Re: I Need Help Picking Youth ATV
My six year old has a Polaris Predator 50, it is a great ATV. I have had only one problem with it since I bought it and that is when the motor is hot the starter cannot spin the motor quick enough to get it started. So you have to kick start it. Other than that it is a great little atv. As for power I do alot of riding in the mountains and this bike will pull up a long and large grade without complaint and will maintain speed. I have even ridden the little atv around the yard and it pulls my 200+ pounds without hesitation. The only problem I see is for leg room it is a smaller platform than alot of other mini's. My recommendation to you is actually purchase the Predator 90 or the Sportsman 90 (if you feel you son can handle the bigger atv). I know that they are recommended for 12 to 16 years olds but you can keep the speed limiter on them and keep them at around 15 mph top speed. My older son has a Sportsman 90 and it is a rock solid performer. It has a higher top speed after you pull off the speed limiters of around 30 mph so when your son gets older it will still be interesting to him.
As for the 50's I checked out most of the the mini's, Kasea, Kymco, E-ton, The Yamaha Raptor, and the Suzuki 50 which is the same as Kawasaki's. The e-ton is about the same as the predator 50 but without the cool graphic's. The Kymco is a 50 on the same frame as a 90 which is great so that the child can grow into it but the motor holds you back quite a bit when he gets older (but there are mods available). The Raptor 50 has some nice features a shaft drive 4 stroke, but you can tell it lacks in power greatly compared to the Predator as well as the Suzuki. The Suzuke also lacked greatly compaired to the predator. If you check out the May 2004 issue of 4 wheel ATV action they do a quad showdown between the Polaris Predator 50 and the KFX 50.
As for me I like the Polaris, I am stuck on a good thing, my family owns three of the sportsman 90's and have used them a variety of terrains for over 2 years without doing anything but changing plugs and brakes. The Polaris 50 was bought this spring for my youngest and it has over 300 miles logged in riding it on trails like Hatfield and McCoy trails in West Virginia. Which it handled with no problem except it got stuck a couple of times due to the small ground clearance in the rear.
I know this reply was long but hopefully it helps in your decision.