Let’s start with a brief history of the quad. The first quads date back to 1893, when Royal Enfield built and sold the first motorized four-wheeler, to the 1970s when Honda began making trikes and quads based on their motorcycles. Today the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV or Quad) has become a fast growing global trade, Apache, Quadzilla, TGB, Falcon, Hymoto, Kazuma and Quantum are all serious contenders to meet the demand for these vehicles.
They make quads for sport, utility, races, farms and kids’ quads (let’s not forget kids love the thrill of quad biking too). Because safety is a primary concern and to ensure that these bikes are made to very strict guidelines, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has classified quads as a vehicle that rides on low-pressure tires with a saddle that the rider straddles. The UK classifies quads as a low vehicle with four wheels and a mass of less than 550 kg. Totally useless and boring info. So let me provide some helpful guidance on the key areas and help you choose a great quad so you can buy with confidence!
First, what do you want to use your bike for? A simple question, but it requires careful consideration. By far the largest market for quads is the utility sector and these bikes are workhorses and need to be reliable with winches and hitches etc for agricultural purposes. They tend to be road legal, lights, require insurance, registration and MOT’s.
A full driver’s license is required to drive quads on the road, or a pre-1999 motorcycle license. Buy with care, it can be very expensive to convert a quad to make it suitable for road use. A cost of £500 is typical.
If you plan to use your quad for recreational and racing purposes only, it does not need to be road legal. However, be very careful about importing your own quad from abroad, there are some very cheap and dangerous quads for sale. You will end up disappointed and stressed.
Second, you should focus on performance or features, such as the engine power, 4WD systems, transmission, brakes and suspension.
Do you need full time 4WD, some quads have switchable drive systems that offer a 2WD option. (To save tire wear.)
Transmission, do you choose manual or automatic boxes, automatic clutches? Quads with 2 or 3 gears are suitable for beginners and children. 5 forward and reverse gears are available on more powerful quads and utilities.
Drum or disc brakes, premium quads offer disc brakes with triple calipers
Suspension, gas supplies, single or double swingarm?
Closed footwells or pro peg nerfs (foot guards)?
As you can see, the list could be endless, so the best advice is to go to a reputable dealer, who will listen to you and give you the best advice based on years of experience. There are plenty of good dealers out there, choose one that offers to build a strong relationship with you, that answers the phone and provides excellent after-sales service.
Here at proppa, our excellent team is happy to assist you. Our aim is to provide you with the very best advice and service, sharing a duty of care towards children and inexperienced quad riders. We will encourage you to visit quad bike trails, challenges and race tracks to experience first hand how great fun quad bikes can be.