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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a youth model atv for my son. He is turning 8 next month and I want to surprise him. He already has a yamaha 110 dirt bike which he loves. He also has one of those Chinese 50cc atv's which is no longer functional. I want to get him something but I don't want it to be to small that we have to upgrade in 2 years but I also don't want something too big that he would struggle with trying to control. It would be used strictly for woods riding so ground clearance and stability is a high priority. I was debating about the polaris sportsman 90 but fear he will grow out of it quickly. The other option I was considering was the arctic cat 150. Any one feel free to add their 2 cents please do so whether good or bad I would appreciate it.
 

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5chunter , I understand your dilema , but I would concentrate on what fits his size & ability . Some kids are just more natural & better riders than kids thier same age . But , most fatal accidents are kids driving ATV/UTV's that are to large for them to safely control . JMHO Good luck .
 

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If he is only 8, you will be upgrading at least one more time for him as he grows.
With that thought in mind, I would look at what machines will hold the highest resale value so you are in good shape with a trade when the next upgrade time comes.
 

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Get an 08 or newer Polaris Sportsman 90. They are 4 stroke and bigger than the older ones. My son has one and I can fit on it to run it around the yard. I'm 6 foot and 200 lbs.
 

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My son turned 8 last June just after I bought my daughter a grizzly 300.He rode it more than she did and we went all over the place,including Rock run.It worried me at first but He's been riding smaller machines and dirt bikes since was about 3
3.5years old.

A few months ago,I decided to buy him a 4wd because he will ride in the winter and he takes one any place I go.I bought him a grizzly 450 and he handles it fine.

If you buy 90cc or less,you're buying Chineese.Yamaha did make a 125 cc but it really isn't that much smaller than the 300.You can get smaller sport machines but they don't have reverse.
 

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My son was a little older when I bought his (10) but I had the same concern since he was a bigger boy. So I bought him a Honda 250EX. I told him he could use first and second gear only and that I would know if he went into 3rd and if he did, no second chance it would be for sale that same day. Knowing no better he didn't test the threat. Once he was older I gave him 3rd, then 4th etc. He is now 21 and still rides that same machine.
 

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My son doesn't ride by himself or at least where I can't see him.We ride quite a bit and a lot of the time it's at night.We ride pretty hard most of the time but I try to be careful and take him to places where he's less likely to roll.My thought is,if he's taught how to do it right at an early age,he'll be safer when he's older and riding with his buddies.I let him have fun and I let him test himself but I'm there to stop any stupid stuff that he may try.I moved him up to a bigger dirt bike this past year and he already trying to push it when he thinks I'm not looking.My kids are adrenalin junkies and it's something I've just had to get used to.Still,my advise is to buy something a little bigger than you think they should have.They can get hurt just as easily on something smaller.It's all in how they're taught.I personally wouldn't buy an 8 year old a 90 or anything smaller.They grow fast and they're capable of doing a lot more than people give them credit for.
 

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Newport-Bill said:
My son was a little older when I bought his (10) but I had the same concern since he was a bigger boy. So I bought him a Honda 250EX. I told him he could use first and second gear only and that I would know if he went into 3rd and if he did, no second chance it would be for sale that same day. Knowing no better he didn't test the threat. Once he was older I gave him 3rd, then 4th etc. He is now 21 and still rides that same machine.
Exact same machine I bought my son at around that same age. Nice machine
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Going on tuesday to look at a new Honda 250 as per the majority's advice on here
Thank you so far for all the input. Keep it coming!
 

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Personally,I'd be careful of anything with a clutch for a young kid.My kids both flipped dirt bikes on hills when they were learning to ride.I always told them to downshift before going up a steep hill but they wouldn't be in a low enough gear and then they'd loose momentum.Their first reaction was to start shifting down and then hammer the throttle,flipping the bike.I don't know what kind of riding you plan on doing and all kids are different.However,I'd start them on an automatic at that age.My son and I were out last week one night and I took my daughters 300 grizzly.It's surprisingly snappy for a smaller machine and completely automatic.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The Honda i'm looking at is the es model which stands for electric shift. There is a button on the handle bar to up shift and down shift no clutch needed.
 

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Are you looking at a rancher?If so,that would be a good machine to start him out on.Actually anything with electric shift would be fine.

My daughter started with a 4 wheeler and then wanted a dirt bike so I made the mistake and bought one for her.She's an adrenaline junky but could never get the hang of when to shift.I can't tell you how many hills she'd lose power on because she was in the wrong gear and then downshift too much,punch the throttle and flip over.I'd need a prozac every time we went riding.
 

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The 250 EX I bought my son (about 10/12 years ago) was a sport machine. 2 wd, 4 stroke. It did not have the hand clutch, it was what I would call "semi automatic". It did have about 5 speeds, but you could shift without needing a hand clutch.
He never had any issue with it. Had electric start as well, which was nice for a youngster. It did not have reverse, but the new ones might have it.
 

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I thought all the sport machines bigger than a 90cc had clutches.I was looking at a Yamaha raptor 125 and it even had a clutch.
 

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They may now, but when I bought his , that was the only model in Hondas sport line up that didn't have the hand clutch. That was a major reason I picked that machine for him.
 

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buzz said:
They may now, but when I bought his , that was the only model in Hondas sport line up that didn't have the hand clutch. Thatwas a major reason I picked that machine for him.
I was looking at a Honda 250x this weekend and may buy one for my son.It does have reverse and what they calla sport clutch.You don't have to use the clutch to shift but it's there if you want to shift at a higher rpm.This thing is still quick but way lighter than what I have him on now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I ended up purchasing a new arctic cat 150 for my son. He wanted the utility look and it seemed to be a good medium between a 90 and a 250. Runs good and it can ever haul me around.
 
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