Types of All Terrain Vehicles
August 1, 2017
There are various types of all-terrain vehicles, built for different purposes; including recreation, racing, hunting, emergency services, pit-vehicles and industrial use. The size and design of the ATV will differ with its intended use, and you can often find ATVs with different power ratings in the same category. The power of an ATV will depend on the size of the engine, which is measured in CC (Cubic Centimeter).
This measurement is for the volume of the engine's cylinders. When there are multiple cylinders in one engine, the CC rating will be the combined measurement of all cylinders. Typically, ATVs for kids will have a 50cc engine, whereas sports ATVswould have around 700cc. ATVs used for utility purposes that demand more power can have 800cc engines, while side-by-side vehicles can be more than 1,000cc.
Here is a general classification of ATVs based on popular use:
ATVs for Kids
ATVs meant for children are much smaller than adult-size machines. They usually have 50cc to 110cc engines, but you can find more powerful ATV models for kids that have a 125cc engine, as well. These ATVs generally do not have much suspension, most models come without gears, and they run on an automatic transmission. These vehicles are also lightweight, not exceeding 150 pounds.
Sport ATVs are the most popular type of quad, and their engines can range between 250cc to 700cc. Compared to other adult models, the sport ATV is lighter and has excellent suspension for handling bumps and jumps on a rough terrain. These vehicles have responsive engines and can generate an impressive amount of speed. Many modifications are possible for these quads, for those who would like to enhance their performance and looks. You will also find the widest range of accessories available for these ATVs.
Utility ATVs are another very popular model, used extensively in hunting and in various work environments. These vehicles have a large motor and their travel suspension is short. You will find many of these vehicles being used on farms and ranches, and by hunters because they are good at traversing rough terrain. However, many hunters prefer ATVs with an electric engine, because of the reduced noise than with regular fuel engines. But do electric quads have the power to pull a 200-pound dear out of the forest or climb hills or mountains without running out of power?
Also called simply SxS, a side-by-side vehicle has the same suspension as a sports ATV, but the engine is more powerful. They look similar to golf carts, because of the roll bars, but are sportier-looking and have a short wheelbase; they are able to carry multiple passengers, depending on the model. An excellent suspension and lighter weight give the SxS ATV a superior edge over other vehicles for traversing rough terrain, but many say they are not as fun to ride as an ATV.
They are quite a popular mode of transport in rural communities, and certain towns are allowing them to be registered for riding on highways as well. These models are often used in racing and other sports events, where they are referred to as pit vehicles. Modified versions of these ATVs are used by the military, and certain fire and rescue services. The side-by-side is a rugged vehicle with the capacity to carry multiple passengers or cargo, and that makes it more utilitarian than the other ATVs.