Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Youth ATV For discussion of all youth ATV's 125cc and smaller.

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2003, 12:10 PM
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Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

Here's the basics:
Son: 8 years old (average size, not big, not small)

Experience: Ridden a Sportrax 250EX 3 times - only once by himself and only in 2nd gear.

Ride: In a big field and in the woods

My son can lock up the rear tires on the 250 by using the foot brake easily by using his weight but not so with the hand brake. I want to get him a youth ATV for his birthday and I'm sure that any youth ATV's hand brakes are designed more for the kids than the 250 is. I was just wanting to hear if anyone has really run into a problem of "my kid really can't slow down fast enough with the hand brakes" or "my kid's foot keeps sliding off the pegs and hitting the foot brake while bouncing over fallen logs in the woods"

Has anyone had any REPETITIVELY bad experience with having only hand brakes on their kids ATV?


Thanks,
Chknbone
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2003, 08:07 AM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

My 9 year old has raced quads with hand brakes for over 1 1/2 years and has not had any problems at all. When building his new race bike I wanted to build it with a foot brake, but he wanted the hand brakes again.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2003, 08:50 AM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

Yes, I've seen this problem. Hand brakes are usually drum units that require more effort to stop. But, with the foot brake, a child can use his/her weight to apply. Some kids are not as strong as others . My 8-year old niece can lock the rear brake on my Kasea Skyhawk 90. It also has hand brakes, as well as a rear foot brake. She could not lock the brakes up with the hand brakes. From my experience, a foot brake is much safer. Just think about an 8-yr-old riding around in the yard, heading for your $30,000 pickup, & not being able to stop. Not good for the child ....or pickup.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2003, 09:44 AM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

My son just turned 6 on Sunday. He just got a Skyhawk 90. He's big for his age too, weighting in at 82#. So far, he's conquered most everything. Can start it himself, both with switch and kick starter. Can regulate the throttle well. Can ride it fairly well too (already doing powerslides). But using the hand brakes is still a little tough for him. Has a hard time squeezing them in, even when they are designed for a kid (he'll grow into it).

The saving grace is the foot brake. That he is very comfortable with, and already uses it to slide the arse end around. He was used to using the foot brake on his bicycle, so using his foot to stop seemd to come naturally I guess.

As I see it, the big boy sport quads use foot pegs and a foot brake. Might as well get him used to what he'll be riding later in life.

So far, no problem with him sliding off the foot pegs. But I'm ordering racing nerfs just to be safe. Plus, the look sharper than plastic floor boards. [img]images/graemlins/puke.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2003, 12:20 PM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

We have rode with some other kids that have a quad with only hand brakes. The kids crashed (and it will happen) they broke the hand brake lever off. That left them with only one lever now and it is not the one they used. Kids get excited when riding and their hands are small. Get a foot brake. It's your kids saftey. Their are many good quads with foot brakes. Picture this, take the foot brake off of your quad and put on extra big levers (hard to reach and squeeze)so that you see what the kids are dealing with. Also at some time a new kid comes around and you get to teach them to ride. Please think about your decision. Fun, good times and great memories come from our kids. Just my thoughts and experience.

post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2003, 12:29 PM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

Thanks. Those were just the types of input I was looking for.


Master_Wrench,

I know you are pro-kasea from reading other post, but the closest dealer to me is 3+ hrs away in Va. (I'm in NC). Is there anywhere online that supports the reliability you suggest in this forum? I'm not challenging your word, I'm just trying to do all my "homework" before purchasing.

Thanks,

Chknbone

Or a dealer that you know of in NC?
post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2003, 04:31 PM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

Chknbone,

I sent you a private message with some good info.

Tony P.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 07:01 AM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

Sure, no problem. Just check out the issues of Dirt Wheels, 4 Wheel & ATV Action, ATV Sport, ATV Magazine, to see actual tests of the Kasea, including a 6 month test of the Kasea Skyhawk 50. Check from Aug./02-Feb./03 issues. You can also call Trinity Racing, Hetrick Racing, & East Coast Racing for their opinions on the reliability of Kasea quads. These folks build & race Kaseas, as well as others. When you race a quad every weekend, you start learning about real reliability, as they are ridden harder than the average trail rider would.
As for dealers, you can locate one by going to www.kasea.com . If one is not close enough that is posted, call 1-800-600-9025 & ask for Robb or Stephanie to help. Kasea takes awhile to post newer dealers on their website & may have one closer than what is posted.
You are right to question. That's the way to find answers. With all of the information available out there, the public is more educated than ever. My experience is being a motorcycle/atv mechanic, race engine builder for over 25 years. I also race dirt bikes & quads & have since 1974. I come to this web site to help people. I hope I have done that.
post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 11:10 AM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

I can't thank everyone enough for all the info. In particular I'd like to thank:

Master_Wrench for all the reliability info and supporting info.

tony1034 for the links and contacts he provided me

rusvd for his observation about the broken hand brake lever scenario with no foot pedal as a backup. I hadn't thought of that and I'm sure my kid's gonna hit a couple of trees with the handlebars (just like I did growing up).

I was previously 80% sold on the Kasea but I was concerned about the closest dealer being in Va. I don't mind driving up there to buy one, but the thought of repairs concerned me.

Now I'm 99% sold on the Kasea.

Thanks!
post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 03:44 PM
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Re: Hand brakes vs. Foot Brakes for kids

Your welcome! Glad to be of any help.

FYI, I'm just a parent that got into ATVs recently. I'm not a dealer. The Kasea is a solid product and there is great support out there for it.

Tony
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