Is your child thrilled by the rumble of motors? Are they gritty, active, and an adrenaline-seeker? Then, provided they’re of age to fulfill all the legal requirements, they just might be ready to get into the sport of ATV riding. In addition to it being a wholesome way to have fun, it’s a great way to teach them responsibility on their own accord. If they don’t look after their machine, after all, it will certainly let them know about it!

As a parent, though, you may not know where to even begin allowing them to enter the riding lifestyle. How can you judge if they’re ready for such a hobby? How can you make sure they stay safe?

CFMOTO, an ATV company and side by side manufacturer, is here to help. Below, you’ll find a short guide to helping your of-age child dip their toes into what could be a lifelong source of thrills—and hard-earned lessons.

Is My Child Ready?

As you probably already know, there exist state-specific legal requirements that must be met before your child can operate an ATV or side by side. These exist so as to maintain the safety of riders everywhere and, of course, are a necessary indicator of ‘readiness.’ Your child should pass all the requirements in age and knowledge before they get into motorsports.

However, as kids all develop at their own pace, it’s not the only indicator that they’re ready for the responsibility of an ATV or side by side.

Can They Make Safe Decisions While Around Their Peers?

Does your child always wear their helmet when going out biking with friends—and better yet, do they remind others to do the same? Are they the type to stop younger kids from crossing the road when it’s unsafe? If your child can prioritize safety around other kids, it can be another solid indicator that they’re ready to pursue ATV or side by side riding.

Peer influence is a very real thing among kids of all ages, and yours should be willing to set a positive example on their vehicle by modeling the proper safety procedures, even if those procedures are deemed “uncool” by the fellow young riders they will meet.

Not only will this give you peace of mind, but it will teach your child about the importance of sticking to one’s values.

How Is Their Risk-Taking Level?

ATVs and side by sides do require a certain level of confidence to ride—and they can certainly help build it, too! If your child is a little nervous when first getting started, that’s perfectly understandable.

However, riders who are too standoffish can actually end up in trouble. Hesitating for too long when tackling tricky terrain on the trail, for example, can lead to an ATV or side by side getting stuck. To truly be ready for riding, your child should, to some degree, be ready to power through things that they are afraid of.

At the same time, though, too much cockiness can also lead to problems. Trying to show off and tear up mud by accelerating through it, for example, can actually dig a vehicle into a hole and also get it stuck!

It’s not necessary for your kid to be perfectly balanced between the two to begin riding; ATVs and side by sides are great teachers. But they can’t lean excessively one way or the other, or they risk damaging their vehicle or injuring themselves.

Getting Started: Sports and Equipment

Broadly speaking, there are two types of ATV and side by side riding styles: on-track and trail riding.

  • Track riding often involves jumps, speed, competition, and adrenaline
  • Trail riding often involves exploring and navigating unfamiliar obstacles with care and forethought

Your child should be free to choose whichever sport speaks to them. To find ATV events and other track opportunities, search for local leagues, which can also help you to find classes that help your child boost their speeds while staying safe in the driver’s seat. Trail riders can also take advantage of clubs to explore new areas in their state and meet new people.

Required Safety Equipment

Regardless of how fast your child will be riding, they should be outfitted for protection, just like any other ATV or side by side rider—even if that means you’ll need to invest in new gear as they grow.  

Make sure they pick out, at minimum, the following

  • An ATV or side-by-side helmet
  • A long-sleeve shirt (it doesn’t need to be made specifically for motorsports)
  • Sturdy pants
  • Riding gloves
  • Quad-style boots
  • Goggles (if their helmet doesn’t come with adequate face protection)

Check Out CFMOTO ATVs and CFMOTO Side by Sides for Affordable and Safe Entry-Level Vehicles

If your child is ready for motorsports, you want a vehicle that will take care of them on the trails and track—while also staying within budget. CFMOTO is proud to provide just such machines. Use our CFMOTO Dealer Locator now and discover what this international brand can offer you and your child.