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By: Tim Donaldson

ATV Riding Fun For the Entire Family

Most of us have seen the television commercial where the grandfather sitting on the front porch explains to his grandchildren that he was a wild-at-heart, motorcycle rider on a popularly-branded bike. Only after inspiring their intent focus to listen to his further ruminations, he confesses that it was only a dream of his and that he actually spent the money intended for the motorcycle on re-siding the house, instead.

I have often laughed at the commercial, thinking that someday I would have to explain a similar story to my grandchildren. Many times, the temptation of purchasing a motorcycle has challenged my frugal and sensible judgment. Having a younger family, the opportunity to spend money on more practical things has exceeded those where I would be the only beneficiary.

After constant battling with my selfish urges, the idea of ATV riding as a family activity finally struck me. Growing up on a Honda 110cc 3-wheeler, which had no suspension whatsoever, I was aware of the many hours of enjoyment that can be had traversing the wide-open spaces. My only reservation was that I knew what type of antics that my brother and I had performed in our youthful years, while riding the untamed beast. As a wary parent, I wondered if I would be able to stomach the thought of allowing my children the same opportunity.

Today, almost every major ATV manufacturer offers a 50cc or 90cc model that caters to youth that are least 6-years old. There has even been an influx of the less-recognized Chinese and Taiwanese-branded youth quads. All of which typically offer some type of suspension and parental control, easing the apprehensions of guarded parents. A few of the popular safety features include the walk-behind tether, remote kill-switch, and throttle-limiting screws.

With the availability of such safety features and the technological improvements in handling performance from the addition of suspensions, the decision of allowing my children to ride was made much easier. Yet, as reassuring as that was, could I afford such a financial outlay?

Considering that everyone in my 4-member family would require their own ATV or motor sport vehicle, I felt that this was beyond my financial feasibly. As you may recall, I was previously considering the purchase of one of those popularly-branded motorcycles, some of which easily cost in the $20,000 price range. Im unquestionably not boasting the financial prudence of such a decision; however, as with any hobby, there are usually significant costs.

Here are some examples: People who fish usually buy a boat, multiple poles, and hundreds of lures. Golfers need golf clubs, bags, balls, and pay outrageous fees to be routinely aggravated. Hunters purchase guns, gear, permits, tags, and take exotic vacations with tour guides not their wives or children, which may be exactly what they intended!

So, in comparison, a family of four can purchase brand-new, two adult-sized and two youth-sized, ATVs for around $15,000. Of course, you will need a place to ride and way to transport the quads. Also, dont forget the miscellaneous costs such as safety gear and those first-service maintenance fees, after about 10 20 hours of riding.
Consider the investment an investment in your family. When the day comes that the grandkids want to hear about your youthful adventures, dont sit on your front porch telling them about how you painted the house and aggravated Grandma. Instead, take Grandma and the kids out on another adventure on the family ATVs.

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