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Which ATV for my son?

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  • Which ATV for my son?

    I need some advice. I am looking to purchase an ATV for my 12 yr old son. I am trying to decide between two - an 06 Yamaha Bruin 350 automatic 4x4 or an 06 Suzuki Ozark 250 2x4. I've read that the Suzuki is actually made by Kymco, which makes me question durability and reliability. My son will not be riding without me for at least a year or more. Both machines are fast, so I just need to ride with him, and hopefully teach him how to ride safely. I am leaning towards the Yamaha because I think it may be a better machine, and is more versatile, but I want to make sure it's not too big. Please give me your thoughts - Thanks in advance!

  • #2

    I wouldnt hesitate to recomend either of them. My son took over my wifes beartracker 250 2x4 when he was 12. He had been riding it and riding with me for several years at that point. Now he is 14 and it is pretty much his now. My wife took over my old wolverine 350 4x4 and I got a new Arctic Cat. However, if my son and I go out by ourselves he usually takes the wolverine now. They pick up on that stuff pretty quick.
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page


    • #3
      I agree

      Either would be appropriate. Something to think about though is the 2x4 vs. the 4x4. A year or two down the road you may be kicking yourself if he is trying to fight a 2x4 through the muck to keep up on a hunting trip. I would lean toward the 4x4 and as far as speed goes, make him run it in low range till you are comfortable with his ability.

      This summer I had my 6yo daughter driving my 500 6x6 by herself. Granted it was on the Jim creek road from the parking lot to the river, but she did well with it. My 9yo was riding my buddies Honda 400 4x4 at the same time. Meanwhile, my buddy and I were WALKING the road picking up trash (it was the Jim creek fall cleanup). Something wrong with this picture.....

      The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


      • #4
        kids ATV

        I just bought my 14yo daughter a 2003 Yamaha Beartracker 250. It is 2X4 but it has wide aftermarket rear tires that perform well. Its a light and surprising quick and nimble package.

        She loves her machine and its just right for her.

        Proud to be an American!


        • #5

          you should go by the guidelines the ATV manufacturers came out with.
          On the other hand, I would go for the 4x4 if I had the choice.

          There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.:eek:


          • #6
            Old Men Weight More

            I kid on a 2 x 4 wil out run a fat old guy (well middle aged) on a 4 x 4 any day. An extra 120 pounds of lard really bogs a wheeler and especially a snowmachine down.


            • #7
              4x4 he's groing

              I would pick the 4x4 and the bigger machine cause he's only getting bigger. Lokk at the wieght ratio the most. Then realize where it's going to be used. I just baught a 660 2007 grizzly and it has lot's of power. I would only pick the machine that fit the purpose. Have you looked at honda's?
              I belive the offer a good deal and a great 350.
              Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.


              • #8

                Thanks for the response. I test rode an Ozark 250 today, and rally liked it. I'm gonna take my son tommorow to see what he likes best. Thanks again for all of your advice!


                • #9
                  Keep it Light

                  My son is the same age as yours and weights a little under 100 pounds. He has a old polaris 300 4X4 and its perfect. With their light weight they dont need much. One trip he took his moms new polaris 200, 2 wheel drive and kept up pretty good on the tundra up near Delta. Wheeling is one of the only outside sports my family(wife) enjoys. Good luck, and even though I am a honda man, I dont think you can go go wrong with any these days. Also I think you can get a no name at the ARGO Dealer for a good price.



                  • #10

                    My buddy just bought one of these. He loves it. Be careful where you buy it. All dealers are not created equally.
                    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
                    Bill Hicks


                    • #11
                      I have been straddling 2wd drive machines ever since I could remember. So, here is a few atv buying aspect to keep in mind.

                      My old man bought a Honda Fourtrax 4x4 back when I thought girls were icky. He still owns both the 2wd and 4x4 machine I used to ride when I was a lil tike. 2WD machines tend to be a bit tippier when climbing hills. The added weight of the 4x4 components help keep the front tires on the ground.

                      The larger Bruin will be a machine he could grow into, thats if you feel he is mature enough to handle such a machine. That decision is completely up to you. The bruin is a very capable machine, but there is no low gear to keep the speed down. I am sure there is a govenor screw on the throttle though. Belt driven machines can achieve high speeds in no time. Yes, even the introductory 350cc engine of the Bruind can get up and move.

                      Another machine to posibilty consider is the Honda Rancher. It may have a manual shift learning curve but it will help keep the speed down, and I believe manual machines help new riders keep a conscience awareness of the machine and how the throttle will affect the machines power delivery.


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