Quad Bike Safety Tips

April 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Stretching

When making a purchase, be it a 50cc or a 250cc quad bike then you will notice that most of them look and feel as if they are designed for road legal use. When in fact that over 60% of Quad Bike sold in the United Kingdom do not posses any documentation for use on a public highway and should only be used on private land.

Standard maintenance for any quad bike is essential, and we have included below some of the top tips for making sure that you get great service from your machine, be it for road use or just for off road fun.

As follows are the top 5 tips that we would issue to anyone buying a new or used bike or, if you are selling a quad bike then you should point out to the respective buyer that these areas have been recognized in a scheduled service.

1) Before you even consider starting an engine there are two things on a quad bike that you should check, one is the front brake and the other is the rear.

When pulling the lever for the front brake, it should only move towards the handle bar approximately 75% of the distance when not engaged at all. This normally signifies that the cable is not stretched or the brake pads are low.

As with the front brake, this also applies to the rear braking system. Should you have a brake lever on the left hand side of the handle bars then you would expect the same measurements as the front brake, and that is approximately 75% travel towards the handle bars maximum. Some older used quad bikes do have this system, but most of the new quad bikes now have a foot pedal as the rear brake. From pressing the foot lever you foot should not travel any greater than 45 degrees from the point where the pedal is stationary and nothing pressing against it.

2) Before starting the engine on your machine, always check the levels of water, coolant, oil and petrol before you start your journey.

Some machines do not have oil reservoir facility which means that they 2 stroke oil should be mixed in a petrol can prior to putting it in the fuel tank. Anything from a 110cc Quad Bike can also have an engine cooling system, which should be checked prior to moving the bike.

Brake fluids should be checked and a good level should always be maintained in the reservoir. If the level drops below the minimum line then there is a possibility that with all the bouncing around across rough terrain that an air blockage can be created.

3) Ignition switches and kill switches should be checked and double checked. In the unfortunate event of mechanical failure on any quad bike or buggy, you need to be able to kill the engine to stop the bike from running away with it’s passenger. Some Adult Quad Bikes and most Children’s Quad Bikes are fitted with a safety device kill switch which is fastened around the wrist, this in the event of an accident will remove a key from a temporary switch killing the engine.

On Road Legal Quad Bikes and Buggies it has become a legal requirement when putting the a machine through the SVA test that it should have one of these as standard. Unfortunately the UK testing system is not completely clear cut on this subject, so even to this day some centers do not enforce this one point.

4) Once you have completed these very basic checks, the next stage is to make sure the throttle and linkage is free moving both to accelerate and to shut down the engine when slowing down. Some if not all New Quad Bikes will be fitted with a thumb control throttle system. These are standard fitting from the factory, yet even though most people can use them they do get changed for the same twist grip control system that is used on even the most standard of bikes and mini moto.

When you are happy with the operational features of the throttle and brakes, it is time to look at the last important part of the machine, and this is the tires.

5) A Road Legal Quad Bike will come (or should come) with road legal tires. The way to identify the difference between road legal tires and off road tires is a small CE mark or a the British Standards Institute Kite Mark. If neither of these are present then the fitted tires are classed as Off Road Tires and should not be used on a public highway.

Even though it is not written in complete stone, the standard tires that come on most models when imported are accepted, as there is nothing to say that the correct ones would not have been fitted whilst the registration is being processed through a DVLA test center.

Darren Moore has been involved within the motorcycle and quad bike industry for the last 9 years. Through this time he has imported quad bikes and buggies, traded machines to and from dealers to now part owning with his business partners the most comprehensive website the Quad Bike Industry has ever seen.

When looking to buy a Quad BIke or ATV – always consider the issue’s involved with potential fraudulant sellers by only purchasing what you can see. If the seller will not let you see it, then do not proceed with any sale until you have physical proof the machine exists.

Quad Bikes and ATVs can be amazing machines if treated correctly, with many of them being used on the road as well as off road too. For Quad Bike Insurance – please view our insurance pages and follow the recommended companies provided.

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