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What is a good atv for a 140 pound 12 year old. I would like to buy him something 4 wheel drive, not because the terrain is rough or hard to ride but because the mud, holes, and some hills. He has had a 2 wheel drive 150 for a few years and is starting to out grow it. Just looking for some advise from other fathers who may have already been down this road.

Thanks,
 

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if you can find a midsize hawkeye/sportsman 300 ('06-'10) they are good size machines for that age range. My 12 yr. old can ride mine fine. and I'm 240 and it can haul me around just fine. It just doesn't have a high top speed. (which is good for younger riders). after that you're moving away from Polaris. I know both Yamaha and Artic cat have mid size machines.

I've had no issues with my machine save lack of traction from the stock tires.

Or if you've got the coin you could go for an ACE. the original not the 570. the original will still have more than enough power for a 12 yr. old
 

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I have seen some 8 and up kids throwing full sized polaris quads around so a spotsman 400 or etx would serve him for some time to come.
 

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get yourself a 500HO. They are plentiful, super reliable and your son weighs the same as most women I ride with. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
if you can find a midsize hawkeye/sportsman 300 ('06-'10) they are good size machines for that age range. My 12 yr. old can ride mine fine. and I'm 240 and it can haul me around just fine. It just doesn't have a high top speed. (which is good for younger riders). after that you're moving away from Polaris. I know both Yamaha and Artic cat have mid size machines.

I've had no issues with my machine save lack of traction from the stock tires.

Or if you've got the coin you could go for an ACE. the original not the 570. the original will still have more than enough power for a 12 yr. old
Thorshammer I think your spot on we just ride to have some fun, take them hunting, and ride to the streams during trout season to do some fishing. Food taste better when you go get it not buy it. Tis the season for some eatin, almost.....:)
 

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I agree with InRBigness. Your son sounds like he is big enough and experienced enough to handle a 500 - depends on his maturity level. I know several young teens that can handle a 500.
 

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A 12 year old on a 700lb 500? Big difference in mentality and maturity of a 12 year old boy and an adult woman...regardless if they weigh the same. I would be looking at a rancher or something like that. Unless the kid has been riding a lot for many years and is physically bigger and stronger than most, the 500 is too much quad for him IMO
 

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Not to mention that in some states its illegal for someone that young to control a 500CC machine. The Hawkeye/Sportsman 300 is sub 300 ccs so younger riders are able to ride them.
 

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... The Hawkeye/Sportsman 300 is sub 300 ccs so younger riders are able to ride them.
Would you say these are the same size as a magnum? Just wondering...
 

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Well last year I was in your shoes. My son was 13 and weighed around 140 and was 5' 2" tall. I pondered this same thing. I actually lost a lot of sleep thinking about what size atv to get him for xmas. I am from Pa and it is not illegal for him to ride an adult sized machine but it is suggested he don't. He was physically to large for the kid sized machines. I bought him a sportsman 400 and taught him how to ride and respect that machine because it is heavy and lots of power for a kid. I never let him ride alone even to this day I ride with him every time he goes out (I always lead to control the speed). We have started going to these atv poker runs and really enjoy them. I will tell you that my son has over 1000 miles on his 400. And when we ride the poker runs the trail is new to both of us, but when I go into some technical parts of the trail and look over my shoulder my son is always right there. He can handle that 400 probably every bit as good as I can. I think a big part of a kid on an adult machine is teaching him how to respect that machine. And ride with him.

edit: That is my son in my avatar.
 

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Years back I had two machines. An 88 Yamaha warrior with a clutch and gears and an 04 sportsman 700. I would stick my 10 year old son on the 700 because he couldn't use the clutch on the warrior. He did well and we never had any miss steps but he was a cautious kid. He is 18 now and has an 08 500 but I still look back and regret not getting him something more appropriate. When my daughter was 12 we bought her an 00 magnum 325. Still a little heavy but not overly powerful. She promptly rolled it. No one seriously hurt but looking back still wish I would have got her something more appropriate.
All that being said I think it is great to teach kids how to ride ATVs. Both my kids are now excellent drivers and they transitioned into cars very easily. On the other hand I remember a conversation with my brother in-law about how scary his son was trying to learn how to drive. His wife would never allow the kids to ride atvs or drive my kids go kart and when it came time for him to drive his dad was telling me he had no concept of slow and easy. Gas was full to the floor or hard on the brakes. No throttle management skills at all. Its hard to describe the warm fuzzy I got years ago when my 11 year old daughter came in yelling, "Dad I'm driving the go kart, come watch me drift!!":slomo:
 

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Big difference in mentality and maturity of a 12 year old boy and an adult woman...regardless if they weigh the same.
And I would add - that difference can be in either direction. Teach your kids the "right" way. Don't let them try to figure it out on their own.
All three of my kids (2 boys and a girl) were all very capable on a 500 class machine by age 12. Actually, they would be better drivers on the trail and in a car on the road than most folks that are "legal". JMO
 

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... The Hawkeye/Sportsman 300 is sub 300 ccs so younger riders are able to ride them.
Would you say these are the same size as a magnum? Just wondering...
couldn't say as I don't know the size of the magnum. The Hawkeye weighs in at just over 500 dry. as it's still a utility quad. and built as such. Maybe someone who knows the magnum can chime in on a size comparison.
 
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