If you’ve been searching for information on a kids ATV like me, there is a lot out there.
So what I’ve done is put together the complete parents guide to buying an ATV for Kids.
Everything you need to know is on this page, covering how to choose the right ATV for your kids, ATV safety, ATV maintenance and how to ride an ATV. I then go through the best ATV’s available for all ages at all costs in the buying guide.
So long as you follow this guide, buying a kids ATV is easy.
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Kids ATVs Navigation
What Are ATVs For Kids?
An ATV, or four wheeler or quad, is an all-terrain vehicle designed to go off-road and take you on fast-paced adventures a normal vehicle could not.
A kids ATV is an ATV that is designed with a kids form and function in mind, prioritising their safety.
A kid should never ride an adult ATV until they meet the physical requirements and are mature to handle that type of vehicle. There are various ATV sizes out there to make sure your kid has a great fit, which I cover below.
5 Reasons To Buy A Kids ATV
These are the reasons why I chose to buy my kids an ATV.
- It Gets Them Out The House – with endless distractions due to screens everywhere, video game consoles, phones, iPads, YouTube etc it is really an effort for parents today to get their kids outdoors. ATVs for kids are perfect for that and are really fun.
- Character Building – learning to ride an ATV is pretty easy for anyone. Once my little ones were out and about, I noticed they became a lot more confident in their own abilities. Our rides together got longer and more difficult and they handled it really well.
- They learn mechanics & physics – OK, so they’re not engineers or scientists by a long stretch! But learning how their ATV worked and maintaining it themselves is a great skill. Plus when they are riding, they understand weight distribution when going over some pretty wild terrain.
- Family Time – overall, because I’ve got my Kids ATVS I spend much more time with them. It’s a great activity for us all to do together!
- Gets them social – by this I mean they joined the local ATV club, which is great because they spend time with other kids who are into the sport. Plus it lets the parents have a rest!
Kids Gas 4 Wheeler or Kids Electric 4 Wheeler?
I go into more detail on kids electric ATVs here, but it’s worth mentioning in this guide as you will no doubt have seen both electric ATVs and gas powered ones.
Electric ATVs are great for young kids – under 6 year olds can ride them as they are very slow (more of a toy than an actual ATV to be honest). For kids under 8 there are a great choice of electric 4 wheelers, which can reach speeds of up to 15 mph.
Electric ATV’s are great for beginners to learn how to control and ride very safely. There are less moving parts (no engine, just a battery) so they require less maintenance. Also they’re very quiet and great for the environment.
It’s when kids get a bit older, they are likely to outgrow them, as gas powered kids ATVs are much more powerful and faster. The only exception to this rule is the TomRide ATV range, but you’ll be paying a lot for a powerful electric ATV (double the amount of a gas powered one).
Also gas powered ATVs for kids are a great way to learn about mechanics and engine maintenance.
My Advice – a Kids Electric 4 wheeler is great for the 6 year old range – it requires less maintenance and children can build up confidence to ride from a young age. As they are quiet, they are less scary than a noisy gas ATV.
Gas Powered kids 4 wheelers are an inevitability as kids will outgrow the limitations of the electric ATVs. You can skip the electric option altogether as there are 50cc Kids ATVs that are designed for 6 year olds.
Overall – For me, I would advise that if your child is a bit nervous towards riding an ATV but wants to do it, go electric. If you have a more adventurous child, go gas. From 8 years old, gas powered all the way.
How To Choose The Right Size Kids ATV
When it comes to kids ATVs it is so important to know that you need your kids to have the right size four-wheelers. This not only will keep your kid safe but also all the other riders around them. Be sure to also only have the right number of kids per vehicle and make sure they have an ATV that matches their skill levels.
Children under the age of six should not be driving proper ATVs, so keep that in mind. If you’re youngest is eager to go for a ride, don’t give in, it isn’t safe for them to drive an adult or kids ATV, even as a passenger – instead there are plenty of low speed electric Kids ATVs that are pretty much classed as backyard toys which we cover in the Buying Guide segment of this article.
Guidelines to a good fit on a kids ATV include:
- Brake Reach: Your hand in the normal operating position has your fingers extended straight out. Check and see if your first joint from the tip of your middle finger reaches beyond the brake lever.
- Leg Length: When you sit on the ATV with feet placed on the pegs do your knees bend a minimum of 45 degrees? Do your thighs line up almost parallel between the upper arm and the forearm?
- Grip Reach: Sit upright on the ATV and place your hands on the handlebars without leaning forward. Is there an obvious angle between the upper arm and the forearm?
- Turning Reach: Are you able to turn the handlebars from lock to lock while maintaining your grip on the handlebars and controlling both the throttle and the brake?
If your kid can answer “No” to any of these questions posed then it means your child does not fit the kids ATV and they should not be driving it. If they can answer “Yes” to these questions then it should be a good fit for them and you don’t have to stress.
Fitting properly can make a huge difference when it comes to the ability to drive and control a kids 4 wheeler. Imagine if the kids ATV is too big for them and they have trouble controlling it. This could easily lead to accidents that could harm them or anyone around them. A better fit size wise is better for everyone else overall.
What Is The Right Age For An ATV For Kids?
Now you know more about how to size the ATV up for your child, what power should you go for?
This debate is a bit of a grey area.
The consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that children from 6-11 shouldn’t ride ATVs with an engine larger than 70cc.
So why are certain engine sizes built for different sized kids? It comes down to the child’s maturity and the parents responsibility.
Kids come in all shapes and sizes and a child’s confidence, ability and judgment is not directly related to their height.
Some 8 year olds can handle a 110cc. Some can’t (hence why limiters are put on youth ATVs to control the speed.
Bottom line is that you should have an ATV that the kid can handle responsibly and physically. Never buy an ATV that they can ‘grow into’, and under no circumstances should they ride an Adult-sized ATV. The ATV should be at maximum around 3-4 times the weight of the child. If possible, go to a test track or ATV day out for your little one to compare sizes.
Kids Affordable ATV Buying Guide
Buying a big brand ATV for kids is recommended, however they can be extremely expensive. Polaris ATVs for example are very popular, however the kids versions start at $2000 up to around $4000. Hondas are around $3000.
As a parent, I wasn’t prepared to spend $3000 dollars on an ATV that my child may or may not take to, or will grow out of quickly during a growth spurt.
So I searched online and found the following ATVs on Amazon that are designed for kids from $597. These are great for parents wanting to get an AFFORDABLE ATV for kids as a great starter option.
They are Chinese built and have been perfect for my kids, one of which has had the 110cc version for the last year and a half. The engines are bullet-proof, in the sense that they are super reliable. They are basically Honda clones and cost a quarter or less of the price than big brands.
Tip – it’s worth noting that 99% of the affordable ATVs on Amazon and online are all the same model, just given different names by their US supplier. Example, the Tao Tao and X-Pro are the same, just their price is different depending on who is selling it. I’ve found the lowest cost for you for the same ATV, so you don’t have to.
Disclaimer: These are just guidelines, your child may be shorter or taller than average, so it is best to measure up and see what they can handle. I know a 7 year old who owns a 125cc because he is way taller than average! Please be a responsible adult when choosing an ATV – know your child’s limits.
Kids 4 Wheeler (40cc)
X-Pro 40cc Kids ATV
This is the lowest engine size you will find for a kids 4 wheeler and a great ATV for 6 year olds and up.
This is a 4 stroke 40cc ATV, with a chain transmission meaning that there’s no gears to shift between, just twist the throttle and ride.
The engine is a pull start (like a lawnmower), which means you may have to start it for your child if they don’t have the strength to.
Brakes have a front and rear disc brake, stopping really well.
There’s a kill switch attached to the handlebars, which means the rider should wear it just in the case of falling off at any point, the ATV engine cuts out.
The only downside is that there is no remote kill switch and the steering is a little tight.
It is a good little ATV, however it is very small and you may find that your child will outgrow it quickly, or they are big enough for the 110cc below.
Engine/Drive Chain Engine: 40cc, 4-Stroke, single cylinderTransmission: ChainStart Mode: Pull StartMax Speed: 22 mile/hTank capacity: 1.8LFrame /Body/ Suspension / Brakes Front Brake: DiscRear Brake: DiscFront Tire: 4.10-6 Rear Tire: 13*5.00-6Capacities / Dimensions Max Load Weight (lbs) : 165 lbsNet Weight (lbs) : 88Gross Weight (lbs) : 97 Carton dimension (inches): 30*22*19″Seat Height(inches): 22.44″
Below is a video of the ATV in action (ridden by a much younger child than I recommend mind you).
Kids 4 Wheeler (110cc) - Top Choice
So this is my favourite ATV for children and great for those too big for a 50cc engine. Personally this is the perfect starter ATV for a number of reasons.
The 4 stroke, single cylinder 110cc has a fully automatic engine, meaning no shifting.
The starter is electronic, meaning your child can easily start it by themselves.
You’ll get a remote kill-switch, which is great for parents to hold onto incase you feel your little one is getting a bit carried away or is in trouble. A quick press of the button allows you to stop their engine from afar.
This youth ATV comes with a speed restrictor (governor) with 3 different speed settings, meaning you can build up the speed as the rider gets more confident and able to handle higher speeds on the ATV.
Another nice touch is that it comes with working headlights and a rear rack, though I wouldn’t advise for them to carry anything on it until they are comfortable riding normally.
The ATV comes 85% assembled, so you’ll have to add the handlebar brackets, all 4 wheels and rear shock and battery when you receive it. There are videos below on how to put it together.
Parts are easy to come by too, so if you do need to replace anything, you can contact the support team or buy them on Amazon if you know what you need.
The ATV is really reliable, tackling mud and snow very well. Just remember to keep your ATV clean after riding. Overall, this is a perfect starter option and the best I’ve found online for this price.
Horsepower: 6.7 hp
Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke
Cooling: Air Cooled
Drive System: Chain
Piston Displacement: 107cc
Bore and Stroke: 2.06 inches x 1.95 inches
Compression Ratio: 8.0:1/9.0:1
Maximum Power: 5.0/8000kw/r/min
Maximum Torque: 6.5/6000N.m./rpm
Length: 53 inchesv Width: 30 inches
Height: 34 inches
Seat Height: 22 inches
Wheelbase: 31 inches
Ground Clearance: 3.3 inches
Front Tires: 145/70-6
Rear Tires: 145/70-6
Maximum Speed: 28 mph
Net Weight: 158.7 lbs
Gross Weight: 176.4 lbs
Wheel Type: Steel
Engine Oil Capacity: 0.75 gal
Front Suspension: Double A-Arm
Rear Suspension: Single Swing Arm
Packing Size: 46*27.5*24.5/44*27*26
Here’s a selection of videos going into loads more detail than I have on the 110cc Tao Tao.
Kids 4 Wheeler (125cc)
If you’re child is after something a little bigger with more bite, then the next range up from the 110cc is the 125cc X-Pro.
This is basically a deluxe version of the 110cc. The engine is a 4 stroke single cylinder, but pumping out 125cc instead. It has a electronic starter, massive 16×8 tires for great traction and strong front and rear suspension.
It has a remote kill-switch for parents and a speed restrictor. This is something you’re going to want to use, because this ATV can go fast – up to speeds of 50mph without restriction, so make sure your kid is careful when riding.
Extras that come with this model are headlights and tail lights, a really comfy seat and front and rear racks, plus you get free goggles, gloves and spare handgrips.
If you have the extra money, this is a couple hundred dollars more than the 110cc and is the luxury model of youth ATVs for a great price.
Cylinder Arrangement: Single
Reverse Gear: Yes
Final Drive: Chain Drive
Bore × Stroke: 54×54
Compression Ratio: 9.1:1
Max Power(Kw/r/m): 6.2Kw/7000
Max Torque(N·m/r/min): 9.0/5000
Start System: Electric
Max Speed: 35+ (Depending on Riders Weight and Road Conditions)
Frame /Body/ Suspension / Brakes
Suspensions: Hydraulic shock absorber Front Hand Brake: Drum
Rear Foot Brake: Disc
Front Tires: 16X8-7
Rear Tires: 16X8-7
Capacities / Dimensions
Max Loading(Lbs): 154
Gross Weight (lbs): 220
Net Weight (lbs): 187
Overall Length: 60.2″
Overall Width: 37″
Overall Hight: 34.6″
Packing Size: 52.8 x 32.3 x 25.2″
Seat Height: 27.6″
Ground Clearance(inch): 2.6″
Fuel Capacity: 2.2L
Safety / Control
Engine Kill Switch: Yes
Speed Limiter: Yes
Remote Control: Yes
Tail Light: Yes
Here are a selection of videos showing you the 125cc in action.
Kids ATV Safety - Everything Your Children & You Should Know
Before kids can get riding, they need to know all about ATV safety, and so do you.
There are quite a few things to consider when it comes to kids ATV safety, including the proper gear, the right fit for the ATV, and more.
As a good parent, you are sure to want to know all the possible details, so we have compiled the best safety practices for you and your kid to follow when it comes to riding a kids 4 wheeler.
Sure, there is danger in any experience, but the thrill has always overpowered the danger. Limit any risks your child may be taking by making sure they are 100 percent up to date on how to properly ride their kids ATV.
How Likely Is My Kid To Have An Accident?
You might be wondering how likely it is that your precious wild child could hurt themselves in an ATV accident, but really the main risk is if they don’t follow proper safety procedures. Approximately one-third of the ATV accidents from 1982 to 2002 were of riders age sixteen and under.
Generally, when it comes to accidents with kids aged 16 and under there are plenty of associated factors to bring into the big picture.
Some of these factors include:
- No helmet use.
- Poor judgment and risk-taking behaviors.
- Male gender.
- Operating an ATV larger than that recommended for their size and age.
- Lack of physical size, strength, and coordination to operate an ATV.
- Operating three-wheeled ATVs.
- Increased driving exposure.
- Operating illegally on public roads, streets, and highways.
- Riding with a passenger.
So if your child is aware of these factors and how they can contribute to accidents and fatalities, then there should be no issues regarding their ATV safety overall.
It can be scary to think of all the accidents your kid could get into while riding a kids ATV, but just be sure to remember that they could get hurt walking down the street or in your car as well. There are all sorts of unpreventable accidents and mishaps every day.
Just be sure to arm your child with common sense and the proper instruction and you will be doing all you can to ensure their safety in any task they perform.
Kids ATV Safety Gear
Before your child even gets on their ATV, this is the basic gear that every ATV rider needs to have:
- Eye protection, such as goggles
- Long pants
- Long-sleeved shirt
A helmet is the most important piece of safety gear for any kid hopping on an ATV. You can’t just pick up any old bike helmet from the store either, it needs to be specific for the type of riding your kid will be doing. Many ATV sales come with a proper ATV helmet with your purchase, so there should be no excuse for your kids to not have one. I go into loads of detail in my Kids ATV Helmet Guide here.
The proper helmet should fit fairly snug and not wobble around when your kid moves their head in any direction. The chin strap should fasten securely and fit in a firm and comfortable manner. A loose chin strap loses the safety that you want to bring with wearing a proper helmet.
The label should state that it has been safety approved by these groups:
- Department of Transportation
- American National Standards Institute
- Snell Memorial Foundation
A proper kids ATV helmet must be able to:
- take a blow from a sharp object
- absorb energy on impact
- stay in place
- let you see to the sides
Kids ATV Pre-Checks - The T-CLOC Method
Yeah, your kids are probably excited and ready to get on the four-wheelers and go for their first ride, but you need to be sure to teach them a few things to check before they ride each time. This is quick, essential, and easy to remember, so make sure they are paying attention.
T-CLOC is the easy little acronym that is there to help with your basic safety check. T-CLOC stands for:
Tires and Wheels- You want to check your tire pressure because it can cause damage to your wheel or make your kids 4 wheeler harder to maneuver. It’s very simple to check your tire pressure, just get a low-pressure gauge and teach your kid how to use it. Also, make sure that there are not any leaks and that all their axle nuts are tight and ready to go.
Controls and Cables – Double check all the controls to make sure they are working fine, especially the throttle and brakes which control your ride. Just ensure everything is in working order.
Lights and Electrics – This one is super easy, just check that the ignition and engine stop switches are working and that the headlights and taillights don’t need new bulbs.
Oil and Fuel – Always be sure to check that you have enough fuel to get where you’re going, and stock up before you head out. A quick oil check is recommended as well because you don’t want to suffer from not having enough oil.
Chain/Driveshaft and Chassis – Make sure your chain is fitted properly to your ATV and is well lubricated, as this keeps the connection between your wheels and engine. Riding a kids ATV around rough terrain can commonly loosen all sorts of connecting nuts and bolts. Just be sure everything is tight and nothing is rattling around.
This is an easy checklist to give your kid to go through, and it is like having them take care of a horse after a ride. They should learn all the ins and outs of their ride and take care of it themselves, and it will make them more attuned to their overall safety.
One More Thing - Speed
Make sure that your kids really know all about kids ATV safety, especially when it comes to speed. They shouldn’t go too fast because it can be easy to roll over a four-wheeler, which is the biggest danger present. Staying at a steady and decent pace is the best way to remain in control.
Most kids ATVs have speed restrictors that you can choose from and can include:
- Restricted to 10 km/h
- Restricted to 18 km/h
- No Restriction – 25 km/h (this can differ depending on the ATV)
The Top 10 Kids ATV Safety Tips That They Must Follow
- Always wear your helmet. This should be a given considering you are driving a vehicle, but sometimes kids think helmets look stupid or that it is too hot out for them. The problem is that without a helmet they are at risk of a head injury which could be fatal. There are plenty of ways to keep cool or look stylish while wearing a helmet, so be sure to show them how to do either of those things in order to ensure they wear their headgear. It’s up to you to teach them WHY they should wear a helmet, along with convincing them it’s more important than their tiny grievances.
- One person at a time. ATVs are meant to have a single passenger only, and when it comes to kids ATV safety this is even more important because the kids 4 wheelers match up to specific heights and weights. If you overburden the ATV it is more likely to flip or roll during a sharp turn or decline, and you risk injuring both passengers. Kids may want to show off for their friends, but make sure they understand the risks related and that it could end up killing them both.
- Ride the right size machine. We go in depth above about how to know if your ATV is a perfect fit or not and there is also plenty of information on the labels of 4 wheelers to explain what would make a good fit. If you still aren’t sure, then try to get into contact with a local ATV club or dealer to ask their advice and make sure that your kid has the best fit possible.
- Always wear your protective gear. Again, weather and style can really impede on a kids choice to wear their protective gear, so do your best to get them the gear they really like and explain what could happen if they don’t wear it. One time without your helmet just because you’re sweating a bit can mean a death sentence. If it’s really that hot then maybe it just isn’t the best day to ride.
- Never ride on the road. A kids ATV is an all-terrain vehicle, but they are not meant for the roads. Disregarding the fact that they don’t reach specific speeds necessary, they also aren’t road safe. ATVs have wider tire treads so that they can grip uneasy and rocky surfaces. The flat and hard public road won’t be grippable and it can be easy to skid and lose control. Stick to off road only.
- Take an ATV safety course. These are available in many major cities. Try looking up classes online or checking out a local ATV club. Worst comes to worst, see if a family member is willing to go through the ropes with your kid if you don’t feel like your instruction would be enough. There’s no such thing as too much preparation.
- Tell someone where you are going. Any time your child goes out to ride they should make sure to tell an adult where they are going. This is because accidents can strike at any moment, and they are never planned. Having a rough idea about where they were going to ride and hang out means if they don’t come home on time the search area is a lot smaller than it would be otherwise and they are more likely to be found sooner. When you are injured or trapped under an ATV then you would definitely be grateful that you told someone where you were going.
- Respect private property. No Trespassing signs are not there just to look cute, they are there to tell people not to enter private property. This is generally because people don’t want kids running around on their property, and because the area might not be safe to explore. Make sure your kid knows to stick to the land you’re allowed to travel on and that they are able to resist the temptation to break rules because there could be serious consequences.
- Never use alcohol or drugs. Obviously, your kids shouldn’t be using alcohol or drugs, but they definitely should not be using them if they plan to ride ATVs. These vehicles are difficult enough sober and adding drugs or alcohol to the mix can put everyone in danger.
- Always obey the rules. Last but certainly not the least, obeying the rules is a must. These rules are not in place to irritate or curb your kid’s enjoyment, they are here to keep them and everyone else safe. They should want to follow the rules so that they can keep having fun every day.
How To Ride An ATV For Kids
Like learning any new skill, learning how to ride 4 wheelers for kids requires the rider to get the basics down first and have plenty of practice.
Below I’ll go through the a summary of how to ride a Kids ATV, however if you’re wanting a more in-depth guide that goes in to more advanced techniques and how to tackle various terrain, check out my full detailed article on How To Ride An ATV for Kids.
When you learn how to drive, first you need to get the basics down. These are:
Starting The ATV – Pretty obvious, but learn how to start the ATV using the instruction manual, as ATVs are all different. Usually it’s a button, key or a combination of both.
Posture – Your bodyweight plays a huge role in riding an ATV, learning how to shift your weight when taking a corner or riding up a hill is paramount. For example, shifting your mass into the corner keeps the Kids ATV stable.
Throttle Control – This takes practice, but your kids will get the hang of it quickly. Too much throttle, accidents can happen – so make sure you put the Kids ATV limiter on to the lowest setting when starting out.
Turning – Like I mentioned earlier, turning comes part and parcel of utilising bodyweight and handlebar control. Never accelerate or brake when turning.
Standing Up – When your child becomes more confident on their kids 4 wheeler, standing up actually helps a lot with bodyweight control and some of the more advance techniques, like traversing different terrain, hills and jumps.
Reverse – I would leave reverse at the lowest option on the limiter. You don’t need to go fast in reverse!
How To Ride On Various Terrain
Riding Uphill– Essentially when you approach a hill, you’re going to need to speed up and lean forward to compensate for weight distribution.
Leaning back or just sitting in the same position as you were riding on a flat area will result in the ATV wanting to tip back, especially if you are increasing the throttle to get up the hill. Leaning forward whilst sat down will help when going up a small incline, however if it is a steep hill, you’re going to want to stand up and lean forward.
Riding Downhill – shift to a low gear and ensure that you are riding on a straight path, despite the terrain. Shift your body weight to the back of the ATV so as to have it control the vehicle.
Riding Through Snow – be really, really careful on snow. Know where you and your kid are riding at all times – driving into a snow drift or hole/ravine is super dangerous for obvious reasons. Also no driving on frozen water. Try and follow tracks of the person in front of you and therefore, always make sure the most experienced rider is in front.
Riding Through Mud – this is great fun, just note there is more to clean up when riding through mud quickly than slowly… One thing is just be aware of who you’re flinging mud at behind you. Also, avoid driving through large pools of muddy water, you could get stuck or ruin the engine.
Riding over Obstacles – Always ride slowly over obstacles, never quickly. Also, always make sure the obstacles are safe to ride on. If the obstacle moves or breaks, there could be an accident.
When the young ATV rider gets more confidence and experience on the trails or track, they may want to learn a few tricks.
Disclaimer: these are things a kid can do, but only when you think your child can handle it mentally and physically.
Quick Turns – These are fairly straightforward to do, it just requires a good understanding of the youth ATV and what it is capable of. It’s all about control of the steering, gas and brake.
Wheeling – This is where throttle control comes in to play. To wheelie, the rider should apply the throttle and lean back. The front tires will raise off the ground – how quickly will depend on how quick they are on the throttle. To0 little and it will lift for a moment, then come down. Too much, then you’re falling off the back of the ATV. Finding that balance is key.
Doing Jumps – This is where your bodyweight and posture are key. Taking off, you want to keep a steady speed up at the jump, with your body stood up, posture poised. Whilst briefly in the air, keep the throttle steady. Landing it using the back wheels first, then the front. Any other way will cause damage to the kids ATV, or the rider.