Find the Best ATV Brands
Compare Reviews for Top ATV Brands
|Kawasaki Motors||Read 72 Reviews|
Kawasaki Motors Corp. was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California with regional sales and manufacturing offices across the United States. It is known for making recreational vehicles including ATVs.
|Polaris ATVs||Read 343 Reviews|
Founded in 1954 and headquartered in Medina, Minnesota, Polaris manufactures recreational vehicles including ATVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles. Today, Polaris has expanded its production to Mexico and Huntsville, Alabama.
|Arctic Cat||Read 120 Reviews|
Founded in 1960, Arctic Cat is located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. It designs, manufactures and distributes snowmobiles, ATVs and related parts. It produced its first ATV in 1996 and today boasts an extensive line of ATVs.
|Yamaha ATV||Read 23 Reviews|
Established in 1955 and headquartered in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan, Yamaha Motor Sports makes ATVs, motorcycles, boats and personal watercraft, among other recreational vehicles. Their line of ATVs includes sport and utility models.
|Can-am||Read Author Review|
Founded in 1942, Can-Am manufactures recreational vehicles and engines. Today, it employs 6,800 people across North America, Europe and Asia making personal watercraft, snowmobiles, ATVs and engines for the powersport industry.
|DRR||Read Author Review|
Located in Brunswick, Ohio, DRR has been making ATVs and dirt bikes since 2000. Its line of personalized vehicles has won 75 championships across multiple racing disciplines. DRR sells its vehicles at over 150 dealers nationwide.
|Honda ATV||Read Author Review|
The Honda brand was founded in 1946 in Hamamatsu, Japan. Today, it has multiple corporate divisions across the globe, making and selling a wide range of products including automobiles, motorcycles, power equipment and ATVs.
|KYMCO||Read Author Review|
Founded in 1963 with headquarters in Taiwan, KYMCO makes scooters, motorcycles and ATVs. It currently exports to over 85 countries. KYMCO USA is the company's United States branch and is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
|QLINK||Read Author Review|
QLINK was founded in 1988 and today has branches in Mexico, Brazil, Hungary, Taiwan, Nigeria and China. It focuses on manufacturing and distributing affordable motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and UTVs worldwide.
|SYM||Read Author Review|
Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, SYM has been manufacturing ATVs, scooters and motorcycles since 1954. Today, it distributes its models of personalized vehicles worldwide and has won multiple design awards across the globe.
Common questions about ATVs
What are the different engine classes for ATVs?
The size of an engine will depend on the type of ATV that is purchased. ATV engine sizes are measured in cubic centimeters (cc). Once a consumer knows the type of ATV they need and how it will be used, they can choose from multiple engine sizes and powers.
- Engine size: Engine sizes range from 50-125cc for a youth ATV, all the way up to 200-600cc for sport utility and sport ATVs. High-performance ATVs can have engines ranging from 350-900cc (twin-cylinder).
- Two- vs. four-stroke: For ATV engines, a single stroke is made up of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust. Two-stroke engines move the piston up and down once (one cycle) and four-stroke engines move the piston up and down twice for four total strokes (two cycles). A two-stroke engine yields more power per cycle and may require more maintenance.
- Cooling options: Engines come with multiple cooling options to keep them from overheating. Most ATVs will either have a fan controller and/or a water- or liquid-cooling system. It is important to know which cooling options are available for the ATV type being considered.
What types of suspension do ATVs use?
The suspension on an ATV can vary depending on the type of ATV and what it is being used for. Most suspension systems are independent for each wheel and can be adjusted for preference and style of riding. Typical suspension adjustments include compression damping (how fast the shock shaft compresses) and rebound (how fast the shock decompresses).
- Standard non-adjustable: This type of shock is found on smaller youth ATVs. It is a non-adjustable, gas-charged shock. Gas-charged shocks use gas pressure to force air out of the oil and away from the shock valve, resulting in a quicker response time.
- Preload adjustable: Found on entry-level sport or utility ATVs, this type of shock has only a spring preload adjustability. These shocks typically have five stages of adjustment.
- Compression adjustable: This type of shock is made for high-performance sports ATVs. It usually has preloaded adjustability and may come with a nitrogen canister with a compression adjustment knob on the side of the shock.
- Compression and rebound adjustable: This style of shock offers the most adjustment options and will have a remote-mounted canister or a nitrogen canister mounted on the side. Adjuster rings, compression, rebound knobs and threaded slots all provide the owner with the maximum amount of adjustment options.
- Air shock: This shock type has no spring or fluid and is controlled by air pressure alone. This lightweight suspension option is based on the rider's weight and takes some time to get set up correctly, but once set can make handling more controllable.
What towing and carrying capabilities do ATVs have?
All utility ATVs have a tow rating and carrying capacity stating how much weight the machine is capable of towing and carrying. Consumers who plan to use their ATV as a utility vehicle should pay attention to these ratings as well as rack capacity, weight distribution and stopping power.
- Racks: Depending on the model, ATVs can have a rack in the front, rear or overhead. It is a good idea to know the carrying capacity of these racks. Added weight can affect the steering and overall control of the ATV.
- Weight distribution: To maintain balance on the machine, make sure the weight is distributed evenly left to right and front to rear. Uneven weight distribution may cause the suspension to react differently over rough terrain, causing an increased likelihood of rolling the ATV.
- Stopping: Anytime a vehicle is towing something, the distance it takes to come to a complete stop increases. It is a good idea to make sure the ATV has adequate brakes for the amount of weight it is capable of towing.
What types of fuel do ATVs use?
ATVs can operate on different varieties of fuel including gas, diesel and electric. Depending on the style and intended use of the ATV, consumers should consider all fuel options before making a purchase.
- Gas: If the ATV uses gasoline, it is a good idea to use higher octane gas to cut down on the number of engine-harming contaminants that will cycle through the engine.
- Diesel: Diesel engines are typically found on heavy-duty ATVs that have powerful towing and carrying capacities.
- Electric: Some companies have developed electric ATVs that require batteries that must be charged. Electric ATVs are popular with hunters due to their quiet engines.
What are the different drive types for ATVs?
ATVs come in various drive types that cater to different uses. It is wise to know the intended use of the ATV you’re considering to make sure the drive type will be enough to perform how you need it.
- 2x4: A 2x4 operates just like a regular 2x4 vehicle in that power is provided to either the front or rear wheels.
- 4x4: Four-wheel drive ATVs are made to traverse rough terrain including rocks, mud and snow. A 4x4 is a good idea for anyone using the ATV as a utility vehicle.
- 6x4 and 6x6: Some heavy-duty ATV models come with six wheels and can either come with a 6x4 drive type, which powers the back four wheels, or an all-wheel drive powering all six wheels.
What types of tires do ATVs use?
Having the right tires on an ATV can make a big difference in how it performs. It is important to know the types of terrain the machine will drive on. Manufacturers make ATV tires with various tread patterns, sizes and construction. Consumers can find mud-, sand- and trail-specific tires with different sizes and strengths.
- Mud: Mud tires will have inside-to-outside angled tread. Not only are they great for traversing muddy terrain but they are good for rough terrain as well. Their tread patterns are very tall with large spaces between them. Mud tires should not be used on other surfaces because they diminish quickly on hard packed terrain, provide a rough ride and are less stable than other tires.
- Sand: Sand tires have a paddle or scoop style of tread in the rear. The front tires typically have a raised rib, running down the center of the tire. Sand tires are strictly for sand and offer poor stability on any other terrain. Running an ATV in the sand with any other type of tire might overheat the engine.
- Trail: Also known as all-terrain tires, trail tires are built to handle a variety of terrain. They provide good traction by having varying tread patterns and heights. Tread heights can be anywhere from 0.5-0.75 inches deep and will have overlapping tread patterns. Trail tires have the longest life of any ATV tire and provide the most stability.
- Tire construction: ATV tires are typically constructed using Bias Ply or Radial methods. Bias Ply tires are made using plies or belts that run diagonally from one bead to the other. They are less flexible than radial tires but are generally tougher. Radial tires are constructed using rubber-coated steel cables from one bead to the other as well as in the crown of the tire. Radial tires get better fuel economy and are more flexible than Bias Ply tires.
Types of ATVs
As the smallest type of ATV on the market, children's ATVs usually come with an engine capacity of 50-110cc. They typically have little to no suspension and an automatic transmission with no gears. Depending on the make of the ATV, a youth model will have a weight limit of around 100-150 lbs.
Utility ATVs are the most popular style due to their versatility. They are popular in ranching, agriculture or any other industry that involves rough terrain. Utility ATVs usually have short-travel suspension, a large motor and accessories designed for working with a payload. Utility ATV engines generally range from 250-700cc.
Sport ATVs have an engine capacity ranging from 200-600cc. They are lightweight and have a large amount of suspension to handle speed, jumps and turns. These quads are highly customizable, allowing for performance upgrades to be used in racing.
Sometimes referred to as SxS, side-by-side ATVs are popular with families who need ample carrying capacity for cargo or passengers. They have suspensions equal to sports ATVs and large motors. Side-by-sides are utilized by emergency personnel, sports teams and those who need general transportation on large properties. Their engines will be in the range of 700-950cc.
People who ride ATVs
Ranch and agricultural workers
Ranchers and agricultural workers often use utility ATVs to help with feeding livestock, hauling supplies and transporting cargo. Using an ATV makes working over large tracts of land quicker and easier.
ATVs are popular with hunters because of their ability to transport and haul cargo over rough terrain. With an all-terrain vehicle, carrying hunting gear and animals out of the backcountry is easy and efficient.
Hobbyists and thrill seekers
Sports ATVs are highly customizable, with ample amounts of suspension, aerodynamic bodies and powerful engines. People can buy multiple accessories to modify and enhance their sport ATV.
Public service workers
People who work in the service sector such as search and rescue, law enforcement and the National Park Service use ATVs to cover vast amounts of land and rough terrain.
Families use side-by-side ATVs to carry multiple passengers and cargo.
- How much does a four-wheeler weigh?
- The average four-wheeler weighs about 650 pounds, but you can find anything from youth models that weigh a little over 200 pounds to six-wheelers that weigh almost 1,200 pounds.
Check the specifications of any model you’re interested in to make sure you can handle its weight. Manufacturers usually list a model’s dry weight (without fuel and other fluids), but you can add 50 - 60 pounds to determine the ATV’s wet weight.
- How much does an ATV cost?
- New, full-size ATVs cost anywhere from $5,000 - $15,000, with most coming in around $10,000. Youth models cost from $2,000 - $5,000.
These prices depend on several factors, including:
- The type of ATV (e.g., sport, utility, youth)
- Engine size (usually measured in cubic centimeters)
- Optional features (like certain electronics and suspension management)
- Accessories (like winches or extra seating)
- What is a NADA value?
- The National Automobile Dealers Association sets monetary values for used vehicles based on what it believes consumers can reasonably expect to pay at a dealer’s lot. NADA considers factors such as:
- Information from wholesale and retail transactions
- Economic factors
- Dealer invoices
- Equipment assumptions
You can use a NADA value to see if you’re getting a good deal when purchasing a used ATV or to set a sales price when selling your used four-wheeler.
- Which is better ATV or UTV?
- ATVs and UTVs have distinct advantages and disadvantages:
- All-terrain vehicles, also known as four-wheelers, are smaller and meant for one or two riders. They are also considerably cheaper. ATVs are popular with hunters, racers and people who work in the wilderness.
- Utility terrain vehicles, also known as side-by-sides, are larger and meant for carrying multiple people or hauling cargo. UTVs cost more and are also much heavier than ATVs. UTVs are popular with farmers, ranch hands and people looking to drive off-road recreationally.
Which is better for you depends on your intended use. If you’re on a budget or just prefer riding alone, go with an ATV. However, if you want to use your new vehicle for transporting people or gear off-road, a UTV might be a better choice.
- What does ATV stand for?
- ATV stands for all-terrain vehicle, a type of vehicle that is also commonly called a four-wheeler.
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Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
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