Wear bright or reflective clothing. Wear a helmet, even if it's not required by law. Be sure the helmet is DOT approved. (DOT approved helmets)
Don't ride in another motorist's "blind spot."
Excessive speed is a factor in many accidents. Obey the speed limits and never travel faster than your skill level or than the conditions allow.
Signal well before you make a turn or lane change. Your size and maneuverability can surprise other motorists. Consider using hand signals in addition to your electric turn signals.
Don't let other motorists surprise you. Use extra caution at intersections, parking lot entrances and exits, and driveways.
Keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the floorboards while riding.
Never leave your moped unattended with the engine running.
Reduce your speed when riding over bumpy roads. Avoid hitting road hazards, such as sharp bumps and holes in the road surface. These hazards can cause loss of control or damage to your moped.
Be especially conscious of traffic from behind. Because of the likely speed difference between other traffic and your moped, use caution and check your mirrors frequently every 5-7 seconds. Remember, mirrors allow only a partial view to your rear. There are blind spots. Be aware of where they are, and check them frequently.
Check to see if your local governing agency has additional tips or guidelines for you.
How to do a quick vehicle inspection
First and foremost, before you hit the road, you need to make sure your 4WD vehicle is in sound mechanical condition.
To determine whether your vehicle is trail ready and capable of surviving a trip off-road, first do a visual inspection - inside and out.
Then, take a few minutes to more closely inspect the inner workings of your ride - make sure that the following parts are in good working condition and you don't hear any strange noises coming from these areas:
Once your vehicle is checked and ready to roll, it's time to load the necessary gear and equipment on board…
- Axles & Differentials - hubs, seals, vacuum lines, shift motors, vent lines, front u-joints
- Battery - clean terminals, check for damaged or corroded wiring
- Brakes - drums, rotors, pads/shoes, fluid, hoses, leaks, check e-brake, brake lights
- Belts & Hoses - look for cracks or bulges
- Body/Frame - look for cracks
- Cooling/Heating system - look for leaks, fluid levels, clean and repair fins, check hoses, thermostat, radiator cap
- Driveline/Transmission - inspect case and shifter, leaks, fluids, universal & cv joints, skid plates
- Engine - carburetor, fuel injectors, spark plugs, wires, pcv valve, pumps, spark plugs, distributor & wires, belts; check for leaks and cracks
- Exhaust - muffler, tailpipes
- Fluids - oil, transmission, brake, radiator coolant, gear oils, wipers, power steering
- Lights - headlights, brake lights, auxiliary lights; make sure they're aimed properly
- Nuts & Bolts - tighten axle u-bolts, lug bolts, nuts
- Steering - check alignment, fluid level, belts and hoses, pump and reservoir for leaks
- Suspension - springs, shocks, alignment, wheel bearings, steering linkage
- Tires - tighten lug nuts, air pressure, tread wear (including your full-size spare), look for cuts and missing chunks
- Wipers - check for wear, fluid level
Which Tools To Keep In Your Off Road Toolbox?
Before heading off road, you should put some thought into what tools you'll need in your offroad toolbox.
Your aim is to have enough on hand so if something breaks when you're out on the trail, you'll be able to disassemble, repair, replace, and/or reassemble it in order to get yourself back on the road.
As a bare minimum, you'll want to have the following items on hand:
- Air pressure gauge
- Allen wrenches
- Baling wire
- Crescent wrench (small & medium)
- Electrical tape & spare connectors
- Grease (or a grease gun)
- Nuts & bolts (assorted sizes)
- Open end/box wrenches (3/8" to 3/4")
- Pliers - standard, needle-nose and channel lock
- Pocket/utility knife
- Screwdrivers - standard and phillips
- Socket set (3/8") with extensions
- Standard & phillips screwdrivers
- Super glue/epoxy
- Vise grips
- Wire & wire cutters/crimpers
Top Off Road Packing & Driving Tips That Could Save Your Life
Some thought should be given as to how you will pack each of the above items in - or on - your vehicle, because overloading your vehicle can be just as dangerous as not taking along the right gear in the first place.
The extra weight can cause poor balance and unnecessary stress on your vehicle and its components, so try to pack accordingly, being careful not to overload the vehicle. You've heard about SUV rollovers?... They happen off road too!
How Much To Pack
Ultimately, which tools, equipment, and spare parts you take along will depend on where you are going and for how long.
As a rule, you should pack enough to be confident that you could get yourself out of a jam. However, in the event that you could fix your vehicle and become mobile again, chances are that a passing four-wheeler would come to your aid soon.
Avoid Flying Projectiles
It is extremely important to keep all of the items you've loaded in your vehicle securely strapped down or safely stowed away, because loose items could, unfortunately, become projectiles if they hit you. You should use heavy-duty straps (not bungee cords) to secure items in your vehicle.
Contain and strap down anything that will hurt if it hits you. Remember that all supplies inside your vehicle must be contained in some way that will prevent bodily injury during rough riding and extreme maneuvers.
Friends & Passengers
It's always a good idea to take friends along. Four-wheeling is a lot more fun (and a lot more safe!) with a passenger along. Never go out on a trail by yourself - especially if it's a trail you haven't been on before.
These checklists should get you started when it comes to packing for an off road trip. Remember, your goal is to be adequately prepared for the remoteness of your destination. And speaking of remote areas… remember to ALWAYS stay with your vehicle in a breakdown situation and wait for help.
Last, but not least, don't forget your driver's license, proof of insurance, money, and to let someone know where you're going. Now, all that's left to do is fill up your tank and hit the road.
rmember… Tread Lightly!