BUYER’S GUIDE: Youth UTV’s
A couple of months back we brought you a youth ATV buyer’s guide full of offerings from the top manufacturers. This month we will look into what is offered in the way of UTV or steeringwheel-equipped off-road machines for youngsters. This time around only Polaris has a stake in the category as far as big companies go. The others are much smaller importers and are basically selling mini RZR clones with a variety of other options, some not even offered on the original kids’ RZR. You can credit Polaris for getting the youth side-by-side market going, but you can’t really call them UTVs since none of them are offered with a fourwheel-drive option.
POLARIS 170, $4599
In 2008 Polaris introduced the first popular youth SxS just one year after releasing the original RZR 800. Under the bodywork it’s similar to the dirt buggies sold at big-box stores and gokart shops. It was the style and looks of a RZR, however, that set it apart. Over the years it has been improved upon and copied wildly. For 2015 the RZR 170 now comes with a fuel-injected, air-cooled, 169cc engine. There is seating for two and a cargo basket behind the headrests so the kids can bring stuff along with them just like the parents do. Parents can control speed with a throttle limiter and even squeeze into the passenger seat if they want to ride along and give driving lessons. Suspension up front is handled via single A-arms with 5 inches of travel. Out back, another 5 inches of movement is found using a swingarm suspension with dual shocks. Disc brakes are found at both ends to slow the machine down from a 30 mph top speed. For every youth RZR, Polaris equipped it with a safety flag, daytime running lights and a pair of helmets. Polaris is the only youth UTV manufacturer that has a large nationwide dealer network that you can be assured will stand behind the product and most likely car parts and accessories for the machine. This year the RZR 170 is available in blue or red and recommended for kids 10 and over.
MASSIMO GUNNER 250S, $4599
If you have been to a Tractor Supply Co. store, you have probably seen the Massimo-brand UTV outside or in the showroom. The 250S is their smallest model and sits on a chassis utilizing a dual-A-arm front suspension with 5 inches of travel. The rear is a single-shock swingarm setup also with 5 inches. This body is quite a departure from the RZR and comes with real a half-door instead of nets. Disc brakes front and rear help slow the EFI-equipped, 229cc, watercooled, four-stroke mill producing 13 horsepower. This machine has one of the highest age recommendations at 12 years. Rear-view mirrors and a sun top are standard equipment.
MASSIMO GUNNER 250 UTILITY, $4799
Massimo and fellow Texas-based importer Bennche are the only companies marketing a utility UTV for the youth driver. This 250 has a recommend age minimum of 12 years old. The 250 Utility has a working dump bed with a truck-style tailgate. The running gear is only two-wheel drive, and the motor is a liquid-cooled, 229cc single mated to a CVT transmission utilizing high/low, neutral and reverse gears. Disc brakes are found at both ends, as are dual A-arms up front and a twin-shock single swingarm in the back. This machine measures 49 inches wide, so it can fit on any trail. Accessories such as a winch, bumpers, windshield, mirrors and sun top are available. Massimo UTVs can be purchased through Tractor Supply stores and other dealers.
HISUN STRIKE 250, $4549
The Strike 250 is the smallest Hisun model and sits on a chassis utilizing a dual-A-arm front suspension with 5 inches of travel. The rear is a singleshock swingarm setup also with 5 inches. This body is quite a departure from the RZR and comes with a real half-door instead of nets. Disc brakes front and rear help slow the 229cc, liquid-cooled motor. Hisun claims this EFI-equipped machine has 16 horsepower. This machine has an age recommendation of 12 years old.
HISUN SECTOR 250, $4749
Hisun builds ATVs for Bennche and the other Dallas area importer, Massimo, and they are the only companies marketing a utility UTV for the youth driver. This 250 has a recommend age minimum of 12 years old. The Sector 250 has 16 horsepower a winch, and a working dump bed with a truck-style tailgate. The running gear is only two-wheel drive, and the motor is a liquidcooled, EFI-equipped, 229cc single mated to a CVT transmission utilizing high/low, neutral and reverse gears. Disc brakes are found at both ends, as are dual A-arms up front and a twin-shock single swingarm in the back. This machine measures 49 inches wide, so it can fit on any trail. Accessories such as bumpers, windshield, mirrors and top are available.
BMS MOTOR AVENGER 150, $3299
BMS Motors took what they liked in the RZR 170 and added some styling to it throughout the body lines. The suspension is similar to the RZR, with single arms in the front and a dual-shock swingarm in the back. The air-cooled motor is a bit smaller than the RZR at 149cc but still utilizes forward, neutral and reverse. BMS claims their engine still produces similar horsepower to all the 170s. The unique thing about the Avenger is that it comes in cool red, blue, Spiderweb and different camo graphics. Each Avenger comes with roll-bar-mounted halogen lights, a full windshield and a soft-fabric sun top. All BMS Motorsports products come with an end-to-end, one-year warranty, and they have a ton of parts if needed in their SoCal warehouse that can be shipped direct if needed.
BMS MOTOR AVENGER MAX, $3699
The Max model measures almost a foot longer, so drivers up to 6-foot2 can comfortably fit in the cockpit. Imagine the carnage you would see if a bunch of adults raced these things against each other. The suspension is set up identical to the standard Avenger, with single A-arms up front and a dual-shock swingarm in the rear. Lights, a soft top and full windshield are standard, as well as a ton of color options. The driver’s seat slides forward so kids can drive the Avenger Max, too, but this model is aimed more at the 14–16-year-old who’s not yet ready for a full-sized, faster UTV.
SSR SRU170RS, $3499
SSR is a SoCal-based importer with a long history of building trick, twowheeled pit bikes. For the youth UTV market, their 170RS has a slightly larger chassis than others, so adults can fit into them more comfortably. Like the RZR, this 170cc, air-cooled engine produces just over 10 horsepower wide open and should top out between 30 and 35 mph. The stock suspension features dual A-arms up front and a swingarm with two shocks in the back. All four shocks have around 5 inches of travel. Disc brakes slow things down at both ends. SSR has equipped their little UTV with a list of goodies, including a front bumper, toolbar-mounted LED lights, a sun top and a six-point roll cage with a spare-tire carrier. For an additional $1500, SSR can equip your UTV with King-brand Air shocks that can be dialed in for any weight or skill level. You can probably buy these shocks directly from King for any one of the cars in this guide.
PITSTER PRO LIL MOJAVE $3799
Pitster Pro was one of the first companies to import a RZR 170 copy. That first model, the Double X 150, was good. It had dual A-arms up front and sold for exactly $1000 cheaper than the RZR. Today Pitster Pro still sells it, rebadged as the Lil Mojave, which has more of a Can-Am Maverick look to it and is even more affordable. It’s powered by a 150cc air-cooled engine and has forward, reverse and neutral transmission settings. Wheel travel is slightly better than the rest at 6 inches up front and just over 5 in the back. Hydraulic disc brakes at both ends impress us as well. The Mojave comes standard with a half-windshield, cast aluminum wheels and a rear-view mirror.
PITSTER PRO LIL RIPPER, $3599
The Lil Ripper is a kid-sized SxS with enough legroom for adults. It is 6 inches longer than Pitster’s Lil Mojave and has a larger engine at 170cc. However, the price is lower at $3599. Like the Mojave this machine comes with a six-point roll cage that wraps around to the rear of the car doubling as a bumper. Suspension is handled through a dual-A-arm setup in the front and a standard dual-shock swingarm out back. Pitster claims wheel-travel numbers are 6 inches up front and 5.6 inches in the back. Pitster Pro not only has a complete inventory of parts for its machines in its Utah warehouse, they sell aftermarket components as well for these UTVs and their own youth ATVs. Some parts can even transfer over to the Honda 90 mini ATV. All Pitster UTVs come with a six-month limited warranty. Pitster Pro is the only one of these “offbrand” companies that has a complete parts catalog for easily ordering parts on their website.
YOUTH UTV CONTACTS
Massimo: www.massimomotor.com, (972) 893-3169
Hisun: www.hisunmotors.com, (972) 446-0760
BMS Motor: www.bmsmotor.com, (626) 810-8877
SSR Motorsports: www.ssrmotor sports.com, (562) 926-2888
Pitster Pro: www.pitsterpro.com, (801) 796-7416