How to Choose the Best Farm Quad Bike for Your Hobby Farm
Choosing the best farm quad bike for the job is one of the most important decisions you can make as a smallholder. With so many options available, it’s crucial to make an informed decision in order to get the maximum value out of your purchase and end up with a bike that will serve you well for years to come.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through some key points to consider when it comes to buying a quad bike for your hobby farm.
New vs. Used Farm Quads
Deciding whether to buy a new or a used farm quad bike is often determined by your budget. Used quad bikes typically range in price from $800 to $5,000, whereas new models can fall anywhere between $4,000 and $19,000, depending on what you’re looking for.
However, price isn’t the only factor. When you’re deciding between a new or a used model, it’s essential to consider the primary purpose of your farm quad, be it for fun, transportation, or to serve as a workhorse. If you just need a bike to get around your property, a used model will suffice, but if you’re planning to put it to work, you may want the peace of mind of buying new.
If you are leaning towards a used bike, ensure you give it a thorough inspection. Checking the oil dipstick for metal fragments can give clues about motor wear, and verifying regular oil/filter changes can inform you about its maintenance. Additionally, always ensure the bike isn’t tied up in any finance agreements and take it out for a comprehensive test ride.
Engine and Transmission Basics
The power of a farm quad bike hinges on its engine type and size. Quad bikes come equipped with either single or twin-cylinder engines, with sizes ranging from 150cc to 800cc, although 400-600cc is considered the optimum size for a farm bike. At Segway, our Snarler range of farm quad bikes is available in two engine sizes: 499cc and 570cc.
Understandably, larger engines promise more power and speed, ideal for more demanding tasks. On the cooling front, engines can either be liquid-cooled using radiators or air-cooled. While air-cooled quads are more affordable, lighter, and less complex, they might not offer the robustness of liquid-cooled counterparts.
When considering transmission, the majority of ATV transmissions boast a five-speed configuration, complete with features like high and low range, neutral, reverse, and park. While two-wheel drive is standard, many quad bikes are also capable of 4WD and will allow you to switch between the various drive types according to your needs – the Snarler AT5 S Rugged, for example, allows you to switch between 2WD, 4WD and 4WD lock at will.
Rider Comfort is Key
The frequency of your quad bike usage will heavily influence the comfort features you should prioritize. Regular users should not compromise on seating; a quad with a thick, well-moulded seat is indispensable, while an independent coil suspension becomes non-negotiable on farms with rough terrain, ensuring a smoother ride. And for those willing to invest a bit more, top-tier models with power steering can significantly enhance the driving experience.
Safety, Brakes & Tyres
Safety is paramount when it comes to quad bikes, especially if your farm features steep and challenging terrains. Since the introduction of the Quad Bike Safety Standards a few years back, every quad bike sold in Australia must come fitted with an Operator Protection Device (OPD) and pass minimum tilt angle standards. We are proud to say that every farm quad bike in our Snarler range not only meets but exceeds the minimum required tilt angle of 28.81°: from 30.8° for the AT5 S Rugged to 33° on the AT6 L Full Spec.
Most quad bikes feature hydraulic disc brakes, with the number of disc brakes depending on the type of bike you buy. For instance, our AT5 L Quad Pro features four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, while the AT5 S Rugged only features three-wheel disc brakes.
Additionally, the durability of your quad’s tyres can’t be overlooked. Quad bike tyres come in 2, 4, and 6-ply variants, with higher ply numbers promising increased durability, making them more resistant to wear and tear and ensuring a longer service life before they need to be replaced.
Load and Tow Capacity
Farm work often requires moving goods either on your quad or in a trailer behind it, so it is important that any quad bike you buy has a sufficient load and towing capacity to handle the day’s tasks. Front racks usually have a carrying capacity ranging from 25-50kg, with rear racks handling 50-100kg, depending on the size of the quad.
If you plan on towing trailers, it’s vital to ensure that your quad bike comes equipped with a tow bar and ball and that it has a sufficient towing capacity. One thing to be mindful of when looking at towing capacities is that they are listed with the assumption that your trailer has its own braking system – if you are towing an unbraked trailer, your towing capacity will be less.
Protecting Your Farm Quad
To enhance the lifespan of your quad bike, consider its protective features. Most quads come with standard protection devices like handlebar protectors and undercarriage bash plates. For farms with rugged terrain and obstacles, a quad with high ground clearance (like the AT6 S Full Spec or AT6 L EPS) becomes a prudent choice, minimising potential damage:
Additional Features to Consider
Modern farm quad bikes often come loaded with additional features. A standard inclusion in many is an LCD display, showcasing various essential metrics like fuel levels and engine temperature. Some premium quads even offer add-ons like winches, a lifesaver when you need to clear objects from your path or get stuck when you’re operating solo in isolated areas. For those who might require limited public road access, certain quads can be registered for this purpose, although they might need extra features like indicators, mirrors, and horns.
Warranty and Parts
Last but not least, consider how important a warranty is for you. Used quad bikes will obviously come without a warranty, but if you’re buying new then a two-year warranty is the industry standard. Before finalising your purchase, liaise with your local dealer about the availability of spare parts. Prompt availability of spare parts will ensure minimal downtime and interruption to your work, especially during unexpected breakdowns.
For the Best Farm Quad Bikes That You Can Trust to Get the Job Done, Choose Segway Powersports
While the farm quad bike market may seem inundated with choices, a systematic approach that focuses on the factors above will help simplify your decision and ensure you get the best farm quad bike for your hobby farm.
With 9 models in the range, our farm quad bikes are designed to make light work of whatever the day throws at them. Combining cutting-edge technology with unparalleled build quality and good old-fashioned grit, they’re a farmer’s best friend. Discover the range today and find the model that’s right for your farm.