If you've been on the couch eating potato chips and watching Netflix most of the winter, you're probably going to need to give your body some attention before heading out on the trails. Your ATV/UTV is no different if it's spent most of the time neglected and lonely. With a few bucks and some easy tips for the DIYer, you can assure a healthy, reliable trail ride rather than giving up the ghost while trail-side. Now, put down the bag of chips, dig out your wife's Buns of Steel tape, and get to work!
One of the easiest and most overlooked maintenance items is a basic oil change. Unless you changed your oil before the winter, this is as good a time as any to make it happen. This easy, inexpensive, must-do maintenance item will help prolong the life of your engine, so think of it as time and money well spent. Don't cheap out on just an oil change either. For a few bucks more, now is the time to change the oil filter (if equipped) as well.
If your tires are old, check them for signs of dry-rotting or cracks. If you notice either, replace the tires to make your ride as safe as possible. Tires that sat all winter will commonly leak down. Fill them with air and check to make sure there are no punctures, leaks around the bead, or leaking from the valve stem. If all checks out, inflate the tires to the manufacturer's recommended pressures.
A dirty air filter is a recipe for disaster. If your ATV/UTV uses disposable filters, toss the old one and fit it with a brand-new filter this spring. If you have an oiled foam filter like a Twin Air or K&N, they can be cleaned with basic detergent, dried, re-oiled, and put back in place. If you ride in dusty locations, having a spare air filter or two with your tools is cheap, easy insurance.