When shopping for the ATV of your dreams, there are tons of choices. Choosing and sorting out all possible options can be challenging and requires decision-making based on your preferences and on the usage the ATV will be operated.
Apart from accessories and color options, electronic power steering (EPS) is another key factor that influences a buyer’s decision. But is an EPS worth spending the extra dollars? Here’s what you need to know about EPS on ATVs.
What is EPS?
If your ATV has an EPS, it means that it comes with electronic power steering. A power steering improves the force applied to the steering handle. This makes the ATV easy to steer.
How does EPS work on ATV?
The EPS system on an ATV utilizes an electric motor to the steering column to minimize the steering efforts. Most EPS systems have a computer module that adjusts the level of assistance from the electric motor, depending on the driving conditions.
All power steering systems use the same operating tactics, but the mechanics that make the wheels turn aren’t the same.
Electric and hydraulic systems
The unit that offers the additional steering power is known as the actuator, the common types being electric and hydraulics. The function of the actuator is to enhance and convert the rotational motion from the steering column to a linear motion directed to the steered wheels.
Direct and non-direct link systems
Some steering systems have a direct mechanical link from the steering column to the steered wheels. A firm steel shaft comes from the handlebar, down to the actuator, the metal gears, and then the wheels.
With such a system, turning wheels is easy even when the actuator stops working, or the system fails to offer steering assistance. But if the system fails, you’ll require much physical effort to turn the wheels.
Equally, if the hydraulic system becomes faulty, you can turn the wheels, but it’s much strenuous to turn the steering wheel. A direct mechanical link is a great safety feature that helps minimize accidents.
Non-direct link systems lack a mechanical link between the wheels and the steering column. This system has sensors that register movement in the steering column.
The sensors show the power steering unit how fast, the direction, and how it should turn the wheels. Without a direct link, turning the wheels with faulty electronics will be challenging.
Pros of Power Steering on ATVs
Reduce the kickback
Although this system reduces steering effort, especially at low speeds, on rough terrains, and sharp bends, the main advantage is that it dampers the handling from the tough terrain conditions. Without it, the kickback you receive can be brutal. Therefore, the power steering option can be considered an additional safety feature.
Easy to carry heavy cargo
Whether you transport construction materials or load your ATV after a big day of game hunting, you’ll feel more pressure on the handlebars. If you add power steering, you’ll have full control of your heavy cargo and will save your arms from exhaustion.
Assistance with physical weakness
EPS is an excellent addition for people with different physical weaknesses that make it challenging to handle a non-EPS system. They include children, the physically challenged, and the elderly. An EPS makes ATVs accessible to all people.
High resale value
Although the cost of an ATV with power steering is a bit high, its value will hold up longer. If you intend to sell your ATV after some months of use, looking for one with EPS will minimize the losses when selling it later.
Cons of Power Steering on ATVs
The power steering system adds unwanted weight to your ATV. Although this seems like an insignificant inconvenience, in a market where innovators are trying to produce maneuverable and versatile vehicles, any extra weight can be inconvenient.
EPS has a set of technical equipment. Although it’s not common for the power steering to break, it comes with a risk of breaking- and repairs can cost you a fortune. Since these repairs aren’t common, they will leave a huge blow to your bank account if they occur.
Is power steering necessary on UTV?
There are several UTVs that come equipped with EPS, so any rider can find something that suits their needs. It’s hard to ignore the benefits of power steering on UTVs. Power steering makes driving easier and more enjoyable.
An ATV with EPS is an investment worth making. Since the cons are so minimal and the pros are vast, you can see that a power steering system is a worthy addition to your ATV. If you have a reasonable budget, choose power steering.