ATV All Terrain Vehicle

All Terrain Vehicle: What Is An ATV Or All Terrain Vehicle?


Definition Of An All Terrain Vehicle:

The term ATV stands for All Terrain Vehicle. It is also known as a quad or quadricycle type vehicle. An All-Terrain motor vehicle could have three, four or even six wheels. Unlike a motorcycle, generally, the ATVs have more than two wheels. This vehicle runs on low-pressure tires. However, it has handlebars instead of wheel for controlling the steering.

Honda Quad
Honda Quad (Courtesy: Honda)

As the name indicates, an ATV is designed to handle a broader variety of terrain than regular vehicles. In some countries it is a street-legal motor vehicle and licensed for use on public roads. However, it is not street-legal or roadworthy within some states, territories, and provinces of some countries.

Riding An ATV:

The riders ride an All Terrain Vehicle by siting on it just like a motorcycle. However, you don’t need much effort to balance it because extra wheels give more stability at slower speeds. Also, most dirt bikes are considered the ATVs because they are designed for off-road use only. Generally most ATVs come with three or four wheels. However, some specialized applications require six-wheel models. Engine sizes of ATVs range from as low as 49cc to 1,000cc. However, the size of the engine depends upon the application.

Generally, the intended use of All Terrain Vehicles is by a single operator only. However, some manufacturers make ATVs for use by two. Of them, one is the operator and other is passenger. So, manufacturers refer these ATVs as Tandem ATVs. The rider or main operator must wear a helmet just like a motorcycle rider. However, in some countries, it is not mandatory for the passenger to wear a helmet.

Develpoment:

The development of the All Terrain Vehicles started way back in the early 19th century. In 1893, Royal Enfield manufactured and sold the first powered quadricycle. The vehicle employed many bicycle components such as the handle bars. However, it was mainly designed for use as a horseless carriage for road use.

Suzuki Quad
Suzuki Quad (Courtesy: Suzuki)

A group of students first designed a three-wheeled ATV or Tri-cartin 1967 as a college project. The Tri-cart was a straddle-ridden with a sit-in rather than sit-on type. Later, many small manufacturers followed this trend and started making it. Then, Honda entered the market and launched its first sit-on type straddle-ridden three-wheeled ATVs in 1969.

Most earlier generation ATVs had large balloon tires instead of a mechanical suspension. However, by the early 1980s, manufacturers introduced All Terrain Vehicles with better components like suspension, racks and lower-profile tires. In the late 1980s, due to safety issues with three-wheel ATVs, manufacturers upgraded them to four-wheel models. Later, manufacturers like Polaris designed & developed the ATVs with six wheels for specialised operations such as military.

Modern ATVs employ advance features such as liquid-cooled engine and Twin spark-plugs. Some also offer independent suspension, automatic transmission, and a 4-wheel drive system etc. Manufacturers categorize modern ATVs in the following catogaries.:

  1. Utility
  2. Sport
  3. Children's
  4. Side-by-Side or SxS
  5. 50cc Gas

Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki are some of the ATV manufacturers in the world. CFMOTO, Tracker Offroad, and Polaris are some of the American ATV manufacturers.

Watch an All-Terrain Vehicle in action here:

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