It’s easy to get confused when shopping or a mini quad bike, but don’t let that put you off finding the right pocket rocket for your kid.
Not all mini quads are the same, despite many looking similar, what’s under the attractive body panels can vary massively so it’s worth doing that bit of extra research before parting with any hard earned cash.
The most popular mini quad bike available today comes loaded with a little 49cc engine and ample safety equipment to ensure your kid can have a great time without unnecessary risk.
Let’s take a look at some of the features these mini quad bikes have to offer.
Mini Quad Bike Engines
The small form factor and simplistic 49cc 2-stroke engine found in these little quads is a sturdy unit and can deliver a top speed of approximately 22mph depending on the riders weight and the type of terrain it’s being ridden on.
To save on weight they feature a simple pull cord to start them up which is especially designed to be easy to start by hand. Although old school starter cords are notorious for failing and leaving you with a non-runner, modern cords are durable and made of a high grade material.
Generally the mechanical side of these quad bikes is exceptionally low maintenance needing occasional oil and filter changes only and the details for this is always specified depending which mini quad bike you buy.
Design and Features
Being for smaller kids, mini quad bikes are truly pocket sized in their design. There’s nothing more intimidating than trying to ride a bike or quad that’s just too big for you, when the size isn’t right you never gain confidence and feel truly in control.
These quads have large foot platforms and tend to have a seat only 30cm higher than the foot protectors too so your kid will be able to stand up on the foot rests when enjoying some light off-roading.
The weight limit is a decent 60kg which is ample for kids, but mums and dads should be wary when tempted to jump on a kids quad for a cheeky ride.
To maximise stability, mini quad bikes have pretty much a wheel in each corner with a wide and low design ensuring stability at all times. Especially in the corners!
The suspension on premium mini quads is a twin front and single rear setup. They tend to be small coilover style strut units which really soak up the bumps protecting both the rider and the machine, offering a smooth ride over a variety of terrain.
An essential part of any vehicle, and often overlooked is the part that actually makes contact with the ground to provide grip in all directions and on all surfaces. The tyres!
Don’t be fooled by quads equipped with cheap plastic wheels, top quality mini quad bikes are now equipped with proper air-filled rubber tyres with knobbly tread to maximise grip.
This doesn’t just make them perform better but makes them considerably more hard wearing with a longer lifespan. The air cushion of these tyres also smooths the ride further and soaks up the smaller bumps in the road.
The handling of a mini quad will really inspire confidence in your kid and allow them to find their feet when it comes to off-roading and maybe even a future of motorsport.
Disc brakes are also confidence inspiring with a twin set up on the front and a single independently controlled disc brake on the rear, a mini quad bike will have plenty of stopping power when you need to slow things down a bit.
To top it all off, shiny stainless steel exhaust pipes and stylish, high quality molded plastics with eye-catching decals make them look just as awesome as they ride!
Although you want your kids to have a great time and discover off-roading, as a parent, nothing is higher on your priority list than your child’s safety.
With this in mind, it’s always wise to purchase a quality quad bike from a reputable retailer, and preferably one which is officially CE approved and underwent the UK standard MIRA testing before going to market.
A genuine CE and MIRA certification is always a must when you’re getting something for your kid, and while it doesn’t mean you can let them run wild with it, it ensures a lot of the most dangerous parts of the product have been checked and made safe and secure.
Mini quad bikes for kids feature parent controlled speed governor via a simple restriction screw on the thumb throttle mechanism. This way your child can build up their pace as they grow in skill and experience without being thrown into the deep end straight away.
Quad switchgear is also a must and the all important engine kill switch on the handlebars gives the young rider a safe way of stopping their quad if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Simply flicking this red switch cuts the engine immediately allowing the quad to bring itself to a steady halt.
The brakes are not only a performance feature, but a safety feature too. Mini quads usually feature a simple twin disc front and single rear configuration offering plenty of stopping power in an emergency.
On CE marked quads you’ll find special safety equipment to make it as unlikely as possible that your kid could be harmed by the vehicle. These features usually include proper heat shielding on the exhaust and engine to prevent burns to tinkering little hands.
Fully enclosed drivelines such as chain and sprocket guards to help avoid your kids fingers and clothing from getting trapped in the machine and also rear axle and brake disc covers to protect them from moving parts.
A quick run-down of key safety features to look out for when buying a mini quad bike is as follows:
- Genuine CE Certification
- MIRA testing to UK standards
- Parent controlled speed restriction
- Riders kill switch
- Quality braking system
- Enclosed chain drive and sprockets
- Heat shielding on exhausts and engines
- Brake disc guards
Bearing in mind, these mini quad bikes are for kids to get their first experience off-road, they are only really intended for mild off-road duties.
They are suitable for use on the obvious surfaces such as concrete and tarmac, on which they are plenty of fun and able to more easily reach their 22mph top speeds
But they are probably best enjoyed on flat grass and mild off road trails which is where they really shine. As your kid gets older and bigger, that’s when the larger ATVs designed for more serious off-road endeavours will become available, but in the meantime your kid will have a blast on a mini quad bike.
Petrol Power vs Electric
While the more common and traditional petrol powered 2-stroke units are easy to recommend, it’s well worth noting the influx of electric quad bikes into the market.
Many electric mini quad bikes are now available with 800w or even 1000w electric motors offering comparable or even superior performance to their petrol counterparts.
There are upsides and drawbacks to both power plants, but it’s looking more and more like the future is electric, and with the clean running, near-silent operation and instantaneous torque from the motor, it’s very easy to see why!
Being such small vehicles, mini quad bikes are the ideal candidate for electrification as they can get a lot of fun out of a small battery.
It’s worth bearing in mind the drawbacks however, such as long 8 hour charging times from empty, meaning once your battery is flat, there are no options for quick fuel top-up, so the fun really does stop there and then.
For many casual quad riders, electric really is the right option to select when working out which mini quad bike is the one for your kid.
What models do you like that you would recommend when it comes to mini quad bikes? Let us know in the comments.