Main­te­nance checks of quad bikes im­por­tant

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

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.

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