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. This is a continuation of the list I started of terms, acronyms and other words related to ATVs. The following is the second section M – Z.
ATV Terminology (M – Z)
OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer
Offset, Wheel – The distance from its hub mounting surface to the outside edge of the rim.
Odometer – Device that stores the mileage (distance driven). Usually located on the speedometer.
OHV – Off Highway Vehicle
ORV – Off Road Vehicle
Piston – The component in the cylinder of the engine that moves up and down and is connected to the Crankshaft.
Plastic – The bodywork on an ATV
Pod – An enclosure mounted at the top of the steering stem on the handlebars that typically houses the speedometer and a headlight.
Porting – Grinding and polishing the cylinder at the fuel intake ports and exhaust ports to improve engine performance.
Powerslide - Sliding the rear end of an ATV by applying the throttle.
Preload – The tension on the spring of a shock absorber.
PSI – Pounds per Square Inch
Pull Starter – A pull-cord mechanism used to start some ATV engines
Quad – Another name for an ATV with 4 wheels.
Rich – Condition where too much fuel and not enough air are being fed into the engine. Opposite of Lean
RPM – Revolutions Per Minute of the crankshaft.
SAE – Society of Automotive Engineers.
Safety Wire – A stainless steel wire used to help keep a part from falling off.
Shock Absorber – Also known as damper, shocks absorb trail surface vibration through hydraulic friction.
Snorkel – A water tight tube used for venting or supplying fresh air to critical components on an ATV. Used primarily on ATVs that are used in deep water or mud.
Spark Plug – A device that lights an electric spark within the combustion chamber to burn the fuel in the cylinder.
Sport ATV – A lightweight 2WD ATV, most have a solid rear axle (not IRS)
Sport/Utility or Utility – A 2WD or 4WD ATV with racks for loading camping gear and other items.
Steering Stem – The rod the handlebars mount to on the top and the tie rods mount to on the bottom. As the handlebars are turned the steering stem rotates moving the tie rods and wheels in the same direction.
Suspension – The system of components, springs, shock absorbers, linkage and A-arms, that isolate the bumps and vibrations of the trail providing comfort and the ease of handling the ATV for the rider.
SxS – Side by Side Utility Vehicle
Thumb Throttle - A method of controlling the speed of an engine or motor. Located on the right side of the handle bar and is a small lever on under side of the handle bar. Pushing the lever with the thump increases the RPM’s of the engine.
Tie Rods – Shafts that transmit the movement of the steering stem (handlebars) to the wheels.
Toe – This is the angle of the wheel from vertical when pointed straight. Look at the wheel from the front or rear. If the wheel is leaned in from center that is toe in. If the wheel is leaned out from center that is toe out.
Top End – The top part of a four stroke engine; the cylinder, piston cylinder head, valves, camshaft and cam chain.
Twist Throttle – A method of controlling the speed of an engine or motor. A twist throttle is located on the right side of the handle bar and is part of the grip. Twisting the grip increases the RPM’s of the engine.
Two-Stroke – A type of engine with valves and cam(s) that produces combustion every two piston strokes. The fuel used in this type of engine requires a gas and oil mixture.
Universal Joint – A type of CV joint used primarily on drive shafts. Also known as the Thompson coupling.
UTV – Utility Terrain Vehicle
Valves – The mushroom shaped components of a four stroke engine that act as a one-way gate, allowing the air/fuel mixture to enter or the exhaust gases to exit the cylinder.
VIN – Vehicle Identification Number
Wheel Base – The distance from the center of the front wheel hub to the center of the rear wheel hub.
Whoops – Rolling bumps anywhere from five to ten feet apart and one to three feet high
Don’t forget the first section ATV Terminology (A – L). 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.