Restoring an old ATV can be quite a bit of work, but the results are going to be worth it. With a little bit of patience and some elbow grease, your ATV is going to be back out on the trails before you know it.
Properly Research the Make and Model
The most important step in this process is researching the exact make and model of the ATV. If you don’t have a physical copy of the owner’s manual, then you should look online to see if there is a PDF version. There are also huge online forums for some of the most popular ATVs, and those sites are filled with mechanics and restoration enthusiasts. Most of those individuals will be able to answer any questions you have and help you overcome some common obstacles.
Take Care of Rust Immediately
A little bit of rust might not seem like a big deal, but that type of damage can spread before you know it. While rust on the chain and brake discs is completely normal, any other rust must be taken care of immediately. To remove small patches of rust, you can use a little bit of rust remover and some sandpaper. Once the rust has been removed, you will need to paint and prime the bare metal. For larger patches of rust, the metal might need to be cut out and replaced entirely.
Protect the Plastic Components
Even if the ATV is in relatively good shape, you will probably need to replace at least some of the plastic and custom rubber parts during your restoration. Once those parts have been replaced, you should protect them with silicone conditioner. That type of product is usually sold in a spray bottle, and it can easily be applied in a matter of minutes. As a general rule, conditioners and sealants must be applied at least once a year if you want to prevent future damage.
Don’t Forget to Break-In the Motor
After you replace any of the major mechanical components, you need to ride softly for a short period of time. All of the individual parts are going to expand and contract while you ride, and you need to give those components a chance to settle. No one wants to spend countless hours restoring an ATV only to blow out the motor on the first ride.
In addition to these four tips, you should also make sure that you have the right tools for the job. Basic sets of tools are more affordable than ever, and investing in one of those kits could save you quite a bit of time in the coming months.