ATV Riding – Fun For the
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
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.
I’m 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,
ATV’s for around $15,000. Of course, you will
need a place to ride and way to transport the
quads. Also, don’t 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,
don’t 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 ATV’s.