Just like cars, power steering has not always (or often) been used with ATVs. The technology and cost did not always merit having things like power steering which were, instead, seen as “extras”.
Is ATV power steering worth it? Power steering is definitely worth the cost. Not only does power steering increase drive-ability (particularly at low speeds), but it also helps with hauling heavy loads and increases the safety of ATV ridership. If you are able to get an ATV with power steering, it is recommended that you do so.
While this may seem like a bit of an exaggeration, I assure you that you will not regret having power steering on your ATV. Some experienced riders may opt for an ATV without power steering, but for those who are new to this turf, power steering is a must. To better exemplify the reasons behind this, I have listed the pros and cons of getting power steering for your ATV.
Pros of Power Steering on ATVs
I am a huge advocate for ATV power steering. The more you use it, the less you will be able to live without it. Even the most experienced rider, who has never used power steering, can quickly become a convert because of all that it can offer. Here are the top reasons to “splurge” on the power steering option for your ATV.
1. Decrease in Fatigue
This first pro for power steering on ATVs is for anyone who does trail or rocky terrain riding- especially for long lengths of time. After a while of maneuvering your vehicle on those types of terrains, even the most physically fit rider is likely to become fatigued without some assistance from the power steering.
2. Heavier Load Carrying
Not a big trail rider? That is okay, too – electronic power steering (EPS) is still a huge help when using the ATV for functional purposes. When hauling heavy loads (trailers, bails of hay, etc.), having the EPS will help you to feel in control the entire time and will save your arms quite a bit of exhaustion. This can cause you to revert back to the first pro included on this list regarding fatigue.
3. Damping Benefits of EPS
EPS is not only great for having more control over the ATV, but it also has a damping feature that can be seen as a safety feature. The damping of power steering will absorb the impact of sudden bumps. This is particularly useful on rocky trails and terrains where stumps and rocks make for constant sudden jolts on your arms. Additionally, this can help to prevent injuries caused by overturning or falling off of the ATV if the jolt is serious enough.
4. Assistance with Physical Weakness
EPS can be great for many people who have different physical weaknesses that make it hard to steer a non-EPS system. This can include demographics like children, the elderly, and those with physical disabilities (though this is not always the case for individuals in these groups). Adding EPS can make ATVs accessible to more people.
5. Resale Value
While the purchasing cost of an ATV with power steering is higher up-front, the value that you will get out of an ATV with EPS is going to hold up longer. If you are not looking to keep the ATV until it has been run into the ground, then getting one with EPS will decrease any losses you take from selling it later on. This is a highly sought after feature among many ATV riders.
Here’s a quick video showing power steering and ATVs, and why this is the future for larger ATVs.
Cons of Power Steering on ATVs
The primary con for not going with power steering on your ATV for just about everyone is the up-front purchasing cost. On average, you are going to spend $500 – $1200 extra for this feature. While this is expensive, the list of benefits should definitely sway you the other direction if at all possible.
Even more so, the added safety of power steering can prevent costs associated with injuries yielding high medical bills.
When considering cost, I try to look at the overall value of whatever it is that I am purchasing. Looking at the up-front cost of an ATV can be tough, as this is not an “inexpensive” purchase for most of us. However, consider the cost-benefit analysis of purchasing an ATV with power steering and then see how the value will far exceed the price.
2. Potential Repairs
EPS comes with an extra set of technical equipment. While it is not overly common for power steering to break, it does still carry the risk of breaking – and repairs for power steering are going to cost more than not having it at all. Again, consider that these repairs are not incredibly common, and if they do occur, they will likely occur far after the initial purchase, so the blow to your bank account will not be quite as severe.
Power steering systems can add extra weight to your vehicle’s system. For most buyers, this will not be a big deal and will not even be noticeable. If you need to have a lighter ATV for some reason, make sure to check the difference in weight so you can be sure you are able to fit the EPS system in your limit.
Here’s a video with a different view on power steering. One main claim is that it’s good to be able to feel the trail through the handle bars.
Which ATVs Have Power Steering Stock
Now that you have a better idea of the pros and cons of power steering, you may be more interested in getting an ATV with it installed. Trust me, I would be happy for you to make this “pro” power steering decision.
Which ATVs have power steering stock? The ATV models that include power steering stock are Honda Fourtrax Foreman, Polaris Sportsman XP, Yamaha Grizzly, and Suzuki King Quad. While these are the models that have it by default, most ATVs will allow power steering as an upgrade.
Getting an ATV that has power steering is a good idea, but even if you do not want one of the models that includes power steering, you can always get an upgrade to have it added to your preferred model at a later date. More and more consumers are looking to get an ATV with power steering, so you will continue to see models offering this as a stock commodity in the future.
Can You Add Power Steering To An ATV?
Perhaps you have settled on an older version of an ATV, or have purchased one that was previously owned, or maybe you are inheriting one. This is a viable and realistic option – especially for someone who wants to be more money conscious and budget-friendly.
Can you add power steering to an ATV? The truth is, you can almost always purchase and install an electrical power steering system on your ATV. Power steering systems are affordable at about $500 – $800 for most types of ATVs. Installation is simple enough to do on your own, or you may opt to have it professionally installed.
Having a stock or built-in power steering is often preferable because it is professionally installed and usually includes a warranty. This should not dissuade you from installing your own power steering, especially on a previously owned ATV. The process is relatively simple and will require some basic installation of parts as well as a couple of wires being attached. There are tons of videos and guides on this if you decide to go this route.
I found this video of a complete install to give you and idea of what’s involved when doing this yourself.
But, if you are not familiar with ATVs (or perhaps you are choosing to add power steering to your 17-year-old’s ATV and do not personally understand the system), then it is best to leave this process to the professionals. The last thing you would want is to end up paying additional costs associated with self-inflicted damages to your ATV.
Either way, adding power steering to your ATV is going to be an investment worth making. As the “cons” list is so minimal and the “pros” list so vast, you can see why this would be a good option for your ATV. Enjoy the ease, safety, and adventure that power steering can add to your (or your loved one’s) ATV experience. If you have the choice, choose power steering.