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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After many different reasons, I finally got to perform my 1st ATV trail run (with a few other folks) at 7 weeks AFTER buying my pre-owned 2011 AC 550 TRV - with Power Steering. We started the bush trail at 9:00 AM and got back at 6:00 PM. Had lots of fun but also experienced a few "lessons learned". A few items that might help others:

A - My factory front windshield vibrated out of its support rods. Luckily, a side-by-side driver was able to lug my removed shield in the back in his unit. Now, my ATV has no front factory windscreen shield. Like many ATVs, It will remain off until I sell my ATV.

B - To see behind me without getting a sore neck, I should buy some handle bars mirrors with 7/8" mounting brackets. And, use convex (not flat) mirror surfaces. Sounds like a future Amazon buy. LOL!

C - Of its 6 factory bolts holding down its rear cargo box down, 5 of the bolts vibrated off. Luckily, I made it back without loosing its rear cargo box. Other riders told me to remove its factory bolts, replace with same thickness but 1/2" longer bolts, use large flat washers with double nuts. During rough riding conditions, double nuts are better than lock tight glue.

D - Instead of 8 lbs of air in the tires I should be using 5 lbs air on the rougher trails instead. Thus, smoother ride and less vibrations across the washboard bumps and sudden deep pot holes.

E - Newer age ATVs have turn signal lights - for in village driving to get gas and lunch. I didn't know the newer age ATVs have manual signal lights.

F - On long time / long distance drives, Power Steering on 2-Up machines are a must. My arms were fine but at end of the ride, a few ATVers without Power Steering complained about their sore arms. Then again, it could be an "older age" thing... LOL!

G - While riding, we turned our lights on. Especially in the dark bush trails. There were a few on-coming ATVs without their Low Beams on and I didn't see them - until we were close. Too close. I always see other ATVs with their lights on in a quick glance.

F - My feet got soaked during last deep water puddle. Should have kept my feet a few inches higher - to compensate for its back wave. Ouch!

If other tips need to be applied, do share... Thus, helping others as well....
 

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In five years with my trv I’ve never had the rear cargo box bolts come loose? I’m thinking they weren’t tightened down properly.
Good ride I hope, we all learn as we go.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ya. Maybe the previous owner removed its rear cargo box and didn't "lock tight" glue its nuts after re-installing? Or, perhaps my tires were too hard - which created too much vibrations? Or, combination of both areas?

It was a good ride. Especially when nobody got hurt and no mechanical break downs....
 

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Probably a combo of both. IRT the fasteners, I would recommend nylock nuts vs 1 or 2 regular with locktite.

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If I recall correctly the nuts are captured in the rear extension frame and there are 4 or 6 bolts that secure it to the frame.
 

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Get yourself a good set of waterproof over the heal boots... dry feet are always nice and a higher boot protects your ankles... many times I have gotten off my machine and stepped on something that could have twisted my ankle or been poked with a stick that could have done damage without a boot... I use hunting boots nice and comfy... all my riding gear stays in my truck now, before it all used to stay in a tote so I could grab it and go.. 2 pairs of boots my hunting and a taller set of good muck boots... in the winter the mucks get swapped out for a good set of winters...

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated.

Yes. There's 6-7 bolts holding the rear cargo box on. They are metric clock wise direction threads - which is hard to buy in my north area. So, I simply drilled them out next "minor size" larger, installed galvanized standard threat bolts using large flat washers on each side and double nutted them. Now, its rear cargo box is super solid.

I also ordered some handle bar mirrors (side mirrors and needed 7/8" clamps) tonight as well. Due to my far north region, I should get them in a few weeks. Hopefully, they work great for my needs as well. And, don't come broken - due to rough shipping methods. Ouch!

Thanks for your ideas of good footwear as well. This sounds much better then running shoes. LOL! Next time out, I'll wear my steel toes construction boots. They should look good while I'm wearing my orange reflective hunting vest and my Dollar Store rubber surface contact gloves as well. As you can tell, I'm on the tight budget as well.

Talk about fun time riding, my wife (who was driving) and I (in the 2-up seat) took a little spin around our little village's block a few days ago. Going super slow, the local turtles could pass it on the corners. LOL! But, my local neighbours gave us positive thumbs ups all the way.

Hopefully, your location is ATV friendly as well...
 

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Sorry for the long post but thought if any of this helped someone then it was worth it.

After many different reasons, I finally got to perform my 1st ATV trail run (with a few other folks) at 7 weeks AFTER buying my pre-owned 2011 AC 550 TRV - with Power Steering. We started the bush trail at 9:00 AM and got back at 6:00 PM. Had lots of fun but also experienced a few "lessons learned". A few items that might help others:

A - My factory front windshield vibrated out of its support rods. Luckily, a side-by-side driver was able to lug my removed shield in the back in his unit. Now, my ATV has no front factory windscreen shield. Like many ATVs, It will remain off until I sell my ATV. Everyone I ride with has windsheilds, I hate the look and have never needed one. I refuse to have one lol, I ride with a full helmet and the visor has always worked fine.

B - To see behind me without getting a sore neck, I should buy some handle bars mirrors with 7/8" mounting brackets. And, use convex (not flat) mirror surfaces. Sounds like a future Amazon buy. LOL! This is a MUST when riding with others. There is always that guy who wants to ride in your blind spot way to close for safety. Also great for keeping tabs on the guy behind you to make sure they are okay

C - Of its 6 factory bolts holding down its rear cargo box down, 5 of the bolts vibrated off. Luckily, I made it back without loosing its rear cargo box. Other riders told me to remove its factory bolts, replace with same thickness but 1/2" longer bolts, use large flat washers with double nuts. During rough riding conditions, double nuts are better than lock tight glue. The 2011 has the older speedrack connector I think, Can you use that system to lock it on?

D - Instead of 8 lbs of air in the tires I should be using 5 lbs air on the rougher trails instead. Thus, smoother ride and less vibrations across the washboard bumps and sudden deep pot holes. 5 is pretty much standard, the more you put in the higher the chance of punctures and a stiffer ride. I do know a guy whose tires arent friendly with his rims so he runs 8-10 to prevent bead slip.

E - Newer age ATVs have turn signal lights - for in village driving to get gas and lunch. I didn't know the newer age ATVs have manual signal lights. I'd love to have turn signals but in Canada where I am, they are illegal. It's a government tactic to prevent ATV's from being road legal since you need signals to be road legal.

F - On long time / long distance drives, Power Steering on 2-Up machines are a must. My arms were fine but at end of the ride, a few ATVers without Power Steering complained about their sore arms. Then again, it could be an "older age" thing... LOL! I ride a lot, my King Quad doesn't have PS, I've built up muscles and it doesn't bother me anymore, and I do have arthritis. My AC has PS and it's a nice to have but I feel like I'm out of touch with the trail and am missing "feel" of what is going on with the trail. However, the real rough spots that are about 5% or less of the rides, man is the PS a nice to have during those spots.

G - While riding, we turned our lights on. Especially in the dark bush trails. There were a few on-coming ATVs without their Low Beams on and I didn't see them - until we were close. Too close. I always see other ATVs with their lights on in a quick glance. This should be law everywhere, even on a sunny day, at least it lets us see who is behind us in our mirrors and whats coming ahead. It really makes a huge difference and we require all riders have there lights on.

F - My feet got soaked during last deep water puddle. Should have kept my feet a few inches higher - to compensate for its back wave. Ouch! Grab a set of steel toe rubber boots. Nothing worse than a soaker all day in the summer, in the winter a wet foot is a deal breaker and your done for the day.

If other tips need to be applied, do share... Thus, helping others as well....
Some other tips...

1) ALWAYS bring a compressor and tire repair kit. If you don't need it, someone else might. HARD Lesson learned. My first rally was about 40 min up a simple beginners trail near my home. I bought a compressor and a kit but forgot it in my car trunk. I had about 500km on my first quad with no issues so I wasn't too worried being a newbie. Well, I got a flat 25 min into the ride. I was literally in the middle of nowhere so I had to ride 20 min leaning hard left in 4x4 and a good speed to keep pressure off the rim. When I got there everyone was happy to help fix it. But if I had brought the proper supplies I wouldn't have been driving 20min on a flat.

2) ALWAYS bring at least a 5L can of extra gas. Again, if you don't need it, someone else might

3) Maps or a GPS

4) As a group, stop often and do a head count. You can also bring radios so the 1st person can communicate with the last.

5) When there is a fork in the path, each person can wait a few seconds and make sure the next person sees which way to go. This prevents group hold ups but also ensures everyone is accounted for and heading in the right direction.

6) Dress in layers and have something for emergencies if it's a long ride. If you get stuck on a nice day but nights are cold, having layers will get you through the night. Wool might be itchy but cotton is the enemy on a hot day.

7) If you don't have a winch, make sure someone in your group does. Most have them, but if you use a winch once, it was worth every penny.

8) Self tapping screws with rubber washer. Why do I bring these? We had a fella whose brake caliper lodged a rock between it and the rim and put a small hole in it. We took some rubber cement and a screw off another ATV to get him home. Getting that screw in the rim was tough and it still slow leaked. I now bring some small self tapping screws with rubber gaskets just in case. And they take up almost zero room in my box.

9) 8 leads me into 9. A tree saver strap, I'm the only one who brings one but we tilted the SxS by using my winch and strap, I connected the strap to the roll cage of the SxS to lift the side with the flat. A tree saver strap is lighter and uses less room than a jack.

It may sound uncool but being prepared with a little extra cargo is better than looking cool and stranded. Our runs have an average of 12 ATV's with beginers, vets, slow riders to speed demons. Something always happens but we are always prepared and always get back.
 
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