ATV- Differences and Similarities

Today’s ATVs come in all shapes, sizes, performances and prices, therefore getting to know the specs can help you decide what ATV will work for you and your needs. You’ll want to think about what you’ll be using your ATV for, whether you prefer manual or automatic and do you need your ATV to be a four wheeler.

What is the main purpose of your all-terrain vehicle?

Utility Quads are the workhorse of the ATV world- trailer towing or carrying supplies. They are more project driven, and can help you get the job done. You’ll notice they have bigger tires and larger racks to hold your heavy gear. The driveshaft of a utility quad differs from a sport quad’s chain and sprocket system. The great torque and a very low first gear, make them easy for novice quad drivers. They are very sturdy due to the larger and heavier body types and this often makes first time users feel more comfortable. Although more work oriented they can also be used for trail riding. Sport quads on the other hand are much lighter and therefore faster. The gear ratios are higher, keeping the middle to upper powerband where all the power is. The steering is quick and reactive. Sport quads are chain driven and two-wheeled drive. The body style is much smaller which means those trail rides may get muddy, but the heart of a sport ATV rider is usually satisfied in taking corner with speed, getting big air and of course getting a little dirty. A sport quad is best ridden by a knowledgeable, confident rider.

Do you need an automatic or manual ATV?

An automatic can fit your needs if you’re just planning on light trail riding. If you know, however that you’ll be taking on steep hills then the engine compression braking will not do, only a manual will. Most manufacturers would suggest the manual transmission if you’re comfortable with the shifting. The manual transmission is more effective on the trails and you won’t have to be replacing the belts as frequently.

What is the difference between the two-wheeled and four-wheeled ATVs?

A four-wheeled ATV will be ready for any terrain and any weather condition. Twelve inches of snow, mud or swampy conditions, these are no problem if you’re driving a four-wheeled quad. However, if these are not likely conditions then a two-wheeled ATV may work for you. The four-wheeler financially will cost a little more than a two-wheeled ATV, but can give you a little more confidence when riding those slippery, rocky, muddy trails. Most would suggest that the four-wheeler is the long term best option.

So, although the differences and similarities may seem to be minor at first glance, thinking about your needs prior to making your ATV purchase can help you make the best decision.