You may have heard of the quad bike, but not of the road legal quad. This is understandable, as not that many people know of the fact that quad bikes can be used on the roads (as long as they fulfil certain requirements).
A quad bike, also commonly known as an ATV which means all terrain vehicle, is a four wheeled vehicle that is commonly used on off road courses, in a racing format. They were originally designed to be used in situations where the use of a car would be unsuitable, due to their bulky and non manoeuvrable nature. Therefore, something with the manoeuvrability of a motorbike, but with the added stability of a four wheeled vehicle was needed.
The quad bike was designed to be used in farm or heavy duty situations, with powerful engines and rugged wheel styles. This made them extremely popular for use on mud tracks, where they gripped despite the lack of racing track; this meaning that they could be used in almost any field or forest environment.
It is advised that one wears all the correct safety gear when driving a quad bike, due to the fact that they are heavy duty vehicles with large engines. They often have the power of a motorbike, and so care must be taken when using one. It is advised that a helmet is worn at all times, as a complete minimum safety requirement. Secondly knee and elbow pads are strongly advised, in order to be safe in case of falling off the quad bike; despite their high stability on four wheels, they can always flip when going round a corner. Finally, goggles are a good idea if you are working on a farm environment, or if you are tackling a mud track, as dirt that is flicked up by the bike can damage the eyes irreparably.
Road legal conversions
You may think that mud tracks are the limit to your fun on a quad bike, but you would be very wrong. There is the relatively new concept of the Road Legal Quad to also consider. While it is technically possible to convert an existing quad bike into a road legal quad, it is not advised, as it can cost a lot of money and is time consuming. In fact it can cost more than purchasing a new road legal quad, so it is not generally advised.