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  • Writer's pictureBeckside Machinery

Driving a manual quad bike – The Basics

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

Quads are great fun to drive. Handling sharp twists and turns with ease, the ability to drive at speed over uneven terrain, and a chance to feel that adrenaline rush. Driving an ATV quad bike can offer it all.

However, before getting ready for your quad adventure, there are a few important things that you need to know.

The main one being, that manual quad bikes go through and use gear selection. Switching gears on a manual quad are done via the clutch and shifter, similar to that of driving a manual car.

manual quad bike driving

Hence, learning to drive a Polaris ATV without any prior knowledge or experience can be daunting.

Being aware of some of the necessary operating components of the bike before you jump on board and get started can help to alleviate these daunting feelings.

Getting to know your quad

Check your quads controls

Sitting on the ATV and turning the key in the ignition (or pressing the start button) allows you to check and become familiar with the bike’s headlights, indicators, and other controls on the handlebar.

It’s also an excellent opportunity to familiarise yourself with the gears and the clutch. For example, it’s a good opportunity to practice putting the bike into neutral.

To do this, you need to pull the clutch lever while also pushing the shifter down four times, then up slightly until the neutral green light is displayed on the quad.

To start up the quad bike, press the starter button, which can typically be found on the right handlebar.

Ready to ride?

Put the ATV into first gear by pulling the clutch and pressing down the shifter into first gear. Start by releasing the clutch slowly until you feel the bike beginning to move.

As the bike begins to move forward, start to apply a little pressure to the throttle, while continuing to release the pressure on the clutch.

This can be a tricky manoeuvre to master and may take a few attempts to get right and to get moving. Don’t panic if the quad stalls, simply put the shifter back into its neutral position and using your clutch, push the starter button to restart the engine again.

On the move

Stay in first gear while you continue moving at a moderate pace. When you begin to feel the quad pull and roar as you pick up speed, you need to change gears, working through them the faster you drive. Again, using the clutch and the shift lever move through the gears with ease, pressing down on the clutch as you move the shifter into a different gear, adding to the throttle and accelerating as you change.

Don’t forget your brakes

Accelerating is all part of the fun of riding quads and riding them at speed at that! However, you also need to know where your brakes are! To use your brakes, pull in the clutch and apply a small amount of pressure to the front and rear brakes simultaneously. As you begin to slow down, you need to continue working through your gears, shifting to lower gears as necessary. This, again, will stop the engine from stalling.

With practice, this technique certainly becomes a lot easier.

When you have finished riding, make sure to move the gear shaft back into neutral and press the off switch or turn the ignition off.

To stop the quad from rolling when the engine is off, and you have parked up, it’s important to put the quad into first gear.

At Beckside Machinery, we sell a range of new and used quad bikes and Polaris ATVs, suitable for a variety of situations and all kitted with set specifications.

Our team is also highly trained and experienced in all different types of quads and can be on hand to talk through the specific quad in question and answer any of your questions regarding what quad is most suitable for you.

Take a look at what Beckside Machinery has to offer and find out more about manual quads.

Call 01673 828 965

Reference video: 2Actioners

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