Whether you use a quad bike for work or leisure you will doubtless be wanting to make the most of it as an all-season vehicle. Indeed quad bikes have a reputation for remarkable resilience and versatility, adaptable to a wide variety of terrains and climates. However, despite their trademark flexibility even quad bikes can benefit from extra care and attention during winter which, as the past two years in the UK have shown, can be a particularly perilous and exacting season. Moreover, if you have acquired a cheap quad bike it may require that bit more maintenance during winter than a precision-engineered streamlined luxury model.
Here are some measures you can take to protect cheap quad bikes during winter, as well as making riding it more comfortable.
1) Servicing: Start by getting an effective service done by an authorised dealer before winter kicks in: Chris Hebditch of Honda advises that having safety items such as brakes, suspension and steering components checked helps prevent mechanical breakdown during a period when your bike may be taking a lot of punishment.
2) Engine Oil: avoid running low on engine oil, as this could cause significant engine damage to cheap quad bikes. Also ensure you use the correct grade of oil, and avoid using cheaper oils.
3) Keep it cool: this sounds paradoxical for the middle of winter, but it’s important to make sure that any engine cooling systems are kept clear of blockages and obstructions, which are more likely in wet, muddy conditions.
4) Tyre conditions: During the winter period ground conditions will be softer, and likely be more slippery, making tire conditions a high priority. It is therefore important to check tyre pressure on cheap quad bikes and make sure there is sufficient depth of tread.
5) Cleaning: Mud is likely to splatter on to your ATV and it may contain corrosive substances, such as grit, so a more intense cleaning routine is recommended. Using a garden hose, with a mild neutral detergent if necessary, should suffice. Your bike could also benefit from a quad bike accessories such as amud-flap kit. Also make sure that electrical components and batteries are kept as clear as possible from mud.
6) Acquire an ATV windscreen: a windscreen accessory can help prevent wind chill.
7) Cover the bike: Adding an ATV cover will help protect your bike during periods when it’s not in use.
8) Storage: Storing your bike overnight in a dry, secure facility, such as a garage, is highly recommended for protection from the harsh elements. A long-term, but valuable, investment, though on the costly side would be a custom ATV quad bike storage shed.
9) Warm handlebars: Warm handlebars can make a tremendous difference if you are working on land, or racing your quad bike in freezing conditions. Investing in heated handlebar grips or handlebar mufflers is advised.
10) Warm clothing: if the quad bike’s rider is safe, warm and comfortable the bike itself stands a better chance of being driven well, and avoiding damage in the long term. Therefore, investing in a robust body warmer, protective gloves and a helmet (if you’re racing in particular) is highly recommended.
Keith Knowles runs KIK ATVs, a leading supplier of both new and second hand cheap quad bikes in the UK. KIK ATVs offers quad bikes for both recreational and functional use, as well as offering ATV accessories and parts. Visit the website http://www.kikquads.co.uk for more information.