What is a Good ATV for a Beginner?

An ATV (all-terrain vehicle) is an off-road vehicle designed to bring recreational fun to off-road adventures.

ATV’s are also widely known as quad bikes, quads, and 4-wheelers. They travel on low-pressure tires, with a seat for stability and comfort, and handlebars to add control for steering.

Although they are called “all-terrain” vehicles, they are not considered road-legal in most states. They can be used off-road and on private property. ATV’s come with all different specifications and can serve a variety of needs. 

When you are starting out, choosing the best suited ATV for beginners that also suits your needs, is a must. It doesn’t tend to be as simple as jumping on an ATV the first time, hitting the gas, and simply taking off. By the way, if you have trouble starting your four wheeler, we have the answer for you here.

If you choose an ATV that is too advanced for your skill level or has too much power, it often increases the risk of accidents happening. A great advantage of choosing an ATV over a dirt bike or other off-road vehicle is that they offer more stability for beginners.

They also tend to be easier to get to grips with when you are just starting out, too. It is also important to make sure that you make the right, informed decision as ATV’s aren’t cheap.

You need to think about what is good for right now but that is also going to last a good few years, too. Vehicles with warranties will help you get the most from your purchase and keep them in top condition for longer in case of any manufacturing issues.

Whether you are looking for a model for adults or for children interested in buying their first ATV, should look to buy a full-sized vehicle that has the ability to stand the test of time but is also well-suited for beginners.

You should aim for a quad bike with smaller engine size and less horsepower than some of the models for experienced riders. After all, you don’t want to be in a position where you can’t control your ATV. You want an engine with suitable displacement (cc) for the age of the rider. 

For adults and teens, a beginner ATV should ideally be under 250cc. If you are looking for a beginner ATV for children, you should always carefully consider the power of the quad of your choice.

If you choose wisely, you’ll end up with an ATV that is great for starting out, that will also meet your child’s skill level as it improves. For example, 70cc or under are best suited to children from 6 to 11 years of age, whereas if you are looking for a good choice for a 12 to 15-year-old, 70-90cc engines are better options.

For both adults and children, make sure that all new riders are familiar with quad bike safety protocol and practices. Slow and steady may not exactly win the race but it definitely will help you master the basics safely.

All ATV’s will come with an owner’s manual which will help you work out the best and safest way to operate your new vehicle. You can also use resources from the ATV Safety Institute to help you on your way!

Some models offer extra controls and bonus features which are great for seasoned pros but aren’t always the easiest to get the hang of. You should ideally look for a model that boasts easy handling, that isn’t too reactive and jerky but also doesn’t require a whole lot of strength to move around. Predictable handling is handling at its best!

It is also best that you keep an eye out for an ATV with a simple transmission that allows kids to easily switch between gears. While you can invest in an automatic transmission, these models are more expensive and have a limited choice. They are often more powerful, too, so are better left for experienced riders.

A manual transmission requires you to hold the clutch lever with your hand whilst changing through gears with your foot. Children need to be able to reach these without having to over-extend or struggle to push down/up.

This is a great way for beginner adults and children to learn how to ride and get to grips with the controls at a slower, manageable pace.

It is worth asking any ATV-experienced relatives or friends for advice before making your purchase, too. They have likely been in the position of needing an ATV suited to beginners and will have their own tips and recommendations.

They can also offer guidance and might be able to accompany you on your first solo ride. Protective equipment such as helmets will also help keep you safe on your outings.

It can take time adjusting to the throttle and just in case the front end lifts, you want to be as protected as possible. It is also worth getting insurance, just in case.