What are the best gas powered youth ATVs for each age group for 2018 models? There have been big changes for 2018 with the introduction of more models with seat belts and roll over protection.
Polaris was the first to offer a youth UTV with the sport type RZR 170. It's been so successful that they have now introduced the single seat Polaris Ace 150 and utility style Ranger 150.
Traditional models are still popular but very few have changed significantly. That's good for reliability and resale value. Not so good if you're looking for something with more current technology and safety.
Best values tend to be in the smaller 50cc and 70 cc models. They tend to be as much as $1,000 less than the 90cc or larger youth ATVs. With actual selling prices of less than $2,000, resale values tend to remain high.
That's one of the main reasons cheaper Chinese models aren't as good a value considering overall cost versus resale prices of the name brands.
Unlike the trend to UTV styles in full size models, sport style ATVs are still the most popular of the Youth ATV models for now.
With all that in mind, here are our picks for the best youth model ATVs divided by the two most popular age groups - 6+ and 10+
The little Yamaha is one of the newest models, introduced as a 2017 model. A White 2019 model will be offered for the same price as the blue 2018. Yamaha offers some easier maintenance features like a tool less air filter design.
The KFX 50 is back as a 2019 model after missing the 2018 model year. There aren't any changes from the 2017 version, including the price. Manufacturers don't offer as many choices in this class of youth ATVs, so most of the models tend to be very similar. Kawasaki sticks with that formula. Reliable single cylinder 4 stroke, CVT transmission, and rear chain drive. Simple, reliable, and easy to maintain. The Lime Green or Bright White bodywork does add some style points.
The Z50 has been around since 2006 so it's safe to say all the kinks have been worked out by now. Suzuki put the emphasis on simplicity and durability to maximize ride time and minimize maintenance time. Simple, quiet 4 stroke engine, easy access oil filter and cap, simple throttle limiter screw and tether switch.
The Outlaw 50 follows the common formula for youth ATVs with an air cooled 4 stroke engine, CVT transmission, electric starter, and sport styling. The most unique feature may be the color choices - Pink Power and Lime Squeeze.
The DS 70 has been out since 2008 in the same basic form. It stands out in the 6+ class with the largest engine, a reverse gear, and halogen lights. Comes in any color you want as long as it's red.
The Polaris Ace 150 brings a new level of sophistication and safety to youth ATVs. For safety, the buggy style single seater has a full roll cage and side nets. For sophistication you get electronic fuel injection, auto style driver controls with tilt steering wheel, foot pedals for gas and brake, and adjustable seat. Unlike most others in the class, the automatic transmission has forward and reverse, along with a parking brake.
Considering all you get with the ACE 150 for only a few hundred more dollars than the class average, we have to rate it as one of the best values. Made in the USA.
The Sportsman 110 was new for 2016 and one of the only utility style youth ATVs. Polaris has shown a real commitment to the youth class with the variety of new models being offered. The model continues for 2018 with no changes. Some unique features that set it apart are the front and rear utility racks, reverse gear, and adjustable speed limiter that can be set from 15 to 29 mph. The price is in line with the class average, making the Sportsman 110 a great value buy.
The Raptor 90 brought extreme sport styling to the class when it was introduced in 2009. Many still feel it's one of the better looking youth ATVs. Not much has changed since then, although the color scheme above will be available on 2019 models. It has fairly standard equipment compared to others, but we felt the reverse gear, longer travel suspension, and adjustable rear shock were enough to rank it higher.
After missing the 2018 model year, the KFX is back as a 2019 model. Still mostly unchanged from 2007 when it was introduced. Known for simplicity, reliability, and toughness. Manufactured in Japan. A favorite of many is the sporty styling featuring Lime Green or Bright White bodywork. Another favorite is the value pricing. Running gear is fairly standard for the class single cylinder air cooled engine w/carb, CVT transmission, and chain rear drive. Kawasaki recommends a 12+ age rating.
Since being introduced in 2003, the TRX 90 has been one of the most popular youth ATVs. It's earned a reputation of bulletproof reliability over 15 years. That popularity and reliability keep resale prices higher than many other models. It's why we rate the Honda as one of the better values. The most unique feature is the manual shift transmission, the only one offered among the most popular youth ATVs.
Since its' introduction in 2002, you could say the DS 90 is the veteran of the group. It has what has now become tried and true engine, transmission, suspension, and styling for youth ATVs. It does have a handier than you'd think reverse gear and halogen lights.
The Outlaw 110 is the sport style version of the Sportsman 110. Running gear is virtually identical. Introduced at the same time, this pair offers newer technology like electronic fuel injection and more advanced adjustable speed control that can be set between 15 and 29 mph. At the same price as the Sportsman 110, we didn't feel it offered as many unique features. That's why it ranked a few places lower.
2007 was the debut year for the Z90. You would be hard pressed to tell it apart from the 2018 model above. That usually means a lot of folks liked it just like it was. Simple, reliable, fun to ride. Suzuki says 12+ age for this one, but it does come with a speed limiting collar in the transmission that limits top speed to 15 mph. It can be removed after the child gets some experience. Suzuki does have a 12 month warranty by the way. Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki are the only youth ATVs to offer such a warranty.
The DS 90X is a semi-track ready version of the standard DS 90. We don't know if you could win with it out of the box, but it's certainly track worthy. Can Am installed most of what you would need for racing for less than you could do it yourself. It's been around since 2002, so we think they have it figured out by now. This is a more performance focused youth ATV, with a price to match. We don't recommend it for a beginning rider.
Formerly known as Arctic Cat, now owned by Textron Off Road. The Alterra morphs into two different youth ATVs by using a standard running gear platform and offering a sport style and utility style. The DVX is the sporty one. Nothing really groundbreaking, but the transmission does have reverse and park. Includes a single front headlight and single taillight. 12+ age recommendation.
Obviously the utility styled version of the Alterra 90. Includes front and rear plastic racks, dual headlights and single taillight, and full floorboards. For utility style youth ATVs, it's this or the Polaris Sportsman 110.
The RZR 170 represents a higher level of commitment among youth ATVs in both price and safety features. But if you prefer side by side seating for two in a wider and more stable platform, the current choices are this and the Ranger 150. A choice once again between sport style and utility style.
The Ranger 150 has the most advanced technology seen in youth ATVs to this point. App based safety features can be programmed with a smart phone. They include a GPS based "riding boundary" feature called GeoFencing. There's also a pin code that can be used to keep the machine from being started without supervision.
For more information on youth ATV safety, we highly recommend you visit this site-