How to Ride a Sport Quad, the RIGHT Way!


Introduction: How to Ride a Sport Quad, the RIGHT Way!

    This is my first Instructable ever, and it will teach you how to ride a sport quad the right way. 

Step 1: What Is a Sport Quad?

   ATVs (quads) can be split down into 2 main categories: Utility and Sport. Utility = Work. They have racks, 4WD, 700cc engines, shaft drive, etc. Big brands for them are Polaris and Honda. Sport = Play. Sport quads usually have chain drives, smaller bodies, are lightweight and fast. Big sport brands are Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha. And these quads can be broken down even further.
   The first category is sport-utility/beginner. I would have to say this is the smallest category. If you are just starting quadding, this is where to look. These quads do not have clutches, and can have 4WD. Engine sizes range from 229cc (Honda TRX250X) to 421cc (Yamaha Wolverine). Some of these quads have automatic transmissions, while some are semi-auto. Sport-utility/beginner quads are best used in the woods on mild to moderate trail conditions. They can be ridden in the woods very slow to about 3/4 of top speed.
   Next is woods-built quads. This is the best category if you are on a beginner quad and want to move up to something better-suited for the woods. These sport quads are anywhere from 282cc to upwards of 600. They never have 4WD and almost always have a solid rear axle. They have manual clutches and are well-suited for popping over logs and going up rocky inclines. Examples are: Honda TRX300X, 400X, and 700XX, Yamaha YZF450X, KTM 450XC ATV and 525XC ATV. These quads can also race, but are beter on the trails. They go on trails from mild to intermediate/advance <450cc, and mild to extreme 450>.
   The third and final category is racing quads. They always have clutches and are the most expensive type of sport quad to buy. They need to be ridden fast in the woods or else they can easily stall. Most quad manufacturers only make one race quad. Any quad with the designation "R", "RACE", "Race", is a racing quad. They are almost always 450cc.To ride these in the woods you need to go fast in the woods, and make modifications, most importantly a taller sprocket. This will decrease top speed, but it will help your quad from stalling out when your revs aren't high enough. You may also want to opt for better tires, or even a lift kit, since some are so low to the ground. These quads can be ridden on mild to just short of extreme.

Step 2: The Basics

   Ok, here are the 2 most important rules of sport quad riding. First, do not let people on big utility quads intimidate you. Often they buy those kinds of quads because they are too afraid to ride a fast quad, or are scared they will get stuck in the mud without 4WD. But many of them do not even know how to ride. With enough practice, you can do anything they can. Second, while riding a sport quad, you need to use BODY ENGLISH. This is when you lean and shift your weight while riding. It is important you do this, as not doing it can cause you to get stuck or flip over.
  Make sure you've got both hands on the handlebars an two fingers on the clutch. Clutching is very important while on the harder portions of your ride.

Step 3: Rocks

  Now we get on to the real riding. First is rocks. Getting over rocks can be very hard, depending on your skill and quad. First, I'll tell you how to get over a rocky section of trail or up a rocky hill climb. The first part is that you need to stand up and put your hand on the clutch. Then, put it in first or second gear. Next, you need to look at the hill and find a path up. If someone went up before you, try to take the same path they did. If not, then you will ned to find your own path. Try to scout out an area that looks not too hard, and if you are looking for  challenge, not too easy. WARNING: IF YOU ARE ONLY A BEGINNER, DO NOT TRY TO GET UP EXTREMELY ROCKY TRAILS! There is almost always another trail around. After that, lean back and rev the quad up to around half of the powerband. When you get to the hill, start to take your path and try not to stray off it. If you see an area that will cause your wheel/wheels to dip down, do not go near it, you could flip. Proceed up the hill, gradually increasing throttle, but try to keep your speed the same. Do not spin your tires, and do not let anyone go behind you, do not follow anyone up. Keep going, and before you know it it you're at the top. Make sure to use LOTS of body english.
   Second, we'll talk about rocky flat trails. These are basically flat trails with many rocks (not gravel) or rough cobblestone roads. For these, stay in second, third, or fourth gear, and go fast. Make sure you lean on the back fenders as much as possible, but do not let the front tires lift more than a few inches. Also, you need to have a quick reaction time for this. More speed now=less backaches later.
   What I usually do for hillclimbs is everyone shuts off their quads, one person goes all the way up, shuts his quad off, and calls for the next person. This is the safest way to go.

   For rocky hillclimbing and rocky terrain in general, you may want to outfit your quad with aluminum or stainless steel skidplates, nerf bars, and taller knobby tires. However, my old TRX250 did fine with nothing different from they day I bought it.

Step 4: Logs and "Log Popping"

   When you are riding down a trail in the woods, you are more likely than not to come across a downed tree across your trail. Heavy utility quads must go over logs in 4WD, and they can't be any more than the quad's ground clearance, usually around 9 inches. But a good sport quad can pop over a log 1 1/2 feet+ in diameter.

   When you see a log, you will need to first judge and think if you can make it over the log. If it is a lot thicker than a telephone pole, it will be most likely impossible unless you are really good with a massive quad. Probably the maximum diameter is 2 feet. When you approach the log, put it in first gear. Go slow up to it (bigger log=less speed). Once you are almost at it, clutch a little and rev up your engine. Lean back. The instant your front tires hit the log, floor it, dump the clutch, and you're in midair. Quickly grab the clutch, lean over the middle of the quad, and let off the clutch. This all happens in a split second so you need to have good reaction time. This also takes a lot of practice Practice PRACTICE. I am lucky enough to have a pile of telephone poles in my yard, see if you can get your hands on some. You only need a section of pole or tree five feet long, it will work good enough. One more thing; when you hit the log, make sure it forms a 90 degree angle with your front tires. This id VERY important when it is wet. If you hit it on an angle, your first tire will go over, then you will be caught and slide all the way to the end, even if you turn straight. This is why I like Hondas, they have reverse. To get out of this, you need to straighten out by turning the wheels, then holding the front break and spinning the tires until you are lined up, then lean back and gas it.

Step 5: Mud Puddles

 You DO NOT need a 4x4 to get through most mud puddles. The only time you need it is in pro mud races.
   When you see a deep mud puddle, there are two ways to get through it. One is to get a lot of forward momentum, do a wheelie, and not care if you are in the ruts or not, because you're already through. However, you need to be going really fast, 40mph at least, and you get really really wet. This is good in the summer, but make sure the mud puddles don't smell like poo, because it's really annoying to have to smell it for the rest of your ride.The second way is to approach it, and see if you  can see any ruts made by the 4x4s. You need to put one tire in the middle of the two ruts and the other on the side. DO NOT spin your tires, for three reasons. One is that the tires could slip off into the ruts. Two is that you could make your own ruts. Three is that you will get muddy and wet. If you do get stuck in the ruts, start to give it more gas and spin the tires a little. Rock the quad back and fourth, so that the tires catch on the bottom and sides. If you start to slow down, that is when you apply this skill. Getting stuck is the worst thing that can happen now. Mostly it's just a matter of getting some other guysand picking the quad up onto the tops of the ruts.
   You don't really need that many accessories, but it would be nice to pick up a pair of extra-knobby tires (Razr Balance-Bill Balance inspired tires)

Step 6: Conclusion

   So that is the conclusion! I will edit this and add more steps as I think more up, but for now is good. If you have any questions about how to furthermore improve your skills, or on rcomendations on which quad to buy, feel free to e-mail me at .



    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    27 Discussions

    wow impresive but how much is it

    I have just bought an apache rlx 200 sport second hand, i took it for a ride and its not going faster than 25mph and its reving like mad. Anyone have any ideas what this could be please

    1 reply

    you might have to clean the carb out it could have trash in it or you might have to get new spork plugs


    1 year ago

    I had no idea that to prevent a racing quad from stalling in a wooded area, it must be driven at a high speed. It is also interesting that having a taller sprocket can also prevent stalling. Stalling your quad while racing could be disastrous, it seems like a good idea to emphasize the preventative measures of stalling.

    The raptor i am looking at..!

    The raptor i am looking at..!


    Looking at a 700 r se raptor .never rode a 4 wheeler before .have a harley and want something to,play with in the woods.6'1" and about 245 in weight is this a stupid wheeler for me.????had back surgery 2013 wondering if the quads are ruff on the back.??

    I just bought a yamaha warrior 350, what is the maintenance I need to do (oil, air filter...) and when ?

    the statement about the 250s and under is i correct. i own a 2002 trx 250ex and it has out done 400s on multiple occaisons. its not about the bike. its about the rider. my bike is all stock and does fairly large jumps and big hills with little problem

    1 reply

    ive taken a 1985 honda big red (250 utility 2 wheel drive) through much tougher terrian than most places offer. it depends on the rider


    3 years ago

    Some times your tire pressure going up rocks and just riding will help it go up rocks and and all other terrain it just depends on what type terrain your in

    there is some useful info here and some not so accurate as well such as "almost all race quads are 450cc" I ride an '85 LT250R its a race quad and is actually 249cc. also sport quads are not all 2wd in fact polaris put out a 500cc 2wd/4wd scrambler with an auto trans in the early 2000's. so as you see not all is accurate and the word "never" and "always" should only be used when you are 112% sure its accurate. ride safe

    I have been using instructables blog from the last 3 months. Most of the posts are very helpful and informative especially cars related. I tried many times to write my comments but I post ponned my plan due to registration process. Today I saw that I can login with my facebook id, so I login and writing this. Anyhow a nice post related to How To Ride a Sport Quad, the RIGHT way. I love that. I want you to write a post about new ford in UK, hope to see this post soon. cheer

    I want to try one of these, out here on the farm we just got a Polaris 800 (770 cc or something). It is insanely fast, and heavy. There are even bigger ones now too like the 850 cc.

    um Yamaha should be in the utility and Suzuki should not be in the sport. grizzly is still the best to buy. exept for a 1991 honda fourtrax 4x4 300 best wheeler ever built

    never rode a banshee, i know someone that has one but its broken in many ways. i have riden a baja ds650. that thing was a beast. super huge suspension travel, it would soak up any jump. best suspension on any quad i ever rode. the engine was a little sluggish because its 650 effing cc. i also rode a kawasaki kfx 700. the v-twin is awsome, super fast but the thing is built for a basketball player and no manual clutch and the suspension is not as good as the baja.

    im might get a trx250 x soon. im selling my dirtbike becauuse i don't really use it that much

    the best racing quad ever would have to be the quadzilla or the banshee

    The biggest difference between sport and utility is the capability of the machine. sports are usualy lighter, more maneuverable and generaly smaller machines,normaly 2 wd. normaly considered to be racing models with a few exeptions where the utilities are often larger more powerful machines with higher tow capabilities and are normaly 4wd. such as kaw brute force and can am outlander. the utility models are for what the name emplies work. they can be used to mow, push snow pull loads and numerous other tasks i own 4 atv's. my favorite is my can am 800 outlander max it is a 2 up model so i can easily carry passangers. it has visco lock differentials so there is no need to lock differental and it has pleanty of power not to mention it runs 80 mph. to me it is the best of both worlds and is a great and smooth trail rider
    Used atvs