A Guide to Buying Used Quad Bikes
Quad bikes have a deserved reputation for flexibility, but there’s another quality which contributes to their popularity: durability. They have a seemingly uncanny knack of being able to last for years. One ATV owner recently posted to a popular quad bike forum that he was the proud of owner of a 1985 Yamaha quad bike, still in perfect working order, and running as well as the day he first got it. The post was made in 2011. Twenty-six years of active service is a quite remarkable record, and not all that unusual in the world of ATVs, or ‘all-terrain vehicles’.
This durability, in particular, makes quad bikes ideal material for the second-hand market. The fact that quad bikes can last so long means that, as with certain models of car, it is not unusual for them to enter, with dignity, the used quad bike arena. The original owner will be happy to make some honest money out of passing on the bike for further use, whilst, ideally, the new owner will be delighted to have picked up a worthwhile bargain.
There are a number of benefits to opting for a used quad bike as opposed to a brand new one. First and foremost, there are significant cost savings to be made. For instance, when considering buying an ATV for agricultural purposes, it is possible, on average, to obtain decent used quad bikes for about half the price of their brand new counterparts. Moreover, there is plenty of variety amongst used quad bikes for sale. The second-hand market is vibrant, and all types of quad bike are covered; from racers, to leisure bikes, to agricultural/urban working bikes. For instance, when it comes to farm quads for sale, there is no skimping regarding the major brands. Honda is one of the primary ATV brands, and powerful Hondas regularly crop up in the used quad bike listings. Indeed these are sometimes of recent pedigree, dating back, say, to 2010.
Furthermore, local councils may well be interested in finding a reliable used ATV salt spreader, especially when bearing in mind winter conditions. A council procurement office will be delighted to save money whilst still getting full functionality from such a vehicle, especially if it has been fully serviced prior to completing the sale.
However, if you are busy exploring the market for used quad bikes, and then you still need to approach any potential deal with some reasonable caution. Here are a few points to look out for, and consider before finalising any purchase.
Always try before buying: Any reputable seller should be willing to let interested parties have a go on the bike up for offer. If they refuse access to their premises, or are unreasonable in this regard, then this should be sufficient warning to reconsider, or pull back from the purchase. After all, the trial ride is crucial in terms of establishing reliability and that the bike “feels” right. Ideally, take along a mechanic friend, with some in-depth knowledge, to give the bike a once over. If this is not possible, ask around as many experts, or quad bike DIY folk, as you can for some tips on what to look out for. When test riding do check to see if the bike veers to one side. This could indicate anything from low tyre pressure to a steering alignment issue. There could even be a problem with a front brake rubbing which effects the steering.
Look beyond normal wear and tear - it’s important to be wary of vehicles which display more than the usual wear and tear. Looking at the plastics on a vehicle will give a good clue. Scuff marks coming from footwear would probably be par for the course. If, on the other hand the plastic surfaces are covered all over with scratches, this would suggest it has been struck by stones, and pebbles during some pretty heavy usage, perhaps in a racing or leisure context. Some heavy use is inevitable, but, on the other hand, you don’t want a bike that is verging on being worn out.
Check for a chassis number: The chassis number is often mounted on a plate at the front of the nudge bar. If it is missing, there’s a risk that you could be examining a stolen vehicle, and it is advisable to abort the purchase at that point. A chassis number is an essential identifier for a bona fide used quad bike.
Beyond the actual purchasing process, there are two further essential steps related to buying used quad bikes.
Do make sure you have insurance for your newly purchased vehicle. Insurance is a requirement just as much for used quad bikes as it is for brand new ATVs and quads. The insurance industry is now well set up for insuring quad bikes, and having at least a third-party insurance agreement for your quad bike is now a legal requirement. Furthermore, in the case of acquiring used quad bikes, some insurance packages can be inherited by the new owner, making the transition relatively straightforward.
Finally, regular servicing is essential for maintaining the well-being of any quad bike, be it new or used. Arranging for a quad service should be a regular date on any quad owner’s calendar. This is especially important for agricultural vehicles, helping with the running of a farm, or for municipal vehicles, such as Quad grit spreader, or the ATV salt spreader.
Indeed, when it comes to buying used quad bikes, being able to see documented evidence of a decent service history can really add to a buyer’s confidence. Regular servicing is indeed one of the key factors in the longevity of hard-working ATVs.
Some retailers who deal in used quad bikes may well include a service prior to handover as part of the overall transaction. This is an offer which should always be accepted. Having a vehicle checked out by professionals is always worth any extra time prior to completing the deal.
All in all, so long as the right precautions are taken, along with the usual administrative and maintenance steps followed, it is possible to find a great bargain in the busy market for used quad bikes.