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7 Tips for Off-Road Muddin’

ATV mud riding

Off-road enthusiasts will tell you that mud is a way of life. While many shy away from dirt, our fellow ATV, UTV, and even dune buggy riders can’t wait to make a splash in the streams and tackle the bogs. If you’re new to mudding, you might not know how to prepare your vehicle for this kind of adventure or the recommended riding techniques. To help you out, ATV Trader has seven tips for muddin’ in your ATV or UTV.

1. Prepare Your ATV or UTV

Before you hit the mud bogs, prep your off-roader for the ride. Use a water resistant grease to lubricate the bearings and pivot points, as well as the electrical connections, handlebar switches and other areas that will be exposed to mud splashes.

Make sure the airbox is sealed to stop dirt or mud from getting in. A dirty air filter can allow dirt and debris into the engine and prevent it from cooling down properly.

A trick that longtime riders recommend is spraying the surfaces of your ATV or UTV, except the seat, with a lubricant such as WD-40. This can help keep mud from sticking on the body, making it easier to clean later.

If you plan on diving into deep mud or water holes, a snorkel can help prevent damage to your four-wheeler or side-by-side. Snorkel kits are raised hoses that allow air to reach your engine and clutch without taking in water.

2. Consider Getting Mud Tires

Most ATVs and UTVs are equipped with all-terrain tires that can handle a few inches of mud. If you plan on riding through anything more than that, consider getting mud tires. Mud-terrain tires feature large tread blocks with wide channels to push chunks of mud and rocks from under your tires to give you more traction than standard tires. If you plan on mudding more often, these can offer a better riding experience.

3. Wear Protective Gear

Wearing your helmet when you ride your four-wheeler or side-by-side should be second nature. When you go mudding, remember to also wear goggles to keep flying mud, dirt, and bugs out of your eyes. Riding gloves can help you manage the throttle. Long sleeves, long pants and protective boots are also recommended to minimize injury in case of a rollover. 

4. Survey the Riding Area

Once you and your ride are ready to roll, take a minute to analyze the riding area. Carefully look at the lines other riders are taking and find the one that works best for you. Spot shallow zones and areas where the best launches are. You should also keep an eye out for bogs that trap riders and look for a way around them.

5. Ease into the Mud Hole

You’re probably eager to rev your engine and splash across streams. Before you do, take it slow and ease your way into the mud hole at a moderate pace. If you go in too fast, you could lose control, but too slow could cause you to lose momentum and bog down.

6. Shift Your Weight

Shifting your weight while on your ATV or UTV can help you get out of a few messy situations. For example, shifting your weight to the rear of your off-road vehicle can help if you’re high centered, which means the bottom of your ATV is dragging, or get you out of deep water.

7. Ask for Help if You Get Stuck

If you do get stuck in a bog and your off-roader is stalling, ask for help from another rider. If it’s not too deep, you should be able to lift the rear of your vehicle out with some assistance. If that doesn’t work, you may need a winch to tow your four-wheeler or side-by-side out. Just in case that happens, it’s a good idea to bring a sturdy tow strap or tow rope with you.

When it’s time to get down and dirty on your quad, remember these seven tips to take on the bogs. Once you’re back from mudding, give your off-road vehicle a good scrub down, so it’s ready for your next adventure, by following these five steps for washing your ATV.

Searching for an off-roader to handle mud holes? Browse the nationwide selection of new and used ATVs and UTVs on


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Arielle Patterson
Arielle Patterson

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