Make memories to reminisce with this quad bike first-time guide
Your first time ever on a quad or your first time on a new quad you just bought is pretty special. You want it to be a smooth ride with no hiccups that hinder the rush of adrenaline or the fun of riding over impossible terrain. There’s a formula to get it right - preparedness, practice, and suitable gear. This first-time quad bike guide will help you make good memories without unfortunate mishaps. You can thank us later.
Alright, your new quad is here! Who wouldn’t want to jump on it straight away and test its prowess and hear the crunch of rock and dirt under the heavy tyres? But, you have several things to do before christening the new quad. Petrol quads need fuel and oil. Consult the manual to make sure you are filling up the tank with the recommended fuel/ fuel mix and engine oil. A full tank ensures a longer and non-disruptive ride as well as a healthy one for the quad. Check the tyre pressure and inflate under-inflated tyres, but always remember not to over-inflate. Adding some air filter oil can improve the air filter performance.
If it is an electric quad, the battery should be fully charged before you take it out on its first spin. Do not exceed recommended charging time.
Find a suitable location to practice
You will be automatically tempted to ride the quad in the nearest possible location. Your backyard (if it is big enough), more forgiving riding paths, or any open area with relatively flat ground, is ideal for practicing. Newbies should not be trying out dramatic terrain or obstacles when learning to ride. Do not use the new quad on the race tracks without proper practice on it.
Ensure all documentation is in order
If your new quad needs to be street legal, especially for agricultural uses, you need proper documentation. The quad should be registered with the DVLA and have front and rear number plates. You need a full car driving licence or a category B1 licence, along with insurance.
Follow proper riding techniques
Whether you have been riding quads since you were six or just started out, practice runs on the new quad is essential before going full steam ahead. Although nobody wants to lag behind with humbling speed, you need full throttle control before attempting hair-raising speeds. Every quad model is different, and it’s important to get a feel of the controls, brakes, and acceleration. Quad bikes generally have a thumb throttle and an automatic clutch. Learning to thumb for more power and de-thumb without stalling is a vital skill to stay in control.
Kids and beginners should practice on flat ground. Everyone using a new quad for the first time should know how to stop, slow down, and start. Warm up on the bike and make sure you have it all figured out before jumping on and riding at full speed. The test runs should be slow-paced and as you get the hang of the new machine, test out its speed limits to see if you are ready for the higher-end of things.
Be mindful of your posture while riding
Do not let your feet hang to the side; keep them on the footpegs. You can use nerf bars and heel guards for better traction. A low centre of gravity is what you need when you ride a quad bike. Standing can raise the centre of gravity and increase the risk of toppling over.
Get top tips from experienced riders
When it comes to motorsport, a lot is learned with experience. Reach out to friends who have been riding for years and quad bike trainers. If you have none of these contacts, go on a course to learn from the professionals or take ATV riding classes at an ATV club or circuit. You will pick up invaluable tips.
Invest in quality protective gear
Wearing a crash helmet, gloves, knee pads, shin guards, boots, and a high-visibility jersey and pants will keep you safe from nasty tumbles. Make sure to buy quality products with the latest protective technology.