ATV PREPARATION & ACCESSORY TIPS

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Everyone know maintenance is important with helping to prevent problems. There are a few general maintenance tips listed below that are tailored to the NL Trip.

Below the Maintenance Section is the Accessories Section. Some of the items listed may help make your trip a little more enjoyable or worry free.

MAINTENANCE
Make sure you have your ATV serviced before you go. You'll put between 900km (560 miles) and 1250 km (780 miles) or more on  your machine in a week and you'll put about 50+ hours on it. It's fairly easy riding but a break down in the middle of nowhere would seriously ruin your fun. I recommend the following:

Oil and Filter Change
If your oil and filter was changed over a year ago or if you've driven 1,600 km (1,000 miles) or more I suggest you change them. If you don't doit before you go you'll probably need to when you get back.

Bring an extra bottle of oil  just in case - even if you have a new machine.
Air Filter
If you have a disposable paper type filter you may want to bring a spare with you. The dust on the trip can be very bad depending on how dry it is. I've seen machines on this trip fail to start because the filter was plugged with dust and had to be shaken out. If you have an oil type filter make sure to bring a cleaning kit and check the filter every day or bring a spare just in case.

              Disposable type                                                               Reusable type
Grease
If you have grease fittings be sure to grease them well. You could run into quite a few water holes depending on the weather. You'll probably need to do it again after the trip.
Tires 
If your ties are old, cracked or extremely worn REPLACE THEM. There are a lot of rocks on the trail and you don't want to spend half the week plugging your tires. Having said that, buying new tires doesn't guarantee you won't get a flat and having worn tires doesn't mean you'll get one. I did the trip several times with older tires and didn't get a flat and then one year I got three flats on two different tires.

Sometimes it's the luck of the draw when it comes to flats. 
Brakes
Make sure your brakes are in good condition. On some sections of trail you'll probably be cruising at 60+ km/h (45+ mph). If an animal darts out in front of you or you come up on a washout quickly you want your brakes in good working condition.
Belt
If your belt is fairly new you're good to go. There isn't really much driving on this trip that  would be hard on your belt. If your belts is very old, or has a lot of miles you may want to at least have it inspected. Better to be safe than sorry. 
General check up
If you're not a 'do it yourself mechanic' I suggest taking your machine to a dealer to check it over a few months before the trip. You never know what they may find and if they do happen to find something you may have to wait a while for parts. Spending a hundred dollars or more at the dealer before you go could prevent you from breaking down on the trail when you're a long way from a repair shop. If something like that happens you may end up paying a huge towing bill and still end up with a repair bill on top of that anyway. I've seen it happen. It's not worth risking it out.

ACCESSORIES
You don't need to have any of the things listed but some of them may make your trip a little more comfortable. 

Throttle extender 
If you're like me and experience thumb pain after a day of ATV riding you'll want one. Remember, you're doing seven days of riding about 8 hours a day or more. I bought a Kolpin throttle extender online from Royal Distributing for about $25.00 and it worked like a charm. These are fairly inexpensive and only take a minute to put on. 
Heated Grips
I bought the Heat Demon brand of heated hand grips (and throttle heater) for two different ATV's. It's usually one of the first things I buy for an ATV because I live in a northern climate and ride in cold weather. Heated grips can be very nice on a long day of riding even in good weather.

TIP: Wear thin gloves with heated grips. You won't feel the heat as much with heavy mitts or gloves.
Hand guards or Handlebar Cover Mitts 
Hand guards are good for cold days. They greatly improve the functionality of heated grips by keeping the wind off your hands. A good set of weather proof gloves help too if you run into rain.

If your hands get cold, YOU get cold. Handlebar covers/mitts are an inexpensive  alternative to a windshield or hand guards. They fold up small and are easy to store on your machine. I put silicone waterproofing spray on mine that I found at Wal-Mart. It keeps them waterproof in light rain.
ATV Windshield Options
There's basically three options here - High, Mid, and Low. ATV Windshields, like anything else, have pros and cons. I've done the trip with a high ATV windshield, a low one and without one.

High windshields
I don't recommend these. I had one and sold it after a year or so. I found it was too frustrating to see as they get dirty fast on dusty trails especially if you're riding behind another person. The full windshield can be handy for rain and for keeping wind off, but so is a mid height windshield.
Mid or Low windshield
If you're thinking of investing in a Mid or Low height windshield I suggest the mid height model. They help keep the wind off your body AND hands when it's cold and if they get dirty you can still see over them.  Probably the best option as far as windshields go.

The low windshields help a tiny bit to keep wind off but you need to buy hand guards as well because they don't extend out over the handlebars.

See the imaes below for comparison - the one on the left covers your hands where the one on the right doesn't.
I

Side By Side Windshield Options

You have many options  you can choose from. There are full fixed windows without wipers, full fixed with wipers, full folding windows, and half windshields. You have to decide for yourself which one you might like depending on the type of riding you do.

Full Fixed Windshield
They can be a pain in the butt on the Newfoundland trip unless you have the type with a wiper and washer. They get dusty very quickly and are almost impossible to see through especially when the sun is in your face. Leave it home. You don't want to stop every 10 minutes to splash water on it and wipe it off.

TIP: If you have either a full windshield, or half windshield, you also need a REAR windshield too. Front windshields cause a negative pressure vacuum and will suck dust in from the back. It's something to keep in mind.

The image on the left shows a full fixed window without a wiper, and the image on the right shows a full fixed window with a wiper.
Folding Windshields
There are basically two types -  split folding and full folding.

Some split folding ones only fold up a few inches at the midpoint. That type can be difficult to see through when they get dirty, even when you fold them up as far as they'll go. Usually you'll have the option to remove the upper part if you need to but you need to do that before you hit the trail. 

Full folding windshields fold up completely out of the way which is very handy. You can't easily remove that type if you need to for some reason.

The image on the left shows a split folding type where the top only raises a few inches. I have that exact type on my side by side. I wish I bought the type that folds up higher, like the one on the right.

BUT - no matter which type of full windshield you buy they are FANTASTIC in winter weather to keep the wind off. Put Rain X on them to make the water bead off when riding.
Half windshield 
You can generally see over them even when dirty and they help keep wind and rain off you. They can be a little difficult to see through if they're really dirty. You just have to stop now and then to clean them off.
Tool Kits
I bought a tool kit very similar to this at Canadian Tire. It's about $130 but they go on sale now and then for about half that. It's a bargain at the sale price. It's really handy, and has just about anything you'll need. There's usually one guy in every group that take a garage worth of tools with him. If your group has that guy, you're all set.

Click here to see a link
Full Face Helmet vs Motor cross Helmet
​You've probably noticed I mention dust a lot. That's because YOU WILL run into a lot of it. You might run into it every day if you happen to pick a week that's dry and hot.

Like the Boy Scouts say - BE PREPARED

An easy fix is a full face helmet.

If you have an open face helmet you'll need good goggles and a dust mask so you're not choking up dust at the end of the day.

I've used both a modular and motor cross style helmet for this trip and prefer the modular helmet. A motor cross helmet with goggles and dust mask still isn't as good as a full face helmet to protect your eyes and lungs from dust. Trust me, I did the trip several times with a motor cross helmet before finally buying a modular helmet. I wish I bought one long before I did. 

TIP: Put RAIN X on the outside of the front shield, but NOT THE TINTED LENS as it can remove the coating on them and ruin them.
Bluetooth Wireless Headsets
I wouldn't have believed that a wireless headset would make such a difference when ATVing until a friend of mine and I bought a set. We took them on a week long trip around Gaspe, Quebec and it completely changed the dynamic of the trip. 

It's nice being able to talk to someone when riding for hours at a time. They've also come in quite handy a few times for safety to be able to warn other riders of obstacles. People in our group use either the SMH-10 or S20.

The SMH 10 will connect up to 4 people and your smart phone so you can listen to music or make calls. They're completely waterproof, dustproof, and last about 11-12 hours on a full charge. The distance is sometimes limited in heavily wooded trails but expect between a hundred feet and a few hundred meters. They can be a bit confusing when connecting multiple users.


The Sena S20 is more expensive than the SMH10 but you it does everything that model does and more. It can add up to 8 people and it uses a smart phone app to allow you to control who is connected. The distance between users can be a lot farther. 

                     Sena SMH-10                                                                    Sena S20
Air compressor
An absolute MUST no matter how new your tires may be or how many ply they are. Even if you get a flat and are able to patch it chances are you'll lose air some point during the week again. I've done the trip several times without getting a flat and one trip I had three flats on two tires. All of them were easily fixed with plugs. 
Several of the guys I go ATVing with use this exact mode of air compressor. We all bought it at Canadian Tire for $30 I think. It's fairly compact and does a great job.

Click here to see the link.
Tire Patch Kit
A MUST! Don't even think of doing the trip without plugs. Bring at least 30 plugs because one good size hole could require several plugs and you may have to repair the same hole a few times.

You can find patch kits at just about any auto store or ATV store. There are many you can order online on places like Amazon or your favorite ATV website. Be sure to bring along many plugs. One bad flat could use a lot of plugs.

The tire shown in the photo on the right had a large hole in it. Yes, it needed ALL those plugs to stop it from leaking air. The tire ended up needing to be replaced but at least we could finish the trip with the help of the plugs.

UTV Spare Wheel and Tire
If you have a Side-by-Side bring a spare wheel if you have space. I suggest a front wheel as you can use it on the front or back if you have to. If you are traveling with a few guys that have the same machine one could bring a spare front wheel and the other could bring a spare rear wheel. We have guys in our group that do that.

I have a two seat UTV so I put my spare wheel on a rack on the back. My friends with four seat UTV's place their spare on one of the back seats.
Winch or Tow Rope
A winch is something every ATV or UTV owner should have anyway in my opinion. You might not need them that often, but when you do, they're worth the money! If you doing the Newfoundland trip with other people that have a winch you'll probably fine without one. But at least bring a proper tow rope. 
RAIN X
I love this product! I use it on my truck windows, headlights and mirrors. I also use it on my Commander windshield, and helmet shield. 

TIP: Do NOT use on a tinted helmet lens. Rain X could scrub the tint off. I did it myself and one of the guys that went to Newfoundland with me this summer did it to his as well.  Rain X also makes an Anti-Fog product that works quite well.
BATTERY PACK
I use an Aukey 20,000 mAh portable charger to continuously charge my GoPro during the day and I use it to charge up my cell phone at night if I'm camping. I bought this from Amazon for $37.00 Canadian.  You can buy rugged waterproof models as well, which may be a good idea for this kind of trip.

20,000 mAh equals 
iPhone 7 - 6.5 charges
iPhone 7 Plus - 4.5 charges
Samsung Galaxy S6 - 5 charges
iPad Air 2 - 1.5 charges

This is the Anker 20,000 mAh Portable Charger            Click here to see it on Amazon Canada