What’s the Average Cost of an ATV Repair? DIY vs. the Shop?

Repairs are a reality of owning an ATV at some point, especially if you enjoy riding frequently, and when it comes time to do those repairs, you can do two things. You can either take your ATV to the shop and have your problems handled for you or do it yourself. But which one is the better option overall?

Learning how to do repairs yourself will be more cost-effective. When taking your ATV to the shop, you are paying for the labor of someone else fixing your machine. It makes sense to at least learn how to repair simple issues at home for significant cost savings.

We will be going over the cost differences between DIY and mechanic repairs and explaining how to fix common repairs. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to read on!

Knowing Your Machine 

There is a saying that time is money, and it isn’t entirely wrong. Finding the perfect balance of cost savings while not losing too much time is something not many people think about. 

Oftentimes people tip to one extreme or the other. On one side, you have the people who take their machine to a mechanic over the slightest issue while the other insists that you should know how to do everything. 

There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with either side to an extent, but we think for most people incorporating a little bit of both mindsets is healthy. An ATV is a complex feat of engineering with a lot going on at once, and if one thing fails, you are likely going to end up with something non-functional, barely functional, or cause long-term damage. 

Because of this, we strongly recommend that folks have an understanding of common ATV repairs or maintenance procedures rather than completely relying on a service. Of course, we aren’t saying you should never go to a mechanic, but there are certain repairs that most people can do cheaply without much time or effort as long as you have a manual and the proper tools. 

Now, of course, you shouldn’t attempt something you aren’t comfortable with as that can spell trouble. It’s always worth it, in the end, to let a professional handle more intermediate/advanced repairs if that’s what you feel you need. 

Two Key Repairs/Maintenance Procedures Everyone Should Know

Below we will be going over the easiest repairs for the average person to do and compare the cost of doing it yourself versus having a mechanic do it for you. Some of these are part of an overall tune-up session, so don’t be afraid to let a shop handle the ATV equivalent of a check-up if you feel that it will be too time-consuming for you. 

Air Filter Change

With how often ATVs get dirty due to the environment they are in, you will need to change the air filter. This is both the least expensive and easiest ATV maintenance you’ll do besides washing it. 

The air filter is a simple but crucial aspect of your ATV. It is what keeps dirt and debris from clogging up your engine, allowing it to perform at its best. Dirty air will not only hamper performance, but it will also cause wear and tear on the engine, which you absolutely do not want considering just how expensive an engine repair can be. 

How often you need to clean/change the air filter will be dependent on what kind of riding you are doing. If you are getting dirt/mud all over the ATV, the chances are that the air filter is dirty and needs to be cleaned. While it is a blast to get dirty, which is one of the things great about riding, this will rapidly diminish the quad’s lifespan if neglected.

Do yourself a huge favor, ensure you are regularly inspecting and changing/cleaning your ATV’s air filter. You can buy pleated paper filters from anywhere between $10 – $25. Replacing the filter at a shop is typically part of a full-service tune-up, which can be anywhere from $100 – $400 depending on how much is being done. 

Keep in mind you don’t have to swap out the filter every time you check on it. You should be able to clean it at least a few times until it becomes permanently stained and dirty. We recommend staying stocked up on air filters if you can so you are ready to go for your next ride. 

So, how do you change the air filter yourself? It’s quite easy, actually!

  1. Lift the seat. Typically, the air filter is located below the seat, and spotting it is as simple as lifting it and checking underneath for the filter housing. Once you’ve located that, remove the bolts and lift the filter out.
  2. Clean the filter. You can skip this step if you need to do a replacement. There are two effective ways to clean an air filter. You can either put it in your dishwasher on the hottest setting or put it in your washing machine – also on the hottest setting. After it is cleaned, you can then put it in the dryer. 
  3. Apply air filter oil. This will help air pass through all that dirt you’ll be kicking up. The oil clings to the filter, and the debris will stick to that oil rather than the air filter itself. You’ll want to make sure that you are spraying the entire thing thoroughly. You can buy K&N Air Filter Cleaning Kit on Amazon.
  4. Stick the air filter back in. After you are done, you are ready to put the filter back where you found it and secure the bolts. 

As you can see, it’s quite a simple process relatively speaking and is one of the most important regular maintenance tasks you’ll be doing-especially if you love to get dirty. If you have ever wondered why your ATV isn’t kicking as it used to when you twist the throttle, a filthy air filter might be the cause. 

Oil Change

You hear all the time that changing a vehicle’s oils is a crucial part of maintaining it, and for a good reason. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “a well-oiled machine,” that’s exactly what fresh oil does for an engine. It ensures that the motor’s moving parts are properly lubricated, allowing them to move freely without resistance. 

Old oil causes what is known as engine sludge and blocks the flow of oil. An engine that isn’t properly lubricated is prone to overheating and warping, which means expensive damages down the line if it is continued to be neglected. 

Changing the oil is a less complicated and messy procedure than it is with a car. Given its size, an ATV doesn’t hold as much oil as a car, which has a full gallon of dirty oil draining out when doing an oil change job. On the other hand, an ATV only holds about a quart, making the disposing situation easier, and if you do end up making a mess, it’s not nearly as bad. 

For this reason, we recommend just doing it yourself if you can. The process overall should take about 20 minutes or so once you get used to it.

As far as cost goes, you can expect to pay $30 to buy a gallon of oil and $7 for an oil filter. A shop oil change is usually $50. You can do up to 4 oil changes depending on your ATV’s size for the cost of one shop oil change. Going back to the shop 4 times can cost you up to $200 – that’s quite the difference!

Here’s how you can change your ATV’s oil:

  1. Run the engine.  The first step you’ll want to do is run the engine. This will get the oil warm/hot allowing it to flow much easier out of the engine. It should take about 10 minutes for the oil to rise in temperature.
  2. Remove the oil filter. ATV’s can differ, so check the manual if you aren’t sure where you can access the oil filter. In most cases, you’ll have to remove the seat, pull the latch, snap off the panel on the right side, and remove the bolts to loosen the cover. After the cover has been removed, you’ll see the dipstick and oil filter. 
  3. Clean the dipstick and around the opening. Clearing out as much of the old oil as possible will help keep both debris and the bad oil from getting into the engine. 
  4. Drain the oil. You’ll want to wear gloves for this part, specifically safety gloves if you have them, but rubber gloves work too. The oil will be quite warm if not hot, and you don’t want that getting on your bare skin. Consult your manual to find the drain plug, place your drain pan under it, and loosen the plug with a socket to allow the oil to fall out. Remove the oil filter when all the old oil has expelled.
  5. Add the new oil. Put the drain plug back where it was and tighten it enough to secure but not overly so. Next, take the new filter and add oil to the O-ring, and place and screw it in, ensuring it is tight enough with a wrench. Place the oil funnel on the new filter and pour the amount of oil that your ATV can hold – remember, consult the manual if you don’t know! 
  6. Put everything back. Now it’s just a matter of reversing what you have done by putting the cover, panel, and seat back where they were.

Don’t forget to dispose of the oil properly. People who attempt to do an oil change for their car oftentimes have a tough time with this part, and it’s no wonder why. For one, it is straight-up illegal to dispose of used motor oil correctly because it clings to everything it touches and can contaminate water – this means pouring it down drains and tossing it into a body of water is a no-go.

Luckily, you don’t have as much oil on your hands with an ATV after the job is done, and like with used oil from a car, you can properly recycle your ATV’s oil. If you were using a drain pan, you might be able to close it to contain the oil for easy transportation – if not, you can either pour it back into the original container it came in or a suitable plastic container. 

One important factor to note is that motor oil that has been mixed with other fluids is not recyclable, so ensure it is nothing but pure oil. If all is good, you can simply hand it off to your nearest AutoZone or other similar shops. 

Wrapping Things Up

These, in our opinion, are the most important things for an ATV owner to know how to do themselves. Just being able to do these 2 maintenance procedures alone puts you at a significant advantage when it comes to keeping your ATV running well. In fact, just knowing that these things have to be done is great in general – there are too many examples of heavily used ATVs in bad shape due to them being poorly maintained.

If you would like to learn more about how to keep your ATV running well, keep on reading to learn more!

Should You Do a Tune-Up Yourself?

You might be wondering at what point is it a good idea to let a professional handle repairs. For starters, if you are buying a used ATV, it is probably a good idea to give it a tune-up. What does this include? Quite a bit! 

  • Cleaning and lubing ATV Chain
  • Checking and replacing spark plugs
  • Flushing cooling system
  • Checking and replacing oil silencer if needed
  • Checking and adjusting the valves
  • Flushing braking systems
  • Oil checking and replacing the old oil for new oil
  • Inspecting and adjusting the cables and lubes
  • Cleaning or replacing a dirty oil filter 
  • Inspecting the ATV to look for anything wrong
  • Adjusting the optimal air-pressure for the tires
  • Checking and adjusting compression levels

If you consider ATV repairs a hobby in and of itself, you’ll have a blast learning how to repair the many aspects of these wonderful machines. However, this definitely isn’t for everyone – most people want an ATV to ride and not spend hours learning everything and even more hours doing all of these things hands-on.

As we mentioned earlier, a tune-up will run you anywhere from $100 – $400, depending on how many of these steps are being done. Of course, a professional will know how to efficiently get your ATV running its best while you won’t have to lift a finger. You also have to consider that you didn’t have to buy any replacement items. Overall, there are certain things that are just best left to the pros for most people.

You could save upwards of $250 – $300 doing a full tune-up on an ATV yourself, but if you aren’t confident or don’t feel like it, there is absolutely no shame in bringing it into the shop. In fact, if you snagged yourself a used ATV at a good price, even $400 for a full tune-up to ensure it runs perfectly can be a steal.

Changing Your Tires  

Like cars, ATVs need tire changes at some point, which means that tire replacement costs need to be factored in. When you have to change your tires is dependent on where you are riding, how you are riding, and what type of tires you have. 

If you are riding off-road like many, if not most people do, you’ll get quite a bit of life out of your ATV’s tires. This is due to the very nature of off-road tires. Big treads mean less rubber touching the ground, and softer terrain means less wear. Riding around on the road eats tires because of that continuous contact with such a hard surface. 

If you keep your ATV strictly off-road, you can expect to get anywhere between 5 -10 years when riding off-road and 1-2 years on-road. 

When it is time to swap your ATV’s tires, how much will this cost, and is it worth just doing it yourself? In truth, it might be best just to take it to the shop, depending on how much they are charging. Of course, you’ll have to buy your own tires, which can be anywhere from $50 – $450 per wheel depending on exactly what kind of tire it is and the quality level. All-terrain and mud tires are the least expensive while hard, or Rock Crawler and Sand tires cost the most. 

When it comes to mounting the ATV tires, your local shop can shoot you a rate anywhere from $5-$25 per tire. It’s good to call around to see if you can get a low price before deciding. 

Again, whether or not you want to change the tires will depend on if you even want to do it in the first place. DIY tire repairs can be done, but they aren’t entirely risk-free, and you can be doing some damage if things don’t go well. Why is this? It’s mainly due to how ATV tires are fitted onto the wheels. 

Why Is It Challenging to Change an ATV Tire?

The main challenge of changing a tire is caused by what is known as “the bead.”

Inside the rim, there is a bump; this bump is known as the “bead retainer.” On the flipside, tires have a “tire bead” that includes a steel cable that goes around the tire’s entire loop. 

The purpose of these mechanics is to prevent the tire from sliding around when riding. Many people do hard riding where they are sliding around, hitting bumps, and doing jumps – mostly apparent in sport ATVs, but stability is key for off-roading in general. 

This bead mechanic is great for riding, but unfortunately, it makes DIY repairs a challenge. The main hurdle separating the tire from the rim in general, otherwise known as “breaking the bead.” Tire shops have expensive tire changing machines that can efficiently swap out tires, but the average ATV owner is highly unlikely to have this in their garage, leaving them with more…brutal options. 

First off, if you are doing a DIY tire change, we can only recommend using a Bead Buster for the job. It is the least likely to cause damages; unfortunately, it is not the cheapest of tools. This BeadBuster, for example, is over $100, which can potentially be a more expensive way to change your tire rather than having a shop do it for you. 

It’s going to be up to you on what route you want to take. Considering tires can last a considerable amount of time and most professional tire changes aren’t too costly – we would say that the DIY option is recommended for most people. 

Don’t forget you’ll also invest in a tire jack to lift the ATV up to make changing the tire possible, which can also run you over $100. 

If you would like to know the step by step process of changing your ATVs tires, we will break down how it would be done. 

How to Change an ATV Tire

Your biggest obstacle will be taking the old tire off of the wheel and putting the new one on. Past that, it is a relatively easy process as long as you have the proper tools on hand. 

  1. Jack up the ATV.  On level ground, use a jack to lift up the ATV, securing it with jack stands. 
  2. Remove the wheels. With a 4-way lug wrench, separate the wheels from the ATV.
  3. Break the bead. This is either a painful process or an easy one depending on what tool you are using. If you are using a Bead Buster, it will break the tire bead allowing the tire to be removed with a tire iron. 
  4. Remove the tire. Using 2 tire irons with protective plastic, wedge the first tire iron between the wheel and tire, lifting the tire over the wheel lip. Doing the same with the second tire iron, continue going around the wheel, lifting the tire over the wheel lip. You should be able to separate the tire from the wheel after this easily. 
  5. Clean the wheel lip. Wash off any debris, dirt, sand, etc. To get a good cleaning, you can use a wire brush for any dirt that refuses to come off. If there is any rust, it’ll have to be removed with either a wire brush or a flathead screwdriver. Ensure you are getting both sides of the rim around the entire perimeter of the wheel. 
  6. Lube the rim and new tire. This will help the tire slide onto the rim. You can use soap and water on the bead retailer but don’t use WD-40 as it can cause damage to the tire’s rubber. 
  7. Mount the new tire on the wheel. This can also be tricky since you’ll have to ensure the tire is locked in place with the bead correctly. Ensuring the tire is in the correct orientation and the wheel is flat on the ground, place the tire on top of the wheel and push down on both sides. The tire should slip onto the first bead. You may need to use a tire iron if you can’t get it on by hand. 
  8. Work on the second bead.  Step on the tire by the valve to start moving into place and work your way around the wheel. Once everything is in place, lock it in with a tire iron. 
  9. Inflate the tire.  Use a ratchet strap around the tire’s circumference, stand the tire up, and tighten the strap until the tire touches the lip of the rim. Now that the tire is ready to be inflated connect the inflator to the tire valve and inflate until it reaches 7-8 PSI.
  10. Mount the wheel onto the ATV. Lastly, mount the tire back, reversing the process of what you did when you removed it. 

In general, it’s not too bad of a project, although if you are doing this for the first time, you might come across frustrations and spend a lot of time ensuring everything is going well.

If you don’t want to do this, bring it to a shop, and you’ll have a new pair of tires without having to do anything. Like we stated previously, you don’t have to do something you aren’t confident about. 

Conclusion

You are likely to save money in the long run by doing repairs and maintenance procedures yourself, and there are certain basic things that everyone should know how to do, such as changing the oil and air filter.

 However, mechanics exist because not everyone is comfortable doing many of the repairs that an ATV requires and so bringing it to the shop is the best option. This is especially so if you need to do a full inspection and tune-up for a used/old ATV, there is a lot that might need to be done in this case and an inexperienced DIYer will have a lot on their hands.

Two-Seater ATV Guide | The 2up Four-Wheeler Option

ATVs, in general, are great machines that can be both fun and practical. If you plan to share the fun of off-roading, a two-seater ATV can provide fun for both people on the ride. But where do you even begin to look for the right ATV for your needs?

A 2up four-wheeler can come in different engine types, power, weight, and general build quality. You can buy a nice two-seater quad for around $6,300 to get your foot in the door up to powerful beasts with bells and whistles to boot for $15,000.

With so many makes and models, decisions aren’t easy! In this article, we will be going over the ins and outs of what to consider when purchasing a two-seater ATV in an easy-to-understand language. If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to read on!

What Is a Two-Seater ATV?

So, you want to buy a 2-seater ATV, but you don’t exactly know what it’s for or what it even is. Two-seater ATVs are designed to carry both the rider and a passenger. When looking at photos of them, it becomes apparent that they try to offer both parties comfort. Sporting relatively large seats both in the front and back, they can get you over lots of different types of terrain without wearing both the rider and passenger out.

What do people use two-seaters for? A variety of things:

  • Recreational riding
  • Transporting cargo
  • Towing
  • Transportation

These machines differ from sport ATVs, which are smaller, lighter, and designed for fast, extreme riding. Although you can do sporty riding on a certain two-seater provided, both parties consent to it and take the proper safety precautions, of course, such as wearing a helmet like this YEMA ATV Helmet. But if you plan on doing a lot of solo riding, they won’t be the best option for this purpose. 

Two-seaters are usually purchased for their versatility. If you want something to hit the trails or transport things, they will offer solo or duo riding, making them an overall great value.

Like with any ATV, 2ups come in various price points that differ in power, features, weight, and build quality. There is a lot to consider when choosing a 2up ATV, but in general, you should consider these key factors:

  • Reliability
  • Power
  • Functionality 
  • Value
  • Ride quality

You might be thinking how a 2up four-wheeler compares with a side-by-side ATV; after all, both are designed to carry two people and are often compared to one another.

ATV 2up Seat Conversion

You can convert a traditional utility ATV into a 2up, but first, check to see if this is legal in your area. If you are clear, you can find many seats on Amazon, such as this Black Boar Rear Lounger. You’ll need some tools to install, such as a 5/16-inch drill bit, a 7/16-inch wrench, and a grease pencil for marking.

The seat should be as far back as possible on the rack. The mountain locations should be on the bars that go from side-to-side and on the ones that go from front to back. Mark the underside of the seat where you’ll line up the backing plates and mark the holes that need to be drilled.

After drilling, take a U-bolt and position it under the rear rack facing up. Place the backing plate over the U-bolt and tighten by hand. Repeat the process for the other U-bolts included, tighten them completely with your wrench and install the seat.

This is the process for this particular product, but seats and installation methods will differ depending on your ATV and seat. 

2up Four-Wheelers vs. UTVs

We will briefly go over the differences between a 2up vs. an SXS and what purposes they fulfill. 

The first and most obvious difference is the riding/driving experience will be drastically different from one another. An SxS is essentially a small off-road car. You get a steering wheel, pedals, and gear shifters like you would in a car. Some people may prefer this as it is familiar, and they immediately know what to do when they hop into their new side-by-side. Plus, they are generally pretty comfortable, even the sport variants.  

Because of the very nature of a side by side, they are larger overall and can’t go into as many places as a quad ATV, which can mean less usage depending on where you intend to ride. They are also more expensive than an ATV and are not suitable for those looking to spend less than $10,000 on a new machine. 

However, if you do have the cash to throw down, you’ll find out just how versatile and fun they can be. Sport side by side can comfortably fit two people and generally have powerful motors. In terms of social, recreational “extreme” driving, they are a blast. 

If you are looking for a more practical reason to use an SxS, utility machines will be more comfortable sitting in for a prolonged time vs. sitting on a quad.

At the end of the day, there is no “better” choice overall. It entirely depends on your wants/needs and use case. A quad ATV is a unique experience, and you are getting more performance for the dollar in a smaller package that can go more places. On the flip side, a side by side is a familiar experience that offers great off-road capabilities and is more comfortable overall on longer drives for both the driver and passenger. 

What Level of Engine Displacement Do You Really Need?

If you are going in with a specific budget in mind, you’ll naturally want to pick the best option for your overall needs. Many people instantly jump to how much power they can get out of their targeted price range because, after all, whether you are looking for thrills or towing, most people initially want as many horses as they can get. But do you really need a beastly 1000 cc engine?

There are a lot of factors that go into how much power you really need for an ATV. For starters, you should consider if you are a beginner or an experienced rider. You’ll hear this pretty much everywhere when it comes to ATVs, dirt bikes, and street motorcycles: beginners should start easy. 

Why is this? Because the utmost most powerful ATVs are more difficult overall. It is easy to twist the throttle a little too much and get sent flying forward at a pace you did not expect, which can lead to disastrous consequences. This includes if you have experienced yourself but plan to share your ride with inexperienced people, you know.

We aren’t saying beginners should only buy the least powerful option – not at all. In fact, this isn’t a good idea IF you plan on pushing your vehicle once you get more experienced. We are just saying that someone new to riding hopping on a big 1000 cc quad isn’t the best introduction to riding. It can put you and your passenger in danger if you don’t respect the machine. 

We will walk you through the different cc (cubic capacity) levels to give you an idea of what to look for based on your intended usage.

400-550cc

Two-seaters require more power by default than lighter ATVs since they are meant to carry 400+ pounds worth of humans plus any other cargo you are trying to haul. On the lower end of the price spectrum for two-seaters, you can expect approximately 400cc engines.

These are great for both beginners and people who are just looking to ride the trails casually. Not everyone is particularly looking for monstrous power to go fast; many folks want to unwind and enjoy the great outdoors. If this sounds like you, not only will you be saving yourself money, but you won’t have to be paranoid about throttle control as much. 

These lower power two-seaters are also great for people who just need to get around and tow on a large land plot, i.e., a farm. And speaking of towing, it is worth mentioning that a bigger engine doesn’t mean it is automatically better at towing. If you are seeking this purpose out of an ATV, you will want to look at the manufacturer’s official tow capacity. 

It is also important to keep in mind how much both you, your passenger, and the ATV itself weighs, however. A 400cc engine on a heavy quad with two heavy people while hauling cargo will feel lackluster if you are hoping for at least a slight amount of pep. 

If you want more power, but not necessarily the fastest around, perhaps the middle of the road options are for you.

550-750cc

This is the range we recommend for most people, and we think this is where most people want to be in general. These quads are a little more expensive but usually stay in the range people expect to pay for a brand new two-seater ATV. 

Naturally, these quads will offer more excitement overall if that is what you are after, but they can also carry more things and generally have a better tow rating to boot. If you are a new rider and wanting something you can grow into later on, we definitely recommend going for the upper end of this range; just remember to learn your machine and don’t go out of your comfort zone. 

It’s also worth mentioning that more power helps when it comes to off-roading. ATV stands for all-terrain-vehicle, but not all machines are equal when it comes to their off-road capabilities. Are you looking to plow through mud and water? More engine power can seriously help when conquering harsher terrain, but this isn’t the only factor when it comes to off-road capabilities (more on that later). 

750-1000cc

If you want power and are confident you can handle it, then look no further. You are probably looking at closer to 850-1000cc in this power range, and this is going to offer you the thrills you are looking for. These powerful quads are not only fast, but they will be able to remain fast, even with 2 mid-sized adults on board.

As expected, you’ll be paying more for a powerful machine, as much as $15k if you are looking at an especially tricked out model with lots of bells and whistles. And speaking of that, that leads us into our next section.

What Features Do You Really Need?

ATVs are more than just 4 wheels, a seat, and an engine, these days. As computers are more commonly used in vehicles, many great advancements have been made to deliver a superior riding experience. What’s more, some quads offer extra storage, winches, and power steering.

Power-Steering

Out of all the features, we will go through. We think power-steering is overall the most important for everyone.

A quality riding experience is important; after all, you might be on your quad for quite some time, and the last thing you want is to tire out from steering on treacherous terrain. This is where power-steering comes in to help. You pay a premium for it, but we think it is very much worth it. 

How does power steering work? It essentially acts as a steering assistant. If the steering is electrically powered, an electric motor will assist your steering based on how much and how quickly you are turning. If the system is hydraulic, then the steering power is transferred from the engine to the steering wheel via hydraulic pressurized steering fluid. 

Electric power steering or EPS provides superior fuel economy and less maintenance overall, but both systems are significantly better than not having any steering assistance at all. We highly encourage that you consider that the model of ATV you are purchasing has some form of power steering – preferably EPS. We think you’ll find the bit of extra cost is worth it in the long run – especially if you are using your quad as a work vehicle. 

Winch

A winch helps those who are planning on doing extreme off-roading, and it can save you if you happen to get stuck in mud or water. ATVs are heavy, especially a 2up quad, which can weigh over 1000 pounds (454 kg) and so you are probably not pulling it out yourself once your machine has been locked in place at the mercy of mother nature.

Even if you don’t plan on plowing through knee-deep mud, a winch can still offer you peace of mind for light to moderate off-roading, but it likely isn’t going to be necessary. We can offer a safety tip to never blindly go into mud or water unless it is 100% obvious that it isn’t too deep. There have been countless people who come across a long stretch of muddy terrain and assume their quad can handle it and end up paying the price. 

It is generally recommended to have a winch if your ATV is for work purposes. There are many use cases for a winch other than getting yourself out of sticky situations, such as:

  • Falling a tree
  • Dragging a boat to shore 
  • Moving wood
  • Pulling fence posts
  • Removing obstacles in your path
  • Demolishing structures

As you can see, a winch can serve many purposes and so we recommend that you think about if there will ever be a situation where it might come in handy. It is better to have something and rarely need it than not having it at all when you do need it. 

Winter Options 

If you plan to use your ATV in a snowy climate, it might be worth it to invest in handy winter options. 

A biggie is a snow plow kit. If you have ever thought to yourself that you wish you could get rid of excess snow, then an ATV + snow plow kit is an excellent way to solve your snow problems. 2up ATVs, in general, are excellent plowing machines as they are heavy and are equipped with enough power to handle the job.

We also recommend considering the quality of life improvements such as heated grips to keep you cozy. A windscreen can protect you from snow getting all over your body, leaving you soaking wet at the end of a ride or work activity.

What Tires Do You Need?

The majority of people purchasing an ATV will be fine with the all-purpose stock tires it comes with until a tire change is needed. These tires are designed for non-extreme conditions, and as the name of the vehicle itself implies, they will be able to handle all types of terrain. 

But if you are going to be using your ATV in more specialized conditions such as snow and sand, you will want to think about what tires to purchase along with your quad. 

Sand

Sand is a very loose terrain, and to ensure you aren’t going to be spinning your tires without going anywhere, you will need a set of sand tires. Sand tires can be recognized by their slick appearance and large, spacious treads.

Mud

If you plan on getting dirty, you will need mud tires to help you get through moderate to deep mud puddles. The grip is king when dealing with mud, and so these tires have a unique design that allows them to crawl through the slippery substance. Mud tires can also be used in the snow, making them quite versatile. 

Off-Road 

Off-road tires are essentially an upgraded version of all-purpose tires. These are great for those who want just one tire for every terrain – a jack of all trades if you will. It’s a great upgrade option for those doing a little more than what an all-purpose tire can handle. 

If you’d like to learn more about this subject, we recommend checking out the video below:

What Are the Best ATV Brands?

The whole “X brand is best” is subjective but has merit if coming from a mostly unbiased perspective. In the car industry, you have brands known for their reliability and build quality and can be generally trusted not to be a maintenance nightmare. The same applies to ATV brands.

You have to ask yourself what you are looking for in a brand. Bang for buck? Top-notch build quality? The lowest prices on the market? All the bells and whistles you could ever want? It’s safe to say that you will eventually find an ATV that is calling your name, but it can take some digging and weighing your options before putting down your hard-earned money.

Below we will be going over a couple of our recommended brands and a few models that we feel will be great for most people. Keep in mind that these are recommendations that keep both power and features in mind. There are less expensive or similarly priced options that are also great, so we recommend shopping around these two companies’ websites. 

CAN-AM

If you are looking for technology, features, and power, Cam-Am is ready to show you what they can do with a utility ATV. 

Outlander Max XT 570

Suppose you are looking for a solid bang-for-buck 2up that offers a decent amount of power with very much appreciated features. The Outlander Max XT 570 is a great first choice. 

Featuring a 570cc engine outputting 48 hp will offer plenty of power for most people while being friendly enough for beginner riders. It also includes bells and whistles that we feel are almost a must-have, such as dynamic power steering and a 3,500-lb winch. It even has nifty handguards, which are always a welcome addition. 

Furthermore, suspension in the front and rear are independent, which offers a comfortable ride for both the rider and passenger. Can-Am lists this as a work ATV, but anyone can enjoy this quad whether you are hitting the trails with a buddy or gathering firewood. 

At a respectable price-tag price-tag, you are getting almost everything you could want, although it doesn’t excel at any one thing. Sure, you can find a more powerful ATV at this price, but it probably isn’t going to be as well-equipped, which is why we think this will be an excellent machine for most people looking for a 2up ATV. Although, if you do need something more exciting, Can-Am has you covered.

Outlander Max XT 1000R

One of the most notable aspects about Can-Am, in general, is that they offer the most horsepower in a 2up ATV thus far and so if that is what you are after, look no further than their 1000R models. 

Essentially, the Outlander Max XT is simply a (much) more powerful variant of the XT 570 we talked about above. You can also get 650 cc and 850 cc engines, but our focus here is to showcase just how monstrous a 2up can be. Sporting a whopping 91 horsepower, the 1000R is certainly thrilling, but it also sports intelligent throttle control so you can have power when you need it and when you don’t. 

It certainly is not a cheap ATV, but it is not the most expensive one you can find, either. If you don’t need all that power, there are also  650 cc and 850 cc variants.

Polaris

Polaris can be seen as a direct rival to Can-Am and is just as enticing in our eyes. There aren’t many brands that sell 2up ATVs in general, so it makes choosing one a bit easier than other ATV categories. Below we will share two models that we think will cover many people’s needs for both thrills and work. 

Touring 570 EPS

If you want value, it can certainly be found here. This 2up checks key areas that most people are looking for—power, features, and comfort. With electronic power steering, a 567 cc engine, independent front and rear suspension, and a towing capacity of 1,225-lbs ( 556 kg), this is a solid 2up all around. With a price of under $9,000, it makes for a relatively accessible purchase while not sacrificing key aspects. 

Furthermore, you can add features as you desire. If you want bumpers, mirrors, windshields, handguards, and a winch, you can add it. This is a versatile ATV overall for those who just want to do recreational riding and those who need to get work done. 

Sportsman Touring XP 1000

It wouldn’t be fair not to list one of Polaris’ models after we did it for CAN-AM. If you are determined that you want a powerful 952 cc engine that outputs 88 horsepower, this quad will certainly satisfy your off-roading needs.   

Along with brute force, the touring XP 1000 also features electronic power steering, mirrors, and aluminum wheels. It’s definitely a winner in the 2up ATV landscape.

The quad is close in price to the outlander Max XT 1000R, and there is a very similar 850 cc variant that is identical minus included mirrors and aluminum wheels.

Conclusion

2up ATVs are excellent machines that can be used for recreation or work while taking another person along for the ride. Choosing the right make and model for your needs will be important to have the best experience possible.

To make your decision easier, key aspects that we recommend most people look for are power steering and engine size of at least 500 cc. You can also add quality of life improvements such as handguards and mirrors to make your riding experience more enjoyable. Furthermore, a winch can come in handy even if you end up using it only once or twice. 

Lastly, ensure you are regularly maintaining your quad. Oil changes, changing tires, and cleaning are standard methods to keep your ATV running nicely. 

Registering an Offroad Vehicle | Tags, Plates, and Stickers

Getting a title and registration for an off-road vehicle is one of the first things an owner should do after the acquisition. However, US states have different processes for titling and registering such vehicles. So, the question is: how can you register your off-road vehicle in your state and acquire the necessary documents for operating it?

The process for registering an off-road vehicle varies in each state. In fact, there are even some states that don’t require the title and registration of ORVs in their jurisdiction. States also vary when it comes to certifying the registration, which includes stickers, decals, plates, and tags.

Responsible owners of off-road vehicles should have their machines titled and registered, especially now that it’s easier to have everything you need. We’ll discuss the processes you need to take in each state to register an ORV and get the necessary certification to ride your vehicle legally.

Registering an Off-Road Vehicle in Every US State

Generally, off-road vehicles (ORVs) can’t operate on paved roads. Additionally, no one can ride an untitled and unregistered ORV on public land. There are some exemptions to this rule because some states allow such vehicles’ operation even without registration. However, most states still require a permit to use it on public land designed for ORVs.

It varies from state to state, so we created a table for you to use as a reference in registering off-road vehicles and acquiring the necessary tags, plates, stickers, or permits to operate on public land legally. If you’re visiting another state, it would be best to acquire the necessary license even before you transport your vehicle.

StateOff-Road Vehicle Registration
AlabamaUnder Section 40-2A-7(a)(5), Code of Alabama 1975, owners can’t register off-road vehicles or have it titled unless they meet specific requirements. Operators aren’t required to possess a driver’s license or safety courses to operate an ORV.
AlaskaThe Division of Motor Vehicles states that off-road vehicles aren’t titled in Alaska, but owners may have their ORVs registered. Snow machines aren’t titled as well but must be registered unless it only operates on private property.
ArizonaArizona’s Off-Highway Vehicles and Boating Registration allows owners to purchase OHV decals by completing the Off-Highway Decal Application. This permit allows the owner to ride his ORV for a full year before requiring renewal.
ArkansasUnder the Arkansas Statutes Title 27, all owners of off-road vehicles must register within 30 days after the acquisition. He should provide satisfactory proof of ownership or a bond that costs 1.5 times the ORV’s market value.
CaliforniaThe OHV California State Parks requires all off-road vehicles to have the identification plate from the Department of Motor Vehicles or the “California Green Sticker.” Owners only need to register their vehicles once every two years.
ColoradoThe Colorado Parks & Wildlife requires all off-highway vehicles (OHV), including out-of-state vehicles, to be registered at any Colorado Parks & Wildlife office. The OHV permit is valid for one whole year and allows the owner to use it on any area designated for such vehicles.
ConnecticutThe Department of Motor Vehicles requires all OHV to have the registration plate affixed to the vehicle’s rear section. Owners are also required to display their registration numbers on both sides of the front section.
DelawareThe Division of Motor Vehicles requires all OHV to be registered by an owner at least 18 years of age or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The registration certificate for an off-road vehicle is valid for three years.
FloridaAs of July 1, 2020, all OHV owners must purchase their permits through ReserveAmerica.com. After the purchase, you can take your receipt to an OHV forest office to claim your registration sticker.
GeorgiaThe State of Georgia doesn’t register or title all off-road vehicles. Non-residents may operate their ORV for 30 days without registration, while visitors may operate for 90 days without registration, as long as it has a valid license plate from the home state.
HawaiiRegistration of off-road vehicles in Hawaii starts with the Application for Registration. The fee will depend on the registration personnel, and the owner needs to provide satisfactory proof of ownership to proceed.
IdahoYou can purchase your OHV certificate from the Idaho State Parks & Recreation website. You can also buy your registration sticker from ReserveAmerica.com.
IllinoisEvery ORV owner should visit their local Secretary of State Driver Services to apply for a title certificate. CyberDriveIllinois.com provides all the documentation needed for the registration and titling of off-road vehicles.
IndianaThe Bureau of Motor Vehicles handles all the registration and titling of OHV. You can visit a local BMV branch or visit their website to get full documentation on what you’ll need to register your OHV and acquire the necessary permits.
IowaThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources provides detailed documentation of everything you need for titling and registration. All ORVs that the owner operates in public areas need to have a registration decal affixed to the front section. He should also have the registration certificate at all times.
KansasIn Kansas, ORVs are treated as motor vehicles that require titling and registration. 3-wheel ORVs are registered as motorcycles, while 4-wheel ORVs are registered as passenger cars. To register your vehicle, you can visit the website of the Department of Revenue.
KentuckyAll ORVs in Kentucky are required to be titled, but they are not registered. You’ll need a completed TC 96-182 form with an attached photo ID to start applying for the title certificate.
LouisianaYou will receive a registration decal within 30 days after acquiring your ORV. However, according to the 2015 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes Title 32, if you want a title and registration for your ORV, the state won’t honor your application unless you have satisfactory proof that you’ve paid all sales tax.
MaineAll ORV registrations expire on June 30 in Maine. New registrations must be in front of an authorized agent. Residents and non-residents can complete the renewals of their ORVs through the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife’s website.
MarylandOwners of ORVs in Maryland should register their vehicles with the Department of Natural Resources annually. After the registration, you will receive a registration sticker that you need to affix to your ORV before riding it.
MassachusettsAll types of recreational vehicles in Massachusetts should be titled and registered. You can complete the process by visiting one of the local offices of the Boat and Recreation Vehicle Registration and Titling Bureau.
MichiganYou can acquire the title for your ORV through the Michigan Secretary of State. However, if you’re planning to use your vehicle on public land, you need to acquire an ORV decal from the Department of Natural Resources and renew it annually.
MinnesotaThe Department of Natural Resources handles all registration of off-road vehicles in the state. Registering and renewing should be done in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles.
MississippiAll ORVs with decals or plates declaring that the vehicle meets the Federal Safety Standards must be registered and titled through the state’s Department of Revenue. Without these decals and plates, Mississippi considers it a “toy vehicle” that can’t be titled or registered.
MissouriOwners have 30 days to pay all sales tax and acquire a title for their ORV. The Department of Revenue handles all titling and registration processes. They’ll also penalize owners who failed to title and register their vehicles before the 31st day.
MontanaResidents must register their ORV at the County Treasurer’s office where the owner resides. Non-residents can purchase an annual Nonresident Temporary Use Permit that expires every December 31.
NebraskaAll off-road vehicles are required to have a Certificate of Title before the owner can use it legally. To apply, the owner must submit one of the documents listed in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website to the County Treasurer’s office.
NevadaThe Nevada Off-Highway Vehicles Program manages all the registration and titling process for ORV owners. All off-road vehicles must be registered annually and have their registration decal affixed to the vehicle before operating on public land or designated areas.
New HampshireORV owners who are operating their vehicles outside their property should have it registered. New Hampshire Fish and Game manages the registration of ORVs and has provided detailed documentation on how you can register your vehicle.
New JerseyThe state doesn’t require owners to acquire a permit or license to operate an off-road vehicle. However, they should still have it registered, and the operator must adhere to the guidelines listed on the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s website.
New MexicoThe state requires all owners to register their vehicles at any Motor Vehicle Division Field Office. Owners who want to operate their ORVs on paved roads should also have a valid Paved Road Use decal. 
New YorkThe Department of Motor Vehicles handles all titling and registration processes for ORVs that operate in the state. They’ve also provided detailed documentation on vehicles that fall under this category and the registration process.
North CarolinaThe Department of Motor Vehicles processes all titles and registration for ORVs in their jurisdiction. However, the requirement to acquire the certification to operate depends on the type of vehicle you own.
North DakotaBefore operating on public land, every owner should have their vehicles registered through the state’s Department of Transportation. Non-residents should acquire Non-Resident Public Trails and Lands Access Permit before they can operate legally.
OhioAll ORVs come with a 30-day temporary tag that allows the owner to use the vehicle on public land. However, owners should submit all the documents listed on the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicle before the temporary tag expires.
OklahomaThe state requires all ORVs to be titled and registered before operating on public land. The owner should also pay all sales tax before he can even apply for a title and registration.
OregonVehicles should have operating permits (stickers) affixed to the front section before operating on public land. Anyone who owns an ORV can buy a permit on the State Parks’ online store.
PennsylvaniaThe state’s Department of Conservation & Natural Resources requires all ORV vehicles to be titled and registered before anyone can use it. Even if the owner will only use it on his property, he still needs to acquire a Limited Registration certificate for his vehicle.
Rhode IslandOperators don’t need a license or pass a safety course to ride an off-road vehicle. However, owners must have their vehicles registered with the Department of Environmental Management.
South CarolinaThe state’s Department of Motor Vehicles requires all off-road vehicles to be titled before operating on public land. The owner must submit all the documents listed on their website to complete the titling application.
South DakotaThe Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division requires all owners to have the Application for Motor Vehicle Title & Registration signed by an authorized agent with a Power of Attorney attached before getting an appointment for the registration.
TennesseeNot all ORVs qualify for a registration plate. You can refer to the Department of Revenue’s website for a list of vehicles that qualify for a plate, including the application’s processes.
TexasThe state categorizes ORVs as “unique vehicles,” and are required to be titled before they can operate on public land. However, vehicles designed for off-highway use aren’t eligible for registration. You can visit the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to check if yours fall into this category.
UtahThe Division of Motor Vehicles handles all ORV registrations. Before someone can operate, or even transport, an ORV on public land, the vehicle should have its OHV registration sticker affixed to it.
VermontRegistering an ORV for the first time should complete the entire Vermont Registration, Tax, and Title application. Once you have all the documents needed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, a registration plate will be assigned and mailed to you.
VirginiaOwners of new off-road vehicles that can displace more than 50cc should have their vehicles titled through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. However, owners aren’t required to have it registered, and they can still operate legally even without it.
WashingtonThe Washington State Department of Licensing has different registration and licensing processes for various off-road vehicles. You can refer to their website to make your ORV legal for on and off-road operation.
West VirginiaThe state’s Division of Motor Vehicles handles the registration of ORVs with the exemption of vehicles used for farming, commercial use, and use within the property. They also have detailed documentation of everything that an owner needs to learn before riding an ORV.
WisconsinThe 2019 Wisconsin Act 183 expanded the models of ORVs eligible for registration. Before having it registered with the Department of Transportation, a vehicle should already have the registration decals and plate affixed to its rear and front sections.
WyomingTo legally operate an ORV in state, the owner needs to purchase the ORV Permit from ReserveAmerica.com. You can also order one through phone or via their selling agents found on the Wyoming Parks website.

Using Permits, Tags, Plates, and Stickers Correctly

Despite the differences in the law that US states have regarding the registration and titling of off-road vehicles, some things remain the same, such as the application of permits, tags, plates, and stickers.

Almost every US state requires a registration plate to be affixed at the rear of the vehicle. Some of them will even acknowledge these plates and may exempt you from the need for a permit to operate. The registration plate includes the registration number and the state where the vehicle is registered.

Registration stickers and tags should always be at the front section of the vehicle and attached to both sides of the ORV. Some states will have these mailed to you, while others will require you to have your registration number printed and affixed to the vehicle using a reflective material. Some states even use this as a requirement before you can acquire a permit to operate on public land designed for off-road vehicles.

Again, different states may impose different laws for the operation of ORVs, but knowing how to use them properly will make it easier for you to get the necessary permits. A title and registration certificate won’t be enough for an operator to use the vehicle in many states. It still needs a sticker affixed to the ORV, which you can order online, as long as you have the necessary documents.

Conclusion

Responsible ORV owners should make it a point to have their vehicles titled and registered unless the state doesn’t require or allow such vehicles to be registered. It’s the first step to legally operating your ORV.

Although some dealers can provide you with a temporary tag that allows you to use the vehicle, it only gives you enough time to process all the documents needed for the title and registration. It would be best to start working on them as soon as you acquired your ORV because many states only give new vehicles a 30-day temporary permit.

What Size ATV Do I Need to Buy? Youth, Teen Adults, Tall & Small

An ATV, or four-wheeler, is a fun way to explore the outdoors. Whether you are out in the fields or the forests, the right All-Terrain Vehicle can help you navigate any terrain. Nonetheless, ATVs are a considerable investment and require proper research before purchase. What size will you need to buy?

The size of ATV you need to buy depends on the type of riding you’re planning on doing, how big you are if you plan on allowing others to ride, and where you plan to ride the ATV. All these factors will determine the size of ATV that will be a good fit. 

Read on to learn more about how the above factors affect the size of ATV you get. We also analyze what to look for when buying an ATV for children, adults, and teenagers. 

What Size ATV Should I Get?

Wondering what size ATV to get? You’ll need to consider a few factors like:

  • The place you’re planning to ride
  • Purpose of your ATV 
  • Your type of riding
  • Who else will ride the ATV
  • Your Size

The Place You are Planning to Ride

The place you’re planning to ride the ATV is a significant factor as it determines the power you need, and thus the size of ATV you should get. Decide if you plan on using the ATV for hunting, farming, trail riding, or Motorcross racing. 

A 550cc or under is the right size if you’re planning on going for comfortable trail rides or general riding around the home. However, if you’re into steep hill climbing, aggressive trail riding, or hauling, you’ll need to get an ATV with a 600-700cc range. 

An ATV with a 700-1000cc range will be ideal for anyone who likes to explore mud pits and dunes. One thing to note is that the larger the CCs, the more robust the engine. Thus, the more your ATV can handle. 

The Purpose of the ATV

Apart from where you plan on riding the ATV, the ATV’s purpose will determine the size of ATV you need to buy. You can use the ATV for:

Motocross Racing

Although off-roading is a unique type of using an ATV, Motocross racing is more involving as it’s based on agility and speed. ATVs meant for Motocross racing are made to handle aggressive riding, and they feature balancers and front grab bars heel guards. These ATVs have a capacity of 680cc and above with advanced suspension and enough torque. 

These quads are designed for performance and are focused on racing on wide-open deserts or motocross tracks. Furthermore, the ATVs have more ground clearance and deliver unmatched performance and stability. 

Trail Riding

ATVs can also be used to cruise through the trails. After gaining experience, a rider can explore rough terrain to test his limits. These ATVs are about 700cc and up as they are meant for extreme riding.

Recreation 

Recreational ATVs provide versatility. You can use them for hunting, mudding, camping, and any type of adventure trail riding. These ATVs can perform small and big jobs. 

Hunting ATVs

There are subcategories within the utility category. These quads are utility ATVs but are now fitted with different features, accessories, and colors to make hunting easier. A few of the hunting accessories include rack extenders and bumpers, gun scabbards, premium camo paint, and hand/thumb warmers.

Youth ATV

These ATVs are designed for young riders looking to get into this sport. These machines are packed with safety features and are meant for riders ten years or older.  

The Type of Riding You’ll Be Doing

How you plan to ride and where you’re going to ride the ATV play a role in the size of ATV you get.

The first group of people is those who do light towing or snow plowing. These people enjoy casual trail rides to check out the scenery. Also, they won’t ride for a long time. You need these ATVs as a beginner as they are simple to handle and come with automatic transmission. In regards to size, the ATVs within this category will be within the 200-450cc range.

Most riders fall under the second category, where long rides are involved. Comfort is essential, and the group can include farmers and ranchers looking to do more than ride the ATV. Machines within this category have a range of 450-750cc. 

The final category is the riders who love aggressive riding and are looking for maximum capability and power. With these machines, you can race up mountainsides and rush through harsh terrain. These ATVs are big and ideal for people who go game hunting. ATVs within this group have a range of 700-1000cc range. 

Another thing to note is that if you plan on pulling a boat, trailer, or anything heavy, you need to check the ATV’s type of hitch and towing rate, apart from the size. Are you also planning to have more than one rider on the ATV? While most ATVs are designed for a single person, a few can accommodate two riders. Nevertheless, these types of ATVs have long wheelbases for extra stability and a second set of footpegs. 

Who Else Will Ride the ATV

Are you planning to have someone else ride your ATV? The other person could be your spouse, friend, or your children. You need to consider the other person’s capability and experience level when choosing an ATV. 

If you have inexperienced riders, you need to go for a small-sized ATV with a 400-550 cc range. Find one with electronic power steering and automatic transmission. That makes riding easier for beginners. Moreover, if older people may use the same ATV, you can opt for an ATV that is 550-700cc. 

Your Size

Although physical size isn’t a critical factor in determining the type of ATV you choose, it’s something worth considering. You can get on various ATVs to decide what size you are comfortable in. Small size may feel too cramped, which is not something you want to be dealing with when out riding.

An adult who is 5’10” will be fine on an ATV that is 400 cc and below. anyone over 5’10” will need a bike over 400cc. Individuals between 6’2-6’3 will need a 500cc and above. Note that there are variations in size within every class. The best way to determine the ATV that fits your size is to get on different ATVs and find a comfortable one. 

What Size ATV Should I Buy for My Child?

Choosing an ATV for your child can be daunting. You want your kid to enjoy riding, but at the same time, be safe while doing it. Most states require that children under the age of 16 don’t operate an ATV over 90cc. 

You don’t want to risk getting a more significant size ATV hoping that your child doesn’t outgrow it, only for it to cause serious injuries. Children under six years of age cannot ride an ATV as they are not within the minimum age requirement. 

Children between 6-11 years need an ATV with an engine size that is under 70cc. That range will help the kid engage in safe riding while offering decent power. Those between 12-15 years need a unit that is between 70-90cc. These engines are suitable for young riders looking for more power and those who have a little experience. Check your little one’s habit of riding the bicycle, as this will tell you about his/her strengths and weaknesses. 

There are three and four-wheeled ATV models. When choosing an ATV for your child, it’s best to go for the four-wheeled model as it provides more stability and balance. Three-wheeled models are not as stable and are outlawed for children in some states. Ensure the ATV is equipped with lights and reflectors. Your child should also use the ATV with the supervision of an adult.

However, note that the above guidelines may differ if your child is small for his/her age. Remember that the rider needs to grab the brake with the hands, touch the gear shift, and reach all controls. Checking all these factors can help you decide on the appropriate ATV size to get. Don’t forget to match the kid with the ATV by confirming a three-inch clearance between the ATV’s seat and the child’s pants when he/she stands. 

Safety Features Fitted on the Quad

The ATV engine is not the only factor to consider when choosing an all-terrain vehicle for your kid. Check to see that the ATV has safety features like a brushless motor, chainless gearbox transmission, hydraulic brake system, wheelie safety bar for balancing, among other factors.

Some models come fitted with the parent-adjustable speed limiting feature. The feature allows you, as a parent, to control the speed of each ATV. What’s more, some models enable you as the parent to set the maximum speed a child can run the vehicle. Also, check to see that the four-wheeler has a seatbelt and a battery cover. 

Types Available

There are plenty of options available, right from sports ATVs to utility ATVs. Maintenance is something you don’t want to forget when shopping for a kid’s ATV. Find a machine that doesn’t have gas/oil, sprockets, or chains. That means you won’t need to invest more time and labor to maintain the all-terrain vehicle. 

One mistake most parents make is to focus on the engine size and ignore the ATC’s overall weight and dimensions. You need to determine if your child can comfortably get on the ATV and control it. The kid needs to be healthy and big enough to reach the control levers while seated and stand on the floorboards. 

Leg Length

Check to see if your child sits on the ATV with feet placed on the pegs; there should be a 45 degree angle when his/her knees bend. The thighs should line up a parallel between the forearm and the upper arm. Your kid also needs to sit upright on the vehicle and place their hands on the handlebars without leaning forward. 

If Your Child Can Maintain the Handlebars’ Grip and Control the Brake and Throttle

As a parent, you need to ensure your child’s seatbelt is locked, check that he/she has protective equipment like a helmet, and have control over the speed your child rides at. Supervising your child and reminding them of the safety precautions makes the ride safe and enjoyable.

When shopping for an ATV for your kid, the rule to remember is that the four-wheeler needs to be at a maximum of three or four times the child’s weight. Your kid should be able to shift their weight from one side to the other and from front to back to keep their balance. You can also go out for an ATV day or test track to compare the different sizes available. 

What Size ATV for Adults?

There’s a no one size fits all when shopping for an adult ATV. A regular ATV for riding around the property or going on trail rides should be 550cc and under. These entry-level ATVs or recreational ATVs are made to be easy to ride with simple handling. You’ll find that some machines have an automatic transmission, while others need shifting without a clutch. 

Another category of utility ATVs designed to haul cargo on the front/rear racks is to push a plow blade or farm implement. These vehicles are popular with campers, hunters, law enforcement officers, and those in service. The reason for their popularity is their power. Modern quads have high ground clearance and fantastic traction. 

Utility ATVs also have other features like independent rear suspension, removable headlights, auxiliary electrical outlets, liquid-cooled engines. The engine size of these quads is in the 450-700cc range. 

Sport ATVs combine the ability of utility ATVs with the sporting capabilities of the racing and performance ATVs. This category is more popular and has a variety to choose from. These quads have excellent handling for trail and tack, overall lightweight, long-travel suspension, and peppy engines. You’ll find these quads in TT and Motocross races. These types of ATV with a range of 500-700cc will be ideal.

Another particular category of ATVs is Two-Up ATVs. Companies like Polaris, Arctic Cat, and Can-Am have started manufacturing these ATVs. What makes them unique is the second set of footpegs/floorboards, long wheelbase for extra stability, and a second raised seat with grab bars for the passengers.  

For you to determine the right size of ATV, you need to get on several models to decide which one feels comfortable to handle. 

What Size ATV for Teenagers?

Buying an ATV for youth helps him/her learn endurance, balancing, and activates cognitive functions, among other benefits. Youngsters 12 years or older need an ATV with an engine capacity of 70-90cc. These sizes of ATVs are more powerful and a bit bigger than the 50 cc ATVs for kids.

This quad size works perfectly for kids who are significant to fit on the 50cc. Sometimes you may have a 16-year-old who’s small for an adult quad, will do nicely on a 70-90cc ATV for teens. According to the ATV Safety Institute, when matching a teen to a four-wheeler, there should be at least three inches of clearance between the child’s pants and the ATV’s seat when standing. 

The teen also needs to grip the handlebars and move them to both sides while still operating the brake lever and throttle with one hand. Failure for the child to reach the handlebars can result in serious injuries. Safety is paramount when running a youth ATV. If you are unsure where to get started, the ATV Safety Institute Readiness Checklist is an excellent place to start. 

When choosing an ATV for your teen, you should also look for adult supervisory controls, drive mechanism, speed, power, suspension systems, and brake/foot controls. 

What Size ATV for Hunting?

While out in the woods, the last thing you are worried about is how fast the ATV is. You need an ATV that performs and one that can camouflage and blend with the surroundings. You should also get an ATV that can do the ground clearance, heavy lifting, hitch, and traction. 

When hunting, you need to do quick cornering, climb through challenging terrain, and sometimes pass through downed trees. The size of ATV you get for hunting will also depend on the type of terrain. 

A 475cc engine going up will be enough for hunting. Don’t forget to check the ATV’s ride quality. You don’t want to spend too much time getting your quad through the woods when you should be enjoying your hunting excursion. Check to see if the ATV has a comfortable saddle, better grip, quality tires, and the handlebar’s positioning and footrests. 

The right ATV for hunting needs to have a sturdy bumper and high wheels to lower the impact of knocking things while in the forest. Also, note that some ATVs are meant for adults, and children can’t use them and vice versa. Get an ATV size that suits your needs. If you plan on getting a machine for your kids, you can get a kid ATV. 

If you are going hunting, you should also opt for an ATV with low noise levels as you don’t want to alert the prey of your presence.

What Size ATV for Farm Use?

ATVs are a beneficial tool that you can use for farming to access areas not accessible by four-wheel drives, pickup trucks, or other motorized cars. You can use an ATV to check and repair irrigation systems, herd livestock, supervise field crews, mow grass, or transport things. 

When looking for an ATV for agricultural use, you need to find one with a reverse gear, an automatic clutch, a coil spring, shock absorber suspension system, shaft drive, and a differential with a locking mechanism. All these components provide versatility for agricultural work. 

Adult ATVs for farming need to have engines ranging from 90-700cc and more. The gear ratios should enable speeds of more than 70mph. Remember that the larger the cc, the more powerful and quicker the ATV will be. However, note that this is dependent on how you plan to use the ATV, as this will determine the gear ratio and size of the engine you get.

ATV transmissions are five-speed complete with low and high range, reverse and park, and neutral features. Four-wheel drive is available as an option, but the two-wheel-drive is standard on most ATVs. 

Also, ensure you get a machine that can tow over 2000 pounds, has a rigid chassis, ample interior storage space, and brakes. A farm ATV needs plenty of carrying capacity, including the rear and front racks. These racks can carry up to 150kgs, with the largest ATV having a towing capacity of 450kgs. 

Rider comfort is essential when using an ATV for farming. If you are planning on using your All-terrain vehicle, you need to find a machine with padded seats. Some units have independent coil suspension to enhance rider comfort. High-end models have power steering that comes in handy when navigating rough and rocky terrain. 

When it comes to size, you want an ATV that can navigate tight corners. Size influences maneuverability. The best size should be 120-inches in width. Ground clearance is another factor you need to consider when evaluating the best ATV size for farm use.

What Other Factors Should You Evaluate?

Below are other things you need to check out when purchasing an ATV:

Transmission

ATVs can either have manual or automatic transmission. Most quads have automatic transmission and come with a belt-drive system and a variable clutch. Nonetheless, you’ll find some models with complex gear-driven systems that are heavy but reliable.

There’s also manual transmission in modern ATVs. These transmissions include the 5-speed or 6-speed with a manual clutch or an automatic clutch system. Most racing ATVs have a manual clutch. That type of clutch allows you to shift with the left foot and left-hand controls to stick to the clutch. That enables you to control traction and engine rpm. 

Note that automatic transmission will add to the cost of an ATV. However, once you mastered operating the manual clutch, you’ll be okay operating an ATV with manual transmission.

Shaft-Drive vs. Chain-Drive Systems

Chain-drives need maintenance as you need to tighten the chain and replace the sprocket regularly. They have decreased ground clearance, which makes them unsuitable in rocky or muddy conditions. However, the chain-drive system is affordable to make and lighter. This drive system allows you to change gear ratios by altering the front/rear sprocket.

On the other hand, shaft-drive systems on the front and rear need little to no maintenance. Modern quads have this drive system. 

Electronic Fuel Injection

An ATV with Electronic Fuel Injection enables the ATV to work correctly despite the elevation you choose to ride. The system also reduces any performance issues you may encounter when riding in places with sea-level changes. With EFI, you can climb the mountain and ride to the beach without changing anything on the ATV. iT 

The EFI also reduces any chances of the engine overheating. Moreover, you won’t have to deal with issues of starting an ATV in cold weather. 

Nevertheless, some ATVs are carbureted and are cheaper compared to those fitted with Electronic Fuel Injection. The problem with this system is that when riding the ATV, you’ll notice a performance difference. 

Power Steering

Power steering is an excellent feature to have on your ATV as it ensures the handlebars won’t be pulled out of your hands when you hit a rock or bump. If you’re looking to add this feature to your ARV, you’ll need to part with $1,000. The best thing is that electronic power steering prevents strain on your shoulders and arms when going for a long day’s ride.

Two-Wheel vs. Four-Wheel Drive

Should you get an ATV that is the 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive? The decision lies in the terrain you plan on riding the quad. A 4-wheel drive works when climbing steep hills, navigating through muddy sections, and crawling on big rocks and logs. ATVs that are four-wheel drive carry more cargo, plow more snow, and pull trailers and other farm implements.

Worth noting is that most four-wheel-drive ATVs have a button that you can use to switch to two-wheel drive. You can opt for a 2-wheel drive if you’re not planning on riding in extreme terrain. 

Drum Brakes vs. Disc Brakes

ATVs with disc brake systems are durable, stop better, and work better in wet and muddy conditions. You won’t have issues with the brakes freezing in the winter. In the older days, most ATVs had disc brakes. The problem with disc brakes is that they get water inside during winter, which can be a significant problem.

Conclusion

There isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to ATVs. The size of ATV you choose will depend on its purpose, the terrain you plan on riding the ATV, and if you are comfortable reading the handlebars and other controls when riding. All these factors will determine the right ATV size for you.

Which ATV Should I Buy, Utility or Sport?

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be categorized into two main categories utility and sport. There are many variants of the ATVs. When you decide to purchase one, it is normal to want to weigh your options.

Utility ATVs make for the best purchase due to higher ground clearance, more straightforward operation, softer ride, and utilitarian options, while Sport ATVs are for those who are most passionate about competitive speed and performance.

This article will explore the considerations that an ATV buyer should employ when deciding on what model of ATV to purchase. We will look at the key characteristics of sport and utility ATVs to allow you to become a knowledgeable buyer.

Difference Between Sport ATVs and Utility ATVs

When deciding what ATV to purchase, it is important to start by knowing the main differences between a sport ATV and a utility ATV. These differences come down to design and function.

Purpose of a Utility ATV

ATVs are not all for sport or recreation. ATVs also have a role as practical work vehicles. A utility ATV is designed to meet the range, load, and accessibility requirements of work-specific tasks.

Their form-factor, ability to navigate different terrain, and ease of use, make them effective modes of transport in work-specific environments, such as ranching, and task-specific activities, such as hunting.

Purpose of a Sport ATV

A sport ATV is primarily designed for recreational and sports use. This ATV classification is an umbrella term that encompasses a large number of niche ATVs. There are sport ATVs specifically designed for racing, jumping, stunt riding, etc. and lack the practical aspect found in utility ATVs.

Sport ATV designs tend to incorporate more resistant suspensions and responsive engines than utility ATVs. They are also lighter in weight. This results in an end-product that provides optimized riding performance.

When Is a Utility ATV Right for You?

The answer to when a utility ATV is right for you is simplified if you have no interest in using your ATV for recreational use. Likewise, if you have a specific task in mind that you feel will benefit from the mobility offered by an ATV. These can include:

  • Farm work and ranching. From shepherding livestock to hauling hay, spraying fields, plowing, and carrying equipment to repair fencing, a utility ATV can become a workhorse for farm and ranch-related work.
  • Forestry work. Covering the vast distances involved with forestry work and wildfire prevention work involves navigating difficult and nearly impassable terrain. The nature of the work also calls for being able to carry or haul different payloads. A utility ATV is ideal for this.
  • Security and monitoring work. A utility ATV is an economical alternative for patrolling and monitoring large open areas. They provide speed and agility to security work.
  • Hunting. For reaching hunting areas that are deep in-country or that require traversing inhospitable paths, the utility ATV is well-suited for these tasks. Their payload and hauling capability make them ideal for carrying gear and extracting large game.

Can You Use a Utility ATV for Recreational Purposes?

If you decide on purchasing a utility ATV because your needs matched one of those listed above, that does not mean that you cannot use it for recreational purposes.

Most utility ATVs can be used recreationally. However, it is important to note that they will likely not match sport ATVs in terms of speed or responsiveness. For most casual recreational ATV riders, however, this should not be an issue as they don’t tend to ride their ATVs to performance limits.

An advantage that comes with using a utility ATV recreationally instead of a sport ATV is that it is better suited for off-roading. Utility ATVs tend to have larger ground clearances and softer suspension systems, making riding down rough trails safer and more comfortable.

There is an argument to be made that if your whole purpose for purchasing an ATV revolves around off-roading and rough country trailing, a utility ATV would be your best choice even if you have no work-related application for the ATV.

On the other hand, if your recreational riding is more speed-intensive or competitive, the limitations in the utility ATV’s performance may compromise your enjoyment of the vehicle.

There is also the issue of specialized equipment that might be attached to your utility ATV that would not make it suitable for recreational use. If you intend to purchase an ATV for both utility and recreational use, make sure that specialized accessories are removable.

When Is a Sport ATV Right for You?

If your only intended use for the ATV is for recreational use, a sport ATV might be a good choice for you. However, it is imperative to analyze how you define your recreational use scenario.

Sport ATVs are suited to those who seek speed and responsiveness. Being lightweight compared to a utility ATV, a sport ATV is going to deliver a faster ride even when sporting an engine of the same size or smaller as that used in a utility ATV.

However, as mentioned when discussing utility ATVs, a sport ATV will have lower ground clearance. This means that if you intend on riding it in rough terrain, you may encounter obstructions that a utility ATV would otherwise clear.

A sport ATV will be able to handle rough trails. However, it will not be able to overcome some larger obstacles that may be encountered in deep off-road situations, such as rugged foliage, weather-trounced trails, or the absence of a track altogether.

A good analogy to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to opt for a sport ATV is to view them as ATVs’ sportscars. They are going to outperform utility ATVs on speed and responsiveness but not on the smoothness of the ride nor the handling of rough trails.

What Are Side-by-Side ATVs?

A side-by-side “ATV” is one that is manufactured with two seats lined up side by side in a single row. Models exist that have two or three such rows for even more passengers. The category of ATV is reserved for single rider machines by the American National Standards Institute.

However, since many manufacturers do market these vehicles as ATV variants, it is understandable for some people to include side-by-sides in their purchasing consideration.

A side-by-side shares most of the powertrain characteristics of an ATV. The main difference being in the steering, acceleration, gear shifting, and braking mechanisms. These will resemble those found in cars as opposed to ATVs that use mechanisms resembling those of motorcycles.

In terms of design and function, side-by-sides are found in utility and sport variants. They mirror the applications and limitations of sport and utility ATVs. If you include side-by-sides in your list when deciding on what ATV to buy, you can apply the same analytical criteria that we have presented for ATVs regarding performance.

Where special consideration needs to be added to side-by-sides comes in transportation. While you can transport most sport and utility ATVs in the back of a full-size pickup, side-by-sides are different. Due to their wider and longer form-factor, most will require a trailer to be transported to the locations where they will be used. That is something that you should factor into your consideration.

To learn more about side-by-sides and the UTV category of vehicles, click here.

Types of Transmission

Both sport and utility ATVs are available in manual and automatic transmissions. Due to the performance preferences of the demographics that predominantly opt for sport ATVs over utility ATVs, manual transmissions are the most common transmission for that classification of ATV. Conversely, manual transmissions are more popular with utility ATVs.

What type of transmission you choose should depend on your experience with ATVs, who will be using the vehicle, and its primary use.

Automatic Transmissions on ATVs

An ATV with an automatic transmission will make operating the unit easier. This can be advantageous if you are new to ATVs. Different people with varying degrees of experience will be driving it, or if the vehicle’s use will be for utilitarian purposes requiring the driver to focus on multiple tasks simultaneously. This also holds true if you plan to use the ATV on hills and slopes.

Most ATV automatic transmissions will have a lever to choose between high and low gear. The former setting will provide you more speed while the latter will provide you with stronger torque — ideal when hauling or pulling heavy loads.

In terms of cost, automatic transmissions will add slightly to the cost of the ATV compared to the same unit with a manual transmission. It should be noted, some ATV models, especially in the utility sector, are only available with automatic transmissions.

Manual Transmissions on ATVs

Much as with a motorcycle, the manual transmission on an ATV allows you to have precise control over the engine’s RPMs. This can be very beneficial when you want to apply maximum power under ideal traction conditions and less when you need to compensate for poor traction.

When adding the transmission type to your calculus in determining which ATV to purchase, make sure to factor in the complexity required to operate an ATV manual transmission. The process is very similar to that of a motorcycle. Shifting gears requires you to employ the clutch, gear lever, and throttle at the same time. If you are on a slope or hill, the brake also comes into play.

With practice, the process becomes second nature. However, if you only plan on using the ATV occasionally or plan on allowing other less experienced riders to take the controls, having a manual transmission can be a net negative compared to the added performance that it provides to an experienced rider.

Manual transmissions can be very beneficial when taking turns, especially at a higher speed. By controlling when a gear shift occurs, you avoid the potential of an automatic transmission shifting gears in the middle of a tight and fast turn. The result of that can be a momentary loss of control or balance.

That level of added control is why manual transmissions are more common in sport ATVs. With greater speed comes a greater need for responsiveness. Manual transmissions contribute to that. When performing repetitive tasks, especially at slower speeds or requiring stronger torque, manually shifting gears can become tedious and tiring.

Should You Buy a New or Used ATV?

After you have decided whether a sport or utility ATV is best for you and you have taken into consideration the collateral details — such as type of transmission, size, color, etc. — you need to consider whether you want to purchase a new or used ATV.

Much as with a car, the advantages of opting to purchase a new ATV include:

  • The ATV would have an active manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Mechanical failures would be less frequent.
  • Spare parts would be more readily available compared to older models.

The disadvantages of choosing a new ATV are basically related to cost. A used version of a similar model of ATV will be considerably less expensive in the used ATV market.

If you plan on making full use of the ATV on a regular basis, the advantages of opting for a new unit makes practical and economic sense. However, if you want to purchase an ATV solely for recreational use a handful of times during the year — or if you merely want to see if ATV riding is something you and your family will enjoy — a used model would be best.

Account for the ATV “Learning Curve”

Excluding purchases for a specific and proven utilitarian purpose, a first-time ATV purchase will usually be accompanied by a learning curve and a period of acclimation to the machine and ATV riding in general.

New buyers often fail to take this into account. Instead, they opt for what they believe to be their “ideal” machine. This is more often than not based on their aspirations for the “ATV lifestyle.”

It is not unusual for a first-time ATV buyer to purchase a unit that is not the best for them as operators or fulfill the purpose they wanted. This is why buying the most expensive ATV that you can afford, the newest, or the most powerful, is not always a good idea.

Keeping your options open should be the rule of thumb for a first-time ATV purchase. Avoid locking yourself down in terms of functionality. Choose a category of ATV at a price range that will allow you to become familiar with ATV-ing and safe ATV operation comfortably.

It is for this reason that a first-time ATV buyer might want to consider a utility ATV with an automatic transmission over a sports model with a manual transmission, for instance.

As you become more experienced with riding ATVs, as you develop practical experience riding and maintaining them, you may discover that your original intention to own and operate one has changed.

By that time, you will be more knowledgeable about what type and model of ATV you need. This will put you in a better position to make an informed purchase and make selecting a higher-priced or particular ATV model a wiser choice.

Pros and Cons of Sport ATVs

Pros of Sport ATVs

  • Lighter in weight compared to utility ATVs.
  • Faster and more responsive.
  • Easier to transport to riding locations.
  • Ideal for racing and other competitive events.
  • Design and aesthetics add a “cool factor.”
  • Enhanced suspensions for safe high-speed turns, bumps, and jumping.
  • Generally less expensive than utility ATVs.

Cons of Sport ATVs

  • Lack of storage and payload space.
  • Lower ground clearance compared to utility ATVs.
  • Lower torque makes them inadequate for towing.
  • The same enhanced suspension that offers excellent handling can make for an uncomfortable bumpy ride.
  • In most cases, it requires a manual transmission to get the most out of the vehicle.

Pros and Cons of Utility ATVs

Pros of Utility ATVs

  • Most can be used for practical as well as recreational purposes.
  • Higher ground clearance makes them a better option for true off-roading.
  • Allow you to carry gear and other payloads.
  • Suspension allows for a more comfortable ride.
  • Strong torque makes them well-suited for hauling and towing.
  • It can be used in a wide variety of work-specific tasks.

Cons of Utility ATVs

  • Not as fast as sport ATVs.
  • The added weight makes them more of a challenge to transport to riding locations.
  • Their suspension is not optimal for high-speed turning or jumping.
  • Designs lack the “flash” of sport ATVs.
  • Generally more expensive than sport ATVs.

The Final Rundown

The decision to purchase an ATV is discretionary when for recreational purposes. When for business and operational applications, it can be seen as a capital investment for your business.

In either case, the determining factor for choosing one will be how you intend to use the ATV.

If payload, torque, ground clearance, and off-road capabilities are essential, the utility ATV is the best bet. If speed and responsiveness are what you seek and you have no intention of using your ATV for any utilitarian purpose or subject it to intensely rough terrain, the sport ATV makes a sound choice.

Are Dirt Bikes Faster Than Quads?

The debate around quads vs. dirt bikes is an age-old one. People usually side with one or the other because a lot of things are subjective when it comes to these two offroad rides. However, there’s a clear answer if we wish to compare their speed.

Dirt bikes are faster than quads because they are lighter and can take sharp turns more quickly. Even if a dirt bike and a quad have the same engine, the bike has a better power to weight ratio, which makes it accelerate much faster than an ATV with the same motor.

ATVs don’t always perform slower than dirt bikes, though. Read on to learn more about their speed, whether faster speed means less safety with dirt bikes, and how you can choose which one is best for you.

Why Are Dirt Bikes Faster Than ATVs?

The most significant factor that makes dirt bikes go faster than quads is weight. A sport ATV can weigh twice as much as a dirt bike. An average dirt bike weighs around 215 lbs (98 kg), while you can expect an average ATV to weigh 590 lbs (268 kg). That’s only an estimated average; the actual weight will depend on the size of your engine (cc). But overall, two-wheelers are much lighter than four-wheelers.

This lighter weight allows dirt bikes to move more quickly and effectively in narrower spaces than quads. Also, you’ll be able to climb hills faster on dirt bikes.

As we’ve discussed, ATVs and dirt bikes have the same engine—weight is what makes all the difference. Imagine two vehicles: a quad weighing 400 lbs (181 kg) and a dirt bike weighing 230 lbs (104 kg). If they have the same engine, which one will go faster? Of course, the dirt bike as it can accelerate more quickly than four-wheelers, thanks to its greater power to weight ratio.

With that said, ATVs don’t lose all the time when it comes to speed. Dirt bikes have two wheels, and quads have four, which means they have more traction. Because of this, they can perform better on muddy, slick tracks and flat tracks.

Theoretically, quads would have more acceleration than a dirt bike if the power to weight ratios were equal. I’m saying this because they have more contact patch (the amount of tire touching the ground). Their extra weight also helps traction to some extent.

However, in real life, they have (compared to their heaviness) less power and more weight. So a dirt bike is faster, more maneuverable, and accelerates quicker than a four-wheeler. Of course, a lot of it also depends on the rider.

Advantages of Higher Speed

Since dirt bikes are so fast and convenient, they’re often used in racing and sport. On the other hand, ATVs are heavier and not suitable for high-speed racing. Riders can also perform more stunts and tricks on dirt bikes. In contrast, it can be dangerous to do the same on ATVs, especially for inexpert drivers.

This brings me to another point: dirt bikes give you more adrenaline rush than ATVs. Their higher speed and better flexibility offer a more thrilling adventure. I’m not saying ATVs aren’t fun, they are, but you would have to be an excellent rider to drive them at high speeds. Whereas dirt bikes naturally offer the thrill of jumping off hills and going super-fast.

Does This Mean Dirt Bikes Are Less Safe?

We’ve talked about high speeds, stunts, and hill-climbing. While that’s cool and all, there’s another critical matter to discuss: the level of safety.

This may seem obvious at first. Dirt bikes go faster, and people perform more stunts on them, so they’re more prone to accidents, right?

Well, yeah, quads are involved in fewer accidents, but there’s more to it. And if you believe ATVs are safer than dirt bikes, you’re in for a surprise.

A John Hopkins study shows that dirt bikes are safer than ATVs. Riding ATVs causes a lot more deaths than riding two-wheelers. To give you the stats, quad-crash victims are 50% more likely to die. They’re also 55% more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and 42% more likely to be placed on a ventilator.

But ATVs are more stable and comfortable to ride for beginners. Why these surprising results? Quads are undoubtedly steadier than dirt bikes. The stability of ATV gives people a false sense of security. As a result, they try to corner too fast or ride on uneven tracks.

However, the center of gravity of ATVs is too high, so they’re likely to flip over. Remember that there’s no crash protection for the rider, so an ATV rolling over you can be extremely dangerous.

If you were in a bike accident, you could get away with strains and sprains, and you’ll probably be thrown off the bike. You may still break a bone, but it’s nothing compared to an ATV accident.

If you were riding a quad and got into an accident, its massive weight could break your neck or back, resulting in death. Even if you’re lucky, the chances of you getting injured severely are very high.

The bottom line? Dirt bike accidents happen more often than ATV accidents. Still, the latter can be much more fatal, which means dirt bikes are overall safer.

Choosing Between ATVs and Dirt Bikes

If you’re looking to get a new off-road companion for yourself, speed and safety aren’t the only factors to consider. There are many things you need to look for when comparing a dirt bike with an ATV. Here are some important ones:

  • Learning: If you’re a beginner, a dirt bike can seem more intimidating, and there’s also a learning curve involved. ATVs are more beginner-friendly and are forgiving for kids.
  • Comfort: Quads have a larger seat than dirt bikes. Sitting down on a quad is more comfortable than sitting on a dirt bike, which is designed for you to stand up more than sit down. Overall, the ATVs are more comfortable.
  • Utility: With ATVs, you can pull and drag heavy machines or a utility trailer. They can also carry passengers, so they’re more functional. Dirt bikes, on the other hand, are usually not used for work.
  • Maintenance: An ATV, of the same rider class as a dirt bike, is more expensive. Not only that, but the maintenance costs of ATVs are also higher. So if the price is a concern, a dirt bike is the way to go.
  • Convenience: ATVs are restricted to two-track trails only, while you can ride a dirt bike on many tracks. Dirt bikes take up less space, and you can even carry them by yourself if you ever encounter a malfunction. The same cannot be said for ATVs.

To summarize, if you want more out of your vehicle than just thrilling rides, go for an ATV. It can be useful in handling heavy machines and other stuff. But if you’re only looking for breath-taking adventures and unforgettable memories, a dirt bike should be your pick.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to speed, dirt bikes are faster because they weigh less but have the same power as ATVs. The only exception would be a flat or a muddy track where ATVs could have an advantage because of their increased traction.

Surprisingly, even with higher speeds, dirt bikes have been reported to be safer than ATVs. However, both these vehicles are fun to ride, and you’ll need to choose based on what you want from your ride.

Can You Use Car Oil in a Four-Wheeler?

If you have a car and a four-wheeler, you may be tempted to stick with the same oil for both of them. It’s convenient, but you’re also probably thinking that since the oil can work for a car engine, it should work with a four-wheeler. Is this a good idea, though?

You can use car oil for a four-wheeler, but it is not the right decision in many cases. This is because the oil formulation will affect different engines in different ways. The perfect car oil may not have the right formulation required to keep a four-wheeler running optimally.  

The rest of the article will take a closer look at the case against pouring car oil into a four-wheeler engine. There’s also a section on the best oils to use instead.

Why Regular Car Oil Won’t Work in four-wheelers

The main reasons we add oil to engines are to protect against wear and tear and protect against the damage caused by extreme heat while the engine is running. Under extreme heat, deposits will form in the engine, making it less powerful and reducing its overall efficiency. The heat can also lead to faster oxidation of the oil, which will make it unable to protect the engine as it should.

So, while it may seem like a good idea to use the same motor oil you already have or to buy a cheap one at the store, you should reconsider the decision if you don’t want to damage your engine. Or waste too much time, energy, and money on trying to prevent oxidation via regular oil changes.

How Car Oil Interacts With a four-wheeler Engine

A four-wheeler won’t see a lot of miles when compared to your regular car, but the engine in it revs very high and runs super hard when in use. The engine is designed to work heavily, but at slower speeds than a car. This engine configuration means that conventional car oil will, in most cases, not have enough oil film strength for the engine.

The slow, but power-sapping operations of a four-wheeler increases stress on engine bearings. If the oil film strength is inadequate (as is the case with car oils in such an engine), the pressure from running the engine will rupture the oil film, leading to worn out bearings.

Oils designed for four-wheelers ensure that durable protective film remains in the engine regardless of the condition. By getting these instead of using regular car oil, your machine’s engine will function more optimally.  

Another important point you should keep in mind here is that oil made for four-wheelers also have to lubricate the transmission. Car oils don’t have this composition as the transmission in conventional vehicles typically has a designated lubricant. 

four-wheeler oils don’t come with the same type of friction modification seen in car oils, so they do a better job when it comes to protecting your transmission and ensuring excellent transmission performance.

How Often Should You Change Your four-wheeler Oil?

You should change the oil in a four-wheeler more frequently compared to your car, in terms of total miles traveled. The exact frequency will vary depending on usage, but you should aim to change the oil in the vehicle every 100 hours or 1000 miles on average. However, you don’t have to wait until you hit those numbers. The oil in the engine will lose its efficacy after around six months due to oxidation.

If you use your four-wheeler for sport, you should change the oil every 25 to 30 hours. If you take part in races regularly, you should change the oil after every race. For racing, protecting the engine is more important than anything else. 

You need to ensure your engine can handle the stress and heat from racing, and the best way to do this is to ensure there’s fresh oil providing high film strength and resistance to thermal breakdown at all times.

Are There Signs to Look Out for Before Changing Your four-wheeler Oil?

Unfortunately, you can’t use an eye-test to know when to change the engine oil in a four-wheeler. The only way to do this is to take some of the oil to the lab for some checks. Apart from the fact that you have to know what to check for first and foremost, this is obviously impractical for a lot of people. Therefore, the best bet is to stick to the recommended oil change intervals above as closely as possible.

Best Oils to Use for a four-wheeler Vehicle

If you’re looking for the best oils to use for your four-wheeler, the first thing you should do is check your user manual to see the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Most manufacturers of four-wheeler vehicles also have in-house oil, which they recommend for use on their four-wheelers. Yamaha and Cam-Am are popular examples, with their YamaLube All-Purpose and Can-Am XPS 4-Stroke, respectively. Other oils may have extra advantages, but using the oil designed to work for the engine by the vehicle manufacturer covers all the basics at the very least.

If your manufacturer doesn’t have a product you can buy, they will provide specific recommendations on the type of oil you should use. Pay attention to the type of oil recommended, and most importantly, the viscosity. Armed with this information, you can head to the shop. 

Here are some of the best ATV Oil options in the market today:

Maxima ATV Premium Engine Oil

Since 1979, Maxima has been producing high-quality lubricants for all kinds of engines. Their racing history also means you can count on them to produce the right lubricant needed for high rev engines such as four-wheelers. The oil’s tolerance for heat and fluidity is without doubts some of the best you’ll find.

Amsoil 5W-50

The AMSOIL brand has become synonymous with synthetic oils. They’ve been producing lubricants for more than 40 years, focusing on providing a range of products suited for four-wheelers. Their 5W-50 is a popular option, but you can look through their range of products for other options.

Polaris PS-4 

Polaris is another popular brand in the oil niche. Their PS-4 has the right chemical composition to keep your four-wheelers running optimally. It also comes with an oil change kit, including an oil filter. So, going with this option can save you some money on useful accessories.

Honda 08C35-A141L01

This model from Honda comes with a viscosity grade of 10W-40, which means it will work well across a wide temperature spectrum. This oil is popular with motorbike owners, but it has also been proven to work well with four-wheelers.

Valvoline 4-Stroke

The Valvoline 4-stroke is one of the engine oils designed with four-wheelers in mind. Its chemical composition means it is non-detergent oil. This allows it to work perfectly without an oil filter. It’s also another product you can trust to work in all kinds of weather.

Conclusion

Your car oil can work with your four-wheeler. However, over an extended period, this approach will reduce the engine’s efficiency and ultimately shorten its lifespan. To keep the engine in your vehicle functioning optimally, you should only use either manufacturer-recommended oils or other options that have been proven to work for vehicles like your brand.

When you find the right oil, you should be sure to change the oil regularly—in line with your typical usage. The best four-wheeler oils will still fail if you don’t change when it’s due.

How Many Miles Can a 4-Wheeler Go on a Tank of Gas?

If you’ve owned your quad for more than one season then you’ve probably already had the experience of walking the 4-wheeler back somewhere or bringing fuel back to your ATV. If you are trying to avoid that scenario then I’m sure you are wondering how far you actually can ride on a take of gas.

A 5.4 Gallon ATV tank can ride 108 miles averaging 20MPG. Factors that affect gas mileage: type and age of ATV, tank size, weight, throttle, terrain, tires, engine size, carburetor, and maintenance upkeep. To ensure you won’t run out of gas test your 4-wheeler before your trip and bring extra gas. 

  • Find your ATV’s fuel capacity in gallons, then multiply it by x 20 MPG this will give you an estimate on how far your ATV will travel. If you ride hard, multiply your gallons by a lower MPG like 16-18 MPG.

There are plenty of resources where you can easily find a car or truck’s mileage, but there is hardly any info out there for 4-wheelers which can be very agitating. We can give you a fairly close estimate, things that affect gas mileage, and a few other tips. That way, you won’t have to hike back to civilization, empty gas can in hand.

How Many Miles Can Your 4-Wheeler Go?

If it seems to you that there isn’t a lot of information about gas mileage and 4-wheelers, you are right. Trying to locate gas mileage information from dealers is just about impossible.   

For example, one website mentions that the fuel economy from all UTVs/ATVs in 2011 averages 39.47 miles per gallon. However, the same website also lists the date it was written as January 1, 1970. You decide how much you trust those numbers but it’s outdated. 

So then you can look up the specs on a specific 4-wheeler.  For example, here are just some of the specs on a 2021 Can-Am Outlander:

  • Two engine types—650 and 850, V-twin, liquid-cooled, with electronic fuel injection
  • The wheelbase is 51 inches (130 cm), and ground clearance is 11 inches (28 cm)
  • Seat height is 34.5 inches (88 cm)
  • Lighting is 230 W total, with twin 60-W projectors and 55-W reflectors
  • Fuel capacity is 5.4 gallons

Why Don’t Manufacturers Provide Miles per Gallon Information?

Manufacturers of ATVs and 4-wheelers don’t give out the same kind of information regarding gas mileage for several reasons. These are the two key ones:

  • Mileage varies too much. Although not everyone drives the same way and on the same kind of roads in cars, the differences are much smaller than with 4-wheelers. If ATV manufacturers started listing mpg, it wouldn’t be too long before customers began complaining that they weren’t getting anywhere the listed mileage.
  • They are not required to. Mileage requirements by the EPA are for on-road vehicles. Off-road recreational vehicles are not held to the same standards as automobile manufacturers. This gives ATV manufacturers the freedom to design engines for specific purposes and not worry about things like miles per gallon.

There really is only a small amount of info available—and nothing covers fuel mileage. If manufacturers don’t tell you, then the next source to turn to is people who actually own them.

What Other Users Say

To check out what 4-wheeler and ATV users reported, check out Fuelly, a site where vehicle owners report the mileage they have gotten.  

The number of people who report mileage for ATVs and 4-wheelers on Fuelly is much smaller than for cars. For example, over 1,000 people reported mpg’s on their 2012 Toyota Prius. The range there was equally broad, with a couple of cars in the 30s and a few over 60.

Users of ATV and 4-wheeler forums also report similar ranges. So if your buddies are giving you different numbers, saying it depends, or just “I don’t know,” it’s because the answer is dependent on many variables. And this is precisely why it’s hard to find an exact number because everyone drives ATV’s differently. A Utility ATV is going to be hauling more loads at slower speeds versus a Sport ATV might be ridden extremely fast and hard in racing conditions.

Factors That Affect Fuel Mileage 

Weight

It would be great if there were a formula that you could plug in and determine how much a specific weight will impact your gas mileage. The EPA estimates that for every hundred pounds of weight removed, gas mileage increases by 1 to 2 percent.  

A different study found that a 1% reduction in total weight increased fuel economy by 0.33%. Although this study was based on a vehicle weight of 3,200 pounds, it’s probably as close as you will get to a formula.

That estimate is for cars, not 4-wheelers, however. Also, the 100 pounds from a car is a larger percentage of its total weight than 100 pounds of an ATV. Still, the additional weight on your 4-wheeler is going to make its engine work harder, thus reducing fuel mileage.

When you bring back that buck you scored, your mileage coming back will be much lower, so make sure you plan accordingly.

Speed

It goes without saying that the faster you drive, the lower your fuel mileage. Again, there is no neat formula for speed versus mileage for off-road vehicles. The US Department of Energy has an excellent web page for ways to increase gas mileage—but the specifics are all about cars.  

If you want to know how much your 2012 Dodge Ram when you drive 75 miles instead of 60, check out the site. But your Polaris, Kawasaki, or Can-Am won’t be listed.  

Terrain

Terrain also dramatically impacts your gas mileage. Mileage is worse through woods and uneven terrain especially muddy trails that slow you down and in result you revving up your engine more. Same goes for climbing up a tall sand dune over and over, it’s just going to eat through the gas. 

Tires

Two factors related to tires impact your 4-wheelers mileage—tire pressure and tire size. Tires without proper air pressure force the engine to work harder, and when that happens, then mileage drops. Increased Tire size can also have a negative effect due to the added weight.                                                                                                                                                                           Colder temperatures cause tires to deflate so depending on what time of year you might add this into consideration, bring a tire gauge and a way to air those suckers up. Every little bit can help.

Other Factors

A few additional factors that affect ATV’s MPG’s include:

  • Make and age of 4-wheeler
  • Size of engine
  • Fuel-injection or carburetor
  • Regular Maintenance and upkeep

Carry Extra Fuel With You

If you haven’t bought an extra fuel container for your 4-wheeler, now is the time. These are a couple we recommend:

Here is the best ATV fuel Container:

  • EZ5 and EZ3 Utility Jugs – Three different ways to pour making it easy to adapt to your angle. You can see the liquid level at night time,  
  • The EZ Jug Floor Mount – Compatible with either the 3 or 5 Gallon EZ Utility Jugs. It’s easy to use, and allows you transport   
  • The Hose Bender – Finally a hose hooks up to the Utility jugs that locks into a bending position freeing up your hands to maneuver the jug to pour without spilling all over the place. Truly a one of a kind innovative product. US designed and made by MX enthustats! 

Other Recommendations:

  • FuelPaX by RotoPax 2.5 Gallon Fuel Container – These made-in-America fuel containers come in a variety of sizes, from 1.5 to 4.5. Containers are durable and leak-proof.
  • RotopaX Pack Mount – Another type of mount
  • GoPlus 5 Gallon Jerry Fuel Can – The metal is green and has a safety lock to prevent the can from opening accidentally and a built-in air breather for quick emptying. The 3-handle design allows two people to lift the tank, and other features include an anti-rust coating on the inside and outside.
  • The Smittybilt Jerry Gas Can Holder – This is an excellent holder for cans that do not have the RotopaX center hole mount. Designed for 5-gallon Jerry cans, the steel construction and locking strap will protect your can and secure your can. 

If You Are Still Not Sure About the Mileage

Maybe it’s time for a science experiment. Fill up your 4-wheeler and a gas can. Then run it until the tank is nearly empty and see how far you got. Make sure you know how accurate your fuel gauge is so that you do not run out completely.

Use Google Maps or another navigation system to double-check the mileage—the indicator on your vehicle might not be accurate. Then fill ‘er up again and head back. Anybody asks—tell them you were doing science.

Bottom Line

There are just too many factors at play to give an exact answer to the question of how far a 4-wheeler can go on a tank of gas. Use the 20 miles per gallon as a baseline, multiply that by the size of your tank, and carry some extra fuel with you as insurance.  

How to Winterize Your ATV

If you live somewhere hot, then it might be possible for you to keep riding your ATV throughout the winter. If, however, you get long snowy winters, then you will have to pack up your ATV for months on end. That can cause serious damage to some of the components!

To winterize your ATV, you will have to change the oil and coolant, clean and lubricate the ATV, treat the fuel, change the air filter, block off any holes which a mouse could get through, and remove the battery. The battery and fuel mix are the most important steps here!

So now you have a basic idea of what is needed to keep your ATV ticking over until the spring comes around. In this article, we’ll be going into a lot more detail about what exactly you need to do to keep your favorite toy in good shape. Let’s begin!

Clean Your ATV

The first thing you are going to want to do is to clean your ATV all over. By removing the moist mud and other dirt, you prevent the components from oxidizing while in storage. It is also a good idea to clean and lubricate the chain, pedals, and control cables. Make sure to dry the ATV properly before storage to prevent rust! A coat of polish will also help your ATV stay functional, while also making it look brand new. 

Treat the Fuel

This is one of the most important steps. Treating your fuel with stabilizer is necessary to prevent corrosion during the long winter months. Nowadays, most fuel contains about 10% ethanol, which can separate from the rest of the fuel and damage the tank. A fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening. 

Here are the steps on how to treat your fuel:

  1. The first thing you will need for this is a bottle of fuel stabilizer, like this Gold Eagle Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer, which you can buy on Amazon.
  1. Follow the instructions and safety guidelines on the bottle.
  1. It is a good idea to run the engine of the ATV for about 10 minutes in order to spread the stabilizer around all the nooks and crannies of your engine. Better yet, take it out for a short ride!
  1. When you start the ATV back up after winter, it might be tricky to get the engine going again. The fuel stabilizer will help the engine to start back up with no problems!

Change the Oil

This is another vital step when it comes to keeping your ATV in proper working order. It is recommended that you change the oil about once every 100 hours of use. 

When you have added the oil, run the engine for a few minutes to distribute the oil throughout the system. This will lubricate parts that wouldn’t otherwise get oil if you simply added it and walked away. It is a good idea to start up the ATV every month or so during winter just to get the oil moving around. 

Keep Out Invaders Like Rats, Mice, and Squirrels

You would be surprised how many critters will make their nest in your ATV if you don’t block the openings. In particular, rodents like rats, mice, and squirrels will jump at the opportunity to spend the cold winter months in your quad’s warm comfort. 

Here are some tips on how to keep these little guys out of your ATV:

  • The first thing you need to do to prevent winter lodgers is to block holes, for example, the exhaust opening, the inlet and outlet ducts on the CVT clutch, or the inlet ports to the airbox. A plastic bag or cloth and some duct tape should do just fine!
  • If you are storing your ATV in a shed or garage, it is good to try and block off any entrances that a mouse might use to get into the spaces. There are many holes on the ATV that a mouse could get into. But not if there aren’t any mice in your shed. 
  • You can also use scented dryer sheets to block up holes. This is a great humane way to deter mice and other rodents from making a home in your quad. 

Preserve Your Battery

This is another very important step. It is a good idea to actually disconnect and remove the battery to stop it from draining over winter. Charge the battery fully before putting it in storage. If you let your battery drain fully over the winter, then there is a good chance it will have to be replaced when the ATV finally comes out of storage. 

Here are some tips on preserving your battery: 

  • Like motorcycles, many ATV manufacturers place the battery underneath the seat. Check the owner’s manual to find the exact location of yours. 
  • You may need to use a socket to remove the bolt holding the battery in place. You can pick up this great AmazonBasics Mechanics Socket Set if you don’t have a socket. 
  • If you don’t have one already, it is also good to buy a trickle charger like this Mroinge MBC010 Automotive Trickle Battery Charger, which is also available on Amazon. A trickle charger will slowly add a charge to the battery, keeping it juiced without draining your electricity bill!

Check the Quality of the Coolant

This one is probably not absolutely necessary, but it is a good idea to do it anyway. While you are preparing your ATV for the winter, it is as good a time as any. The coolant should be changed approximately every two years, so you don’t need to do this every winter. Tools are available, which can quickly check the quality of the coolant. 

Again, Amazon carries just the thing with its Antifreeze Refractometer for Glycol.

Change Your Air Filter

This is another vital step. If you regularly clean or change the air filter, your ATV can last a lot longer than it would otherwise! An old air filter can allow dirt, sand, and other debris to get into the engine, which can seriously reduce the life expectancy of an ATV. 

Here are the steps involved in replacing the filter:

  1. Depending on the make and model of your ATV, you may have to remove the seat to get to the airbox. Next, remove the airbox cover to reveal the filter.
  1. Remove the filter, then clean the inside of the air box using contact cleaner and a rag. 
  1. If there are any rips or tears in the filter, then it will need to be replaced. If not, you may just be able to soak it in warm soapy water, then squeeze it out.
  1. Replace the new or cleaned filter and cover the airbox back up, making sure not to leave any holes for critters!

The Final Touches

There are a few more things you will want to do before putting your quad away for winter:

  • If you still have an ATV with a carburetor, it is recommended to drain the float bowl.
  • Inflate the tires to slightly above the pressure, which is normally recommended. 
  • If you can, raise the ATV up off the floor using a jack or stand. 
  • Cover the ATV in a tarp or other covering. 

Summary

Now you know what needs to be done if you want your ATV to still be in working order when the spring comes around. A lot of these steps are just part of normal quad maintenance, so you may already be ahead of the game!

Good luck with storing your ATV for the winter.

ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) Beginners Guide

As I try my best to fill this website with as much useful information as possible about every form of offroading I can, I look for ways to teach people about these motorsports. This article will hopefully help you get a better idea about ATVs and give you a better picture of what they are and what they are not so you can talk about them with confidence.

What Does ATV stand for?

ATV is short for All-Terrain Vehicle.

What are ATVs? What is a Quad?

ATV’s (also commonly referred to as 4-Wheelers or Quads) are defined as a motorized off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control.

ATVs or quads are small personal off-road vehicles that can have 3, 4, or 6 wheels and most commonly are powered by gasoline engines. The engines vary in size from as little as 50CCs to as much as 1000CCs!

Most four-wheelers have a combination of hand levers and foot controls for things like giving it gas, hitting the brakes, and clutching and shifting.

What is a Class 1 ATV? & What is a Class 2 ATV?

ATVs are divided into two classes by the manufacturers, Class 1 and Class 2, and it basically represents how many riders the ATV is designed to carry. Class 1 is designed for just one rider (the driver) and Class 2 is designed for two riders (the driver and a passenger).

What is an ATV Bike?

While this isn’t my favorite name variation for it, this is still referring to the same thing as a quad / 4-wheeler. I don’t personally think of a bike when I see a machine with more than two wheels, but quads definitely take all of their design elements from bikes. You straddle it, you have hand/foot controls… I guess it’s basically the same thing but with less emphasis on balance.

Is a Dirt Bike Considered an All-Terrain Vehicle?

No, because it only has two low-pressure tires where ATVs have three to six tires but some people do lump dirt bikes into the ATV category because they are designed to be used in an off-road scenario in which it can handle just about any terrain you want to ride in. But, for the majority of people using the acronym ATV, they are referring to a four-wheeler. ‘Dirt bike’ or ‘motorcycleare much more commonly used terms and avoid any confusion.

What is ATV Riding? or ATV Driving?

ATV riding or driving is operating a four-wheeler in many different types of terrain including sand, dirt, rock, trails and more. If someone is asking you if you want to go (ATV) riding, your question would be to ask where they are going off-roading. Their answer will give you an idea of the type of terrain they like to ride in and whether or not that is something you want to do and/or if you have an ATV that can handle it. PS, nobody says they’re going ‘ATV driving’. People just say they’re going riding but apparently people search for ATV driving so I thought I would clear that up in this beginner article.

What is a Utility ATV?

A Utility ATV is a four-wheeler that is designed more for a specific task or purpose than just for leisure and recreation. They generally will have less aggressive suspension in terms of overall travel and be more stiff to be able to handle larger loads of material.

Utility ATVs generally all have some form of a rack system and can have them in a horseshoe shape wrapping the back of the rider. Some also include a rack in front for even more storage.

These ATVs can be very appealing to hunters as they are not tuned for extreme performance and the extreme noise that usually comes with it. There are also many aftermarket accessories for utility ATVs and some of them are ways to mount your hunting rifle and other hunting specific add-ons.

They can also feature a receiver hitch so that you can pull small trailers for even more tasks specific capabilities.

ATV Manufacturers, Models, & Price List

(Current Offerings)

Make & Model [# of models] (MSRP) Sport/Utility
Honda TRX250X [1]($4,949)Sport
Honda Fourtrax (utility) [5]($5,499 – $9,399)Utility
Yamaha Raptor 700 [3]($8,099 – $9,299)Sport
Yamaha YFZ450R [2]($9,099 – $9,499)Sport
Polaris Scrambler 850 & XP1000S [2]($10,299 – $14,999)Sport
Polaris Sportsman XP1000S [1]($14,999)Sport
Polaris Sportsman High Lifter Ed. [2]($10,199 – $14,199)Sport (Mud)
Polaris Sportsman series [10]($6,249 – $14,999)Utility
Can-am Outlander [26]($6,199 – $16,349)Utility
Can-am Renegade [4]($8,349 – $15,149)Sport
Kawasaki Brute Force [4]($4,299 – $10,599)Utility
Suzuki Kingquad [18]($6,549 – $10,949)Utility

Youth ATV Models List

(Current Offerings)

Make & Model [# of models] (MSRP) Sport/Utility
Honda TRX90X [1]($3,099)Sport (Youth)
Yamaha YFZ50 [1]($2,199)Sport (Youth)
Yamaha Raptor 90 [1]($2,999)Sport (Youth)
Polaris Outlaw 50 & 110 [2]($2,199 – $3,399)Sport (Youth)
Polaris Phoenix 200 [1]($4,199)Sport (Youth)
Polaris Sportsman 110EFI [1]($3,399)Utility (Youth)
Can-am DS 70,90,90x,250 [4]($2,349 – $4,199)Sport (Youth)
Kawasaki KFX 50 & 90 [2]($1,999 – $2,599)Sport (Youth)
Suzuki Quadsport Z50 & Z90 [2]($2099 – $2999)Sport (Youth)

ATV Cost

Looking at the above data tables it looks like the prince range for a new ATV is between $4k to $16k and a Youth UTV is the $2k – $4k range.

If you like shopping used then you could pick up an old Banshee (Sport ATV) for around $2,500. For those of you that would rather have a utility ATV, you could pick up an older Polaris Sportsman for around $4000.

What Brand of ATV is the Best?

The debate over what is the best ATV brand is one of those age-old questions that involve two big players in an industry fighting to stay on top with a few stragglers always trying to play catch up.

For instance, in the US automobile industry, you’ve always had a Ford versus Chevy battle with a smaller percentage of Mopar enthusiasts. In the computer industry, it’s PC versus Mac and then a smaller percentage in that niche going to Unix / Linux.

The ATV market is the same way. For the sport models, you’ve got Yamaha and Honda duking it out for first with stragglers like Suzuki and Kawasaki. In the Utility ATV department, you’ve got Polaris versus Yamaha and Can-Am.

Just like the above non-off-road examples, it all comes down to what you’ve had experience with and what your personal preferences are. As for me, I love my Ford Mustang, I’m a die-hard PC guy, and if I was in the market right now for an ATV I’d build myself a Yamaha Banshee to tear up the dunes with. I don’t see myself needing a utility ATV but I do love Can-Am machines or at least the few that I’ve test-driven so far.

Luckily for us in all of these scenarios, there are two big players fighting to be first because then we all win as they try to make these toys the best they can be.

What Brand of ATV is the Most Reliable?

This question could be looked at similarly to the last one where you want to know which is more reliable: key player number one or key player number two. But when you’re dealing with big players that both want to be on top they’re going to both have extremely reliable machines.

When it comes to reliability, what you want to stay away from is the people in the back of the pack. The knock-off off-brand quads that you may have never even heard of until you find a smoking deal on craigslist and wonder if you should take a chance.

You may save hundreds or even thousands of dollars but then have to become a part-time mechanic just to keep your ATV running. Nobody wants to have to spray starting fluid down into the carb every single time they want to go for a ride. If you want reliability, stick with the big names in the industry like Yamaha, Honda, Polaris, and Can-Am.

What ATV is Right for Me?

For me personally, I would have to have a Sport ATV versus a Utility ATV. I really enjoy going to the sand dunes and that is a terrain that requires some serious power, traction, and suspension. I would love to find a deal on an older Banshee and fix it up to be crazy fast.

Going that direction I would miss out on some of the perks of a Utility ATV like being able to haul materials on the racks and/or towing small ATV trailers full of materials. Utility ATVs can also offer lower selectable gears and traction control options.

So if jobsite work, farming, or hunting is in your near future then I would get a Utility ATV. If you want to hit the track or the dunes then get a sport ATV. And if you’re into trail riding then you could really go either way.

What is a Banshee ATV?

The Banshee (Banshee 350 or YFZ350) was an ATV manufactured by Yahama and was in production from 1987 – 2006 here in the United States. In the late eighties, Yahama took their highly successful 2 stroke motorcycle engine that was already a fan favorite and created a four-wheeler that became iconic in the sand dune territory

Banshee’s popularity in the ATV world was similar to the Chevy 350’s popularity among car guys and for similar reasons. They were both performed very well, sold a ton, and therefore had a huge amount of aftermarket parts available to them.

What is a Honda ATV?

When I think of Honda ATVs I think of my first 4-wheeler, a mid ’90s Honda FourTrax 90. I thought I was so cool with my Fox sicker up front just under the headlight on my red and black quad.

But after having written the above section about the Banshee I can’t help but think of the late nineties and the Honda 400EX. The 400EX was Honda’s contender to the Yamaha Banshee but with one large difference, it was a 4 stroke motor as opposed to Yamaha’s 2-stroke. It also was equipped with a cast aluminum swingarm which was an industry first.

What is a Gator ATV?

Gator ATV is actually referring to a side-by-side or UTV made by John Deere and is in a totally different category of off-road vehicles, not ATVs. John Deere has an extremely large lineup of task-specific utility vehicles that range from mowers to harvesting equipment and skid steers to tractors.

So smashing the words gator and ATV together is a misnomer as they don’t actually offer a four-wheeler lineup. To learn more about the John Deere Gator click this link for more of our related articles.

What is a Grizzly ATV?

The Grizzly ATV is a utility quad made by Yamaha. Similar to the Polaris Sportsman it hosts utility-specific features like four-wheel drive with differential lock and utility purposed rack setups.

When the Yamaha Grizzly came out in the late ’90s it broke through the upper limits of engine sizes at that time and became the big boy with it’s 595cc engine.

For an amazing trip through time of all of Yamaha’s great machines, I highly recommend you check out this page https://www.yamahapart.com/yamahaatvhistory. It even features my very first ride, the 1984 Tri-Zinger.


Related Questions (ie. the weird stuff)

What is an ATV Car?

When I see ATV and Car smashed together like this my first thought is that someone is trying to describe a larger 4×4 vehicle but doesn’t know all of the most commonly used terms for off-road vehicles. It turns out, it’s almost always referring to those 12-volt power wheels small plastic vehicles designed for toddler-aged kids. ‘ATV Car’ is essentially marketing jargon for overseas kids’ toys.

What is an ATV Scooter?

This is another misnomer as companies using this language are suggesting that brands like TaoTao and Trailmaster are ATV scooters when they are just really a small moped. They are tiny scooters for putting around town at 30mph with and definitely cannot handle All of the Terrain out there. In my opinion, these are not ATVs.

It would be cool if an ATV Scooter was more like the one in this video:

https://youtu.be/nXSYITDUOTc

What is a KYMCO ATV?

KYMCO is a Taiwanese-based motorsports company that has their own line of scooters, motorcycles, and ATVs. KYMCO originally created parts for Honda and then split off to create their own lineup of vehicles. While they do offer off-road vehicles, their main bread and butter are their scooters.

What is a Coolster ATV?

The Coolster ATV is essentially a Chinese knockoff that you can purchase on Amazon.

What is a Razor ATV?

This question can lead to some muddy territory as the person asking could either be talking about a side-by-side created by the company Polaris or a high-end toy at Walmart designed for toddler-aged children.

Polaris brought the side-by-side or UTV vehicle category to where it is today by introducing the RZR back in 2007. People commonly refer to the RZR as a ‘razor’ and that can create all sorts of confusion as there is a company called Razor that is famous for the foldable two-wheeled scooter.

In addition to their famous kick scooter, razor also offers products like the hoverboard, the RipStik, and the Dirt Quad which is essentially an electric ATV for young riders. It would be found near the other power wheels at Walmart but it is definitely a step up from those plastic toys as it features knobby tires, disc brakes, and actual suspension.