ATV.com Best Youth ATV of 2019
As off-road enthusiasts, we all share a passion for spending time out on the trails, deserts dunes and more, enjoying the freedoms and scenery, as well as the thrill of the ride. As parents, we want to share this passion and teach our children the same love of the sport. The right way to start our kids on this path is by getting them involved in riding, not only with us, but also on their own through youth-model ATVs. With so many great options available today, we wanted to highlight our pick for Best Youth ATV of the 2019 model year.
What Makes the Best Youth ATV?
There are several factors that go into making a youth-sized ATV that will fit the market and become a success. From the youth-side of the coin, the machine has to look and feel like the same machine the parents ride. It can’t look like a toy, either. Those battery-powered plastic machines you buy at the big-box retailers are good for playing around, but when your child gets serious about wanting to follow in your off-road footsteps, it has to be a real machine. That also includes performance, meaning the machine has to go fast enough to be serious.
With that seriousness, and the need for speed, comes what parents demand out of the best youth ATVs – control. The machine has to have safety protocols that allow the parent to set speed limits and have peace of mind when the child is operating it. My kids had to show me that they knew the controls of the machine and how to handle it at slower speeds before I would consent to increasing the speed limiters.
2019 ATV.com Best Youth ATV of 2019 – Polaris Ranger 150
There are many truly great youth-model ATVs on the market today. The machine that stands out from the pack as our pick for Best Youth ATV of 2019 seems that it was built with parents in mind as much as it was for the kids. The Polaris Ranger 150 uses Ride Command technology to connect the parents with the machine and to give a level of control to parents never before seen in a youth UTV. Parents can control the speed and the range of the Ranger 150 from a smartphone or other device. You are in constant connection with the machine. You can even change the speed limit or disable the machine from a distance.
The Polaris Ranger 150 has adjustable steering and seating, so it can grow with your child. It also meets the styling criteria, as it looks just like a smaller version of the Ranger XP 1000. You child can haul cargo with it, ride the trails and bring along a friend, or better yet, a sibling. It comes with two youth-sized helmets and years of fun memories. The level of control and connection with you, and the quality of the machine make it our pick for the Best Youth ATV of 2019.
Honorable Mention – Yamaha Grizzly 90
Yamaha introduced the Grizzly 90 and dealers across the nation rejoiced. This is a pint-sized machine that looks and feels just like the full-sized adult model, right down to the tread pattern on the tires. It has steel racks and the same body work as the big Griz with the controls the parent needs and the authenticity the kids demand.
Honorable Mention – Can-Am DS 250
As the kids grow up, there is a void between the smaller 90cc class machine and the 16 and up adult machines. What do you do when the kids hit the ATV tweens? The Can-Am DS 250 is built for ages 14 and up and is the best Youth ATV for the big kids. It has all the power and features of an adult machine, in a package that lets your 14-year-old child hit the trails with you and ride in comfort, style and control.
Honorable Mention – Honda TRX90
The Honda TRX90 hasn’t changed much from its introduction many years ago. That is a good thing. The Honda has a near bulletproof air-cooled engine that lasts forever, and a manual transmission that teaches responsibility and control to your child. The Honda could almost be considered as the all-time Best Youth ATV. The great thing for parents is that once your child outgrows the Honda, the resale value is high, meaning you can recoup some money when it is time to pass it along to the next generation.
Derrek's love for all things ATV started when he was a mere 11 years old, growing up on his family farm. His mom gave him and his sister a choice - get a horse, or a three-wheeler. The sister wanted the horse, and Derrek wanted the ATV. Luckily he won out, and was soon burning up the trails on a Yamaha Tri-Moto 200. By the time he was 14, he had saved enough of his own money by working on the farm and in his folks restaurant to buy a new 4-wheeler. That happened the day he and his mom were driving past the dealership and saw 1987 Banshee. His mom had no idea what he was buying, and he never looked back. He's been riding ever since, and been writing professionally for many years. He has ridden all over North America and been behind the controls of just about every machine out there. And yes, he still has his 1987 Yamaha Banshee.
More by Derrek Sigler