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.


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.


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). 


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.


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. 


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 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.


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 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. 


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 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.


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 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
IllinoisEvery ORV owner should visit their local Secretary of State Driver Services to apply for a title certificate. 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 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.


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.


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:


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.


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.

What Should I Bring Off-Roading?

Off-roading is one of the most popular activities, but it is one that you need to plan carefully. There are many safety precautions you should take and some essential items you should always have with you to be safe. 

You should bring several things while off-roading to stay safe and healthy. This will include safety lights, emergency kits, navigational tools, and communication equipment. Make sure you wear enough layers and use the proper fabrics for each layer. Lastly, bring more than enough food and water.  

Off-roading can be the best experience you have or the worst experience you have, depending on the equipment you bring with you. It can be very easy to forget things when packing, so this article will describe in detail the most important things you should have while off-roading. You can, of course, customize the list to suit your needs, but overall the list will apply to everyone. 

What Gear Should I Bring?

Off-roading can quickly go bad if you don’t have the right gear. Let’s take a look at the essential things you need to bring with you off-roading. 

Safety Lights

Lights are great to have since it can get so dark when you are far from towns or cities. They can also help in an emergency. Here are a few lights that you should consider having for off-roading: 

  • Emergency LED flares – These are much safer than standard flares but are still just as bright. These are reliable lights to have in case of an emergency. 
  • Bright Flashlight – You should make sure to have a super bright flashlight to bring with you to turn the darkest nights into day. Plans can always go awry, and you might need to set up a tent in the middle of the night. Having a bright source of light is vital.  
  • Red LED flashlight – The red flashlight is for those who want to stay hidden for hunting purposes or for simply observing nature. Animals will run away from white light, but they won’t notice a red LED light. 
  • Headlamps – Headlamps are super useful for off-roading since they are easy to pack. If you purchase a USB-charging one, you will be able to charge it from your car. 

Emergency Kits

The great thing about emergency kits is that they are often very compact and can easily be stored in your vehicle. Here are a few kits you should have on you:

  • Vehicle emergency kit – These are good not only to have while off-roading but are a smart purchase anytime. The GetReadyNow Vehicle Emergency Kit is a very compact kit that has the most bang for your buck. 
  • Disaster kit – If you are going off-roading, you should also have a disaster kit backpack that has even more safety items inside. Ready America 70380 Essentials Emergency Kit will have enough products to last you three days in an emergency. 
  • First aid kit – on top of having emergency and disaster kits, you should also have a first aid kit. If you have a larger vehicle, you are bringing off-roading, consider purchasing a more extensive first aid kit. 

Navigational Tools

Something else that is vital to bring is some navigation tools, especially if you will be doing a lot of hiking/exploring in an area with no cellphone signal. Here are some things you should consider bringing:

  • Maps – Either digital maps or paper maps will work. It is possible to download maps onto your phone, but if you are going to be hiking far distances away from places you can charge your phone, bring a paper map. You can usually find maps for free at any wilderness station or tourist information station. 
  • Compass – You can buy cheap compasses from just about anywhere, and it is an invaluable tool to have. 

Communication Tools

Even though everybody has a cell phone nowadays, they are not indestructible. When you are off-roading, it is easy for a phone to be dropped, cracked, or possibly run over. In case that happens, it is good to have other methods of communication. 

  • GPS satellite communicator – You can find these easily on Amazon or in your local outdoor store. Almost all of them will have emergency SOS alerting. 
  • CB radio – These are most useful if you are off-roading with a group of people. They make it very easy to communicate with each other, but if you are off-roading with one vehicle, it is not something you need. 
  • Two-way radios – If you feel like you will be splitting from the group while off-roading (if some go hiking, for example, or setting up a base camp apart from the group), walkie talkies are a must-have. These are relatively cheap tools of communication. 
  • Ham radios – Even though you will need a license to operate these radios in the US, they will still be worth it. This specific tool is very durable and will likely be the last radio to work when all others fail.  

Miscellaneous Gear You Might Need

  • Camping chainsaw – Off-roading will bring you to a lot of new locations far from any civilization. This means that you will probably come across some fallen trees on the trails. Luckily, you can buy portable chainsaws that don’t take up much space. The Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw is a solid choice. 
  • Windshield ice scraper – don’t forget to bring an ice scraper if you are off-roading in the winter season. 
  • Recovery straps – New terrain will bring new challenges. Make sure you have the proper towing gear in case you get stuck. 
  • Tire air compressor – This will be a more expensive purchase, so think about investing in this if you go off-roading a lot. 
  • Vehicle fluids – This will include oil, gas, windshield washer fluid, and anything else your vehicle might need. 

Electronics You Might Need

  • JumpStarter Power bank.
  • USB power banks. 
  • USB phone chargers.
  • Cameras / GoPros

What Clothes Should I Wear/Bring?

Now that you have all of the gear you could ever need, it is time to think about your clothes. Wearing the proper clothing can transform a bitter, cold winter night into a peaceful wilderness getaway. 

Think About What You Want Your Clothes to Do for You

Before you buy some off-roading clothes, think about what purpose your clothes are going to play. This might sound odd, but it is important to know. For instance, your clothes will need to keep you warm in cold weather, cool in hot weather, dry in wet conditions, breathable in dry conditions, and durable enough to endure your high-intensity adventure. 

Understand How Body Temperature Works

Another thing you need to know before buying clothes is to understand how your body regulates temperature. The average temperature of the human body is 37℃ (98.6°F), but it can range from 36.5℃ (97.7°F) to 37.5℃ (99.5°F). 

When your body is exposed to colder temperatures, your body transfers heat to keep the internal temperature up to avoid a sudden temperature drop. It does this by decreasing the amount of blood flow from the most outer areas subjected to the cold, which includes your feet, hands, or head. On top of that, your body starts to shiver if it is still experiencing temperature drops. 

This method of heat transfer happens when you are hot as well. Instead of circulating the blood inward and away from your hands, feet, and head, blood is circulated outward (to the surface of your body) to your hands, feet, and head to lower the internal temperature of your body. 

Know What Fabrics to Use/Buy

There are so many fabrics available to buy, with each one having their own strengths and weaknesses. If you are going off-roading, you should have the proper wardrobe to keep you either warm or cool. Let’s look at the most popular fabrics and what each is best for. 

  • Cotton – This fabric is one of the most frequently bought materials out there. Cotton is very absorbent, but any liquid that is absorbed will sit in the material. In other words, cotton is very slow to dry. This is why you should never use cotton as a top when you are off-roading, stick to only having cotton pants if you choose the material. 
  • Linen – If you are off-roading in a hotter climate, linen may be the better choice for you. Linen is cool to the touch and is more breathable than cotton. The water and sweat won’t be stuck for hours in this material; it will be quick to dry. However, this material is less durable than cotton, which is why it is best for warmer climates. 
  • Wool – Wool is one of the best materials to have in your wardrobe for off-roading due to a number of reasons. This material is very absorbent, and it can absorb up to 30% of its weight before you actually notice it is damp. Wool is also very durable and flexible. Lastly, it has great insulation. This is why it makes for a great base layer.  
  • Synthetic fabrics – Fabrics such as polyamide, polyester, and polypropylene are chemically treated fabrics, which are also useful when going off-roading. Synthetic fabrics are made to be stronger and have more wicking. This means they repel water, not absorb it. They are also more breathable and UV resistant. 

Know How to Layer Properly

Temperatures can change very quickly in the outdoors, which is why you should layer your clothes to be adaptable to changes in the weather. Let’s go over all of the layers you can have. 

  • Base layer – The main job of the base layer is to keep you insulated and dry. The most common fabrics used for the base layer are wool, cotton and polyester. If you are off-roading in a cold climate, wool will be your best option. 
  • Mid-layer – Choosing the fabric of the mid-layer is important since it needs to be a material that allows the sweat and moisture from the base layer to escape and dry. You can use cotton, wool, linen, polyamide, or polyester for your mid-layer. If you are in a warmer climate, the mid-layer should be good enough (you won’t need any more layers on top of this one).
  • Warm-layer – This layer should be very warm and breathable. If you want the best option, wear a down jacket that is made of synthetic fabrics. Also, keep in mind that the jacket should be easy to fold up and travel with. 
  • Outer layer – This layer is meant to keep wind and rain out. It should be water-proof, breathable, and relatively light. If you want an outer layer in a warmer climate, choose either a windbreaker or a light vest. For colder climates, choose a jacket and pants that are made of polyester and polyamide. 

What Food Do I Need?

Last but not least is food. You will need something to keep you going, but it is hard to know how to pack food when you are going off-roading. A general rule is to bring a lot of protein and foods that will fill you up easily. Let’s look at a few options. 

Never Forget Water

The most important thing to remember when thinking about what food to pack is water. Staying hydrated is crucial, especially when you will be doing a lot of physical activity. Buy a few cases of water bottles or buy a big jug, but whatever you do, bring more than you think you will need. It is better to be over-prepared and not under-prepared. 

No-Cook Food

The easiest option for food is to bring products that you will not have to cook. This can work both for a one-day trip or if you are gone for a few nights. There are a lot of food products you can buy that are still healthy

  • Beef jerky – Protein is the next most important thing to have in your pack. You will need lots of protein to keep your body energized after physically-exhausting adventures. Buy organic jerky from a natural foods store and not from the gas station to avoid preservatives. 
  • Hard-boiled eggs – These work well for protein if you are going for a few days with a cooler. 
  • Pistachios/Walnuts/Almonds – Any kind of nuts should be a staple if you are going for more than a couple of days. 
  • Baked chickpeas – Chickpeas are a great source of fiber, and baked chickpeas are very easy to store. To make them, simply rinse and drain them, sprinkle with olive oil and bake the chickpeas at 450F (232C) for 30-40 min. 
  • Tuna and crackers – If you don’t want to bring a cooler off-roading, buy a few cans of canned tuna and a box of crackers. This will give you omega-3 and carbs. 
  • Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate is a great sweet to bring along if you know you will be craving some sweets. It is healthier than milk chocolate and you won’t be eating the whole bar in one sitting.
  • Cereal – Pick a high fiber cereal (with low sugar) for an easy to grab snack. 
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwiches – For this, use whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter. Then put some banana slices on the sandwich. This will provide protein, fat, and complex carbs. 
  • Dried fruit To keep this snack healthy, look at the ingredients list and make sure there is only fruit listed (no added sugar or syrups).
  • Protein balls – You can easily make no-bake protein balls by mixing together peanut butter or almond butter, some rolled oats, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and anything else you will want to add. You can store these in your cooler. 
  • Trail mix – This is a go-to snack for off-roading. It is easy to store and provides lots of nutrition. 
  • Carrots – This is a great and healthy snack to bring along in your cooler. Hummus tastes great with carrots, so throw that in there as well. 
  • Cheese – You will be expending a lot of energy while off-roading, so it is good to have some source of fat to fill you up. 
  • Sandwiches – Sandwiches work really well for off-roading since they are both easy to make and store. You will be able to fill them full of meat, veggies, and cheese to give you enough sustenance for the trip. 

What to Bring When You Want Cooked Food

Sometimes nothing hits better than a warm meal, and why shouldn’t you have that just because your off-roading? If you want to go this route, you can look into stoves like the Coleman Portable Butane Stove. There are lots of portable camping stoves you can purchase for an affordable price to cook your bacon on. 

If you want to go with a more natural route and not have to deal with gas-powered cooking appliances, you can purchase a solar oven. These use the heat of the sun to cook your food. Solar ovens are great for setting up in the morning and coming back for supper to be ready. 


There are a few things you need to bring when going off-roading. Firstly, make sure you have the proper safety gear with you. This can include safety lights, first aid and survival kits, navigational tools, and communication tools. You might also need a few tools for your car, such as tire air compressors, recovery straps, and a camping chainsaw. 

When deciding what clothing to wear, make sure you have enough layers for the climate you will be off-roading in. You should also make sure you have the proper fabrics for each layer. (Wool or cotton for the base layer, polyester for the outer layer, and so on.) Lastly, bring more water than you will need.

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 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:

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.

Side by Sides for Kids | Ultimate Youth UTV Comparison Guide

When I was 5 my parents got me a Peewee 50. That iconic name refers to a 50cc dirt bike made by Yamaha and it was a great bike for a little kid. It was a small frame with small tires and a good amount of cc’s for the intended rider. This gave little me just enough power to have hours and hours of fun but at the same time not so much power that I risked hospital stays during every ride.

Having three kids, I wanted to see what Peewee options there were in the UTV category. Using the idea of a power-to-fun ratio, I’ve researched all of the side by side options that have a smaller engine and/or specific options aimed at younger riders. The majority of these Youth UTVs have between 130 – 300cc’s as compared to the 800 – 1000cc full-sized UTVs that are considered mainstream (think Polaris RZRs, Yamaha YXZs, and CanAm Maverick X3s).

As for the safety options that are geared towards kids you’ve got your adjustable sliding seats, tilt steering wheels, your engine limiters, and your kill switches. One of the side by sides can even let you define an area in real-world space using your cell phone and then set the max speed of the UTV while in that space and out of it as well.

Right after the table of contents, I’m going to hit you with what I consider to be the best one and then you can scroll down to see the other options and even compare them side by side (pardon the UTV pun) in a spreadsheet of statistics.

The Best Youth UTV

Hands down, the best UTV for kids on the market right now is the Polaris Ranger 150 EFI. Seriously, the ability to lock your kids out of it electronically is great in this day and age of electronic parenting. The idea that my kids can’t go joyriding in it without my permission or my wife’s consent is an awesome feature.

Gone are the days of my mom having to run behind me holding the end of a ten-foot rope that was connected to the kill switch on the 50cc 3-wheeler four-year-old me was driving. I was fascinated with driving straight at our front yard tree so my mom would have to give the rope a good tug and the engine would die.

With the digital engine controls provided in the smartphone app, parents are now able to limit the max speed using a huge range of selectable speeds in miles per hour (MPH).

Another genius feature is the Geofencing option. Using the Smartphone App you are able to draw an area on a satellite image enhanced map to set a ride area. You can then set the speeds inside and outside of that area.

So for example, you could either set an area (like in the campsite) where the kids have to ride slower inside the set boundary to keep the dust down. Or you could set an imaginary space close by the campsite that is the only place where they can ride so they don’t wander off. I think this one feature could be used in so many scenarios.

Because this machine is so full of modern parental controls and because Polaris is a leader in this industry I’m convinced this is the best option for my kids. Check out the video below to see these options in action.

2020 Polaris – Ranger 150 EFI ($5499 MSRP)

  • Geofenced ride boundaries let you create an invisible fenced off area where you can control the speed limit inside and outside of this area.
  • Digital speed limiting using ride command app (this lets you set the exact max speed limit using a smartphone app)
  • Passcode Protected Safe Start (lockout the engine using the smartphone app)
  • Tilt Steering & Slide adjustable driver’s seat
  • Suspension Travel (5.1” front / 6” rear)
  • 150cc engine
  • Recommended Age 10 years old +

Safety and Operating Guidelines

Safety equipment

  • Eye protection
  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Pants
  • Long-sleeved shirt

Safety Recommendations

  • Make sure there is a 2” gap between the top of their helmet and the roll cage.
  • Look for a UTV that has adjustable seats and adjustable speeds to keep them safe and so that your child can get some years out of the machine.
  • Ensure that the passenger can reach the floor with their feet, as well as handles to hold on to.
  • Some of these smaller UTV’s will have some max weight limits you will want to stay under.
  • Must have adult supervision at all times.

Should I buy a Youth UTV or ATV?

Things to consider:

Style: What is your family used to riding? If your kids have grown up riding on the backseat of your four-wheeler or in the passenger seat of your UTV, then they already have an idea of what to expect once it’s their turn to drive.

Age: Old enough on the ATV to be able to maneuver the 4-wheeler with their body around curves on the trail. UTV age requirements start at 10 years old v.s ATV’s (in some states) will allow a 6 year on a 50 CC ATV. However, a small 6-year-old controlling an ATV that is capable of going 30 MPH might be a scary combination, especially if they don’t have experience.

Safety: There is no roll cage or seat belt on an ATV versus a Side by Side. ATVs have a higher center of gravity which means a greater risk of rolling.  A UTV is more like driving a car and an ATV is more like driving a motorcycle.

How old does my child have to be to drive a UTV?

  • Each state has different age requirements, however, on private land, there are no restrictions.
  • Each manufacturer has their own guidelines, usually age 10 years or older

Youth Side by Side Helmets

To see more options and learn more about helmets go visit our Recommended Gear Helmets page.

Youth Harness for UTV

If you’re not very excited about the seat belts that your UTV or future UTV has to offer then you could always upgrade to a five-point seat belt.

Polaris Youth Side by Sides

Polaris originally got their start in snowmobiles starting in 1954. They have been in the offroad game since the mid-eighties with their iconic utility-style four-wheelers but when they released the RZR in 2008, it was a game-changer.

They created the sport side by side category of vehicles and unlike the competition, they did it domestically and are very proud to be an American company. They are always blazing new trails with their vehicles and the technology behind them and have the most variety of what they offer over their competition.

2020 Polaris – 170 EFI ($5,299 MSRP)

  • Parent Adjustable Speed Limiting
  • 169cc engine
  • 5″ Suspension Travel (Front & Rear)
  • Tilt Steering
  • LED Daylights
  • Recommended Age 10 years old + 

2019 Polaris – ACE 150 EFI ($3,999 MSRP)

  • 4-Mode electronic speed limiting
  • Tilt steering
  • 5.7″ of seat sliding adjustability
  • Suspension travel (5” Front / 6” Back)
  • 9″ of ground clearance
  • 149cc engine
  • Recommended Age 10 years old +

Off Brand Youth Side by Sides

Polaris is the only company currently offering a youth side by side model out of the big players including Yamaha, Honda, CanAM, & Kawasaki.

The rest of this list could be categorized as more of the off-brand or cheap or Chinese side by sides depending on who you are talking to.

A lot of these companies are based out of China but have a warehouse in Texas so they can import the UTVs over here to America and have somewhere to assemble them and act as a local support hub for customers.

Some of these brands look identical to each other as I believe they are part of the same larger company.

hiSUN Youth Side by Sides

HISUN used to build ATVs for other companies as a private label partner before growing their own brand. HISUN Motors has a facility in Texas for assembly, parts, and support but is essentially a Chinese UTV & ATV off-road manufacturer. They’ve been around since the late eighties and in 1996 started creating their own engines as a power plant for their lineup. In 2008 they came up with the first V-Twin Powersports engine to be manufactured in China.

2019 hiSUN – STRIKE 250 ($5,199)

  • 229cc Engine
  • 2500lb Winch included
  • Half doors
  • Hard roof
  • 2 piece windshield
  • turn signals & horn
  • analog speedo & tach w/ LCD rider info
  • Recommended Age 12 years old +

2019 hiSUN – SECTOR 250 ($5,299)

  • 229cc Engine
  • 2500lb Winch included
  • Half doors
  • Hard roof
  • 2 piece windshield
  • Turn signals & horn
  • Analog speedo & tach w/ LCD rider info
  • Recommended Age 12 years old +

Pitster Youth Side by Sides

USA Motortoys was born out of the pit bike craze of the early 2000s and was aimed at manufacturing factory pit bikes and mini machines so people wouldn’t have to pour thousands into modifying little kid’s dirt bikes.

Pitster Pro – Avenger ($3,695.99)

  • Adjustable throttle control
  • Adjustable driver’s seat
  • Full doors
  • Half windshield
  • Suspension travel (6” front / 5.5” rear)
  • Recommended Age 16 years old + 
  • Up to 34MPH

Pitster Pro – Lil Mojave ($3,999)

  • Adjustable Throttle Control
  • Mesh Net Doors
  • Recommended Age 16 years old + 

SSR Youth Side by Side

SSR Motorsports is another brand that got its start in the pit bike craze opening its doors in 2002. They are an importer and distributor of off-road products such as pit bikes, dirt bikes, enduros, and UTVs. SSR offers on-road products such as street bikes and scooters and they also have a large lineup of electric bikes and scooters.

2018 SRS – SRU170RS ($4,199 MSRP)

  • Maximum Speed of 35 mph
  • 168.9 cc engine
  • Weight capacity of 330lbs
  • Mesh Net Doors
  • LED Headlights & Taillights
  • LED Light Bar
  • Over-the-hood Reinforcement Bar

Cazador Youth Side by Sides

Cazador is another Texas-based importer/distributor of UTVs, ATVs, and Go Karts.

Cazador Beats 180 ($3,699 MSRP)

  • Maximum Speed of 28 mph
  • 169 cc engine
  • Front bumper / brush guard
  • Front and Rear LED LIghting

Cazador Enforcer

  • Front and Rear tubular bumpers
  • 150cc Engine
  • Nets

Bennche Youth UTV

Bennche is a Texas-based off-road vehicle company and is the Official ATV & UTV of the Texas Rangers. These toys are powered by the Japanese made Kubota engines.

Bennche Spire 150 ($3,799 MSRP)

  • Front and Rear tubular bumpers
  • 150cc Engine
  • Nets
  • Age limit of 12 recommended

Trailmaster Youth Side by Side (website not really working as of this writing)

This is another of the Texas-based importer/distributor of Chinese UTVs but unlike the rest, this one seems to be the hardest to find a strong web presence and is easier to find for sale on Amazon.

TrailMaster Challenger 150X

  • 150cc Engine
  • Side Nets
  • Electric start with kill switch
  • Adjustable Steering Wheel
  • Adjustable Driver Seat w/ 4 Point Safety Seatbelt
  • Windshield
  • Front Bumper
  • Digital Speedometer/Odometer
  • Top LED Hunting Lights
  • Max load: 500 lbs

You can buy this bad boy right from Amazon (click here to check it out)

Youth Blade UTV

Vitacci is a Texas-based importer of scooters, cycles, ATVs, UTVS, and go-karts.

Vitacci Blade 150cc

  • 149.6cc
  • Front & rear LED lights
  • Windshield
  • ¾ doors
  • Front bumper
  • Solid roof
  • 34MPH top speed

Massimo Youth UTV

Massimo Motor Sports LLC was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Garland, Texas. They import and assemble from China as well. They offer utility UTVs, recreational ATVs, and mini-bikes.

Massimo MSU 200 ($2,999 MSRP)

  • Front Bumper
  • Door Nets
  • Vinyl roof
  • Windshield
  • 149.6cc

Youth UTV Comparison Table

Youth Electric Side by Side

Most parents that are looking for an electric UTV are shopping for more of a toddler aged kiddo and are looking for more of a ‘power wheels-type’ vehicle like these:

My Kids personally had the dune racer and they ran that thing all over their grandmother’s back yard for hours on end. Also, it’s about $100 cheaper than the above options.

Related article about buying a UTV

Why Buy a UTV?

The main reason to own a UTV is for their recreational and utility off-road uses.  UTV’s are typically narrower than a standard vehicle making them easier to drive on smaller tighter dirt roads and their tires and suspension are designed to maneuver rougher terrain than a paved road. 

Narrow Can travel on smaller pathways
Off-road suspension and handling Handles different terrains: dirt, sand, mud, hills, rocks
Steering wheel, Gas and Brake Pedals Similar controls to a car for an easier learning transition
Roll-cage Protection in case of a rollover crash
Seats with seat-belts Being strapped in for safety
Multi-purpose Recreational or Utility  play in the dirt or have a project
1-6+ passengers Transporting multiple people in remote areas or just fun with friends

Since UTV’s are steering wheel operated and brake and gas pedal controlled it’s a fairly easy transition from driving a car to driving one of these off-road vehicles.

A UTV consists of a body frame that includes a roll cage to help protect its passengers and not all off-road vehicles offer this feature. Plus they can seat anywhere from 1 – 6 people whereas other smaller off-road vehicles can be limited to no more than 2 riders

Examples of why you would want to own a UTV:

  • Offroading
  • Hauling
  • Camping
  • Exploring
  • Hunting
  • Racing
  • Construction
  • Carrying loads
  • Transporting people
  • Snow removal
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Military
  • Law enforcement
  • Fire and rescue
  • Parks management
  • Public works

There are two main types of UTV’s you could own that are built differently to accommodate different off-road needs. 

 The 1st type of UTV is Recreational or Sport UTVs that are more performance-based vehicles and mechanically are designed to push max-speeds, the suspension that can handle jumps and steering to maneuver tight turns on trails. They tend to be more of a mix of a quad and a dune buggy.

The 2nd type is of UTV  is more suited for Work and utility-based needs and typically offer a cargo bed for storage in the rear, can handle larger towing capacities, and are more of a mix between a golf cart and a truck. 

Are Side by Sides Fun? And are they worth it?

Do you like going fast? Hitting jumps in a vehicle that shouldn’t be able to leave the ground under its own power? Of course their fun. One of the most exciting parts of off-road motorsports is doing something you can’t do in car or street motorcycle. 

You will probably spend a large amount of time during your life in a highway based vehicle like a car so you know where you can and can’t take your car if you don’t want to be in need of a tow truck. There is nothing like looking at that idea backward and not just taking the safest route possible, but instead aiming for the challenge.

The feeling of dropping down into an area that is really steep and really deep is so, so amazing. You are committing to giving it everything you and your machine can do to climb back out. 

Or what it’s like to keep hitting that lip a little bit faster each time so see how much more air you can get while still riding that fine line of safety. Or just putting the pedal all the way down and flying across rolling hills of terrain that most road vehicles can’t even get out to.

Now, imagine doing all that with a copilot or even a cab full of people. Your now the rollercoaster operator and they are the excited riders with no sense of control over the ride but there are no rails to keep you on track so the possibility of the ride actually going wrong is there.

It’s exciting and adrenaline rushing, to say the least. I personally think the amount of fun is totally worth the risk.

Why are Side by Sides so Popular? and Why Are UTVs So Expensive?

If you go to a dealership or visit Polaris or Can-AM’s websites you will find a huge range of UTV pricing from $5k all the way past $30k for an off-road toy. So what has pushed that price tag up to where it is?


One of the reasons for their pricing has to do with UTVs being on an upward trend. The idea of a small buggy-like vehicle that could share the same territory as a four-wheeler is not a brand new one. For years people have been creating vehicles similar to an Odyssey or a go-cart to take off-road.

Before I was 10 my dad had built me a small single seat buggy out of an old three-wheeler. I’ve even seen a wave of people transforming old golf carts into awesome off-road machines. But after Polaris introduced the RZR back in 2008, people flocked to this exact recipe of an off-road vehicle.

I grew up in a family of sand rail people and I myself am still a ‘buggy’ guy but one thing that never caught on with sand rails was a large motorsport company creating a factory built vehicle.

Sand rails have always been a very custom ride pieced together from parts made by different manufacturers. When Polaris proved that the market did want a small off-road buggy-type sports vehicle it wasn’t long before other large motorsport manufacturers jumped on the wave.

By 2012 the trend became an upward hill of interest with no signs of going away anytime soon.

Race Ready

Some newer sport UTVs only need slight modifications to be able to race with the big boys in trophy trucks and race buggies in huge races such as the Baja 1000 and cost only a fraction of what a trophy truck costs($600k-$1M).

Stop for a minute and think of a side by side as a small car. Now, what kind of car can you buy that can reach 80mph on bumpy offroad terrain or take jumps that send the car sailing ten feet high in the air and still be able to drive that vehicle the next day. I’m pretty sure that if you jumped a $15k Kia Rio it would be totaled.

UTVs have suspension that is designed to travel really far up and down compared to a car. Most older dune buggies were designed around the idea of using parts from older Voltswagon bugs and vans including the suspension.

I used to jump my moms sand rail (powered by VW parts) at the dunes until I got too brave and was getting three to six feet of air before I started breaking stuff and was told I had to get my own ride.

Some UTVs are coming stock with 22 inches of suspension travel which gives you a lot of cushion for some high speed whoops sections and some big air. And speaking of stuff breaking, the major UTV companies offer at least a 6-month limited warranty and the option to buy an extended warranty.

Meeting the ROHVA Definition of an ROV / UTV

Making the highest performing 1000cc engine with the highest horsepower has pushed the cost of UTVs to new heights also. The big brands like Polaris, Can-AM, Yahama, & Honda are all pushing to be the biggest and the best when it comes to horsepower stats.

Because a UTV needs to meet the standard of having an engine with a displacement of no more than 1000cc, these companies have started adding more performance parts like turbos to their UTVs to reach higher and higher horsepower numbers.

These performance add-ons cost more from a horsepower-to-dollar ratio than if you could just upgrade to a larger cc engine, but the manufacturers have to stay under 1000cc for the vehicle to still be considered a UTV. For more info on 1000cc UTV limitations, check out our article right here.

Side by Side Beginner Questions – The What Where & How of UTVs

As we try to expand our understanding of Side by Sides, my wife and I have created another guide here to cover some of the more beginner questions. In our 1st Basic UTV Visual Guide article, we hopefully made UTVs easier to understand and talk about so if you haven’t already please go have a look at that article here. Now that you know what a side by side is, let talk about what can you do with one.

What are UTVs used for?

There are a variety of different ways to use a UTV/Side by Side and here are some examples for both work & play:

  • camping
  • exploring
  • hunting
  • racing
  • carrying loads
  • transporting people
  • construction
  • snow removal
  • lawn maintenance
  • military
  • law enforcement
  • fire and rescue
  • parks management
  • public works

Where are UTVs designed to be operated?

UTVs or side by sides are designed to be used in off-road environments such as:

  • Trail Riding

There are lots of places to take your Side by Side on off-road trails and pathways to explore the countryside whether it be private or public lands. Trails can be as easy as a country dirt road or involve crossing streams surrounded by mud. They can be full of huge rocks that require a spotter (someone outside of the vehicle giving you direction) or some smaller 50 inch and under trails can take you into some dense forest type areas that are almost impossible to reach with a larger vehicle and that can make for some exciting exploration.

  • Hill Climbing

One of the most fun parts of having an off-road toy is putting yourself against a large and challenging hill climb. Unlike a race where you are putting your skills and your ride up against other people, hill climbing is just you versus the mountain. It’s exhilarating watching as others try and try to hit certain lines or paths up the hill and have to try over and over. When it’s your turn it can be adrenaline rushing. Whether it be sand, dirt, or rock the mountain will put your rig and your driving abilities to the test.

  • Farm

Whether you are transporting supplies or plowing fields, side by sides are great utility options. There are many accessories that you can pull behind a UTV to get the job done on a farm. One of which is a trailer. A trailer is a very multipurpose tool and behind a UTV it can go in some smaller areas that a full-sized tractor may not fit. Other accessories include mowing, seed spreaders, harrowing, and raking attachments. You can even get attachments for safely herding livestock.

  • Job Site

I’ve personally moved more bags of concrete on my shoulder than I can even recall. I built decks, patio covers, and pergolas for five years and I would have absolutely loved to have had a UTV at our disposal. Especially for moving large amounts of concrete bags around some of our bigger job sites. I’ve also been on some larger commercial projects where moving people from a work trailer to the site was a logistical consideration. Some tools are just ridiculously heavy and having a UTV can really help in a lot of different scenarios in the construction industry.

  • Race Track

UTV racing covers more than just the traditional race track you might think of as an ATV rider. UTVs have their own class at the some of the biggest racing events of the year including the Baja 1000 and the Best In The Desert Series. These two races, in particular, are long desert races that push you and your vehicle for hours on end. Side by Sides get some major upgrades to the speed, handling, and safety of the vehicle to perform with the rest of the pack at these big races. Other race venues can include maneuvering and jumping various obstacles at a traditional track setting or even cornering through tight woodland trail type racing.

  • Sand Dunes

For years, my family and I have been going to the sand dunes in Northern Colorado to play. Sand dunes can be a fun mix of wide open play areas, challenging hill climbs, jumps, trail riding, and an all-around fun camping experience. Weather conditions can create and/or change the shape of the terrain and produce an assortment of different places to play. There are bowls to climb and jump out of and giant hills to challenge the ability of your machine and your driving skills. A shower never felt as good as it does at the end of a long weekend at the dunes. The sand goes in places you didn’t know you had.

No matter where you take your UTV, be sure to use the buddy system, be courteous and slow down for oncoming traffic, and always use required safety equipment like eye protection, head protection, whips (flag) for over the hill visibility, and just some old fashioned common sense.

Are side by sides allowed on trails?

Yes, Side by Sides are allowed on trails but there are certain restrictions depending on the width of the UTV. There are two major sizes of UTVs which are 50 inches wide and 60+ inches wide. Trails that have a 50-inch width restriction are designed more for a four-wheeler sized vehicle or smaller and trails greater than the 50″ restriction are geared more towards larger off-road vehicles.

I live in Colorado and we have a wonderful tool called the Colorado Trail Explorer and as you can see from the image below you can choose between ATV trails or OHV/off-highway vehicle (>50″) trails.

Be sure to check out the restrictions where you are going to ride as some trails define their rules based on if the vehicle seats passengers side to side versus front to back or even the weight of the vehicle, not just the width of the vehicle.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of UTV trails out there for everyone to discover.

How to drive a UTV

If you are just getting started with your Side by Side learning journey and are wondering how similar they are to driving a car… they are just not the same driving experience.

Since most UTV’s have higher ground clearance and a narrower design, their center of gravity is usually higher than most cars which means that they have a greater risk for tipping and flipping. It’s in your best interest to start off slow on flatter easier terrain and evolve or progress to more challenging terrain as you build up your experience. Going fast on one of these types of vehicles means you have less reaction time to handle obstacles so it is recommended to gradually expose yourself to harsher terrain and speeds over time.

There are courses out there that you can take to get well acquainted with Side by Sides whether it be for offroad play or at the job site. offers a free E-Course that provides two hours of interactive and multimedia content. After completing the E-Course you can then signup for an ROV Basic DriverCourse and use their search tool to find an instructor in your area for hands-on training.

If you’re someone who likes to read, the US Department of Agriculture has a 68 page PDF Operator Training Course that was designed for forest service employees and covers quite a bit about UTVs and how to use them in an illustrated guide.

If you need to get your employees certified to use a UTV you can visit and for $79 you can purchase a 60-minute online training that is OSHA compliant and delivers printable certificates/wallet cards.

How fast do Side by Sides go?

Sport off-road side by sides have a top speed between 75-95 miles per hour depending on the exact model UTV, any potential built-in limiters, the terrain, and modifications that have been done. The more utility type UTVs are going to have more of a top speed in the 25-45MPH range.

Are side by sides automatic?

The majority of side by sides are considered automatic because the transmission is doing the work for you. But they are not the same automatic transmission that your car has. A large number of Side by Sides have what is called a CVT or continuously variable transmission. This type of belt-driven transmission relies on pulleys and a centrifugal clutch similar to a snowmobile. As you start to give it throttle, the pulleys engage the belt and power is distributed down to the wheels.

Not all UTV’s have an automatic transmission as Yamaha’s newer YXZ1000R UTV models have a five-speed transmission that can be controlled with steering wheel paddle shifters similar to sports cars like the Ferrari.

On the utility side of the UTV world, there is a transmission option called the hydrostatic transmission. This is a variable control system like the CVT but it uses hydraulic oil, plates, and shafts. It has fewer parts that require maintenance and lends itself to more utility accessories that require hydraulics like a utility dump bed that moves up and down for example.

Do you have to register, liscense, and title a Side by Side?

Registration Sticker Example

You will need to register and title your side by side for public use.

Much like a car, you will get a title when you purchase a side by side that can be used to prove ownership. That will be necessary documentation in a loan or insurance situation.

Then depending on your state, you will be required to register, obtain permits, or license your UTV. Here in Colorado, we are required to get an Off-Highway Vehicle Registration which basically amounts to buying a $25 sticker that we attach to our vehicle. (see example image)

If you are just using your side by side on your property or your farm only then you may not need to register it but if you do then you may qualify for a farm use tax exemption.

Do Side by Sides need insurance?

No, not all UTVs need insurance. However, there are some situations where you would be required to carry it. Whether or not you need insurance for your UTV/Side by Side is not a one size fits all kind of answer. It depends on many factors like what state you live in/play in, what you use it for, if you have a loan that requires it, and where you want to ride (public or private land). It can be used to protect your vehicle in a wreck, protect you from getting sued because of a wreck, or even just protect you in the event of a UTV theft.

Keep in mind that some insurance companies will give you a discount if you take an off-road course.

If you’re someone who lives on a chunk of land and are able to use your UTV at home then there would be a good chance you would be covered by your homeowner’s insurance for most scenarios.

If you are using them for work purposes then you will most likely need commercial insurance.

For the states that do require it, much like insuring a car, there is a minimum ‘liability’ requirement which covers property damage, bodily injury, and legal fees.

How long do side by sides last?

How long do UTVs last or How many miles do side by sides last are both questions that are not a one-sentence quick answer. These questions are similar to asking how many miles are on a car or truck and then looking up the average lifespan of that particular make and model of vehicle. That works for most vehicles you drive on the road because of where you are driving it: on the road. That’s the constant and because of that, the average car gets driven in a fairly similar way.

When it comes to off-road vehicles, where you take it and how you drive it are some very large variables as to how long it will last you. A UTV that gets driven around the exact same paths on a farm day in and day out but with some serious attention to detail when it comes to the maintenance is going to far outlive a UTV that gets pushed hard on crazy rough terrain and then just put back in the garage until next time and not maintained at all.

UTV & Side by Sides – A Basic Visual Guide

These fun off-road toys are known by many names and can be confusing to someone who is first getting into the sport. I was trying to explain what they are to my wife and mom and realized how messy it can be with all the different acronyms and such so I wanted to write an easy helpful resource to help clarify things.

Here are a few of the names commonly associated with Side by Side vehicles:

  • UTV (utility task vehicle or utility terrain vehicle)
  • Side by Side (sometimes written as SxS)
  • RZR (a specific model of a UTV)

And here are some of the not commonly used names that are used by machines, encyclopedias, and the government:

  • ROV (recreational off-highway vehicle)
  • MOHUV (multipurpose off-highway utility vehicle)

And What it’s not:

  • ATV (This is a 4 wheeler that you straddle like a horse also known as a quad)

So what are side by sides and what does a UTV look like?

A Side by Side is a small to medium sized off-road vehicle that generally consists of a body frame that includes a roll cage to protect its passengers. They can seat anywhere from 1 – 6 people and the majority of SxS’s are powered by motorcycle sized engines.

They can include four-wheel independent suspension and can be set up for long travel shocks and springs to take some very large jumps and not take any damage. Most have doors of some kind and some have the option of a fully enclosed cab.

Side by sides or UTVs are small vehicles that are designed to handle off-road terrain like dirt, mud, and sand. They can be used for fun camping trips in the mountains or everyday working scenarios like on a farm or job-site.

Recreational UTVs are a mix of a quad and a dune buggy. They have the portability of a four-wheeler which gives you the option of trail riding. Like four wheelers, you can take them on a much narrower path down skinny winding trails that larger 4×4’s can’t go down. But with the option of taking more people in the vehicle with you.

Work UTVs have a cargo bed in the rear and are more of a mix between a golf cart and a truck. They are good for transporting heavy loads and have more utility purposes such as hunting, mowing, plowing, and transporting materials crews and tools.

What does UTV stand for?

I mentioned above that there are two different UTV acronyms: Utility Task Vehicle and Utility Terrain Vehicle.

For me, a Utility Task Vehicle conjures up an idea of a job site vehicle with a small truck bed on the back that can move heavy tools or materials to a different part of the work site much easier and faster than doing it by hand. These types of UTVs would most likely be geared lower to have more low-end torque and less overall speed.

A Utility Terrain Vehicle is more of a recreational toy that you would see flying up a sand dune or down an off-road trail. These can take jumps and handle corners at high speeds as they have the necessary suspension. The engines have more horsepower and are designed for higher top speeds.

Why is it called a side by side?

So why are side by sides called by Side by Sides? The easy answer would be that most of them have two seats that are literally sitting side by side or left to right versus sitting in a row front to back like a motorcycle or quad.

What is the difference between a UTV and a Side by Side?

A UTV is a Side by Side. They are the same vehicle but just two different names. These are the two most common names for this type of off-road vehicle. While the term Side by Side is the most commonly used name as it refers to two seats sitting side by side, the seating arrangements can vary greatly from just one seat right in the middle of the cab all the way up to six passenger seats.

Is an RZR an ATV or UTV?

The RZR (pronounced “razor’) is a specific model of UTV/Side by Side made by Polaris. Because of the popularity of this specific make and model, some people started referring to all Side by Side models as a ‘razor’. This would be like referring to all tissues as a Kleenex or all tablet computers as an iPad. An RZR is just one example of a Side by Side. There are many brands/manufacturers, see an example list further down below.

Are side by sides considered ATVs?

Side by Sides and ATVs (or quads or 4 wheelers) are definitely not the same class of vehicle. While they may be used similarly for work or play, they have very different design features.

Here are the 4 biggest differences:

SteeringSteering Wheel
(like a car)
Handle Bars
(like a motorcycle)
Gas & BrakeFoot Pedals
(like a car)
Hand controls
(like a motorcycle)
SeatingBucket seats or bench seating
(like a car)
Straddle seating
(like a motorcycle)
SafetyRoll cage, seat belts, optional doors
(like a car)
Open air design
(like a motorcycle)

ATV & UTV Similarities:

The reason these two vehicles could be mistakenly grouped as the same besides the acronyms have just one letter off from each other (ATV and UTV) is that they are also used very similarly and have similar mechanical parts.

They both have multiple different names for the same machine as an ATV or All Terrain Vehicle can also be called a quad, 4 wheeler, 3 wheeler, or quadricycle.

You can take both on narrower paths and smaller tracks which make them more versatile than larger Jeeps and 4×4’s.

They are made by some of the same manufacturers/brands and have similar parts such as off-road knobby tires, A-arm coil over suspension, and comparable engine sizes.

Both ATV and UTV have models that are designed just for a hunting application with extra cargo space and optional gun racks & mounts.

ATV & UTV Differences:

The UTV and ATV may have some overall mechanical similarities, but they are totally different driving experiences. A UTV/Side by Side handles more like a car, and an ATV handles more like a motorcycle.

When riding an ATV, throwing your body weight around is a big part of controlling the vehicle. You’re going to be leaning into corners to not fall off or roll the 4 wheeler.

You’ll stand for bumpy terrain and jumps and then correct any balance issues in the air by shifting your weight around. Because of these riding nuances, it can limit the number of passengers as having someone behind you will limit your mobility.

In contrast, driving a UTV or side by side your body weight has less impact on the overall driving experience. Your passengers can enjoy the full experience of taking corners at high speeds and hitting jumps without you being held back or wondering if the passenger is still holding on.

Because you are strapped into a seat in a UTV, you have less ability to use your weight to correct any sort of aerial balance issues. Once you hit the jump, you are fairly fixed in which way the scenario plays out.

Do side by sides have seat belts?

The quick answer is yes. In fact, the majority of new UTVs that come off the assembly line have a very similar seat belt to a car that has a lap belt and shoulder strap in one that clicks down into a quick release receptacle. In a more custom off-road vehicle like a dune buggy, you might see everything from 5 point harness systems all the way down to just a lap belt.

Side by Side Examples

UTV Manufacturer Examples

  • Arctic Cat
  • Bobcat
  • Can Am
  • Cat
  • Coleman
  • Hisun
  • Honda
  • John Deere
  • Kawasaki
  • Polaris
  • Suzuki
  • Yamaha

Similar Vehicle Examples

Wrapping things up

Now you have a good idea of what a Side by Side is and looking at the pictures above you can probably tell that the UTV didn’t just appear out of thin air as a brand new idea, but evolved over time from many different off-road vehicles.