ATV Riding on Water: Is it Possible or Just a Myth?

One of the things that mostly confuse people is whether or not they can ride their ATV on water. There are lots of people who very much want to ride their ATV on water since most of the year, it is usually rainy and cold or even people just want to out there for fun.

So, can I ride my ATV on water? Yes, you can ride your ATV on water. There are lots of people doing it and even manage to ride in deep depths on water. And the truth is that ATVs are designed for water riding. However, it does not mean you can ride your ATV on water at crazy depths. It is not recommended because it can risk your ATV by allowing water to enter important components. Therefore, if you really want to ride on rivers and huge depths, which it is not advisable, you must cover the important components.

In general, it is possible to ride an ATV on water but you need to know how to properly prepare your ATV to prevent water from penetrating, especially important components like the engine. So, ATV can be ridden on water but it is doesn’t mean you can ride in the very deep waters except you will have to cover the important parts. Also, don’t ride in deep waters if you don’t have a powerful ATV.

There are many other things you need to know about this topic and in this guide, I will show you the important things that you must know before you ride your ATV on water.

Need ATV safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

So, let’s get started.

How can you ride on water without damaging your ATV?

As I have mentioned earlier, although it is possible to ride your ATV on the water or in rivers or wet trails, it does not mean that you can really ride in deep rivers without properly preparing your ATV, especially covering the important components and avoiding water penetration.

You will understand that there is no problem riding your ATV on water, but you need to avoid water from infiltrating important components because even a few drops of water that enters the engine or other vital part is enough to destroy the ATV.

Here are the important parts of your ATV that you should ensure water doesn’t penetrate.

  • Make sure the engine does not get wet – the most important part you had to protect is your engine. Even a small amount of water can destroy it. So, you will need to make sure the engine is properly plugged using all kinds of accessories necessary.
  • Buy a snowplow – Well, I know it’s not only about riding your ATV on water but when you live in a snowy country, believe me, a snowplow will help you significantly when riding especially in deep snow.
  • Air Box / Belt Consumption / Snorkel – These 3 parts are super important. So make sure you block them to prevent water from having access to them. These parts are super important and when water enters them, they can ruin your ATV.
  • Buy waterproof Tires for Water / Mud Riding – If you want to ride your ATV on water and muddy terrain, I would highly recommend you buy more durable weather-resistant tires. If your tires are already old, this is another great reason to replace them. I highly recommend you get strong Highlifter tires. while there are almost dozens of manufacturers of these types of tires, if you want to see the best mud tires, feel free to click here

Other important components you need to make sure water doesn’t penetrate are

  • Electrical connections
  • Add grease bearings.
  • Breathing tube for breathing
  • Differential vents
  • Carbohydrate ventilation pipes

In short, you have to try your best to prevent water from entering the important components of your ATV because if water enters into them, it can be very dangerous to your ATV. However, if water enters into them, there are steps you can perform to fix it. In this article, I will discuss how you can fix it.

Can I ride my ATV in the mud?

Yes, you can ride your ATV in the mud. There are lots of people who ride in the mud. Besides, mud is like dirt only that it is pretty wet but there are some things you need to consider.

First thing, riding in the mud is pretty dangerous especially during your first few times. It requires more effort and generally, it is more slippery which means you have to be a very good rider to ride in the mud.

In addition, it takes a lot of effort and skill when riding in the mud much more than a normal ride on a dry road. It is more difficult especially when the mud is relatively deep. If you want to see the full guide to give you tips on riding your ATV in the mud, I highly recommend you click here to view the complete guide.

And lastly, if your ride in the mud with your ATV, there is a chance of your ATV getting stuck, which is quite common especially when riding in deep mud. So, it is very important to be careful about riding in the mud. And by the way, not all ATVs can withstand deep mud riding but in most cases, just strong and crazy ATVs succeed in riding deep mud. I recommend you look at the manufacturer’s instructions to see the recommendations when it comes to mud or water riding.

In general, mud riding is fun and it won’t hurt your ATV but just remember you still have to block the important components so there will be no water penetration. In addition, if you are looking for a good and powerful mud ATV, I highly recommend you click here to view the full guide I wrote that show you some of the best ATVs on the market for mudding.

Tips for riding your ATV on water/mud?

Mud and water riding is much harder than regular riding. You need to understand that mud and water riding are completely different from riding on a dry surface; it requires more concentration, new riding skills, and even more powerful ATVs. It takes a lot of effort and different approaches too.

In addition, riding in the mud and water is not recommended for beginners or those with a weak ATV and because of that, you should really be a skilled rider who has had at least a few months of riding experience. Don’t expect to ride better in the mud if you can’t ride well on the surface. Riding in mud and water is much more difficult and because of that, make sure you have at least riding experience on the surface before you go riding in the mud and water.

Here are the best tips for mud & water ATV

  • Use low gear – Using low gear when riding your ATV on mud and water helps a lot. It does know that low gear is much better when riding mud. It really helps to get your ATV on water and mud especially when the mud is very deep. So, keep in mind that low gear is best when riding in the mud.
  • Install CVT Snorkels – if you often ride in the river, lakes, and muddy areas, one of the most effective things you can do is ask a professional to install a snorkel kit that prevents water from entering important components, which give you peace of mind. So, it’s important to take this into account.
  • Invest in a Quality Performance Belt – A Performance Belt is the part of your ATV that will require the most abuse, so I strongly encourage you to invest in a quality, durable, and good belt.
  • Buy a Powerful ATV for Mud Riding – I highly recommend you buy a more powerful ATV especially for the purpose of riding in the mud and water. This is because when an ATV is specifically adapted for mud and water riding, it will give you more resistance against water and mud and, of course, will give you better performance and more fun. There are some amazing ATVs for Mud Riding but in my opinion, the best mud ATV is the Can-Am Outlander X MR 1000R, Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 High Lifter Edition & Yamaha Raptor 700r.

What should I do if water enters my ATV?

If you accidentally train your ATV I n he mud and water and you got water into the important components, especially the engine, first of all, you need to relax. Most ATVs can survive water penetration that is more common than you think.

The problem with water infiltration through the engine is that they just ruin not only the engine but also destroy other important components in your ATV by entering through a hole in the piston head, a hole in the cylinder wall, and more.

You have to be very careful when trying to get the water out of your ATV’s engine. This is because if you don’t do it in a good way, you can do even more worse than good. Therefore, here are the steps you must follow to safely extract all water from your ATV engine.

  • Step 1. – First thing you need to do to get water out of the engine is to drain the fuel tank and also the oil and also clean the carburetor and dry the ATV.
  • Step 2. After that, you have to remove water from the engine. First, remove the plugs and put the engine in reverse to release water.
  • Step 3. After the water is released, add fuel and turn on the ATV. Give it time to warm for a few minutes and it should work.


Quad rider jumping on a muddy forest trail

If you have done these 3 steps and the engine is still not working so, unfortunately, you are most likely to have ruined the engine. You will need to go to someone professional who will install a new engine for you.

Need ATV safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

If you have any questions or opinions about this article, please write us a comment and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thanks for the reading


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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