Confused by all of the ATV terminology, acronyms and jargon? I have seen that look before when I am talking with people about ATVs and riding. I forget not everybody is fluent in the talk of ATVs. So I started a list of terms, acronyms and other words related to ATVs. The following is the first section A – L.
ATV Terminology (A – L)
A-Arm – A pivoting support in the shape of an “A” that connects the wheel/hub assembly to the frame of the ATV.
Air/Fuel Ratio – Proportions in which air and fuel are mixed to form a combustible gas.
API – American Petroleum Industry
ATV – All Terrain Vehicle
Axle – The shaft(s) used to transmit power and torque from the differential to the wheels.
Backfire – Explosion of fuel in the intake manifold or carburetor or the explosion of unburnt fuel in the exhaust.
Balaclava – A head or neck sock with opening for eyes and mouth.
Ball & Groove Joint – A type of CV joint used primarily on axle shafts. Also called the Rzeppa type CV joint.
Ball Joint – A steel bearing stud and socket enclosed in a steel casing. Ball joints are used in several locations on an ATV. Most commonly on the tie rod ends and where the A-arm connects to the hub assembly.
Bead Lock – A Metal ring that holds (locks) the bead of the tire to the rim.
Belt, Drive – Flexible fabric belt used for power transmission in a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Bottom End – The bottom part of a four stroke engine; case, crankshaft, connecting rod, clutch, ignition assembly and transmission.
Brakes – Disc Brakes use a stationary caliper that squeeze pads against the disc on the wheel. Drum brakes use horseshoe shaped pads that expand against the inner surface of the drum on the wheel.
Camber – The relative position of the top of the front tire to the bottom of the front tire.
Camshaft – A shaft in the engine that has machined cams or lobes. These lobes open and close the valves as the shaft rotates. Also called the Cam.
Caster – The angle of steering pivot in degrees.
CC – Cubic Centimeters – Method of measuring engine size, ie: A 700cc engine has 700 cubic centimeters of piston displacement in the cylinder.
Clutch – Engages and disengages the engine from the transmission.
Continuously Variable Transmission - A fully automatic transmission consisting of two variable width pulleys and a belt. Different gear ratios are achieved when the pulleys automatically change width and the belt rides high or low. Serves as both the clutch and the gear system.
Crankshaft – The output shaft of the engine which converts the up & down reciprocating motion of the piston(s) into rotation. Also called the Crank.
CV Joint – Constant Velocity Joint – Flexible joint used on axles and drive shafts.
CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission.
Cylinder – The combustion chamber of the engine that houses the movement of the piston.
Differential – A gearbox that transmits power and torque from the drive shaft to the axles. Typically the axles will rotate at a lower speed than the drive shaft. ATV differentials can be of the Locking or Limited Slip type.
Drive Shaft – The shaft used to transmit engine power and torque to the front and rear differentials.
EBS – Engine Braking System
ECU – Electronic Control Unit or Engine Control Unit
EPS – Electric Power Steering
EUV – Electric Utility Vehicle
Four-Stroke - A type of engine with valves and cam(s) that produces combustion every four piston strokes.
Ground Clearance – The distance from the ground to the chassis of the ATV.
IRS – Independent Rear Suspension
Lean – Condition where too much air and not enough fuel are being fed into the engine. Opposite of Rich
Limited Slip – A type of differential which allows both wheels (front or rear) to spin at different speeds.
Locking, Differential – A type of differential which allows both wheels (front or rear) to spin at the same speeds.
You can find the next section ATV Terminology (M – Z) in my next post. This list is a “work in progress” meaning I will be adding to it as I come across new words. If you know of a word, term or acronym I have missed, leave me a comment below with your suggestions.