Youth and Adult ATV's, What's the Difference?
If you are considering buying an ATV for your child, chances are you have heard the advice to only let them ride a youth sized ATV. Is there a big difference between youth ATV's and adult sized ATV's? There is indeed and the differences are what will keep your kid safe or potentially cause them to get injured. You should only let your kid ride a youth sized ATV because they are smaller, lighter, and easier for a child to handle.
Adult ATV's are dangerous for children and children should not be allowed to ride them until they are old enough and large enough to properly handle them.
While size is the most obvious difference, there are other differences between youth and adult sized ATV's. It is important for children to only ride youth sized ATV's because they can comfortable control them. A child or preteen will have to stretch to reach the handle bars of an adult sized ATV and will not be able to put their feet on the ground. It is important to be able to comfortably reach the handle bars and the ground for safety reasons. Most children under 16 are not big enough to comfortably ride an adult sized ATV.
Adult sized ATV's are also heavier and more powerful than youth sized ATV's. They are designed for adults and children will have a hard time reaching the handle bars and pedals. This makes them harder to ride and they require more strength to control because of their larger size. Most children do not have the strength or experience to properly control these bigger machines. Adult ATV's also go much faster than youth ATV's which is not a good thing for inexperienced riders. Children should only be able to ride at a speed they can handle and on terrain they can comfortably maneuver.
Even if they have their own ATV, your child will probably want to ride yours because of the "cool" factor. Make sure you explain to your child that adult ATV's are dangerous for children and they need more experience and strength before they can ride one. Do not be tempted to give in, as it is easy for a child to loose control of a large ATV. The size and speed of an adult ATV makes them dangerous for children so make sure you wait until your child is old enough to let them ride one.
Youth ATV's also have safety features not found on adult ATV's that will help to keep your child safe. These features allow parents to retain some control and keep their kids safe if they run into trouble or break the rules.
You can get a youth ATV with a remote shutoff so that you can turn off their ATV if they run into trouble. Youth ATV's usually have other features that make them safer to operate as well. They have larger brake pedals, larger mirrors, and handle bars that are sized for smaller hands. All these features make youth ATV's safer for children and are reasons why children should only drive youth sized ATV's.