How To Choose The Right ATV For Kids

An all-terrain vehicle can be one of the best gifts to give your child, at the right age.  It boosts his spirit of adventure and helps to nurture his skills of manning vehicles.

Thus it puts your child in the track of becoming a pro in his adulthood life. But do you know how to select an ATV for kids?

If you don’t choose wisely on the quad bike to give a child it can negatively impact his life. For example, did you know that each year many young lives are lost due to ATVs accidents?

For instance, in 2014, reports released by the US Consumer Product Service Commission indicate that 61 children lost their lives and 24,800 sustained severe injuries on account of ATVs related accidents.

A statistics also echoed by the US National Library of Medicine,

So buy the machine that matches your child’s emotional and physical development.

Remember children are curious and would always want to explore their environment. Give your kid the right ATV that doesn’t put him at risk.

So when selecting an all-terrain vehicle for your child, there are key points to guide you in your shopping.

But before that ask yourself two questions;

I. Is it Lawful for Children to Drive ATVs in your neighborhood?

Before you even think of providing an ATV to your sibling, consider what the law says about children driving quad bikes.  In some states, it’s illegal for children less than 16 years to operate ATVs.

II.  Is the Child Developed to Drive an ATV?

To determine if the child is old enough to drive quad bikes asses the kid’s intellectual and physical abilities.You should only think of buying a quad bike for a kid with proven abilities. Such a youngster should have the capability of;

  • reaching the handlebars without struggling, and moving it leftwards or rightwards with ease
  • Operating the brake lever or throttle with one hand
  • Reaching out to the brake pedals comfortably
  • Understanding the danger of reckless driving and portray a self-control attitude.

Then when you have evaluated and verified his ability, let the following points guide your selection;

Select Right ATV for Your Kids

Type of the all terrain vehicle to buy

All-terrain vehicles come as either three-wheeled or four-wheeled bikes. Both have advantages and disadvantages. But consider that you are shopping for a child. Such a driver can either be slightly experienced or inexperienced. Thus stability is, therefore, a key factor to take into account. Consequently, go for the four-wheeled ATVs.

Engine capacity

Ok now that you have chosen the quad bike what next?

The second step is choosing the engine capacity that suits your child’s age. Generally, large engines provide enough power to propel the bikes to higher velocities.

Children do not require large engine capacities like those used in the races. Instead, the best ATVs for children are the entry level quad engines with low power. Such youthful models support moderate speed for teens yet still guaranteeing their safety.

As a general guideline, below are the age bracket and the respective matching engine capacities;

  • For kids under 11 years, 70cc engines and below quad bikes are the best. Gives enough power and offers safety too
  • For those between 12 and 15 years, they can advance to not more than 90cc engines
  • Only teens aged 16 years and above who have sharpened their skills should be allowed to drive over 250cc adult ATVs engines.

ATVs dimension

The quad bike you buy for a child should have a dimension that matches his size too. Young children, teens included, do register a higher growth rate.  For that reason, many parents do make the mistake of choosing ATVs which is one size higher than their ages. The argument in favor of such an act is for the child not to outgrow the quad bike soon. But doing so, places your child at a hard time in handling the all-terrain vehicle.

Such a child will be struggling to reach the handlebars. At the same time, stepping on the brake or accelerator will be a challenge too.The entry-level quad bikes have the recommended age bracket for their drivers. Follow it accordingly. At the same time, the ATVs also have the manufacturer’s recommended load capacity. Do not ignore it.

Safety requirements

In addition to the fundamental requirements mentioned above, don’t compromise on your child’s safety.

Select the machine that provides maximum safety to the young child. For example, the best quad for a child should have the following quality checks;

  • Increased visibility through the provision of reflectors and lights
  • Covered battery compartment. That will limit the child’s access to the wet cell. Give priority to one with a lock fastener.
  • Safe or automatic brake system. Such a provision ensures that at any moment that the child lift his foot off the pedals, the vehicle comes to a halt
  • Variable speed system with a concealed setting. The setting allows you to regulate the maximum speed your child can attain. And once you have set it to the safe level, the young driver won’t reach it to alter the setting.
  • The padded seat to provide extra comfort
  • All-terrain tires with sufficient treads, to enable him to navigate different landscapes with ease.
  • Rubber handlebars which offer excellent grip and support too.


Before thinking of the type of ATVs for a child, look into the child’s development status. Check on both the intellectual and physical development level. If he passes that assessment, then follow the qualities described above and select the best ATV for kids. And when doing so, don’t overlook the safety requirements.  Although the safety features described above may push the price of the ATVs slightly higher, it’s worth the investment.

In your opinion, what is the major influencing factor when selecting ATVs for kids?

Jose Wagner

I'm Jose Wagner, a mechanic who loves exploring & writing about new tools and contraptions which make everyone’s lives a whole lot easier. I have been in the manufacturing industry for several years and possess sound mechanical knowledge and diagnostic skills.

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