Quads and All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) are just that: vehicles that can be driven on any and all kinds of terrain. With four, sometimes three wheels, and a typical balloon-like design, they have a very distinctive look. Usually made for a single driver, they were originally used by forest rangers, farmers, and anyone in the profession of driving through muddy fields, over steep mountain cliffs, or in and around construction sites. ATV’s or Quads can trek over every imaginable obstacle that comes their way, hence the name All Terrain Vehicle! However, in spite of all their appealing attributes in relation to the above-mentioned professions, these days, Quads and ATV’s are being used more and more recreationally. They’ve become quite popular within the last few years and because of this, a small but attractive ‘Quad Scene’ has erupted.
There’s Quad racing, Quad trekking, Quad shows, and Quad magazines advertising Quad publishing, Internet forums, and Quad clubs. How did this development happen?
The history of the Quad started in the 1960’s. At that time, the German company ‘Faun’ developed the original Quad. At the same time, the US army was developing the Mechanical Mule M274, a Quad that was used as an air-land vehicle. Later, Honda developed its first ATC (All Terrain Motorcycle) and Yamaha moved in with a similar version called the ‘Tri-Z’. After a period of stagnation, Quads became somewhat of a cult and Quad Fever seized more and more people, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Quads in Traffic: Today in the United States, most of the Quads by foreign manufacturers are imported as All Terrain Vehicles. Adapting their standards to the US road traffic act is relatively expensive and lavish: indicators, head lamps, brake lights, speedometer and parking lights would have to be built in after the fact in order to drive legally on the streets of Germany today.
Driving quads has become an interesting spare-time activity: But nevertheless more and more Americans spend lots of time (and lots of money too!) into their quads: They meet in quad-clubs, read in special interest magazines about the newest developpements in technique or design and sometimes they even spend their holidays on a quad: Quad-journeys become more and more popular! Nowadays it is possible that “average guys” and family-fathers do not go to Club Med anymore. Instead of laying on the beach they decide to cross a desert. Strange times, but the US are obviously suffering (or enjoying!) a new kind of illness: The so called quadfever. Is it dangerous? No, you do not have to worry. But it is highly contagious! So stop reading and get yourself a quad right now!