When you’re looking for an ATV for kids to ride, there are a few things you probably think about first. Safety for your kids, and price for your wallet. Every year youth ATVs are getting cheaper and cheaper, and more features are being added to keep them safe. Another thing you want to keep in mind though is what type of youth ATV you’re looking at based off their age and skill level.
Taking the ATVs out for an afternoon is an excellent family bonding activity. It gets the kids out of the house, away from their screens, and creates great memories as a family. So where do you start? Well, you have to know what type of machine you feel safe with your kids riding depending on their age.
Types Of Youth ATVs
ATVs come in all different shapes and sizes now a days, and it might seem daunting to pick the one that fits your child best. In the end, you have to do what you feel is best for your kid, but here are some tips to help you out.
If your child is under six years old, or has never ridden before, it might be best if they get started out on an all electric type ATV or a small 50cc gas ATV. If they have a little more experience, or if they’re older, you may be looking at a gas powered quad, dune buggy, or side by side.
The dune buggy style is great for safety. Most of them come with a secure harness or seat belt, which a lot of stand alone four wheelers don’t. You will also have the added benefit of a roll cage to protect the rider in case of a roll over incident.
These type of dune buggy machine can usually grow with the kid too. For instance, this Polaris Ace 150 can be set to only go 10 mph. Until your childs experience grows, then you can adjust as you see fit. It will max out around 30 mph, which is plenty of speed for any daredevil kids you have.
The all electric type ATVs come in a variety of styles and colors for any kid to get the look they prefer. Most of them are only a few hundred dollars, and you can buy them straight off Amazon (link to electric youth ATVs) and have them shipped to your house.
These aren’t great for taking them on a trip with the family to the trails because the batteries die, and they aren’t fast enough to keep up most of the time. But they are safe, and perfect for dinkin around the yard. They’re great for getting them used to riding at a young age. But, they are basically just toys.
Another option that you can buy directly from Amazon is a gas powered youth ATV. A lot of these are around 110cc and less than a grand. They are mostly made in China, and some are of questionable quality. But kids grow quick, and these usually last longer than it takes them to outgrow it.
If you’re looking for something more like an adult ATV or quad, just a smaller size for children. Then look at the Honda TRX90X or the Yamaha YFZ50. Honda and Yamaha have been around for a long time, and have always been known for making quality machines. These are no different.
The Honda TRX90X is an 86cc 4 stroke engine with a manual shift transmission and an automatic clutch. This is great for getting them used to having to switch gears, without them having to know how to use a clutch. You can limit the throttle when the kids are younger, and increase it slowly as their skills improve.
The Yamaha YFZ50 is a 50cc single cylinder engine. This is smaller than the Honda, so naturally it’s better for the younger ones. It has an electric start and a kick start for easy start up for the kids. These little quads go for a couple thousand, but they’re strong machines worth the money.
The great thing about either of these two machines is that they are well built and have great resell value. So when your kids do outgrow it, you can turn around and sell it for a decent price. Plus they will keep up with the grown ups on the trail, as long as you’re patient enough to ride with them.
Any way you decide to go, your child will learn about independence, responsibility, and consequences. It’s a great way for children to improve their motor skills and reflexes. They will have a blast turning, steering, stopping, accelerating, and cornering. Not to mention, it’s a great way to bond with the kiddos.
What To Look For
Finding the right size of ATV for your child is a lot easier than you may think. All of the ATVs have suggested age groups. But age groups may not be the most accurate every time. Some kids are big or small for their age, so I like to go by height of the child. Below 3 ft tall and I would suggest an electric type or small 50cc. If they are around 3 ft or taller, I made a little chart to help you out.
Getting your child the right size ATV for them is important for safety reasons, but also for how much fun they will have. If the machine is too big for them and they can’t handle the power, it can be really dangerous. But at the same time if you get them something too small and under whelming, they will lose interest real quick.
This one isn’t as important, but everyone wants to be riding something they like the looks of. They make utility style ATVs in kids sizes, but also quicker looking race quad style. Some kids like the side by sides so they can bring a friend easily.
When they start getting above 3 – 4 feet tall going riding together starts getting more fun, and the safety gear gets more intricate. A lot of kids like their gear to match the look of their quad. That’s just something to think about while you’re looking for an ATV for them.
It’s worth it to look for something that has a decent safety record. Side by sides or dune buggy’s should have seat belts or harness’s. Most ATVs designed for kids will have a speed limiter. This way you can adjust how fast or slow you want the machine to be able to go.
More important than the safety of the machine, is the safety gear you wear while riding. Kids should be wearing a helmet, goggles, and boots at the very least. To learn more about safety gear for kids and to see some of the gear I recommend check out this Best Protective Gear For Kids Article.
We have always gone with Yamaha, Honda, Polaris, or any other well known ATV manufacturer. The quality for us is what makes it worth it. Get the right size quad for your child, and you have an awesome activity the whole family can do together. The electric ones were great when the kids are 2-4 years old. But after that, you want to get them out on the trails.
I suggest that once they’ve outgrown the electric ATVs, you go into a local shop and let them actually sit on a few machine to see how they like it. That way you can get a feel for what style they like and go from there. If you do end up going for a cheap knock off from Amazon, buy at your own risk. I have heard horror stories trying to get any support if something goes wrong. But for the most part, it looks like those types of quads are easy to assemble and work fine right out of the box.
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