The off-road industry is booming, and there’s no better time than the present to join the fun. If you want to ride along on your very own ATV (also known as a four wheeler), you’re in luck! There are now more options than ever when it comes to ATV size and power. With so many four wheelers on the market, your perfect machine is out there… somewhere. You might just need a little help finding it.
As always, SuperATV is here to lend a helping hand. Let’s talk about the different ATV sizes that are out there and find out which one is perfect for you.
When you’re looking at the physical stature of ATVs, you’ll quickly notice that these machines come in all different sizes. This is important for a couple of reasons. The first reason is everyone is different. A shorter individual might not be very comfortable sitting on a massive four wheeler. The same goes for a tall person on a smaller model.
The other reason to be aware of your ATV’s size involves trailering. If you plan on transporting your four wheeler, either in the bed of your truck or on a trailer, you’ll need to know the length and width of that machine to make sure it will fit.
So exactly how long and wide are ATVs, anyway? While there is quite a bit of variance, most four wheelers fall into specific size categories.
We’ll start with some general measurements. The average length of an ATV is around 83” and the average width is 47”. Most machines you come across will have measurements close to this.
But not all of them! Check out these ranges, broken down by ATV type. This should give you a better grasp of how big these machines are and what size quad might be best for you.
But when talking about ATV size, most people aren’t referring to the physical length and width of that machine. Most riders compare ATV size by their engine displacement. This number is given in cubic centimeters (cc) and refers to the volume of your engine. ATVs with bigger cylinders and pistons will have higher displacement, thus more power.
We’re not kidding when we say there’s an ATV for everyone. There are small 50cc youth ATVs, aggressive 1000cc sport ATVs, and everything in between. It’s important that the machine’s displacement match the experience level of the rider. Jumping on something too fast and powerful can be dangerous.
Even though four wheelers are typically categorized by engine displacement, four wheeler size can also refer to actual physical measurements. Youth ATVs are obviously smaller and lighter, and adult ATVs are available in mid-size and full-size versions.
Some factors to consider when deciding which size ATV is right for you include your age, height, and weight. You’ll be spending a lot of time on this machine, so you want to be comfortable and not too cramped. For adults up to 5’10”, a smaller ATV (around 400cc) should be a good fit, unless you have a specific reason for needing something more powerful. And for taller riders, we recommend looking at 500cc machines and higher.
The most crucial thing to consider when choosing your ATV size is your experience level. Like we mentioned earlier, it would be super dangerous to hop on a 1000cc four wheeler on your first rodeo.
These are by no means official safety guidelines, but here are some loose recommendations:
For most adult riders, something in the 500-700cc range will offer more than enough power to tear up the trails and have a good time.
A 1000cc engine might sound exciting, but unless you’re a professional racer or someone who regularly takes on difficult off-road challenges, you probably don’t need a big four wheeler with that much power.
In addition to your physical size and experience level, another thing to consider when choosing an ATV size is what you’ll be using it for.
Most off-road vehicles fall into one of three categories: sport, utility, or somewhere in between.
Sport ATVs are built for fun. These machines are designed with performance in mind, so they’re usually on the lighter side and offer more power and better handling. In terms of looks, sport ATVs tend to have a more aggressive appearance. They’re great for jumping, racing, and cornering.
Utility ATVs are made for working hard. They’re usually heavier with a higher towing capacity. Their ability to pull trailers, push plow blades, and haul heavy loads make them popular on farms and jobsites.
And then you have the “in between-ers”: sport-utility ATVs. This category is arguably the most popular because these machines are equipped to do it all. You can use it for towing or landscaping during the day and then take it out for an evening joyride when you’re ready to unwind.
If your main reason for buying a four wheeler is to have fun, a mid-size ATV might be the perfect fit. You’ll have enough power to tear up the trails and haul your hunting or fishing gear if need be.
But if you want something that can put in some work—think landscaping, farming, or snow removal—or dominate some serious trail challenges, a large ATV would be more helpful.
It’s not all about ATV size. There are a host of other features and accessories to consider when finding the perfect machine to suit your needs.
Here are some other decisions you may have to make when shopping for a new (to you) ATV:
If there are specific features you’re looking for in an ATV, you always have the option of adding aftermarket parts and accessories to meet your needs:
Deciding which parts and accessories to invest in can be overwhelming. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of ATV upgrades that will make your quad better.
The answer to the question “What size ATV do I need?” isn’t as cut and dry as you might think. Whether you’re looking at engine size or physical measurements, there are several factors to consider when making a decision.
Hopefully this helped steer you in the right direction! If you’re still undecided about what kind of vehicle to buy, check out our ATV vs. UTV breakdown. Once you’ve made your pick, all that’s left to do is buy that machine and hit the trails.