How far your ATV or side by side can go on a tank of gas dramatically depends on its horsepower, tank size, accessories, and your driving style.
Someone who cruises on a 500cc is going to use less gas than the guy who drives his 1000cc hard up a mountain.
If I had to give you a general idea, you could expect to go 50 to 150 miles on a single tank of gas, depending on how you ride and what you ride.
The gas mileage can also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The numbers below are based on Polaris, Can-Am, Kawasaki, Arctic Cat, and Honda ATVs.
|50cc to 100cc||5 to 15 miles|
|110cc to 250cc||15 to 25 miles|
|300cc to 450cc||20 miles to 50 miles|
|500cc to 750cc||40 miles to 100 miles|
|750cc+||50 miles to 150 miles|
I’ve personally been able to go 100 miles on an 800cc fuel-injected Can-AM. That number goes down quickly when I go in 4-Wheel drive, ride hard, go up a lot of hills, and so on.
Keep in mind these are very rough numbers. How you drive, where you drive, altitude, tires, if you’re in 4-wheel drive, what you’re carrying, and so on can significantly affect distance. We’ll cover ways to increase how far you can go down below.
How To Extend Your Range
The easiest way to extend the range of your ATV or side by side is to pick up fuel packs.
If you want ways to increase the fuel economy of your ATV, this website can help.
ATVs and side by sides don’t get the best miles per gallon (MPG).
MPG number can vary from 5MPG up to 20MPG in most cases. I have seen some rare cases of smaller single-cylinder Honda’s get up to 30MPG. What can I say, Honda knows how to make engines.
You’ll get worse MPG in the woods than on roads or other flat grounds. You can easily subtract 25% off the total miles when you ride in the woods and uneven terrain.
Things that give you the worst MPG are mud tires or any oversized tires.
The MPG also varies depending on how fast you travel. The quicker you go and the harder you ride, the less MPG you get. Cruising at 20 to 30mph will get you the best MPG out of your ATV.
Unlike cars, ATVs, and side by sides, don’t show you a gauge that tells you your MPG. The most you get is MPH and fuel gauge with an odometer.
For the best results, you’ll need to figure out your ATVs MPG. Due to how each ATV is different with its own accessories, you’ll need to spend time figuring out the max your ATV can go. This will require carrying some extra gas with you just to be safe. You can get a good idea when at the halfway point of your tank on how far you can travel.
Fuel Injected VS. Carbureted
If you’re concerned about the fuel consumption, you need to get an ATV or side by side with fuel injection.
The easiest way to tell if you have a fuel-injected ATV is if it lacks a choke.
If all you do is put the key in and press start, then you have a fuel-injected model. If you have to pull a lever (choke) before starting, then it’s carbureted.
Carbureted engines will always use more gas than fuel-injected models. The good news is that it’s getting harder to find carburated ATVs, and it’s almost non-existent on side by sides.
It’s mostly kids ATVs or low HP ones that still have carbureted engines. Most 500cc or above will be fuel injected.
Learn more about fuel injection vs carb.
4X4 Decreases MPG
Yes, riding in 4-wheel drive will lower how far you can go on a tank of gas.
If you can stick to the 2 wheel drive to extend your gas mileage.
If your machine has different driving modes or different keys, try using the slower key or mode to save on gas.
Avoid Going Completely Empty
If you ride your ATV where it’s about to shut off because of the lack of gas, you’re destroying your fuel pump.
Those fuel pumps are not cheap, and they can be a pain to replace.
You want to put gas in your quad when you get to the second to last bar, if not sooner. The fuel pump needs gas in the tank to work correctly and not get destroyed over time.
You will have worse gas mileage when breaking in a new ATV or side by side.
The engine is breaking itself in and will end up using more gas.
Don’t worry if your new ATV seems like it’s using a lot of gas or has bad MPG. This will be the case for the first 25 hours of your ATV or side by side.
Gas Gauge Jumps Around
It’s normal for the gas gauge to jump around when you ride.
If you ride hard, the computer will quickly drop the bars in the expectation of you consuming more gas.
Also, the float in the tank will be bouncing as your ATV bounces so seeing the gas gauge jump around is normal.