The snow’s coming down! That means it’s time to get your UTV ready for some winter riding. If you don’t want to stop the fun just because it gets a little cold, then we’ve got the guide for you. Check out our tips for riding in the snow and stop by Southern Illinois Motorsports with any other questions you might have. We’re in Carbondale, Illinois, serving Murphysboro and Marion, as well as our neighbors in St. Louis, Missouri, so visit us today!
Prepare Your UTV for the Cold
The first thing you’ll need to address is your UTV. Getting your UTV ready for the snow and cold is going to help ensure the season won’t wear down on the machine and that you’ll still be able to use it to its full potential. Around our area, things can get cold.
On top of that, if you’re going out of your way to find areas of the country that are even colder, then you’ll have to ensure your engine is ready for those frigid temperatures.
Make sure there’s no excess water in your coolant that could freeze and use engine fluids that’ll withstand the winter. Most of the fluids your side-by-side uses have a freezing point of well below 0°F, but it’s a good idea to check anyway.
Riding in the snow might require some specific upgrades. For example, to get better traction, you might want to use snow tires, as opposed to the ones you use for dirt or mudding. You can even ask about switching to tracks. If you want to use your side-by-side for plowing, there are attachments you can use to clear snow away from driveways and sidewalks.
You might also want to take advantage of any covers you might have. UTVs are handy in that they can be more completely enclosed with the right cover. This can protect you from the chill and any sludgy precipitation that might be coming down. At the very least, we recommend a windshield to deflect some of the winds that’ll pick up once you get going.
Now to get you ready. It’s already going to be cold, but once you get going, it’s going to feel even colder. Because of this, you might want to upgrade some of your safety gear to provide extra warmth. For example, a more enclosed helmet with goggles can help keep your face warm. You can also include gloves that are waterproof and insulated.
Speaking of insulation, what you wear is important. Of course, you’ll still want to prioritize safety, but to stay warm, you’ll want to wear layers. Each layer should get successively thicker and warmer, with the outermost layer being waterproof. Layers are better at providing insulation and they allow you to cool off more easily if you start to get too hot.
Good Snow Safety Practices
Another part of preparing is making sure you know how to properly ride in the snow. Even with the right tires or tracks, you’ll need to slow down and take turns carefully to avoid losing traction. If you encounter ice, proceed with caution. At best, it’ll pose a slide risk, at worst it could be a serious danger. Avoid ice as much as possible, especially if temperatures have started warming up. If you can’t drive around ice, try to stick to the edges, where the ice will be the strongest. And, of course, all the standard safe riding practices still apply, like staying sober, hydrated, and rested.
With the right strategy, your UTV experience doesn’t have to stop just because the snow starts coming down and it gets a little cold. To add some of the upgrades we mentioned earlier, talk to our experienced staff here at Southern Illinois Motorsports about what to get and how to get it installed. So stop on by! We welcome all those from Murphysboro and Marion, IL as well as St. Louis, MO.