting to know the controls and how to turn.
- You should carefully check the ATV before EVERY ride. Walk around the quad and do a full inspection. Your DRR ATV will come with an owner’s manual. You should consult that to find out every inspection needed on the ATV before you ride it. If this is not done, parts may not function properly, which can lead to death or severe injury, or damage to the quad.
- Practice makes perfect. Just like any other sport, it takes practice, patience, and awareness to achieve set goals. Learn the basics of riding before increasing speed. Young riders can learn the basic techniques through racing school. To locate one near you, consult with a local dealer.
- Physical strength is a must when it comes to performance. ATV racing is a physically demanding sport. It especially takes a lot of arm strength to turn the quad quickly and hold on while riding fast. Cross training, like swimming or running, can be very helpful to keep your racer in good shape.
So what type of ATV should you be riding?
Knowing which ATV to buy is crucial. While some may believe it depends on skill level, we are here to tell you it completely depends on age. With safety in mind, you want to make sure they are riding a correctly sized machine. DRR USA offers three quads for younger riders, including the DRX 50cc, 70cc, 90cc, and 450cc. Here are the age ranges we enforce for each one:
50cc – Riders should be between 6 and 12 years old. Get to know the DRX 50cc here: http://drrusa.com/rides/detail/1
70cc – Riders should be between 6 and 12 years old. Get to know the DRX 70cc here: http://drrusa.com/rides/detail/4
90cc – Riders should be between 12 and 16 years old. Get to know the DRX 90cc here: http://drrusa.com/rides/detail/5
If you’re 16 and up, you can switch to a bigger quad, such as a 450cc. Get to know our 450cc here: http://drrusa.com/rides/detail/20 .
Get connected with a dealer
If you’re committed to purchasing a quad, talking with a dealer is the best place to start. They will set you up with your first ATV and tell you how to keep it in good condition. On our DRR USA website, we offer a dealer locator, where you can find dealers that sell DRR ATVs near you – http://drrusa.com/dealerlocator. From there you can join our contingency program.
Where can I race?
Finding out where you can enter in your first race can be difficult. A local dealer will be a great resource when it comes to this step. They should know all of the local tracks and upcoming race schedules – or at least where you can go to find out the information for yourself. You can also join our DRR USA Riders page to connect with other racing families across the country: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DRRRiders/.
What to expect at your first gate drop
Now that you have purchased a correctly sized quad and followed our preparation tips, you’re ready to start racing. Obviously, practicing and actually participating are two totally different things. At their first race, it will be very loud. The revving of competitors engines and cheering from the crowd may be a bit of a shock. It’s only natural to be nervous while waiting for that gate drop, but if you focus on driving it should help drown out the distractions. Prior to your first race, work on timing and memorizing when to shift gears.
With the proper preparation, gear, and ATV, you’re all set, good luck and ride on.