The market for ATVs is not hurting, with more choices for buyers to choose from than ever before. This could be a little bit of a problem for newbies to the ATV world, however. Trying to decide what ATV to buy can be a bear when there are so many options, as many buyers don’t even know where to start. Take a look at a few of your options and try to weed out which kinds will and will not work for you and your wants and needs.
Sport vs. Utility
The first thing you will need to figure out when going out to look for ATVs is what you want to use it for. Do you want a vehicle that works better for towing, hauling and doing more heavy lifting chores, or are you looking for something purely for fun and entertainment? Utility quads are more work oriented, featuring larger tires and better mud protection. They have great torque and often feature a large rack in the back for carrying both heavy and lightweight items. However, don’t count this one out for fun. They are great for riding on trails and are often a favorite with first time ATV owners.
Sport ATVs, on the other hand, are built to be light and fast for recreational performance. The suspension is built to be able to handle jumps and steering is quick for speedy turns. These machines often take a little longer to learn how to drive because of their complexity. Sport ATVs are for those who want a machine purely for fun and sport and not to haul or tow anything besides your body weight.
Automatic vs. Geared
All makers of ATVs make sure to offer a vehicle that has automatic capabilities. Automatic vehicles are great for going uphill or for people who aren’t comfortable handling gears on their own. For everyone else, geared vehicles are probably the better choice. If you plan on doing a large amount of towing and utility work or driving on steep environments, gears are a better choice because you don’t run the risk of breaks locking up or having to replace belts regularly.
Four-wheel vs. Two-wheel Drive
Two-wheel-drive ATVs aren’t as common of a commodity as four-wheels, but they aren’t nonexistent. Two-wheel drive can be ok for people who live in a mild climate and don’t plan on driving through muddy areas. They can also work for people who don’t plan on driving for more than a little bit at a time.
Four-wheel-drive is usually ideal for most people who are on the hunt for an ATV. Four-wheel-drive allows you to trek through a foot of snow and muddy or swampy areas. It also works better for hilly terrain and uncertain ground.
Narrowing down the qualities that you want and don’t want when buying an ATV is the best way to weed out options. The search may take a while, but the more thought you put into your purchase, the happier you will be with your choice in the long run.
Carey Wooldrige is the owner of Yacht Club Powersports, a leading can am dealer located at the Lake of the Ozarks and serving ATV lovers across Missouri, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Jefferson City and more!