14 July, 2020
Calls for calm amid quad bike withdrawal
SINCE THE announcement of the mass exodus of manufacturers Polaris, Yamaha and Honda from the Australian ATV market earlier this year, bemusing parallels have been drawn between the era of COVID-19 panic buying and the purchase of quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles nationwide, as the end of imports for the ‘workhorse’ of the farm draws nears.
"We have certainly sold more quad bikes recently than we have in past years," Horsepower Longreach owner David Mims said. "That is due to a number of other larger factors including increased cattle prices and improved seasons."
In May, Honda joined Polaris and Yamaha in publicly stating its intention to withdraw supply to Australia following new safety standards mandated by the Federal Government, citing the regulations "cannot be entirely met by any ATV bike in the market today and is unlikely to be met by anything in the future."
Under the proposed new laws backed by the National Rural Health Alliance and National Farmers Federation (NFF), by October 2021, all new utility quad bikies must be fitted with an operator protection device (OPD) and meet minimum stability requirements.
Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, welcomes the legislation.
"We need to work in a calm and methodical way with not only the NFF, but dealers groups to make sure we strike the right balance and look after the most precious capital in this country, which is our human capital."