Side by Sides for Kids | Ultimate Youth UTV Comparison Guide

(My son Lucas, showing me the buttons)

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

https://offroad.polaris.com/

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

https://www.hisunmotors.com/

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

https://pitsterpro.com/

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

http://www.ssrmotorsports.com/

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

http://www.cazadormotorsports.com/

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

https://www.bennche.com

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 

http://www.bvpowersports.com (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 

https://www.vitacci.com/utvs/

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

https://www.massimomotor.com/

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

Levi Bath

I'm the co-creator of OffRoad Lifestyles. I live in Loveland, Colorado with my wife and 3 kids. My wife and I have spent a lot of time out on the sand dunes near Walden, CO and we both love offroading and camping.

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