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ATV vs UTV – A Beginner’s Guide to ATVs

Atv Vs Utv

Being a newbie in the off-road vehicle (ORV) world, there is an overwhelming amount of knowledge to grasp. For example, do you even know the difference between an ATV vs a UTV?

This article breaks down the basics of ATVing, explains some things in the ORV scene, and supplies a few beneficial safety tips as well.


Though similar, there are a few unique distinctions that can be made between an ATV vs a UTV. Firstly, UTV stands for “Utility Terrain Vehicle,” and ATV stands for “All Terrain Vehicle.” 

As a general rule of thumb, ATVs are faster and more nimble than their UTV counterparts. These off-road vehicles are designed to turn on a dime, as well as for performance and speed. This makes the ATV an ideal choice for racing. They also tend to be a little cheaper than UTVs. 

Most of the time, ATVs are quicker and more deft than their UTV partners. These rough terrain vehicles are designed with the intention of changing direction quickly, along with efficiency and speed. Because of this, ATVs are the optimal choice for racing or high-performance riding. They are also a bit more fun to ride. Furthermore, they will usually be a bit less pricey than UTVs. Most open quads and four-wheelers (no roof) are ATVs.

UTVs are larger and bulkier than ATVs, making them well suited towards hauling trees or carrying a load. They usually have a roof and a windshield as well. With extra storage space at the back, a UTV would be better as let’s say a ranch vehicle whereas an ATV would perform better in the motocross scene. Because of their size and stature, UTVs may feel safer and more stable than ATVs, which in turn makes them a rather comfortable choice for those new to the ORV world. To find some more in-depth information of their differences, you can visit THIS site.

Types of ATVs

Multiple different vehicles can be considered ATVs. Ranging in power and size, basically all traditional four-wheelers and three-wheelers classify as types of ATVs. An ORVs power is partly influenced by the dimensions of the engine, which is always measured in cubic centimeters, or “cc.” As with most things, a larger engine produces a more powerful and faster vehicle. A typical ATV lands somewhere in the range of 50cc and 700cc. 

ATV Safety

Since dirt biking, ATVing, UTVing, and anything of the sort can be dangerous, safety should always be of high importance to the ATV driver. Adequate safety gear and equipment is necessary to guarantee an enjoyable and secure ride for you and your passengers. Going a bit overkill on safety gear is actually recommended – especially when new to the activity. Ideally, you should wear a helmet, goggles, a chest protector, elbow pads, knee pads, gloves, and boots. It could also be beneficial to equip your vehicle with nerf bars and roll bars. On the off chance that you flip over and crash, you will most definitely be grateful for the extensive amount of safety gear surrounding you. As a beginner, a common mistake is to lose control of your ORV by misjudging the power of it, so it is always better to be safe rather than sorry and wear protective gear. The recommended safety gear is pretty much the same as dirt biking safety gear.

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ATV guide

Tips for Novice Riders

Besides safety, there are a few other things that will help you to maximize the thrill of your ATV experience.

Since repeatedly scanning a map or GPS is annoying and it diverts your attention, familiarizing yourself with the route at hand is a great way to drive with more confidence. By getting acquainted with the trail previous to the excursion, you will be able to focus more on the ride and you will be more relaxed. 

Yet another crucial tip is to learn a little bit before you jump right on the trails. Mastering the very fundamentals of ATVing prior to trail riding will set you up for a successful first ride. As you can imagine, hopping on your vehicle without a clue as to how to brake or accelerate is a recipe for disaster. The wrong amount of acceleration can also send a rider flying. To combat a likely crash, get comfortable with the acceleration, steering, and braking in an open field or an empty parking lot. You can also do a quick YouTube search to find some visual examples of how to properly work your ATV or UTV. 

Hit the Trails

ATVs are quite popular as they bring great fun to most anyone riding. After you get past the basics, things just keep getting easier and more enjoyable. At that point, you just have to find some great ATVing trails and go!


Over the years, I have grown a passion for dirt biking and all the joys it brings. Now I want to share my knowledge with as many people as possible.

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