ATV Passenger Tips: How to Ride

You can have an ATV passenger in two ways. You can get a UTV so you can ride side by side. That’s why they are sometimes called side-by-sides. Or, you can get a passenger ATV where you ride with the passenger on the back similar to bringing someone along on a motorcycle. The reality is a little more complicated than having someone just jump on, so make sure to read this post to learn how to bring an ATV passenger safely.

riding atv with kid

General Tips for 2 Up ATV Riding

ATV for two riders

The first thing to get very clear is that you should never have a passenger on an ATV unless it was designed to carry two people. Weight plays a huge part in riding an ATV, and the same ATV that is meant for one person won’t drive the same with two people on it. If you do this, you’ll be very lucky if you don’t tip over or have a crash.

Vehicles with large storage capacities don’t count. Don’t try to put a passenger on a storage bed or tailgate. That’s not the same thing.

Make sure that you are purchasing or renting an ATV that is meant to hold two people.

Gear up

Both riders need helmets, goggles, gloves, boots, and clothing that fully covers their arms and legs. Protection from dust and debris, branches, and potential crashes is also essential, even for passengers. You’ll also want to make sure the gear fits properly or there’s no guarantee it will do its job.

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Make room for their things

The passenger can’t hold onto belongings they may want to bring. You’ll need to make sure you’ve provided room for their stuff in your storage compartments.

Acquaint the passenger

Make sure the passenger knows that they have to hold onto handholds during their entire ride and that they should never stick their arms, legs, or head outside the vehicle.

You’ll also want to make sure they understand hand signals so they can help you signal.

Follow your passenger’s pace

Check-in and make sure your passenger is alert, happy, not too hot or cold, well-hydrated, and still able to maintain a firm grip.

Stay together

Make sure your passenger knows that they can’t leave the vehicle at any time without telling you.

atv gear for kids

Seating Tips for an ATV Passenger

Seating posture

Passengers must be able to sit in a normal, upright position and hold the available handholds and place their feet firmly on the footboards. With side-by-sides, this includes being upright enough that the seatbelt can be worn and they can reach the handholds and keep their feet on the floor.


There is a right way to mount when two up ATV riding. The main driver should get on the ATV, start it, engage the parking brake, and then have the passenger mount and get situated.

riding atv with passanger

How-to-maneuver an ATV for 2 People

Ride mindfully

Remember that the weight is different with two people rather than one, so the vehicle will handle differently. You’ll need to feel how the vehicle is responding and make sure you don’t tax it.

General maneuvering

When the driver shifts their body weight to maneuver the vehicle, the passenger must mirror their movements. So, if the driver leans in one direction to turn the vehicle or forward to climb a hill, the passenger must lean the same way to the same degree.

Passing obstacles

If you encounter an obstacle like a large log, you need to have the passenger get off while you get over the obstacle. The passenger can get back on when you’ve gotten clear.

Traversing and other tricky maneuvers

Should you find yourself in a situation where you need to engage in advanced maneuvers or anything that requires strong weight changes, it’s wise to avoid those situations. These things are considered tricky even with one passenger, and trying to get it exactly right with two is pushing it into unsafe territory.


If you’re riding an ATV 2 person style and you feel the vehicle tipping, lean toward the side that’s lifting up to put more weight on that side. The passenger should mirror your movements. If this doesn’t work, jump off so you don’t go down with the vehicle.

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