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What is a Mini ATV?

Patrick Wensink
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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A mini ATV is a smaller scale version of an adult four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle. These mini quad bikes look very similar to the larger versions, but feature many performance alterations that set them apart. For example, ATV engine sizes differ for young riders, smaller ATVs have a transmission geared toward child riders, and the oil injection system simplifies the fueling process for youngsters. Safety is different for mini ATVs too, starting with the brake system and extending to floorboards and lights.

A mini ATV is approximately half the size of an adult ATV and is intended as a training vehicle for children to prepare them for riding a full size model. A small ATV does not feature a regular size two-stroke engine, but offers different options for riders. A 50 cubic centimeter (cc) engine provides a small amount of power for riders under 12 years of age. A 90 cc engine is better for children aged 12-16 who have more weight on the bike and can control the added motor boost. Engines over 90 ccs are useful for riders over 16 years of age.

The transmission on a mini ATV is simplified to make driving easier for newcomers. Many models offer an automatic transmission that shifts gears without the rider needing to operate a clutch system. ATVs geared toward older children frequently feature simplified two or three speed transmissions that help riders learn to shift using either a pedal or a hand lever system.

Two-stroke engines require a mixture of gasoline and oil to operate. Adult ATVs require the rider to create this mixture manually, but a mini ATV frequently offers an oil injection system. Providing separate tanks for oil and gas, and mixing each automatically, prevents inexperienced riders from having to mix the fuels.

Breaking systems for a mini ATV tend to be drum-style. These are inexpensive, simple models that do not require the attention of disc breaks. Some children's ATVs do feature disc breaks. Disc systems provide better control and breaking performance, but drum breaks work well with lightweight, low speed mini ATVs.

Floorboards are an important element for safety on a mini ATV. These dividers help keep feet and legs away from potentially dangerous elements on the quad such as the wheels and drive chain. Lights are another element added to many small ATVs to help riders see in the dark and be better seen during daylight hours.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Patrick Wensink
By Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various genres and platforms. His work has been featured in major publications, including attention from The New Yorker. With a background in communication management, Wensink brings a unique perspective to his writing, crafting compelling narratives that resonate with audiences.
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Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various...
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