Since the quad bike safety roundtable a couple of months ago, the safety debate about quad bikes has been quiet however, the issue has lost little of its topicality. On 5 December The Weekly Times again devoted its front page, and editorial, to quad bike safety.
The newsworthiness stems from quad bike manufacturer, CFMoto offering
“…the Quadbar device through its dealership across Australia, conceding crush protection for ATVs was “inevitable”.” (link added)
This is a noticeable break from the other motorcycle manufacturers represented in Australia by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). Contrary to the FCAI comments in the article, CFMoto is not a backyard manufacturer. According to its website profile:
“CFMoto’s ATV and UTV range has been the second largest selling throughout much of Europe for the reporting period between the January ’08 and June ’10. And since arriving in Australia has become the fastest growing ATV brand in Australia!”
Earlier this year, BikePoint.com.au reviewed one of CFMoto’s ATVs, the CF500, and reported:
“In April, 2012, the company’s CF500 was the biggest selling ATV in Australia, out-muscling all the Japanese and the best from Polaris and Can-Am. That’s a tremendous result in a market segment which is currently red-hot.
Year to date, the CF500 sits in second place with 236 sales, with only the Honda TRX250 in front of it – albeit by a hefty 361-unit margin.”
The FCAI is quoted as saying:
“”The fact that one small importer of Chinese products has chosen to ignore this research does not change the FCAI’s position.”
It is doubtful CFMoto has taken this position to snub the FCAI. It is more likely that the company has spotted inaction on crush protection devices (CPDs) by manufacturers and has sniffed a marketing opportunity to sell their products as being safer than their opposition. In October 2012, SafetyAtWorkBlog wrote:
“The longer quad bike manufacturers take to address the real and perceived shortcomings of their products, the more families and relatives will point to them with accusations of “killing machines”. Allowing that to happen seems a shortsighted marketing strategy and they need to remember that the world is watching.”
One has seized the initiative and some Australians will be safer for it.