I hope you guys don't mind a little ranting from me but here goes. So, I spent all day tuesday trying to find a family member to go riding with me. Normally I would take my wife but she had to work all week. Finally, out of desperation I started calling my friends who I knew were in school. I got to the very last one in my phone's address book and to my surprise, he had skipped school and was excited to go. I was feeling pretty good you know. I had someone to go ride with. It's more fun to me if I can take someone else along. That way if I get hurt, which with my luck tends to happen, somebody is there to call an ambulance or at least help me. I pride myself on keeping my quads in good shape and I was a little bit hesitant to let him ride my KingQuad 450, but I really didn't want to go alone. So, I put my Renegade in the trailer and put the KingQuad in the bed of my truck and we headed to an area called South Fork. He hasn't had a lot of experience on a quad, so we spent a few minutes in the parking lot getting him acquainted with it. In no time at all, he was spinning around like a pro and seemed pretty comfortabl with it. I took him on some mild trails first and he handled them great. Then we stepped it up a notch and again he was doing fine. So, I decided it would be a good idea to take him on the main trails. As I was on my Renegade and had quite a bit more skill, I easily outran him uphill. Every so often I would stop to wait for him. The trails were still really muddy and in places we had to bust snow drifts. As he came through one snow drift, the quad got sideways on him and he almost dumped it over the edge, but managed to straighten it back out. I thought about talking to him about slowing down a little but I figured "hey, he knows what he's doing and he was able to straighten it back out after all". Ultimately, I decided not to say anything but to slow down myself instead. That way he wouldn't feel like he had to go so fast to keep up. Well, the plan worked the rest of the way uphill. By slowing down, I was able to keep his speed in check. But just like everything else, a good day of 4 wheeling has to come to end, so we headed back down the mountain. Coming back down, we had to go through several technical spots and so I told him I would go first. I told him when he got to these spots, just to maintain a speed of maybe 10MPH and stay relaxed. I explained to him that if he just followed my tracks through the snow, he should be just fine but not to go too fast, because he would lose control downhill in the muck. He agreed and assured me that he would be VERY careful. I reluctantly left him and headed down the trail to the parking lot. I got to the bottom and waited. After about 15 minutes I decided I'd better go check on him. About halfway back up, I saw the disaster. Poor kid had been having so much fun that he lost track of his speed and missed a corner. He hit a tree head on and flipped over the handlebars. It was a rutted out muddy section on a fairly steep slope. He said he just kept going faster and faster through it. He described to me how he had been able to make several other corners in the mud without any problem. I asked him how fast he thought he had been going to which he replied "oh, maybe 25 or 30".::none::
I about crapped my shorts. I was instantly furious. I told him that even with my experience and being aboard the Renegade, I had taken that same section at about 10 or 15 MPH. I told him 25 or 30 was way too fast and asked him what he was thinking. He replied " I thought it would make it". Things could have been worse though. To the credit of the machine, it still runs just fine and not only that, but I was able to pilot it back down to the truck. It completely crushed the front of the frame though and tore apart every piece of plastic in the front. the rack is toast and something(or maybe several things) in the steering is out of whack. It also bent the frame about in the middle. But, surprisingly, the motor still fires right up and works flawlessly.
4 wheel drive still works fine, the shocks still work fine and just about everything else except what I've mentioned. I voluntold (battlegun knows what that means I'm sure) my buddy that he was paying for it. He agreed and actually went with me to the shop. The estimate before they tore it down was about $2000. I bet it will go up though once they start taking it apart and inspecting the damage. In all, I'm glad he wasn't hurt. First and foremost his welfare is the primary concern but I'm not real happy about the quad. Accidents happen, but one could almost be led to believe he was trying to commit suicide. I scolded him about riding out of control like that. He apologized and I know he meant it. It scared him pretty bad. The worst part about it is when I got married, my wife took over ownership of the KingQuad and I bought the Renegade. So, he had to explain to my wife why she no longer had a quad. I thought it was really funny until she turned around and decked me.
The ironic thing is he asked if he could ride the Renegade on the way down and I told him maybe next time. All I can say is thank god I followed my instinct for once. I think I'll make a habit of doing so after this.
Oh well, thanks for listening to my rant. I feel better now that I've let it out. I guess you live and learn. Happy Trails!