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Operating the Aurora XTV

Getting Started with Your New Argo Aurora XTV

There’s a lot that’s new about Argo’s Aurora line: A new design, new engines and a new seating layout make it stand out from the company’s other vehicles. Here’s how you can get up to speed on operating the Aurora, whether you’re new to Argo’s amphibious ATVs, or you’re an experienced XTV owner.


The Admiral transmission combines a CVT with a selectable final drive ratio. Do not shift the transmission when the vehicle is in motion. Before shifting, make sure the engine is running at idle. The engine has a centrifugal clutch that engages with the transmission. Running the engine too fast will engage this clutch, causing the gears to grind during shifting.

When designing the new Aurora, Argo moved the shift levers to the center of the dash. The left lever controls the vehicle direction. Neutral is in the middle while pushing the lever upshifts into drive, and pushing it downshifts into reverse. The right lever changes the final drive. In most cases, the lever should be up for high gear. Pushing the lever downshifts into low gear, which is useful for precise control on water and making sharp turns.

Starting and Stopping the Engine

To start the engine:
1. Using the left transmission lever, shift the transmission into Neutral (N.)
2. Apply the emergency brake.
3. Turn the ignition key clockwise to the “Run” position.
4. Move the red engine stop switch on the left handlebar to the “Run” position.
5. Apply the brake using the lever next to the left handlebar grip.
6. Push the green “Start” button on the left grip.

To stop the engine:
1. Release the throttle and wait for the engine to return to idle.
2. Move the engine stop switch to the “Off” position.
3. Turn the ignition key to the “Off” position.

Throttle and Brake

While other models use a twist throttle, the Aurora’s throttle is controlled using a finger lever next to the right-hand grip. Squeezing the throttle lightly will increase the engine speed and engage a clutch, sending power to the transmission. Once the vehicle starts moving, you can use the throttle to adjust the vehicle speed.

The lever next to the left-hand grip controls the brakes. Engage the brake when shifting the transmission.


The Aurora uses a skid steering system. The Admiral transmission has a pair of output shafts connected to a chain drive. This drive turns all wheels at the same time. Moving the handlebars engages a steering brake connected to the inner wheels. This makes these wheels spin slower than the outside wheels, turning the vehicle. While it may look like driving an ATV, this steering system behaves differently, requiring different driving techniques

Unlike a car or ATV, the steering inputs remain the same whether you’re going forward or in reverse. When backing up, turn the bars in the direction you want the rear of the vehicle to go.

The Aurora’s APS steering uses a spring-loaded steering shaft to return the controls to neutral automatically. When driving straight, avoid turning the handlebars: Even slight pressure can cause the steering brakes to engage, causing overheating. Keep in mind that APS steering feels more like an ATV than other Argos, but there’s still no direct connection to the wheels. That means you don’t need to account for bump steer on rough terrain.

Need to make a sharp turn? Shifting the transmission into low gear decreases the Aurora’s turning circle to the length of the vehicle.

Operating on Water

For the most part, once an XTV is amphibious, it behaves like a boat, and should be treated like one:

– The load inside the vehicle must be level to keep the vehicle from capsizing.
– Steering inputs are slow, and stopping takes far more time than it does on land. Keep a paddle onboard to make small maneuvers.
– Always wear life vests when on the water. Argo recommends taking off the seat belts to allow a quick escape if the vehicle tips over.

The tires can only propel the vehicle to a top speed of 3 MPH in the water. Increasing wheel speed will only increase turbulence. Treads cannot propel the vehicle, but the Aurora can be propelled in the water with an outboard motor. Argo offers a bracket that supports long shaft motors below 10 HP.

Are You Ready for the Ultimate Off-Road Vehicle?

Shank’s Argo is one of the largest dealers in the East, offering full service and parts support for Argos old and new. If you’re looking to become an XTV owner, or you want to upgrade to the latest Argo has to offer, visit our showroom at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. If you need something for your amphibious ATV, visit

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