How To Put An ATV Into Reverse

Putting an ATV in reverse can be tricky, especially if it’s a manual transmission.

Shoot, I’ve even had people have a hard time getting an automatic one to go into reverse because they didn’t know the trick.

Before I show you how to put your ATV in reverse, you need to know if it’s automatic, manual, or even semi-automatic. Learn more about ATV transmissions here.

An automatic will have a gear selector on the side of the quad that you move with your hand. It will be labeled P, R, N, H, L, as shown in the picture below.

A manual transmission ATV will have a gear selector that you move up and down with your left foot. You will also have a clutch on the left side of the handlebars.

A semi-automatic transmission is a combination of automatic and manual. You may have a gear selector at your left foot but won’t have a clutch on the left side of the handlebars. Another option may be a push-button for selecting gears, often located with an up and down button on the left side of the handlebars.

How To Put A Manual ATV Into Reverse

To put a manual transmission ATV into reverse is simple once you know the trick.

The reverse gear is below the 1st gear, but you get into that gear by pressing a button or moving a lever/switch. You will need to make sure you have your foot on the foot brake.

To explain this here is a great video showing you how to put a manual ATV into reverse.

Some manufacturers have the reverse release near the clutch, and others have it off to the side. You may need to refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location if you can’t find it.

How To Put An Automatic ATV In Reverse

To put an automatic into reverse is very much the same as a car.

Put your foot on the brake and then move the gear selector by hand into the reverse gear.

Note: Most won’t start unless you’re in park, neutral, or on the brake. Also, make sure the kill switch is turned to run; this one gets many people.

If the gear selector is giving you trouble or feels like it won’t move into reverse, then you need to give the machine a little shake back and forth. Sometimes a little wiggle is required to get the ATV to move into the correct gear.

If a little shake doesn’t work, sometimes the gear selector is off and needs to be corrected. Another possibility is that the gear selector or transmission is broken.

How To Put Semi-Automatic ATV In Reverse

Semi-automatics are common on Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and older models.

Models like the Honda use a foot gear selector at your left side, and the handlebar has a reverse button, often on the brake lever; It’s a brake lever and not a clutch. This video below will show you how to shift into reverse on Honda’s like the Fourtrax models.

The other kind of semi-automatic ATV uses push-button shifters. It’s the same thing on the manual where you hold in the reverse button near the left side of the handlebars but you instead push the downshifter button to go into reverse.

One more type of semi-automatic ATV uses foot gear selectors but has another lever you pull to put it in reverse, but you instead put it in 1st gear, as this video shows.