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How An Why To Use (NOS) Nitrous Oxide In Your ATV Or UTV

How An Why To Use (NOS) Nitrous Oxide In Your ATV Or UTV

Nitrous Oxide can give you a quick boost to your horsepower with the touch of a button. There a few things to be careful about with NO2, but if you use it right, it will help increase your max speed easily. Depending on which nitrous kit you have, you could see horsepower increases over 30 percent.

What Is Nitrous Oxide?

First let me explain what nitrous is and how it works so you can see why it can be such a great tool for your quad. Nitrous is a gas made up of nitrogen and oxygen, when it gets heated and compressed, the nitrous breaks down into its two parts, nitrogen and oxygen. This happens during the compression stroke of the engine firing.

With more oxygen in the cylinder, your engine can then burn more fuel. Burning more fuel more quickly gives your engine more power. There are limits to this and how much an engine can handle. But for now just keep in mind, that’s how nitrous is giving you more horsepower.

Is Nitrous Safe For The Engine?

Yes nitrous is safe for any engine if it’s used correctly. NOS gets a bad rep sometimes because people damage their engines by using it improperly. One big mistake is people are always pushing it for more and more horsepower. A lot of times, nitrous is safer to use on a stock engine than a modified one, let me explain.

We already talked about how nitrous introduces more oxygen and allows your engine to burn more fuel. Doing this increases the pressure in your cylinders. Now if someone already modified their machine with a high compression piston, and then add on top of that the higher compression from the nitrous, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Sure, over time using nitrous constantly is going to put more wear and tear on your engine. But if you use it responsibly, in little bursts here and there, the added strain on the engine isn’t going to be all that noticeable.

Why Use Nitrous In An ATV Or UTV?

ATV Jumping

You may have already guessed the biggest reason for using nitrous in the first place, to go faster! You press a little button and feel the engine kick into overdrive, giving you a boost of speed, not to mention it’s super fun.

Nitrous is best used on a straight away in the higher gears of the machine. That is not the only time it’s useful, but if you’re just starting out with NOS I’d recommend you stick to that rule of thumb. It’s not gonna help you all that much going at slower speeds or going through mud or rough terrain.

Remember, it won’t give you more noticeable pulling power for hauling trailers or things around. It burns more fuel and gives you a boost of speed. A lot of people use nitrous in drag races. These races are all in a straight line, from point A to point B as fast as you can. You will notice a faster acceleration as well.

Types Of Nitrous Systems

A couple things to consider here, there two types of nitrous systems and four types of delivery method. We’ll talk about which is best for what type of engine. The two types of nitrous systems are wet and dry.

The four delivery methods are single nozzle, direct port, plate, and bar. A single nozzle system is probably what you are going to be using for an ATV or UTV so lets stick with that for this explanation.


Dry systems usually use the single nozzle delivery method and are not good for engines with a carburetor. The manifold stays dry in this system because the extra fuel is provided from the fuel injectors, which is where it gets its name from.


If you have fuel injected engine or direct injected engine I advise you use the dry method. This is because the intake system is designed for air only, not for nitrous air mix. It may still work and people do still do it. But a carburetor system more evenly distibutes air and fuel into the chambers, so you mostly see a wet system on a carburetor.

Which Nitrous Kit Should I Get For My ATV Or UTV?

This depends a lot on what you plan on using the nitrous for. If you’re going to be racing and don’t mind the added wear and tear on the machine, then I would say go for a nice 10lb bottle setup.

For example, check out this Nitrous Express Proton Plus Nitrous System on Amazon to give you an idea of what you’re looking for. This is a full kit with everything you need to get nitrous on your machine. It has great ratings and is made of quality well built parts.

It includes the stainless braided nozzle lines, extra long braided stainless feed line, stainless fuel line, master arming switch, and the nozzle adapter all in one kit.

This next example is somewhere in the middle. It’s a kit you can use here and there to give you an extra boost, but also holds 10oz so you don’t have to be changing nitrous containers out all the time. The NOS Sneaky Pete Nitrous Kit is very popular for small engines like ATVs and UTVs but people have even put these on go carts to gain an extra boost of speed.

The sneaky pete uses a 9 volt battery for power and is a portable system. Meaning it’s real easy to install and uninstall. This setup is for use on carburetor engines only though. If you have a fuel injected engine, don’t buy this, you will have to return it.

This next example is great for two stroke engines. This is the cheapest of the examples so far, but it still gets good ratings, and comes with complete instructions for doing the install. The Small Engine NOS NO2 Nitrous Oxide Kit on Amazon is popular for off road machine as well as motorcycles.

The cost per performance upgrade is the big selling point for this options. This setup is about a quarter the price of some of the big name nitrous brands.

The install is pretty simple and straight forward too. Here is a picture showing it attached to the handle bars, this is the button you will press to send nitrous to the engine.

This system was designed to give you an extra 20 percent horsepower with the throttle wide open. No wiring is needed with this system and the manufacturer boasts the install will only take a few minutes with basic hand tools.

Sum It Up

To finish up here I wanted to make sure you understand that nitrous can be a fun and easy way to get more speed from your engine, but it can cause wear and tear or damage your engine if you use it wrong.

Don’t be on the bottle all day long. That just means don’t be constantly sending nitrous to your engine the whole time you’re riding. Don’t spray an excessive amount of nitrous into the engine. Don’t keep using nitrous if your maxing out the engine already.

If you use nitrous responsibly, it can be a fun way to blow past your friends leaving them in the dust wondering what just happened. To see some of the riding gear I’ve tried and tested for you, visit the Recommended Section of this site.

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