Quad bikes are extremely enjoyable vehicles, but are dangerous at the same time. Quad bike insurance is something that all riders should consider purchasing, especially if they desire to take it on the road. Therefore quad bike safety is an essential subject that should be written about, as many quad bike incidents and accidents have happened. Contrary to what you may have heard, just because a quad bike has a set of front headlights and indicators doesn’t make the quad bike legally able to ride on the road. Makers of quad bikes have twigged on to this misconception and have started manufacturing quad bikes with these items, but don’t be caught out!

It doesn’t matter if you have a small 50cc or a huge 250cc bike, they all seem to have the feel and look of a legal road bike. It may shock some people that close to 75% of all quads sold in the UK do not have any documentation that would allow them to be allowed on the road legally. If this is you, you should then restrict your quad bike’s use to private land only.

It doesn’t matter if you use your quad for road use or some great off-road fun, you need to make sure that you perform even basic maintenance on it. Here are a few bits of advice you should be aware of if you are looking at purchasing a new or used quad, or just driving one on a regular basis:

A) If you are thinking about legally riding a quad on the road, it is required to have tires that are allowed to be used on the roads. How do you know if they are legal? There will be a British Standards Institute Kite Mark or a small CE mark on them. If either of these cannot be found on the tires, then they are not road-legal and are deemed to be off-road tires. However, if the bike is imported and you are purchasing it brand new, the tires may already be acceptable. Legal documentation with the quad bike will confirm this for you if you are concerned.

B) The kill and ignition switches should be checked very extensively. If there is an incident with your quad bike, you must be able to kill the engine immediately in order to prevent the quad from zooming away with a passenger on board. Most kids’ quad bikes and even some adult bikes have a kill switch that is fitted around the wrist. If the driver comes off the bike, the kill switch is pulled and the engine cuts out instantly.

C) Obviously, the back and front brakes need to be inspected very carefully. The best way to test the front brake is to engage the lever on the handlebar. If you pull it to 75% of the distance and the bike stays stationary, then you will know the front brakes work well enough and the brake cable isn’t pulled too far, {and the brake pads aren’t worn too low|nor are the brake pads worn to the point of being unsafe. With the rear brakes, if you have a foot pedal, the maximum distance you should be looking at is 45 degrees (when the bike is stationary) to be assured the brake cables are not stretched and the brake pads are not worn too low.

D) All fluid levels (ie petrol, oil coolant, etc) should always be examined prior to starting the engine, especially if you are going on a long journey. If you have a 2-stroke quad, it will not have an oil reservoir, as the oil is already mixed with the petrol. If you have a 110cc or higher bike, it will have a dedicated cooling system and should be inspected as well.

E) The linkage and throttle should be looked at to ensure that both move freely to accelerate and slow down the engine. A lot quads sold today have a control system that can be operated with a thumb. However, a lot of quads have a twist grip control system that is similar to a motorbike. If you already own one of these, you might prefer this kind of system with your quad.

When looking at buying a used or new quad bike, there are a couple things you must be aware of or should examine thoroughly as part of the purchasing process. Even if it is found to be compliant, purchasing quad bike insurance is also a great idea, as it covers you from the expenses incurred with injuries and/or damages. If all the points listed above are adhered to, you should have years of safe, but very fun riding ahead of you!

By Bethann

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