Quad bikes are some of the most uncommon vehicles seen on UK roads and in fact, most people think of them as purely off-road machines. In truth however, so long as the quad or ATV (all terrain vehicle) meets all safety standards and has been approved for road use, they can be ridden on public roads too and are becoming more popular every year!
So how do you go about getting a Quad bike on the road legally? Well, pretty much any quad or ATV can be converted to meet these road safety standards, but I would recommend checking with the dealership or owner you are buying from to make sure it's ready to go immediately. This could save you a lot of time and effort, instead of having to make the necessary mods yourself and then applying for approval.
Whichever way you go about it, once you have your ATV road ready you will then need to register it and make sure it has front and rear number plates, as well as an MOT, tax and insurance (you can get a great insurance quote right here!). The final requirement to let you ride your quad on the road is a full car drivers licence. Despite having a saddle and handlebars a motorcycle licence won't do the job, a full car drivers licence (or a category B1 licence if it was issued before January 1997) is the only licence that counts here.
Obviously, none of those things are required if you just want to use your quad bike off-road or for agriculture without venturing onto public roads, but it can be useful to be able to use those roads if the need ever comes up.
Finally, unlike motorcycles, it is not required that you wear a crash helmet. However, I would strongly recommend you do so as I can tell you from experience on a motorcycle - accidents can happen and a crash helmet could save your life!
Well now that you know some of the requirements of road legal quads, let’s look at some of the very best options currently on sale!
Yamaha have been one of the most respected names in the motorcycle industry for many years and are having a similar impact in the quad and ATV world. Yamaha's Raptor series is one of the biggest selling and most popular quads of all time although here in the UK, the Raptor moniker has been dropped in favour of a three letter system more in line with their motorcycles.
That isn't the only thing they have in common either, the latest models are all benefitting from Yamaha's years of motorcycle engineering with advanced features you would normally find on cutting edge bikes. Adjustable suspension, high torque performance, fuel injection systems and even a slipper clutch are available on some of these modern Quads!
Yamaha YFM700R / YFM700R SE
Yamaha's ultimate sport model the YFM700R is an impressive bit of kit. For starters the fuel-injected 686cc engine offers a high performance ride and the latest version has been tweaked for even more torque with increased fuel economy and lower emissions. The YFM700 has fully adjustable suspension and benefits from a reverse gear - a feature not always present on a quad bike that could come in handy for road use! An upgraded SE edition of this ATV is also available and aims to be the last word in high performance quad bikes and both versions look phenomenal.
Yamaha YFZ450R / YFZ450R SE
The YFZ450 has been designed from the start to win races on the track. I mentioned earlier some of the motorcycle know-how that Yamaha have been adding to their quad bikes and this model comes fully loaded. Perhaps most noticeable is the addition of a slipper clutch in the SE version - the first ATV in its class to utilise one. If you aren't sure what a slipper clutch actually does, it basically eliminates the effects of engine braking on downshifts, making for faster gear changes and more control.
Yamaha Kodiak 700 EPS
It's not all about sport models, Yamaha also offer a great utility ATV in the Kodiak 700 EPS. An automatic gear system with a reverse mode, the ability to carry 140 kilo payloads plus rider and tow up to 600kg are some of the standout features here. You can also switch between 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive at any time and benefit from the power steering as standard. Even if your main use is for agriculture or farming, being able to use the roads when necessary can be useful.
The awesomely named Quadzilla have been one of the biggest players in the ATV market in recent years with their brand of high performance quads coming road ready as standard. They have now moved away from the production of their own machines but you can still find models like the Quadzilla XLC500 on the used market in great condition and it remains a very popular road legal ATV.
In 2020, Quadzilla's new focus is on the import and distribution of road legal quads with the same attention to detail and quality control that made them famous in the first place.
Aeon Cobra 400
The first of Quadzilla's new offerings is the Aeon Cobra 400. This is a sports styled quad that comes road legal and euro 4 compliant. It features adjustable suspension and an electronic fuel injection system that aims to provide increased torque and power. The automatic transmission offers that handy reverse gear and there is a 12v socket you can charge your phone on. The Aeon Cobra comes in Supermoto and Supercross variations and is a lot of quad for its budget price.
The other model in Quadzilla's range is the CFORCE from CFMOTO. This one is more focused on utility and it comes in a variety of versions starting at the 450 model and going all the way up to the CFORCE 1000. This largest iteration has a whopping 963cc engine and 85hp so you can get maximum effectiveness out of its in-built tow-bar and front winch. On top of that there is electronic fuel injection, power steering, dual USB sockets and a multifunction dash like you would find on a high spec motorcycle. This thing is a real beast and like Quadzilla's other offerings comes with a very reasonable price tag.
More great Quads!
So far I've covered Yamaha and Quadzilla's ranges but there are plenty of other awesome quad bikes out there so let's have a look at a few more stand out models from other manufacturers.
Suzuki QuadSport Z400 (LT-Z400)
This one is a hugely popular sports style ATV from Suzuki. A 398cc 4-stroke engine powers this quad and Suzuki aim to deliver maximum fun factor with, in their words, ''torque-loaded performance''. The manufacturer also reckons this thing will eat up any terrain you can throw at it and the high sales figures seem to back that up. The aggressive sporty styling looks great and you also get a reverse gear on this one which is a definite advantage when taking it out on the road.
Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 EPS
The Scrambler XP 1000 is one of the most advanced ATVs on the list. For a start it features an automatic 4x4 system, able to detect loss of traction in the rear wheels and apply 4-wheel drive and revert back to 2-wheel when it's no longer needed. The scrambler is designed to be a bit of an all-rounder with an 850cc engine that delivers high torque and sporty performance but can still tow over 680 kilos! Electronic power steering (EPS), engine braking system and Active Descent Control, this thing has it all and is wrapped up in an awesome looking design.
Honda Fourtrax (TRX420)
The Fourtrax model has been around for a long time and as an ATV focused on agriculture and farming, benefits greatly form Honda's famous build quality and reliability. It comes in a range of engine sizes from 260-680 but the TRX420 version has just been updated for 2020 and looks better than ever. It comes with a variety of options so you can choose the setup that best suits you. Both automatic and manual transmissions are available with a reverse gear as well as power steering, digital display, electronic start and a 385kg towing capacity.
KYMCO MXU 550i
KYMCO are less well known than some of the other makes but they have actually been around since the 60's when they were originally set up to produce high quality components for brands like Honda. Fast forward to 2020 and KYMCO have become a great manufacturer in their own right specialising in a range of high quality and affordable scooters. The Taiwanese manufacturer hasn't stopped there however and now has a range of quad bikes too.
The MXU550i is another utility style quad powered by a 501cc engine with a 34hp output. It's not the most powerful machine by any means but it is a functional and reliable quad that comes with a front winch and rear tow bar as well as switchable 4-WD as standard. And did I mention it is the cheapest quad on this list?
The final entry here is also one of the most unique. Like many of the models here, it comes in a few different versions and engine sizes but perhaps the most impressive is the mighty Renegade X MR 1000R. Designed as a true performance adventure quad, Can-am claim it's the most powerful ATV in existence. A 1000cc V-twin engine with 91hp lives up to that claim and the Renegade comes fully loaded with high tech features like intelligent throttle control, electronic fuel injection, switchable 4WD and tri-mode power steering. It is also one of the coolest quads I've ever seen, looking like something out of a sci-fi movie. All this awesomeness comes at a price however, it is the most expensive option in this list too. If you are wanting to do a lot of road use you may want to look at some different tyre options as well.
Whichever quad you own, new or old - Lexham can offer you a great insurance deal so get a quote online here for the best possible price!