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What Is a Sport ATV?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A sport ATV is an all-terrain vehicle designed with speed in mind. This machine is lighter than a utility ATV and features long suspension to take rough terrain and even jumps. The fairings on a sport ATV are usually designed with aerodynamics in mind, and the machine itself will feature a high ground clearance to allow it to travel easily over exceptionally rocky or difficult terrain. These machines are commonly used for racing, recreational riding in snow and on sand, and any other setting in which speed is important.

Most sport ATV models will feature a skid plate mounted on the undercarriage of the vehicle. This plate serves two purposes: first, it will protect the undercarriage from impacts from rocks or other obstructions, and second, it will provide even more aerodynamic advantage to the machine. The skid plate is usually made of steel, though aluminum plates are also available to save weight. Some sport ATV models may feature a brush guard as well, which is a series of bars that run across the front of the vehicle to prevent the body from impacts from trees, bushes, and other obstructions.

Mud-shedding tires are a common option on sport ATVs.
Mud-shedding tires are a common option on sport ATVs.

Some models from various manufacturers will feature all the necessary accessories or modifications to make the sport ATV street legal, meaning the machine can be driven on paved roads legally. The ATV will need to have headlights, brake lights, a license plate holder, and various other modifications as required by state or federal laws. Not all sport ATV models are designed for use on-road, however, and these models will lack headlights and tail lights, as well as other modifications. This is done to promote weight savings, which is very important when the machine is meant to be used for racing purposes.

The tires on the sport ATV can be replaced to accommodate a specific type of terrain. These ATVs are often used in sand, which means tires specifically designed for sand riding will need to be mounted on the machine. These tires feature scoops that can cut into the sand for traction. Other types of tires may be better suited to riding over rocks, and still others may be better suited to riding through exceptionally muddy conditions. Mud shedding tires are designed to allow mud to flow through the tread and off the tire, thereby preserving traction and preventing excess caking of mud on the tires.

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    • Mud-shedding tires are a common option on sport ATVs.
      By: Tomasz Sibilski
      Mud-shedding tires are a common option on sport ATVs.