Maintenance checks of quad bikes important
The Motor Trade Association believes quad bike accidents that resulted in more than 45 deaths and 17,000 injuries in the past decade were far too many.
Association spokeswoman Ana Zandi said one of the major issues surrounding quad bike accidents was that there was no requirement for a formal warrant of fitness check. A good way to reduce the likelihood of an accident would be to ensure bike owners undertake regular maintenance checks.
In a study involving the inspection of quad bikes it was found that 60 per cent failed at least one aspect of a basic bike condition check and that the failure rate was as high as 73 per cent for quad bikes more than three years old. Tyres, wheels and steering were the most commonly noted faults.
‘‘Ultimately, the care and maintenance of a quad bike should be treated no differently than a motor vehicle.
‘‘Motor equipment that hasn’t been properly maintained has a tendency to break down or be subject to wear and tear, and quad bikes are no exception,’’ she said.
‘‘Because quad bikes aren’t subject to a mandatory WOF, riders need to ensure that their bike is periodically inspected by a qualified repairer, such as an association-approved member, and as prescribed in the owner’s handbook.
‘‘While MTA is not advocating mandatory warrants for quad bikes, riders should do a pre-ride check to test the operating condition of the bike.
‘‘Our dealer members can give people information relating to quad bike safety and maintenance.
‘‘They can also provide details about rider training available in their area and where to get safety equipment, such as helmets, if they don’t already supply these.’’
Ms Zandi said wearing a safety helmet was an effective low-cost safety precaution and could mean the difference between life or death. ‘‘It’s difficult to understand why it’s mandatory to wear a safety helmet while riding a bicycle or motorbike on the road, yet off-road, no head protection is required.’’
The Motor Trade Association is reminding quad bike owners to carry out regular maintenance checks.