YOUTH ATV MARKET IS RED HOT
I don't know what the resale landscape looks like where you live but here at DirtTrax world headquarters it's crazy, crazy for kids ATVs!
No, I'm not talking about the dollar store junk that falls apart before your kid even swings a leg over it, rather the quality stuff with the big brand names on it.
My 5-year-old daughter cut her teeth on a 120cc snowmobile this past winter and is ready to go on four wheels. She also has a little sister on her heels who will want to ride too, but what do you buy, what do you spend and what's a good deal?
The first place I started looking was the online classifieds. I had to wade through a sea of junk ads but there is some goodness in there. The unfortunate part is when you finally find a name brand 50 or 90cc kid's wheeler, you also find some sticker shock. Used stuff is red hot!
Although I was a little frustrated to learn a late 1980's Suzuki Quadrunner 50 with cracked plastic, no suspension, kick-start and about 25 years of gunk built up on it was fetching an insane $950, I was also quite pleased to discover people are buying their kids ATVs.
Most ads I replied to told me, "I sold it the first day" or, "Full price, if you want it, bring cash today. It'll be gone tomorrow" – and it was.
This isn't just in our neck of the woods, either. I searched an 8-hour drive radius from my home and got the same answers. I guess it means Daddy is going to be paying a premium this year!
Whenever I set out to buy something for my kids I always do the concerned parent thing and look at all the potential problems and hazards. When it came to buying an ATV, I quickly realized, while I lived through the ATVs of the 1980s and 90s, my kids were going to have something easier to use, more fun and ultimately safer.
While many brands offer a variety of vehicles for kids, I have a great relationship with our local Polaris dealer and made it my first call.
I settled on a Polaris Outlaw 50 fully understanding my kids will only use this for a few years until we need to upgrade to a 90.
The little Outlaw has quite a bit of bang for your buck and comes with a helmet, a whip flag and a tether for the little one's wrist.
Of equal importance is the speed limiter that allows parents to easily and quickly select one of two modes: 1) Restricted - offering under 10-mph operation and 2) Unrestricted - up to 15-mph.
It also has electric start, real working headlights, full bodywork, 3.7-inches of travel out back and 3-inches up front. If my kids are anything like me they will have the wheels off the ground at some point!
At the end of the day I spent about $2500 on a brand new ATV for my kids. A used 6 to 10-year-old 4-stroke without most of the cool features would have only saved me about $500.
I didn't mind spending the extra. My kids are going to run the wheels off this little Outlaw and I know it'll be a reliable runner for years to come.
Most important, above everything, I know my girls will be engaged in a sport that helped shape my life. They'll be riding with their family and learning skills that will entertain them for the rest of their life.
I think that's time and money well spent!
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