ATV Sizes and How To Choose
ATV sizes, weight and dimensions vary by class, make and model. Buying the right ATV for your needs is important for rider safety and enjoyment. To help you determine what size ATV you should buy I'll go over the information you need to know.
The size of ATV you need is determined by three important factors. How big you are, how old you are and how much experience you have riding an ATV determine how big your ATV can safely be. Riding an ATV that is too big is dangerous, even for an adult. If your ATV is too heavy it can cause injury during a rollover and the chances of having an ATV accident increase the more powerful the ATV is. Buying the right size ATV is important.
Using Engine Size As A Guideline
- 50cc: Built for children under 12*
- 70cc - 125cc: For young riders between 12 and 16*
- 200cc - 400cc: For young riders over 16 with some riding experience
- 450cc - 1000cc: Strictly for adults, experience allows for riding larger models
*Important: Under no circumstance should any child ever be allowed to ride an over-sized ATV, it's very dangerous and is illegal in many places. Check your local ATV laws, in some areas children are not permitted to ride an ATV at all.
*Important: Under no circumstances should any child ride without proper safety equipment, unsupervised, with a passenger or on an ATV with safety equipment disabled or missing. A rev limiter limits how fast a youth ATV can go and should not be removed.
Average ATV width, length and height
Youth ATV models are approximately 42 inches wide, 46 inches high and 76 inches long. ATVs over 200cc are 48 inches wide, 48 inches high and 84 inches long on average. Exact ATV dimensions vary by manufacturer and model so always sit on and test drive an ATV before buying it to make sure it's the right size for you.
Visit the ATV Manufacturers page for individual ATV specs.
Automatic Transmission and Power Steering
If you don't mind paying a little more you can buy an ATV with an automatic transmission and/or power steering to help you control your quad. Other features that might help you better control your quad include aftermarket tires, improved suspension components and a seat which is slightly higher or lower. You don't want to feel cramped on your ATV but you do need to reach all of the controls comfortably.
Consider what type of riding you will do
ATV manufacturers produce models based on engine size and on riding type. If you plan to use your ATV primarily around the house or farm you will want a utility ATV which is likely to be a little heavier and more powerful but slower.
If you plan to ride on the trails, in the dunes you may want a sport model ATV which is typically lighter and faster than a utility ATV. Sport-utility crossovers are also a popular option so determine what kind of riding you plan to do before choosing between sport and utility ATVs.
Do you need a 4 wheel drive ATV? 4 wheel drive is very useful on ATV trails and around the farm. 4 wheel drive adds to the overall weight on an ATV so is not recommended on youth ATVs. Likewise, ATV racing benefits from having a lighter ATV. For all other riding needs a 4 wheel drive system is extremely helpful and makes your ATV easier to ride.
First time riders should consider taking a rider safety course. Ride Safe!