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How to Properly and Safely Start Your ATV

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Publication Number: P3324
View as PDF: P3324.pdf
Text file for accessibility: File p3324_accessible.docx

As with almost everything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things when it comes to starting up your ATV. The ATV Safety Institute recommends a procedure called BONE-C. By following the BONE-C method, you can ensure that you are starting the ATV in the safest way for you and your machine.

B = Brakes. Always have the parking brakes on. This will prevent any unwanted movement of the machine during start-up, especially when cranking the machine on a hill. Most youth-sized ATVs require the parking brake to be engaged before starting as a safety feature.

O = On. Turn the fuel valve on to allow fuel to enter the carburetor. Turn the ignition switch on (if equipped) to allow electricity to flow from the battery to the starter.

N = Neutral. Make sure the transmission is in the neutral position. This will prevent any unwanted jumping or lurching while you’re starting your ATV. Many ATVs have a safety feature that requires the machine to be in neutral in order to start.

E = Engine. Make sure the engine stop switch (often referred to as a kill switch) is in the run or start position. You should also use this switch if you need to stop the engine while you’re riding; this switch is always located near your left thumb, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the trail to look for it.

C = Choke. If the engine is cold, put the choke in the on position and start the engine according to the manual. You might need to run it in the full or half position until the ATV is warmed up.

If you need to mount or dismount your ATV without turning it off (such as while you’re letting it warm up), be sure to engage the parking brake and dismount to the LEFT side. This will prevent you from accidentally pressing the throttle during the dismount.


Source: ATV Safety Institute. Parents, Youngsters, and All-terrain Vehicles.

Publication 3324 (POD-03-19)

By Brad Staton, Extension Associate, 4-H Youth Development.

Copyright 2019 by Mississippi State University. All rights reserved. This publication may be copied and distributed without alteration for nonprofit educational purposes provided that credit is given to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Produced by Agricultural Communications.

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Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director

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