ATV for Youths: Best Size By Age

atv sizes by age

Did you know that the trend for electric ATVs for kids is on the rise? The top pick for youth ATVs in 2022 is a dirt quad ATV called the Razor. You want the best for your kids. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for – when they’re old enough to learn how to ride an ATV. Before you run out and get the best for your kids, you need to understand the best ATV sizes by age.

The engine size of the ATV is important when choosing the ATV for your kids. Most manufacturers recommend an engine size of under 70cc for kids ages 6 to 11, 70 to 90cc for kids ages 12 to 15, and over 90cc for kids over 16 years of age.

An automatic ATV with a single-speed is the best option for young riders who’re just beginning their ATV journey. Keep on reading for a full guide on ATV sizes by age so you can pick the right ATV for your kid.

When Should Kids Start Riding an ATV?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is when should kids start riding an ATV. The general recommendation is that you should wait until your kid is 6 years old before letting them ride on an ATV.

Even if your kid is 6 years or older, you should consider other factors like physical, mental, and emotional development to make sure your kid is ready for an ATV. Remember that as a parent, you probably overestimate your kid’s readiness. Try to get an unbiased third party to provide their thoughts.

Physical Development

Whether your kid can ride an ATV depends on how tall they are, their weight, and whether they can reach the handlebars and footrests. 

The first thing you need to do is have your kid stand on the footrest of the ATV and hold the handlebars. If they’re too short, then they won’t be comfortable handling the ATV which can lead to injuries in the future. They should have at least 3 inches between the ATV seat and the seat of their pants.

Another test is whether they can ride a bicycle. If they can easily control a bicycle that can help you feel more comfortable knowing that they’ll be able to handle an ATV. 

Emotional and Mental Development

Emotional or mental development is about whether your kid has focus, discipline, and self-control. ATVs can be dangerous, and you want to make sure that your kid is ready for the added responsibility.

See how they behave in other situations. For example, their attitude on a bicycle can tell you whether they have the emotional maturity to handle something bigger.

Children mature at different levels and in different ways. If you have multiple kids vying for an ATV, you need to assess their readiness separately. Be honest with yourself and your kids, set goals for them to reach to show their commitment, and only get an ATV when you think they’re ready.

What Are the Recommended ATV Sizes by Age?

Most manufacturers follow certain guidelines on the ATV sizes by age of youth. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that any ATV that’s 90cc should only be ridden by kids 16 or older. The National Ag Safety Database also has guidelines with recommendations for parents to help their kids be safe and ready for ATVs. 

Kids Ages 3 to 6

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and most small ATV manufacturers recommend that children younger than 6 years should not drive or ride in an ATV. If you’re excited to get them started, you can get a small electric ATV rated for 3 years old. These can usually take up to 40 pounds of weight.

Kids Ages 6 to 11

For ages 6 to 11, you should consider getting an ATV with an engine size of under 70cc. These usually accommodate up to 60 pounds of weight.

Review the legal restrictions of your state because they may have a limitation on age and engine size as well. For example, Pennsylvania state law allows kids ages 8 or 9 to only drive an ATV with an engine size of 70cc or less.

For smaller ATVs, most brands have a 50cc model such as the Polaris Outlaw 50, Kawasaki KFX 50, or Cam-AM DS 70.

The Yamaha YFZ50 is also another good choice. It has an electric start, automatic transmission, and parental controls. 

Kids Ages 12 to 15

For kids ages 12 to 15, you can graduate up to an engine size of 70 to 90cc. If your kid is more experienced, you can consider a slightly bigger engine size. If you’ve started them out at an early, age, by the time they hit 12 or older, they’ll be more prepared for larger ATV sizes. 

There are several 90cc models like Cam-Am DS90 and the Yamaha Raptor 90.

The Honda TRX90X is the right size for young riders and has a no-clutch transmission that makes it a smooth and easy ride for your kids. 

Ages 16+

If the person is going to ride over 16 years old and not too small, then anything over 250cc will be okay.

You can check out the fastest ATVs or the most reliable 4×4 ATV which are smaller sized for work and fun

How Can You Make It Safer for Your Kids?

Once you know the size of your ATV for your kid, you can also take these additional steps to keep your kids safe while they ride their ATV.

No 3-Wheelers

You should consider buying a 4-wheeler for your kids, instead of a 3-wheeler. This is because a 4-wheeler is more stable and will be easier to ride for your kids.

You should know that sales of 3-wheelers have been banned for many years, but you may see some used ones around. If you’re buying a used ATV, then do not buy a used 3-wheeler 

Choose an Automatic ATVs

Automatic ATVs with a single-speed are the best choice for young riders that are just starting. It’s easy to learn and safer for kids. With an automatic clutch, your kid can focus on driving and their surroundings without the complexities of a clutch.

Install Supervisory Controls

You can limit the speed they drive by using throttle limiters. This way you get to decide what speed they drive at and keep them safe. You can also use exhaust restrictors that reduce the engine’s power.

Install Remote Kill Switch

A remote kill switch turns off the engine from a distance. As you’re supervising them, if you see them losing control or about to crash into something, you can always use the remote kill switch to shut down the engine.

You can also have a kill switch installed on the ATV that your kid can pull in an emergency. This gives them more control and teaches them to be careful.

Maintain Parental Supervision

Maintain supervision while they’re on their ATV. Kids can get into trouble, and you should keep an eye on them so they’re always safe. 

Something as simple as driving on the main street can lead to physical danger and legal consequences. You should make sure they’re aware that most ATVs are not street legal so they don’t take unnecessary risks. 

No Carrier Racks

Do not install carrier racks on your kid’s ATVs as it can restrict their view and increase their risk.

Dress Safely

Make sure to dress safely with protective equipment. They should always wear a helmet and understand helmet law. They should keep their ankles protected by wearing over the ankle boots with good grip, wearing gloves, and long sleeves.

Use Seatbelts

Always make sure that they wear their seatbelts. Seatbelts will protect your kid and reduce injuries if they lose control of the ATV.

Get Them Trained

Formal training for riding ATVs can make a huge difference in their attitude and approach to ATVs. Some states even require formally approved safety training programs for kids operating an ATV.

Review Legal Restrictions

Understand your legal obligations. Every state has its own rules and restrictions for kids driving an ATV. For example, Pennsylvania state laws do not allow any kid under the age of 8 to operate an ATV on any state-owned property. 

Check Out More Tips and Tricks on ATV Riding

Now you know the recommended ATV sizes by age. You know exactly when to get your kids their first ATV and how to make it safer for them. They’ll be riding with you in no time.

If you’re looking to learn more about ATVs, UTVs, or snowmobiles, check out our blog for more articles on fun tops like which ATV is the quietest. We’ll tell you the 5 quiet ATVs for your next purchase. You can also read about the right trailer size to haul ATVs or the biggest utility ATV.