BUYER’S GUIDE: YOUTH UTVs

— Best machines for young off-road drivers —

The youth UTV market is growing like crazy. There are a handful of models to choose from among five different brands. Polaris has the most diverse line with a single-seat model, a sport two-seater and a utility two-seater. Hisun and Massimo have two-seaters of the sport and utility variety. SSR has two-seat sport models only. For now, all youth machines are two-wheel drive but still offer a ton of fun without a huge price tag. We have yet to see any of the Japanese companies branch out into this market, but it’s only a matter of time. Can-Am has been quiet, too. Can you imagine how cool a mini X3 would look ripping around camp?

POLARIS RANGER 150

The Ranger is not the first utility model for kids; however, it is the first with smart-technology safety features. The chassis is nearly identical to the Ace 150’s, with a wider body, wheels, cage and two seats. The suspension design is the same, using A-arms up front with 5 inches of travel and a swingarm out back moving 6 inches. What sets this machine apart from any other is the parents’ ability to control start up with a key or passcode, and top speed and geo-fencing through the Ride Command app. With geo-fencing, if the child goes out of a predetermined area that the parent delineates, the vehicle drops down to a predetermined speed limit until the child returns to the approved riding area. Wi-Fi or cellular data is required to set up the parameters, but it’s no longer needed once it’s entered through the app then paired to the vehicle through Bluetooth.

Motor type Air-cooled, fuel-injected 4-stroke w/ 150cc

Transmission Automatic CVT w/ high, neutral, reverse

Final drive system Chain

Suspension/travel:

  Front Double A-arm w/ 5.1”

  Rear Swingarm w/ 6”

Length/width/height 85”/48”/58”

Tire sizes:

  Front 22×7-10

  Rear 22X10-10

Claimed weight .673

Colors Red

Price $5499

Contact www.polaris.com

POLARIS ACE 150

The only single-seat youth machine is the Ace. It also has one of the lowest price tags of any kids’ steering-wheeled vehicle. It runs well and is a blast to drive for kids, young and old. If you have an only child or just want your kids to learn to drive without the distraction of a passenger, this should be your top choice. The steering is super light, and the center-mounted seat is adjustable so kids of all sizes will fit in it just fine. Side nets keep the kids safe in the event of a tip-over; however, this machine is very stable.

Motor type Air-cooled, fuel-injected 4-stroke w/ 150cc

Transmission Automatic CVT w/ high, neutral, reverse

Final drive system Chain

Suspension/travel:

  Front Double A-arm w/ 5.1”

  Rear Swingarm w/ 6”

Length/width/height 85”/48”/58”

Tire sizes:

  Front 22×7-10

  Rear 22X10-10

Claimed weight .556

Colors Red

Price $3999

Contact www.polaris.com

POLARIS RZR 170

The original RZR 170 has been around for nearly a decade. If Polaris got what it was aiming for, those first 12-year-olds who drove the mini RZR are now buying RZR 1000s and Turbos. It’s about building brand loyalty. This RZR was upgraded to include fuel injection a few years ago, and now the age limit to drive it sits at 10+. Safety features include an adjustable throttle limiter and safety flag. Two helmets are included, as well as a safety instructional DVD. The same goes for the other Polaris youth models.

Motor type Air-cooled, fuel-injected 4-stroke w/ 170cc

Transmission Automatic CVT w/ high, neutral, reverse

Final drive system Chain

Suspension/travel:

  Front Single A-arm w/ 5”

  Rear Swingarm w/ 5”

Length/width/height 85”/48”/55”

Tire sizes:

  Front 19×7-8

  Rear 20×10-9

Claimed weight .532

Colors White or Lime

Price $5299

Contact www.polaris.com

HISUN SECTOR 250

Hisun’s Sector 250 takes the credit for being the first utility youth UTV. Not only can it help with outdoor chores with its working dump bed, it might motivate kids to clean inside so they can go riding. This is one of only a few youth models available in camo; however, it is a $300 upgrade. So, if your little hunter needs a machine to match his dad’s, this is it.

Motor type liquid-cooled, OHV four-stroke w/ 229cc

Transmission Dual-range CVT

Suspension/travel::

   Front Double A-arm/5”

   Rear Swingarm/5”

Fuel capacity 3.5 gal.

Length/width/height 97”/49”/64”

Tire sizes: f/r 22×7-10, 22×10-10

Weight 657 lb.

Color Camo, blue, red, green

Price $5299

Contact www.hisunmotors.com

HISUN STRIKE 250

The Strike 250 has a longer wheelbase than most youth UTVs. A high and low automatic transmission makes it better for steep or soft terrain. Standard equipment includes doors, a roof, slide-adjust seats, mirrors and alloy wheels. Plus, it comes with a winch.

Motor type liquid cooled, OHV four-stroke w/229cc

Transmission Dual-range CVT

Suspension/travel::

  Front Double A-arm/5”

  Rear Swingarm/5”

Length/width/height 89”/49”/59”

Tire sizes: f/r 22×7-10, 22×10-10

Weight 657 lb.

Color White, blue, red and orange

Price $5199

Contact www.hisunmotors.com

MASSIMO GUNNER 250

This is a full-feature UTV with a split windshield, mirrors, a roof and winch. It also has a dumping bed and aluminum wheels. The engine is liquid-cooled and features a high- and low-gear case to help it climb hills or travel over soft sand. A big front bumper and running lights finish off the look of the 16-horsepower Massimo Gunner 250.

Motor type Liquid-cooled, OHV four-stroke w/ 229cc

Transmission Dual-range CVT

Suspension/travel::

  Front Double A-arm/5”

  Rear Swingarm/5”

Length/width/height 95.7”/49”/64.5”

Tire sizes: f/r 22×8-10, 22×10-10

Weight 688 lb.

Color Red, camo

Price $4749

Contact www.massimomotor.com

MASSIMO GUNNER 250 S

The sporty Gunner has half doors, two side mirrors and daytime-running lights. Alloy wheels and knobby tires will help it rip around the camp or pit area.

Motor type Liquid-cooled, OHV four-stroke w/229cc

Transmission Dual range CVT

Suspension/travel::

  Front Double A-arm/5”

  Rear Swingarm/5”

Length/width/height 94”/49”/66”

Tire sizes: f/r 22×7-10, 22×10-10

Weight 658 lb.

Color Yellow, black, camo

Price $4749

Contact www.massimomotor.com

SSR SRU 170RS

The SRU looks like it’s ready for Baja right out of the box. An LED light and bumper up front, along with a spare tire carrier out back, really make it stand out from the rest. Inside, it’s a normal two-seater with room for all sizes of kids. Side-view mirrors are added for safety, as are daytime-running lights, a bright orange tip and side nets. Nerf bars protect the plastic bodywork if your kid decides to go off trail and over rocks. SSR claims this machine has 11.1 horsepower with a top speed of 35 mph, which is on par with the other brands’ offerings.

Motor type Air-cooled four-stroke w/ 169cc

Transmission Automatic CVT w/ high, neutral, reverse

Final drive system Chain

Suspension/travel:

  Front Double  A-arm w/ 6”

  Rear Swingarm w/ 6”

Length/width/height 98x48x60”

Tire sizes:

  Front 21×7-10

  Rear 22X10-12

Weight 540

Colors Black, blue, red

Price $4199

Contact www.ssrmotorsports.com

MASSIMO GUNNER 150S

We recently finished testing the Gunner 150 sport machine. It’s faster than a Ranger 150. Dual A-arms help the suspension work better in turns and make it more fun on tight trails. All Massimo youth models come with side mirrors and a removable windshield. The 150 only has a single-range transmission and does not have a winch like its older brothers, making it very affordable. ο

Motor type Air-cooled four-stroke, w/ 150cc

Transmission Automatic CVT w/ high, neutral, reverse

Final drive system Chain

Suspension/travel:

  Front Dual A-arm w/ 6”

  Rear Swingarm w/ 6”

Length/width/height 87.8”/48.1”/55.9”

Tire sizes:

  Front 19×7-8

  Rear 20X10-9

Weight .467

Colors Red

Price $3799

Contact www.massimomotor.com

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