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Brand New and need advice

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I am looking for some advice as I consider buying an ATV. 

First off, I've never even ridden one before, but am looking for a hobby to enjoy with my 5 year old son as he gets bigger.  For the last 5 years, I have been racing cars on road courses around the Midwest but this is really my hobby and doesn't do much for my son.  Plus the racing takes a Lot of time and money and just takes me away from the family too much. 

In general, I'm 45 years old.  Although speed is obviously something that interests me, I am wise enough to know that I am a complete newbie and have no interest in breaking my neck.  In my head, at this point, I have my son and myself learning to ride at the same time and us going out on some trails.  I would love for the wife to get into it but that will take some convincing.  I don't own a ranch or a farm and I have a 47" snowblower for the john deere so I don't think I need anything ultra utilitarian. 

I am looking for advice on age and brands of used atv's I should be considering.   I saw a post on craigslist for a 2007 Yamaha grizzly that looked sporty but also a little utilitarian but, to be honest, I have no idea of what I'm doing so it is nothing more than a guess. 

For my son, I was looking at getting a little Chinese brand for a few years until he is older.  I saw one that even has a keyfob that let's you disable it remotely.  My wife really liked that feature. 

All help is appreciated. 



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Unless  they have recently  improved quality control  I'd  be very wary of the  Chinese quads.  Nearly al  I've heard of locally  have developed  electrical / ignition problems before they  had  a  lot of  use. Of  the  Japanese /  American  made quads,  I'd  say only  the  older  Polaris 2 stroke  ones I   know  of  have  had any problems more than  the  others.  Honda , Suzuki, Yamaha and  Kawasaki all  fall  into  personal  preference  choices .. I  bought  my  '94 Honda Fourtrax 300   full time  4x4  used, have ridden  it  4 years  since purchase and all  I have  had to  do  is replace the  rear axle  and hubs because the splines  have worn  out on them. That  is a pretty common  problem  with 22 year old  Hondas. A  friend  bought  a   very  hard run 1984  Honda  trx 200.  It  still  runs fin , but the  framework for the  rear axle was all cracked and broken..  My  little wirefeed welder  and some  gussets have  taken  care  of that  problem.  My other riding friend's 1994 Suzuki  Quadrunner  needs wheel  bearings replaced.. All  have no  problems with their  motors or transmissions. I  prefer the  shaft  drive  quads,  others  may  prefer the  chain driven  ones  for their simplicity  and ease of  modifying  for racing,  but at  73,  my racing  days  are  pretty  much done.

Others  may  have   much different opinions ,  but I  feel  any  of  the older four stroke  Japanese  quads  will   serve you well  if their previous owners have taken  reasonably  good care of them. If  you  did  any wrenching of the  cars  you raced , you should have no problems  maintaining   a  quad .  If  it  is  running  well  and  all the  gears   work, all  you  should be  faced  with  is  routine  maintenance to  keep them that  way .  The  one old Polaris   2 stroke  quad was a disaster with  multiple  problems , the  least of  which was the  broken  reeds  that  shut it  down.

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On 12/3/2016 at 2:54 PM, davefrombc said:

Unless  they have recently  improved quality control  I'd  be very wary of the  Chinese quads. 

I agree with davefrombc on this. Although there are a ton or automotive and related parts being manufactured in China these days, the standards that some of the mainstream brands have is usually higher which equates to quality. 

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