How To Maximize The Fuel Economy Of An ATV

Fuel economy and miles per gallon were not issues that you used to hear most people bring up when it comes to ATVs. However, in today’s world of crushing oil prices and rising fuel costs, it has begun to come up more and more often. This is especially true in industries such as agriculture and ranching in which all terrain vehicles are not used for recreation; instead, they are tools of the trade, so to speak. And as such, they are evaluated as to the return they yield on the investment they require. If an ATV, or even an entire fleet of them, is burning too much gas, then it could have negative effects on a ranch or farm’s bottom line profits.

Industry experts agree that, if you averaged all ATV’s and UTV’s, the average miles per gallon for these vehicles is 39.47 mpg. This is a very respectable number indeed, but it can still be maximized. Here are a few ways to get the most out of each tank of gas in your ATV.

  • Weight. Lightening the load will decrease the amount of fuel consumed in any vehicle. Racks or tools that are not being used should be removed. That ATV winch might look cool, but if you never use it, it could be costing you extra fuel.
  • Aerodynamics. The simple physics behind helping wind flow over a vehicle applies to racecars as well as ATVs. Less drag, less power needed; thus fuel savings.
  • Brakes. Dragging brake calipers and worn bearings make an engine work harder than it should. Another aspect of this is a worn clutch or improper shifting.
  • Air Pressure. Running uneven tire pressure can lower fuel efficiency by 15%
  • Wide-Open. One of the simplest ways to increase your is backing off the throttle and riding less aggressively.
  • Additives. ATV’s, carbureted or fuel injected, benefit from the occasional use of a fuel additive designed to clean injectors/carbs. The stuff commonly found on shelves is designed to be added to 20 gallon tanks or bigger. A capful every half-dozen or so fill-ups is all you need.
  • Tune-Up. Every engine needs to be tuned up from time to time to improve its performance. ATVs are no different from cars in this respect.

In a lot of ways you can look at your ATV just like you would your car if you want to improve fuel efficiency. Using these simple tips, you could push your ATV’s fuel economy well over the 40 mpg mark.

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