Quad Bike Safety & Riding Tips for Beginners
Every person you see riding a quad bike/ATV was a beginner at some point. Regardless of how confident and experienced they may look, everyone started somewhere.
If you’re just getting into quad biking, then you’re probably extremely excited and raring to go. You’re also most likely feeling a little nervous or anxious, and this is totally normal. Quad biking – although undoubtedly full of enjoyment and thrills – can be very dangerous, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the experience.
To help you out, in this guide we have explained some of our top safety and riding tips for beginner quad bike riders.
Understand Government Rules
First things first: understand the rules. As the Government website outlines, quad bikes do generally need to be approved, registered and taxed, but this does depend on whether you’ll be using your bike off or on-road. It’s worth checking the Government’s site to make sure you’re complying with all the legislations that apply to you.
Choose the Right Type of Quad
As a new rider, it’s vital that you choose a vehicle that is not only easy to understand and use, but is also suited to your strength and experience. Quad biking can be very physically demanding so you need to ensure your bike isn’t too heavy nor powerful for you.
You should aim to pick a bike that you can comfortably handle, has smooth suspension and also provides the thrill and enjoyment you’re looking for. The terrain you’ll be riding on (on/off road, racing, utility) is another factor to consider.
Check You Have Suitable Tyres
Making sure you have the correct tyres fitted on your bike is crucial to quad bike safety, particularly if you plan to ride on muddy and uneven terrain. Quad bike tyres are categorised by 3 numbers which identify their height, width and rim size.
Your manufacturer will recommend a tyre size and PSI for your vehicle, so we advise sticking to this. Using the wrong size tyres can damage your bike, affecting handling and increasing wear and tear on several components of your bike.
Wear Protective Clothing
Wearing the right safety gear is absolutely essential when it comes to quad biking. Unlike a car, there’s no seatbelt or airbag, so your clothing is what will protect you from serious injuries in the event of an accident.
At the top of your list should be a high-quality crash helmet. Although it’s not a law to wear a helmet when riding a quad bike, it is certainly recommended as it will help to protect your head should you crash or rollover. Purchasing a helmet with either a pair of goggles or a full-face mask will help to protect your eyes too. Don’t skimp on quality for your helmet – a premium, more costly helmet will certainly be worth the investment.
Other items of clothing which we deem compulsory include specialist gloves with good grip, sturdy ankle-high boots with good tread and clothing with long sleeves to protect your arms and legs (lightweight body armour can also help).
Frequently Maintain & Check Your Bike
There are regular tasks to perform and checks you can carry out to help keep your bike in healthy condition. This includes –
- Checking your brakes frequently, especially after rides in bad weather. Mud and debris tend to accumulate around each brake pad which can impact their reliability and functioning so be sure to take care of them. Without your brakes you can’t stop, so they’re pretty important to your bike’s performance!
- Changing the oil and oil filter regularly, around every 15 hours or so of riding. Old oil collects dirt which can lead to premature corrosion of your bike’s internal workings, so changing it often can help to boost your bike’s longevity.
- Tightening your nuts and bolts when they become loose or start to vibrate. This can make all the difference between easy and dangerous driving.
- Checking your tyres are in good condition and that the tyre pressure is correct. Doing this before each ride can enhance the safety and comfort of your ride.
Obey Trail Rules
If you ride on a trail/track or in a public area, make sure to follow the rules on speed limits and the areas that are out of bounds. There may be hazards you are unaware of in the out of bound areas and quad bikes can destruct the surrounding landscape, so don’t go off the trail.
Basic Riding Tips
Learning from a professional and experienced quad biker will be the most effective way of improving your riding skills, but below we’ve listed some basic riding posture and throttle control tips you can take on board.
Good posture is critical to a good quad bike riding experience. In order to maintain your balance and stay in full control of your bike, keep your feet planted at all times and have a firm grip on the handles, slightly bending your arms to prevent your elbows from locking should you suddenly brake. Remember to keep your head up and eyes forward too.
Most quad bikes utilise thumb throttles so you’ll need to know how to use this to correctly accelerate. You should start off slow to build up your confidence and get a feel for how it works, gradually increasing over time as you start to feel more comfortable. Once you’ve mastered throttle control, riding your quad bike becomes much easier!
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Our final tip is to practice, practice and practice! It will take time to fully master riding your quad bike so be patient and don’t expect to grasp the skills immediately. Ride your bike in flat, safe and open areas to begin with, practising the basics like accelerating, braking, reversing and turning.
Improve Your Quad Bike Performance with Venhill
Another important element quad bike riders of all abilities should consider is the quality of their control cables and hydraulic lines. These vital components form the link between you and your machine – directly transmitting instructions to get your bike to perform how you want it to. Without them your quad simply wouldn’t function, so it’s not something to overlook.
Here at Venhill, we have been manufacturing high-quality control cables and hydraulic lines for over 50 years. We specialise in making such components specifically for quad bikes, helping riders get the most from their machines. All hoses and cables are made in the UK and to the highest possible standards.