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What Is a 49cc ATV?

By Sandi Johnson
Updated May 17, 2024
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A 49cc ATV refers to an all terrain vehicle (ATV), typically intended for youths between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. The engine displacement, denoted by the term 49cc, refers to the combined space inside all of the engine cylinders, measured in cubic centimeters (cc.) Also known by terms such as a mini ATV or pocket bike, a 49cc ATV is one of the smallest standard types of ATVs, generally promoted as a kid's ATV due to its small size and reduced engine displacement. For a child, the reduced displacement prevents some of the risks associated with more powerful ATVs.

Common features of a 49cc ATV include a 2-stroke engine, or an engine that requires a mix of both fuel and oil. Automatic transmissions are considered standard to facilitate operation of the ATV by a child, although semi-automatic transmissions are available from some manufacturers. Wheels generally measure 6 inches (15.24 cm,) with an overall vehicle height of less than 2 feet (60.96 cm.) Some ATVs in this size class require pull starting rather than a keyed ignition, similar to push lawn mowers and other small engines. Typical ATVs in this size class, however, use electronic keyed ignitions to allow for the use of different child safety devices.

In terms of overall size, a 49cc ATV is typically less than 4 feet (1.22 m) in length and under 3 feet (0.91 m) in width. Owing to its smaller overall dimensions, ATVs in this size category are better suited to a youth's smaller body size and lighter weight. While the vehicle typically weighs less than 80 pounds (36.29 kg,) some can weigh as much as 200 pounds (90.72 kg.) Most are capable of safely carrying an operator weighing up to 175 pounds (79.38 kg.) To further meet safety requirements for young riders, some 49cc ATV models have a top speed of 20 to 30 miles per hour (32 to 48 kph) and a range of less than 30 miles (48 km) on a full tank of fuel.

Since a 49cc ATV is typically intended for children, it is often fitted with additional safety features intended to protect young, inexperienced riders. Such features include a remote kill switch and speed moderators. Remote kill switches allow a parent or other supervising adult to turn off the ATVs engine with a remote control device, sometimes from as far as 250 feet (60.96 m) away. Speed moderators allow an adult to limit the maximum speed the ATV can reach.

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