Quad bikes...

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Phipplebert

Quad bikes...

Post by Phipplebert »

Hi all,
I'm struggling to find info on quad bikes in France...
I see various around on tracks and wondered if quads here can go on other peoples land I.e. Farm tracks, fire tracks (obviously not through a crop). Or are there designated tracks you can use or not. Does one have to have the landowners permission or can you just roam?
Also does a quad require any paperwork to be on the road?
Thanks :)
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Kate
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Post by Kate »

As far as I know, having written an article about it a couple of years ago for Accroquad, their rules were that you could drive on private land without anything, but needed a driving licence to go on public land and roads. However, i am absolutely NO EXPERT so this could just have been for bikes rented from them. not very helpful at all in fact :roll: :lol:
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quad bikes

Post by monsans »

Sat Service in Argeles industrail estate hire them out so perhaps they would have the answers for you. Opposite GIFI.
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Post by Santiago »

Nearly all farm tracks (chemins) are private land. Nobody minds people walking or riding horses or cycling but off-roading with motor vehicles is a no-no.

In my opinion quads are dangerous and annoying. Play with them on your own land or at a quad-biking centre.
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Phipplebert

Post by Phipplebert »

Monsans - thanks, if no one here knows I'll take a trip to them and ask.

There are quite a few who potter around behind us in groups or on the fire tracks to Spain, wasn't sure if one needed permission / a licence etc, as I'm sure it differs from the UK.

Santiago - your welcome to your opinion, I suppose the danger etc depends on who is driving it, why and where.
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Post by interiors66 »

I have a quad , they need to be registered for the road and can be riden on a car licence . There are plenty of tracks in the alberes that can be legally used and also along the tech river . Parts are possibly private however my view is just show some respect and with that in mind I've never been bothered not even by grumpy vignerons!
There are also plenty of tracks on canigou tracks that are classed as roads so you will often be passed by a c15 van .
There are routes right across the Pyrenees and into Spain , a lot to discover
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Post by blackduff »

One of the local young boys (17) used his quad to drive between the vines. Of course he broke a lot of vines in his play. Everybody knows each other on this episode, and the boys father was called. The vine owner was unhappy but the boy is still riding around with his quad.

He has currently driving a tractor with real track, like a tank. His tractor drove up a sentier, which had been covered with concrete, so it's not muddy. The tractor's track started to breakdown the concrete, which really made the owner who put the concrete. The boy had managed to drive there two or three times before dad was called again.

Luckily, the boy turned 18 and his father gave him his older BMW. The boy has now more interested with girls than quads or tractors.

Life moves more slowly now.

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Post by interiors66 »

[quote="blackduff"

Luckily, the boy turned 18 and his father gave him his older BMW. The boy has now more interested with girls than quads or tractors.

Life moves more slowly now.

Blackduff[/quote]
In life's cycle he will be back on the quad before he knows what's happened , like me !
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Post by Phipplebert »

I have a quad , they need to be registered for the road and can be riden on a car licence . There are plenty of tracks in the alberes that can be legally used and also along the tech river . Parts are possibly private however my view is just show some respect and with that in mind I've never been bothered not even by grumpy vignerons!
There are also plenty of tracks on canigou tracks that are classed as roads so you will often be passed by a c15 van .
There are routes right across the Pyrenees and into Spain , a lot to discover
How does one find out the allowed routes? Is that a question for the Mairie or is it printed somewhere like British green lanes?

Blackduff - I'm too old and boring for all that and being from a farming / shooting background I don't think I'm likely to go down that route ;) I'm looking into it for quite different reasons.
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Post by interiors66 »

If you get a quad I'll show you otherwise buy a map or look on google earth
Phipplebert

Post by Phipplebert »

:) I won't get one until next year now as at 8 months pregnant timing probably isn't too wise ;) hehe but yes that sounds good. I know the fire tracks around the hills to Spain I just wasn't sure if some were non quad/green lane tracks hence asking about the maps :)
Maybe next year I'll contact you if you fancy company for a trip.
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Post by Santiago »

Quads are the jet-skis of the countryside. Fun for the selfish rich and really annoying for everyone else. Real farmers use them for a purpose, not just for fun.

A lot of people get annoyed with hunters marauding the countryside but at least they have a benefit of keeping down pests. We were out picking today and a couple of thuggy-looking blokes were out firing their guns. Half the people working for me enjoy La Chasse up in the mountains but none of them were too happy about the proximity of these jokers taking pot-shots at anything that disturbed the grass.

So the point I'm making is that if you have some hobby that is likely to annoy other people, make sure you do it in a remote place. It doesn't matter if it's quad-biking, raving, firearms, playing thrash-metal or smoking.
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Phipplebert

Post by Phipplebert »

''So the point I'm making is that if you have some hobby that is likely to annoy other people, make sure you do it in a remote place. It doesn't matter if it's quad-biking, raving, firearms, playing thrash-metal or smoking.''

So judging people you don't know, obviously doesn't fit into your remit of annoying other people.....
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Post by Pighunter »

Gutted - now I must be public enemy No.1 as since my Jeep popped a core plug in the bell housing in July and due to les garagistes holidays, rusted nuts (not in my pants!) etc it still isn't fixed, so I am getting around on a quad with Bullet in a box behind. I suppose that the saving grace is that I do use it agriculturally on my land.

A hunter on a quad - can it get any worse? Thank heavens I'm remote.

Do I care - no, it's all legal and I'm having a great time and have yet to be confronted by anyone unhappy with my happiness! It's also useful for winching dead pigs up mountains.

PS the wine's very good Jon................only thing is it makes my tongue stick to my cheek.

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Post by martyn94 »

Phipplebert wrote:'

So judging people you don't know, obviously doesn't fit into your remit of annoying other people.....
Why on earth should you have to know someone to regard their chosen recreation as noisy and selfish (as well as silly and futile and a few other things)?
Phipplebert

Post by Phipplebert »

Because you don't know the reason why I was looking at buying a quad; if it was for recreation or for business, what type of quad, when I might ride, whom I may or may not ride with, on which land I was predominantly considering riding, what experience I have of riding quads...etc etc etc. I feel those answers do all make a difference.
Anyway, we have deviated from the original question, so I'll leave that there. If anyone has any more advice in terms of the legal aspects of registering or permitted use let me know.
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Post by Pighunter »

I don't like generalising about races because of course there are good and bad, narrow minded and open minded, beggars and thieves and good citizens amongst all of them.

However I do remember that when I was motorcycle touring extensively in the 80s it was noticeable that many drivers in the UK would drive so as to block you from passing them, whilst many in France would drive on the rough to let you pass easily. In towns and villages the disapproving looks and 'We don't let bikers drink here' attitude in pubs, were on the contrary smiles and waves from pedestrians and warm welcomes even in up market establishments.

That amongst other things warmed me to France a long time ago.

I am pleased to say that since buying the quad in July I have had much the same response here.

The author of this post is showing responsibility in trying to find out what is and what is not permissable, unlike the idiots who regularly ride trail bikes up the footpaths on my land which are for foot traffic only. Full marks to her.

Yes of course we should all express and be entitled to our opinions and the suggestion that we stick to remote areas is undoubtably a sensible one, noisy and selfish are views I can accept, but 'silly and futile' to me sums up the know it all and holier than thou attitudes I had hoped to leave behind in the UK, but which obviously are alive and well with some here in France.

Doubly irritating when aimed at someone who is trying to do the right thing and act responsibly.
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Post by Santiago »

Fair enough. I read into the posts that Celine was interested in knowing whether she could ride a quad on farm tracks for recreation.

I'm not judging anyone on this forum, I'm criticising the behaviour of those who tear around on quads on other people's countryside tracks. If that doesn't or will not apply to you, there's no need to feel (pre)judged.

As Pighunter points out, there is a tendency to tar everyone with the same brush if it involves something that can be annoying and/or dangerous. There are, as we know, far more responsible hunters, bikers, cyclists, rottweiller-owners etc. than reckless ones but guess which ones make the news.
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Post by martyn94 »

Phipplebert wrote:Because you don't know the reason why I was looking at buying a quad; if it was for recreation or for business, what type of quad, when I might ride, whom I may or may not ride with, on which land I was predominantly considering riding, what experience I have of riding quads...etc etc etc. I feel those answers do all make a difference.
Anyway, we have deviated from the original question, so I'll leave that there. If anyone has any more advice in terms of the legal aspects of registering or permitted use let me know.
I know as much as you told us: your original question was this:
"Or are there designated tracks you can use or not. Does one have to have the landowners permission or can you just roam? "

That seemed to me to imply a desire on your part to "just roam" on the quad you do not yet have, which answers enough of your new questions to allow me, in my mind, the unflattering thoughts I expressed. That is, of course, not a judgement on any other use of quads: if you want to drag dead pigs from otherwise-inaccessible places, be my guest: I am pretty certain that I will be out of earshot.
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Post by Allan »

It so annoys me that someone cant ask a straightforward question without being flamed.

This web site has various links to Quad associations, they may be able to help.

http://www.clubpolaris.fr/fr/liens+utiles.htm
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Post by martyn94 »

Allan wrote:It so annoys me that someone cant ask a straightforward question without being flamed.
I don't see that anyone was flamed for asking a question. People had views about what the OP seemed to want to do. One of the bizarre things about quad riding as a recreation is that riders are so cut off from the world around them - by their helmet and by their own din. If you are a potential bystander, it is hard to pass up the chance to speak to a rider when they are able to listen.
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Post by interiors66 »

[quote="martyn94"]

" One of the bizarre things about quad riding as a recreation is that riders are so cut off from the world around them - by their helmet and by their own din."

as a quad rider ( and motorbike rider , car driver etc) i would like to point out that i also use my other senses to keep in touch with the world around me whilst riding or driving these vehicals , mainly my vision , how bizarre!
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Post by blackduff »

interiors66 wrote:
martyn94 wrote:
" One of the bizarre things about quad riding as a recreation is that riders are so cut off from the world around them - by their helmet and by their own din."

as a quad rider ( and motorbike rider , car driver etc) i would like to point out that i also use my other senses to keep in touch with the world around me whilst riding or driving these vehicals , mainly my vision , how bizarre!
The lack of the ears hearing what's coming behind is the biggest problem. I've riden bike for quite a few years and I had to always my hearing at the biggest "Sense" to keep me safe. When I'm riding, I cannot keep my eyes behind the bike so the ears were needed.

As a quad driver, a motorcycle driver and even a auto driver will be a better driver, if the ears are working too. I've seen lots of bike riders carrying ipods and listening to loud music. What a stupid method of "Hearing" when you cannot keep aware of a car coming behind.

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Post by interiors66 »

I couldn't agree more blackduff
But Martyn94 seemed to suggest that because someone's hearing was restricted they were not aware of what was going on around them.
Before living here I commuted into Central London daily on a motorbike and I was reliant on all my senses and just because I was wearing a helmet or my bike was louder than the Mondeo next to me I still could here the emergency services approaching , my point is I am always aware of my soroundings whether on the road or off road
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Post by rogb »

A small point about forest tracks is that their use by the public is often banned in summer due to the fire risk.
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Post by martyn94 »

interiors66 wrote:I couldn't agree more blackduff
But Martyn94 seemed to suggest that because someone's hearing was restricted they were not aware of what was going on around them.
I think I was being too subtle. If you are using a vehicle for trips you need to make from A to B, you make the best of what you've got: if your car/bike/quad is noisy, you look out more carefully to compensate for what you do not hear. But if you are out in the countryside for recreation, I cannot think of anything much more mad than to do it on a very noisy machine which requires noise-deadening safety equipment, and a high level of concentration on the machine. If I want the thrill of powerful machinery between my legs, I sit on my washing machine when it is doing a fast spin; otherwise I go for a walk or ride my push-bike.
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Post by Sue »

Personally I think what anybody rides, whether it be tricycle, bicycle, moped, motorbike, quad or car is entirely up to them as long as they do it responsibly and safely. To my mind the most inconsiderate drivers are those who own a 4 x 4.
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Post by Pighunter »

OK so we now know everyone's views on quads and I hope we've all had our say because frankly they aren't going to change anything and it is all starting to become rather dull. There are various viewpoints and we aren't going to agree and irrespective they are here to stay until someone decides to change the law.

So back to the original question, I asked a friend back in England who is a keen off roader and visits me often down here, has done his research and makes every effort to comply with the laws. This is his response:

Re “WHERE CAN YOU RIDE QUADS” as usual Spain (and France) are sufficiently vague to make if difficult to give a definitive answer.
The rule used to be any tracks 3 metres wide, except those which were blocked (eg a chain) or had an official looking NO ENTRY sign.

But fire breaks, national parks, river beds and logging roads were always out of bounds, except when they formed part of general tracks which went somewhere, or where signposted as being accessible to motor vehicles.

It is getting more difficult in Spain as the number of people riding quads, off roaders and 4 x 4 s has increased dramatically, and therefore so has the number of objections to this past-time. Same as in UK

What you definitely cannot do is just ride off the proper paths (at least wide enough for a car) or onto private land (without owners permission).

I think that the rule of common sense applies really. If it looks like a road, but just without tarmac, and it looks like it goes somewhere where the public might want to go, then you are probably ok.
Best solution is always to talk to someone local, who knows about these things. I think that the fines are quite heavy in Spain. You have to think along the lines of “ would this route have been used by the locals before they main roads were built, or are they still using these routes now”.

The other problem in Spain is that you may be on a legal pathway up into the mountains, but the locals, having had their fair share of idiots just blasting around their land, might just decide to force you (by gunpoint) to turn around and go back. Always a good idea to turn back when you hear the sound of the duelling banjos.

Another thing to bear in mind is the time of year. If you look up the stats for shooting accidents in France and Spain quite a large percentage of those injured of killed have been motorcyclists or quad riders who have been mistaken for a piggy or other shootable animal.

Also as has already been pointed out access is denied at certain times of year due to fire risk.

In France it is just as vague, as the randonee routes are not for motorised traffic, except where they cross onto paths used by motorised traffic. Also, technically those paths marked with the green signs (DFCI) indicate fire roads used for fire trucks only 80% are out of bounds but most people in France don’t know this. See also

http://www.quadeursdusudouest.fr/forum/ ... -t975.html

Pressure has meant that lots of these tracks have now been closed, but a couple of years ago, in an effort to stop a lot of costs and stress, the French Government, amazingly, came out with a statement that most of these paths, wide enough for a vehicle, were there to allow the public to get to where they wanted to go to do what they wanted to do, whether it was farming, hunting or bird watching. Therefore they exist as access roads and should be treated as such. Whatever vehicle you drive on these access roads makes no difference. And if the path happens to be private then the owner should block it off or apply to have an official no access or no entry sign to be placed at the beginning of the path. So maybe things in France are more clear cut than they used to be. At least this stopped the anti-vehicle brigade for a while.

I think that the problem is that a lot of people think of getting a quad as they imagine they can just go anywhere like they can in the US. Bashing through forests, deep mud etc , but this is just not a reality in Western Europe. In the main, the nature of a path used by motorised vehicles means that it is passable with motorised vehicles, so it will never be that extreme (although you do get a few which have just fallen into disrepair, but are still listed as public rights of way.)

So as usual, as clear as mud.
Phipplebert

Post by Phipplebert »

Thanks for the bits of advice in the last few posts.

Pig hunter that's quite an interesting read and whilst I agree it's somewhat vague it does definitely help me as where I am considering I think fits in the remit of usable on a quad.

I will definitely bare in mind the time of year as that makes complete sense and summer wise I wouldn't be out due to the heat as it wouldn't work for me but I agree hunting wise it's definitely worth remembering and maybe purchasing something in beautiful day glow orange anyway ;)

Martin; I'm not sure sitting on a washing machine would fulfil the purpose for which I am considering a quad but whatever floats your boat :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Post by Pighunter »

For anyone interested I recently found a leaflet on this subject from the ONCFS and here is a link to it on their website:

http://www.oncfs.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/circul ... r_2009.pdf

Not a huge amount of detail but it provides a useful summary.
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