What Are the Best Starter ATV for Adults to Game up Your Skill?

A man rides a beginner-friendly ATV for the first time

Anyone can ride a quad with less difficulty. For a dirt bike, the real challenge comes in terms of balancing. And, this becomes important while you are on rough trails. However, an ATV looks just like a small car. Riding on four wheels is easier, more comfortable, and reduces the learning curve. 

While riding an ATV means a lot of fun, it comes with responsibility as well. You have heard of accidents that were caused because someone didn’t have the right experience to control the machine. A properly sized ATV is a must for a beginner rider. Only the best starter ATV for an adult has everything that caters to the demands of a beginner rider. 

What is a starter ATV?

Large engine displacement, high horsepower, etc. indicates how an ATV could be in terms of power. For expert riders, these vehicles are the ultimate ones because they provide the necessary horsepower to go fast. However, that was all about expert riders and power machines. 

And, they have been doing that for several years. Besides, some riders took part in races as well. They can handle those machines with ease. But for someone who started, riding a powerful machine will bring a series of unfortunate events. Rather, a beginner should focus on a small machine that they can handle easily.

Hence, a starter ATV is a machine comprising of a small engine along with a power output that anyone can control. And, that includes a person who is riding an ATV for the first time. These machines have simple controls that allow a beginner rider to handle the quad properly. In short, you will learn the basics of riding and gradually increase your confidence to use a bigger quad.

What to look for when buying a starter ATV

There is no denying that ATVs have many uses. Hence, it is wise to consider a few things before buying the right starter ATV for your needs. Whether you are a professional who lives for it or a rancher who got lots of ground to cover, you should keep an eye for the following features in a starter ATV. 

1. Two-wheel and four-wheel drive

Because you will be riding on different types of terrains, the 4-wheel drive feature could be very beneficial. Therefore, look out for a vehicle that does that with ease. Also, ATVs with a 4-wheel drive differential lock feature provide you with strong traction in extremely tough situations. And, this is something that you will face often when out in the wilderness.

2. Suspension

If you are a starter ATV rider, you should know how the off-road trails are filled with ruts, bumps, and other obstacles. Because you have to spend some time on your ATV, they will cause discomfort. So, check the vehicle’s shock absorber, especially the type and length.

3. The two ‘T’

Torque and towing capacity are the two important words in the ATV community. Torque gives the power to the rider that they need to fulfill their desire. Whereas, towing capacity allows people to haul certain items and materials to long distances. So, look out for these capabilities. 

4. Storage space

A little storage doesn’t hurt anyone if you are planning to take your all-terrain vehicle on an extended trip. For example, if you are hunting, you need enough space to carry your supplies.

5. Engine power

For starter riders, an ATV that has an engine volume between 100 and 600cc should be perfect. If you consider greater engine volume, you can’t control it with ease. Moreover, it could be dangerous at high speeds.

Best starter ATVs for adults

1. Polaris Sportsman 450

Dubbed as a comfortable cruiser by many riders, the Polaris Sportsman 450 has lots of intuitive features that might help you as a beginner. While the Polaris Sportsman line comprises four-wheelers with different variants, the Sportsman 450 is counted as entry-level. 

The Sportsman 450 comes with a 4-stroke 567cc engine. The 30 horsepower machine runs through the four valves and delivers power to the wheels. Besides, it has an automatic transmission system. As such, you don’t have to tune the transmission continuously. Moreover, the ATV weighs around 702 pounds and it works in favor of the rider.

The braking system consists of a hydraulic disc type. The brake handle is located on the left-hand side. In general, brake handles are always on the right side. However, a little practice will make things easy for you. The high-quality looks of Sportsman 450 are quite impressive. 

In short, the Polaris Sportsman 450 is an excellent starter ATV for adults. It can be the right choice for beginner riders who want lots of features on their quad. The best part about Sportsman 450 is that it doesn’t reach high speeds. That way it makes a great choice for beginners. 

2. Suzuki QuadSport Z90

It is another great quad on this list that has less off-road capabilities yet looks sporty. And, these are some of the qualities of a beginner ATV. If you are looking for a starter ATV that provides you with good performance and at an affordable price, the Suzuki QuadSport Z90 is the right one for you.

The QuadSport Z90 is specifically made for beginner riders and it is evident from some features. These include controls that are easy to use and throttle limiters. The quad is equipped with a 4-stroke 90cc engine. While it is a relatively small engine, it provides crazy speeds. 

Most importantly, the engine doesn’t need a lot of maintenance because of its small size. Also, the QuadSport Z90 weighs around 280 pounds, which makes it one of the preferred choices for many starter riders. The brake system is excellent with rear and front drum brakes.

The QuadSport Z90 has an automatic CVT transmission. As a result, controlling the speed and transmission of the ATV isn’t an issue even with a beginner rider. The overall handling of the quad is responsive if you consider the low price range. 

3. Honda TRX250

Of all the four-wheelers that you find on the market, the Honda TRX250 is one of the most sought-after ATVs for beginners. It has always been one of the best choices for people for decades and there are good reasons for that as well. The TRX250 has a simplistic design that is very easy to work with.

Besides, the 229cc engine provides sufficient power for a newbie rider. Also, the engine works well with 5-transmission speeds and makes the ride smoother. That way, they can enjoy the rides. Because TRX250 is a popular ATV, you can hardly find it in stores because it quickly gets sold. 

Despite the good qualities that you can get, the TRX250 has certain disadvantages under its belt. The four-wheeler is a bit noisier compared to most ATVs in its class. Moreover, some people find it annoying after riding the ATV for some time. Also, people are compliant with the stiff suspension system of the quad.

In short, the Honda TRX250 is one of the popular ATVs best for beginners. It has been a popular model for the last 10 years and continues to remain the same in years to come. The innovative features, great pricing, and excellent value outweigh the small drawbacks that you find in this quad. 

4. Yamaha Kodiak 450

The Yamaha Kodiak 450 is another ATV that has been doing rounds for a long time. When it comes to versatility, the Yamaha Kodiak stands out from the rest. It is the right four-wheeler for riders who want their quad to perform regardless of the terrain and situations. One of the remarkable features is that it is a four-wheel drive.

That makes it one of the favored ATVs for many people who seek amazing off-road experiences. Moreover, the 10-inch ground clearance is noteworthy to mention. Yamaha Kodiak boasts qualities such as affordable pricing, impressive hushed style, 4WD capabilities, and being a great performer.

With the 4WD capability, you can unstick yourself from any situation. Also, it increases the traction of the four-wheeler. However, in terms of faster speeds, it remains underpowered. The Yamaha Kodiak bags have the reputation of being the popular choice for both beginner and experienced riders. 

And, this reputation dates back to past experiences during the 80s when the Japanese manufacturer launched their first ATV. The engineers were entrusted with the duty of designing an ATV for accomplishing several tasks. 

5. Suzuki KingQuad 400

It is a strong, powerful ATV that provides you with unmatched performance both off-road and on-road. The Suzuki KingQuad 400 has the weakest engine but packs a punch. The KingQuad 400 is another best starter ATV for an adult because it delivers the right performance.

The four-wheeler comes with a 376cc engine that provides over 40 horsepower. Also, you get to choose between a manual and automatic transmission. The best part of this wonderful ATV is that it accelerates steadily and firmly along with a smooth delivery of power. Moreover, the quad comes with a four-wheel-drive capability. 

That way, you feel more than comfort when off-roading. The KingQuad 400 weighs around 628 pounds and is very effective when it is about moving loads from one place to another. Besides, the intuitive design of the KingQuad 400 makes it look beautiful.

Speaking about the drawbacks, the suspension system in this ATV is not up to the mark and becomes uncomfortable when you sit for a few hours. Apart from that, the Suzuki KingQuad 400 is a great ATV for beginners in terms of performance and features. 

6. Honda Fourtrax Rancher

The Honda Fourtrax was initially designed for people who were looking for a more balanced experience without spending a fortune. The comfort level while riding this ATV is at par with other ATVs in this category. And, this is how the Fourtrax Rancher rose to fame. No wonder why many people want to have this quad.

The 4-stroke 420cc engine offers a great riding experience even for several hours. This ATV has five different transmissions that work in collaboration with the engine to deliver smooth performance. The brake system is outstanding because of dual hydraulic front disc brakes.

If you compare the TRX with Fourtrax, you won’t find much difference. Besides, the TRX costs more than Fourtrax Rancher by $1000. Still, many people choose the TRX over Rancher. While there is not so much difference in terms of performance, it is more about personal preference. 

Despite the good qualities that you find in the Rancher, it has a few shortcomings as well. And, the first one is the size of the ATV is a bit bulkier compared to the others. If you are a big person the size might go unnoticed. Secondly, the seat height is around 33.7-inches, which is quite low. 

7. Kawasaki Brute Force 300

The last one in this list is the Kawasaki Brute Force 300, which provides a decent performance but a great ATV for beginner riders. Equipped with a 271cc 4-stroke engine, the Brute Force 300 delivers around 20 horsepower output. However, that might not provide you with good speeds but you can enjoy the ride. 

Apart from the speed, the Brute Force 300 has an excellent braking system. The rear brakes consist of 180mm single disc whereas the front brakes have double discs of 180mm. Also, the dimensions of this ATV are quite average and fit any rider. The average height is around 46.1 inches and the seat height is about 33.3 inches. 

Furthermore, the ATV weighs about 535.8 pounds and that makes it perfect for a starter rider. One of the notable drawbacks of this ATV is that it has a narrow seat and which makes the ride unstable. So, when you are riding over stones and rocks, you should take extra care. 


ATV riding offers you plenty of enjoyment while being responsible for your limits. Although it’s tempting for you to buy the biggest ATV. But if you can’t handle the power, it is money wasted. Besides, you may get seriously hurt. So, start slow and graduate to a larger machine while overcoming challenges throughout the way.