Holiday Gift Guide: ATV for Kids or Youth
- on August 22, 2023
- Categories: Articles
ATVs aren’t just hobby options for adults. Kids can enjoy the speed and freedom of traveling over fields and through forests with ATVs, though selecting the right vehicle is important for safety reasons. Here’s what you should know about selecting the right ATV for kids as a holiday gift.
Common Concerns With an ATV for Kids
Opinions on the appropriateness of ATVs for kids are split, but you can safely let your child enjoy the thrill by focusing on equipment that is age-appropriate. The bigger an ATV is, the larger the engine tends to be. This means the vehicle will travel a lot faster, but it also means the vehicle is heavier and requires more control.
Putting a kid on an oversized machine is dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 25% of emergency room visits for ATV-related injuries were for children younger than 16. Your child needs to have age-appropriate equipment but also the physical and mental maturity to safely operate an ATV.
Even if you are looking at a specific ATV for kids, consider the child’s emotional and physical development. Physically, your child needs the size and strength to control the machine. They should also have the coordination and motor skills needed to turn the handlebars, operate a brake lever or adjust the throttle.
Emotionally, your child needs to display reasonable decision-making abilities. Being able to focus and discipline themselves to avoid dangerous maneuvers or tricks is what will help prevent accidents. Riding an ATV relies on many of the balance and mental principles of riding a bicycle. If your child can easily do this, your child could be ready.
Tips for Selecting ATVs for Kids
While you might want the fastest or most impressive-looking machine for your adventurous child, there are several things you need to consider. These include:
- Speed and power
- Supervisory controls
- Drive mechanism
- Safety features
- Brake and foot controls
There are recommendations on ATV sizes for kids that can give you a head start on where to start your search. These recommendations take safety and operating ease into consideration, but you’ll need to look at specific models for the features that apply to your situation.
Speed and Power
The guidance for ATV safety comes from the CSPS with their recommendation of engine sizes appropriate to young riders. While they recommend anything with an engine of 90cc or greater is best for teenagers, many models offer increased stability, speed governors and other features to ensure suitability and safety for younger riders.
Depending on the age of your child, being able to control the speed of the ATV is one way of keeping them safe until they are capable of handling the machine. Some of the most popular controls on an ATV for kids include exhaust restrictors, throttle limiters and remote shut-off switches. Some models have a tethered shut-off or kill switch, while others have a remote activation. An exhaust restrictor helps reduce the power of the engine, while the limiter can maintain lower speeds.
The design of an ATV impacts how easily a child can operate it while staying safe. A good suspension system helps prevent bouncing and pitching over bumps at high speeds. For the smoothest ride with maximum control and superior traction, coil spring and shock absorbers are ideal.
The engines on ATVs for kids can be burn hazards. Take note of where the engine components are, including the exhaust and muffler. There should be guards or safety features to prevent burns. The design should also account for the risk of fire by preventing the ability for dry trash to build near the exhaust parts.
Brake and foot controls vary by ATV, with some models only having rear brakes and others having front and rear brakes on independent controls. Your child needs to operate either system properly and understand how to avoid losing control during sharp turns.
Check the foot pegs and rear fenders. The design should minimize the risk of the foot slipping off and getting caught under the wheel.
Quality Options When Buying an ATV for Kids
Now that you know what to look for, you can start looking for a suitable vehicle for your kids. ATVs make great gifts, as they provide excitement and adventure for years.
Trailmaster T110 ATV
If you want an ATV for beginners, the T110 ATV 6'' Kids or Youth Sports Hunters style is perfect for riders aged 6 and up. It has a comfortable sport style with reliable high torque and an automatic transmission. You’ll get mid-range performance from this machine, but with its four-stroke, air-cooled engine, there won’t be any problems with trails and hills.
In addition to its performance, you can be confident in the safety of your young rider. It has both front and rear brakes and suspension. You can control the speed down to 9 miles per hour with the governor, and you can use the remote kill switch to increase your child’s safety.
Coolster 3125R Youth Quad Mid-Size Deluxe Sport
If you want something with a bit of extra power, the Coolster 31125R with reverse and electric start is a great value. With a 107cc motor, you get a great internal transmission, a high-quality carburetor and heavy-duty engine components. This model has an upgraded A-arm front suspension and a superior mid-sized steel; frame.
It’s fully automatic and designed for off-road use. It has a rugged rear swingarm and single rear shock. With 16” tires and hydraulic disc brakes, there isn’t a trail your youngster can't conquer on this ATV.
RPS JET 8 8" Aluminum Rim Sport Style ATV
Another great choice as an ATV for kids is the RPS JET 8. This air-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder 125cc engine has a number of features perfect for youth riders. It has an automatic transmission with an electric start. It comes with the ability to travel in reverse, sports a rear utility rack and has quality aluminum rims.
Riders will appreciate the dual coil front suspension and the single coil-over mono-shock in the rear. A foot shifter promotes the safety of your child and improves the durability of the gear shifter. The vehicle can reach max speeds of 30 mph.
With a slightly larger design and engine size, the RPS UT125-19 is a better option for kids aged 10 and up. With a 125 cc engine and 19-inch tires, this vehicle has a lot of power and offers plenty of traction for the tough trails. This model has a fully electric start using a key, automatic transmission and hydraulic front and rear brakes.
Safety features that you’ll appreciate include brake lights, a horn, dual headlights and a throttle limiter. The midsized steel frame supports a range of riders, and the independent A-arm front suspension makes for a comfortable ride. Riders can bring plenty of gear in the front and rear steel cargo racks.
Coolster ATV Series Ranger Youth
If you’re looking for an ATV gift for the smaller members of your family, this Coolster ATV is a mini-sized ATV. With a four-stroke, 110cc motor, your young riders have a dependable way to enjoy the trails and fields with the rest of the family. It’s a lightweight ATV with an electric start for easy operation.
This model emphasizes safety using a number of features, including a foot brake. The speed limits can adjust down to 7 miles per hour, and a safety tether triggers an automatic engine shut off if the rider falls off. Foot guards and chain guards protect your kids from injury while riding.
Apollo Blazer 9 Ultra Wide ATV 125
If you want increased performance for your middle or high schooler’s ATV but still want to focus on safety, consider the Apollo ATV 125. This model is ultra-wide and designed to give riders a new experience in power and style. With a 125cc engine, racing-style chain drive system, and push-button electric start, your rider will get the adrenaline that they crave.
Although it comes with flair and style, it’s built for reliability with rear disc brakes, steel exhaust, heavy-duty, automatic transmission and more. The ultra-wide frame can handle weights up to 220 pounds at speeds up to 30 mph.
Accessories To Go With an ATV for Kids
In addition to the safety features of your ATV, ensure you invest in quality riding gear and accessories that support your child’s safety. Some of the items to purchase include:
- Protective helmets
- Riding gloves
- Protective visors or riding goggles
- Long-sleeve riding shirts or jackets and long pants
- Riding boots
Proper fit is just as important as the quality of the materials your gear is made from. Gear that is too big can get in the way or cause distractions.