Common Terms & Definitions

Four by Four, Four x Four (4×4)

4x4s are motorized recreational vehicles, with four wheel drive, capable of cross-country travel on natural terrain.Vehicles NOT considered ORVs include snowmobiles, ATVs, OHMs, motorcycles, watercraft, or aircraft. Farm, logging, military, emergency, law enforcement, utility, trail grooming, and construction vehicles are not considered to be ORVs when used for their intended purpose.

Off-Highway Motorcycle (OHM)

Off-Highway Motorcycles are motorized off-highway vehicles traveling on two wheels. OHMs have a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and have handlebars for steering control. Motorcycles may be legal for highway use and still considered to be OHMs if used for off-highway operation on trails or natural terrain.

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

An All-Terrain Vehicle is defined as a motorized off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control. ATVs are subdivided into two types as designated by the manufacturer. Type I ATVs are intended by the manufacturer for use by a single operator and no passenger. Type II ATVs are intended by the manufacturer for use by an operator and a passenger, and are equipped with a designated seating position behind the operator.ATVs are not “one size fits all.” The ATV industry recommends all riders operate an ATV intended for their age. Youth model ATVs are designed for smaller hands and feet, and travel at slower speeds appropriate for their age.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Department of Natural Resources

Off-Highway Motorcycle (OHM)

Off-Highway Motorcycles are motorized off-highway vehicles traveling on two wheels. OHMs have a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and have handlebars for steering control. Motorcycles may be legal for highway use and still considered to be OHMs if used for off-highway operation on trails or natural terrain.

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV)

The term Off-Highway Vehicle is often used as a role up term to encompase 4×4, ATV, OHM and ROV

Off-Road Vehicle (ORV)

The term Off-Road Vehicle is often used as a role up term to encompase 4×4, ATV, OHM and ROV

Some states also use ORV as the definition of a 4×4 truck/jeep/buggy – often catching anthing that does not fit into one of the other vehicle definitions.

Recreational Off-highway Vehicle (ROV)

Fun, functional and definitely versatile, ROVs, or Recreational Off-highway Vehicles, are a new breed of machine, attracting the attention of outdoor enthusiasts in ever-increasing numbers. When adventure calls, ROVs have what it takes, whether it’s transporting gear to a favorite campsite or simply exploring the great outdoors. Intended primarily for recreational use, ROVs also have carved a niche in the workplace, including farming, construction, and just about anywhere there’s a job to be done.

Sometimes referred to as side-by-sides or UTVs, ROVs are motorized off-road vehicles designed to travel on four or more non-highway tires, with a steering wheel, non-straddle seating, seat belts, an occupant protective structure, and engine displacement up to 1,000cc. Current models are designed with seats for a driver and one or more passengers. ROVs’ performance and durability make them ideally suited for a variety of outdoor recreational activities as well as many work applications.

ROV vs. ATV

Not all off-road vehicles are the same. And all too often, the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is confused with the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV). But there are actually some very significant differences between the two, even if both types of off-roaders are four-wheeled and used for similar types of recreation.

Side by Side, Side x Side (SxS)

See ROV