A quad bike (or ATV) is a motorcycle with four wheels. They became popular from the 1970’s and have shown an increased demand since then. Quad bike riding has typically been done off road, offering the rider an exciting and thrilling experience which can be compared to motocross riding. A new type of bike has emerged on the market over recent years and this is the road legal quad, a bike which conforms to all safety requirements so that it can be used on public roads. Why would anyone want to use an ATV on the road when they could use a car or motorbike?
They offer a completely different riding experience which is fun, convenient and easy to learn. An ATV is very cheap to run. On average it costs only £12 to fill up the tank (unleaded) and this can last for many miles. Quad bikes can reach high speeds just like motorcycles. A 250cc to 300cc model will do around 65MPH, more with performance upgrades. A quad bike has fast acceleration, is easy to get through tight spaces and insurance is cheap, depending on your age. Most road bikes being produced today can transport two people although you should check with the manufacturer prior to purchasing for specifics.
So you may be thinking what makes an off road quad different to a road legal quad?
Road legal ATVs must be registered with the DVLA, taxed, insured and have an MOT just like a car must have. The quad bike must comply with strict construction and lighting requirement, have mirrors, and display registration plates on the front and the rear. By law no person under the age of seventeen is permitted to use a quad bike on public highways.
Many people ask can I convert my off road ATV into a fully road legal quad bike? Well in reality yes you can, however this can be a very costly affair. It is not unusual for it to cost in excess of £500. In order for a quad bike to be suitable for road usage, the vehicle must go through the ministry test for homologation and SVA certification. Once tested it must be retested every three years by a certified member of transport.
Using an ATV on the road will require the rider to hold a full UK car licence or a motorcycle licence prior 2001. Although a full UK driving licence is suitable to ride a road legal quad on British roads, the user may not have previous quad experience and this is not actually required. It is strongly advised prior to using a quad bike on the road that you practice in a quiet area with no people around such as a private piece of land or an empty car park (if you seek permission).
Please be aware that quad bikes are a dangerous piece of equipment and require a patient mannerism to learn the basics of riding one. It is important to be safe when riding a quad bike is this is a dangerous vehicle just like any other. There is no law which states the rider must wear a helmet although it is strongly recommended for safety reasons. There are mixed views on whether helmets should be worn, what do you think? Do you think it should be the law or down to a personal choice? Whatever your answer, the helmet is a useful safety article. A helmet approved to United Nations standard ECE 22.05 is suggested for use in the EU. Many people wear eye protection, boots and suitable clothing on their quad bikes. This is important as you only get one life, so protect it as much as you can!
To conclude, ATV’s are becoming increasingly popular particularly road legal quads. If you are planning on riding your quad on the road it is advisable to purchase a road legal quad. If you already have an off road quad it is possible to convert it into a road legal vehicle but you need to make sure you do this correctly and legally and it can cost a considerable amount of money.
If you would like to know more about specific quad bikes and their specifications please visit http://www.proppa.com/quad-bikes-474-c.asp