QUADRO at HAT, mission accomplished
The 2017 edition of Hardalpitour, the event notorious for the particularly challenging weather conditions, has just concluded. This year’s tour included the participation of the Swiss company QUADRO, taking part with two teams on its four-wheeled scooters, not the usual vehicles that we write about on these pages but, as we always say, it’s the spirit that counts.
Captained by Riccardo and Roberto Marabese, the two teams rode the 520 km of the HAT Classic from San Remo to Sestiere in the saddle of standard production vehicles.
Lining up alongside many “normal” (or at least two-wheeled) Enduro bikes, the Swiss brand’s decision to take part with production line vehicles must be seen as a huge act of courage if we consider the genuine risk of failure.
Roberto Marabese, designer at the company, explained in person what led QUADRO to take part in this event. “The sense of the challenge, obviously.
The desire to explore the full potential of our four-wheeled scooter.
The QUADRO4 was born as an urban vehicle, but it has demonstrated an ability to cope with a range of different terrains. We were all sure of the quality of the mechanical side, though we had some doubts about how well the rigid structure would fare, seeing as it’s a city scooter. But it managed to stand up to the pretty tough punches that the course threw at us along the way.”
The sense of a challenge obviously
“The six scooters were all production models, but there was one Steinbock version fitted the touring accessories. We are thinking of exhibiting the bike used for this adventure at the EICMA in November. On all of the other vehicles we put winter tyres and a pair of extra headlights. That’s all, no modifications to the mechanical side or anything else.”
The influence of the weather “Eleven hours of rain is a real nightmare,” explained Marabese, “with mud, churned up ground, stony surfaces, fog, cold. The night-time temperature dropped to two degrees… hanging on for 25 hours was crazy, but we didn’t give up. I can say that we could have reached the destination even sooner but we chose not to push it because some us only had limited experience of off road riding. So we were really satisfied to hear positive comments from other riders. They couldn’t believe their eyes and some pointed out that our traction was awesome. In fact, our vehicles can move through mud without any problems. It’s worth remembering that QUADRO4 has two driving wheels and is supported on four wheels.”
“Concerning mechanical problems, we punctured a tyre, lost a screw, and broke a wing mirror. Overall, the experience was very positive, we had a great time and the result we achieved makes us want to try again. Maybe we’ll do even better with more equipment or with some fine-tuning. Usually for the design tests we use the track. Broadening the scope a bit, without becoming obsessively competitive, is something I wouldn’t mind doing”