If you are interested in exploring the Knysna area on a quad bike, it is important to remember safety. Every year many people die and many more get injured in South Africa because of negligence on quad bikes. These vehicles can however be a lot of fun and is a great way to explore the beautiful Knysna area.
A proper pre-ride inspection will ensure that everything on the machine is adjusted and working properly to prevent a breakdown or even an accident. Take the time and check on the following:
- Tyres: Always maintain proper pressure in the tyres and ensure that all tyres are inflated to the same pressure. If the pressure in a tire is not the same as the tyre opposite it, the vehicle may be difficult to maneuver. Use a pressure gauge capable of reading low pressures accurately. Also check for wear and visible damage.
- Wheels: Make sure axle nuts are tight, secured and that none are missing. Riding on rough terrain may cause nuts and bolts to loosen. While the engine is off, check for loose nuts or bolts.
- Brakes: Check the brake operation - footbrakes and handbrakes. Check the cables and linkages to insure they are moving smoothly. The controls should be positioned so that they are easy to reach and use.
- Throttle: The throttle should operate smoothly in all steering positions and snap back to the idle position when released. Make sure that turning the handlebars from left to right has no effect on throttle operation. If it does adjustments should be made immediately.
- Lights and Switches: The ignition switch should be functioning properly before riding. The kill switch should be working properly because it could prevent an accident. Also check the warning lights. All lights must be working when riding at night, but they also make riding during the day safer.
- Clutch: Check the clutch (if manual), for smooth and positive operation.
- Oil & Fuel: While the engine is off, check the oil level. An engine cannot operate for long without oil. Always check fuel level before starting a long ride. Make sure that there are no fuel or oil leaks.
- Chain or drive shaft: Check the chain for proper adjustment and lubrication. Also check for improper wear. If the ATV has a drive shaft instead of a chain make sure it has the correct amount of oil and does not leak.
- Tool Kit: Make sure the vehicle is equipped with complete tool kit, supplied by the manufacturer.
It is also important to wear the proper protective gear:
- Always wear a helmet
- Wear eye gear such as a visor or sunglasses
- Wear gloves
- Wear closed shoes that have good grip
Other things to remember:
- Never drink or take drugs before you drive
- Never ride alone
- Try to stay on roads as it is easy to make an accident when driving on unknown terrain, especially if you don't know about holes or ditches in the terrain.
- Keep your cellphone with you and make sure other people know where you are going.
- Always keep the weather in mind when going riding as wet weather can make riding dangerous.
- Don't speed.