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How to Choose an ATV: Sport vs Utility

As a future rider, you daydream of flying off of dunes in the desert and racing through muddy trails on your very own quad. You can picture it perfectly: the sun is shining, a breeze is blowing, your adrenaline is up and you listen to the sound of that four-stroke as if it were a song! All you need is an ATV of your own. Upon research, you discover there are two types of quads: utility and sport. When it comes to choosing a quad the answer lies within your personal riding needs.

work atv


Utility ATVs are ideal for spraying crops, herding cattle and towing farm equipment. They're easy to ride, have large tires that can handle a variety of terrain, and have plenty of torque for towing.

trail atv

Trail Riding

While sports ATVs can be used for trail riding, we recommend a utility quad; many trails across the US and Canada are not well kept. UTVs have bigger ATV tires and more torque. Not only are these great for farming, but they make riding across streams, over big rocks and through the mud a breeze. It's possible to use a sports quad for trail riding (many experienced riders do it), but if you are just starting and plan to use your quad for trail riding, go with a UTV. They are easier to learn on and more forgiving if you make a mistake.

Sport ATV

Desert Riding

If you plan to spend your weekends combing the desert at PismoBeach or at the Dumont Dunes, a sports ATV is a must! Sports ATVs are designed for one purpose: to deliver superb off-road performance. Unlike most off-roading, two-wheel drive handles well in the desert. Sports ATVs are built with long travel suspensions, a high output motor and a 5- or 6-speed transmission, the ideal setup for the desert. The suspension allows the quad to execute sharp turns, carve the inside of dunes and handle the landings of hard jumps. 

Racing ATV


Sports quads all the way! Sports ATVs were designed and manufactured for racing through the same whoops and jumps as a dirt bike. If you want to get started in Quadcross or GNCC, racing a sports model is recommended. They have quick, sports car-esque handling, are light as a feather with suspensions capable of handling the hard impact. While UTV racing does exist, most organized races are for sports models.

Purchasing the right quad is based on personal need. Be safe, have fun and enjoy the ride!

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