The real answer to the question 'Is your child ready for a quad bike?'
The versatility of the quad bike is unmatched by any other off-road vehicle. It's no surprise if your child wants one, too. However, you might not be too keen until you know how safe it is to ride an ATV. So is your child ready for a quad bike? Here’s what you need to factor in for the answer.
Age, Weight, and Development level
How young your child should be to ride an ATV is somewhat a grey area. While there is no law against your 4year old riding a quad, it all comes down to their build and ability. Most safety experts recommend 6 years as the minimum age to start your child on a quad bike.
However, age should not be a singular determinant when choosing a quad. There are other indicators of compatibility. They should easily able to reach the controls. Their feet should easily reach the footrest, and when they sit, their knees must bend a minimum of 45 degrees. When they stand on the footrest, there should be a 3-4 inches open space between the seat and their body. Children must be able to hold the handlebars sitting upright without having to lean forward. Turning the handlebars from lock to lock should be easy for them while maintaining a grip on the handlebars, as well as controlling the throttle and the brake. Do not buy a bike they can 'grow into' because, unlike clothes, quad bikes can be riskier when they are too heavy for their age and build. Never let a child ride adult-sized ATVs.
Some children are very responsive and quick to learn, while others take a bit more time. They should first master the quad bike they already have before thinking about any upgrades.
Choosing the right bike for a beginner
A 49cc/50cc ATV is the ideal power for a young beginner. Automatic gears and thumb throttle make riding easier. Anything that clocks 20mph with remote cut-off and emergency pull cord can be much safer. Speed restrictors ensure that your child does not have access to the full speed of the ATV. The power range should not exceed 70cc for kids between 6 and 11. Ages 12-15 can safely ride 70cc to 90cc bikes, and kids 16 years and above can ride anything over 90cc.
Training and supervision
Familiarise yourself with the bike manual before training your child on it. They should learn about every component of the bike. Let them practice step by step with switching power on and riding a short distance before stopping. They need to judge the brake pressure for smooth stops. Make sure they practice and develop the skills for controlled slowing down and complete stops. Train them throttle actions that increase and decrease speed. They should know how to release the throttle and slowly apply the brakes. When turning, their body should move to the inside of the turn. If you own an adult quad bike, ride alongside for them to see your method.
Start on leveled ground, and as their riding skills improve, you can take them to tackle rougher terrains. Make sure the speed restrictors are on, and you have a remote switch to stop the engine if the kids are going too fast or far.
A full-face helmet is the most crucial piece of safety wear to invest in first. They protect their eyes from the dust and dirt whizzing in the air when kids ride in the sand, mud, and woodlands. If the open-face helmet is the choice, they need to wear goggles. Long sleeves and trousers can keep cuts and grazes minimal. Gloves provide a better grip, and ankle-high boots are good wet grips and supportive. Children can wear chest plates too for extra protection. Headphones should be completely discouraged.
Maturity and emotional state
Is your child hot-headed and impatient? If you have a tiny rebel who will not play by the rules when it comes to machines then, you might want to reconsider a quad purchase. Their willingness to listen to your instructions and patience to hold back on thrills are essential to safety. Some children mature with age, and a quad could be a prospect purchase for them.
Sometimes, riding a quad can be so exhilarating; kids can forget to stick to the rules. Self-discipline is a key factor that keeps kids in check. They should have fixed times and days when they can go riding. It should not interfere with their school work or other activities. Parents should always be aware of when and where they go riding. They should not be riding after dark or in illegal places. Younger children should always have parental supervision. If you feel like your child needs structure to build discipline, they can take QuadCross classes from age 7.
Space to ride
If you have a large backyard or farmland, they make the ideal private riding space. You can also look for quad biking tracks near you. To ride a quad on a public road, your child should be 16 and over with a category AM or full category B licence.
We want all kids to ride ATVs safely. With proper training, protective gear, and safety advice, they will learn to make good decisions for themselves and others. Buy your child mini quad bikes with safety features at Mini Bikes Off Road.