4 wheeler safe for kids?

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#1
Grandson that I don't see often enough is starting to ask his parents for a 4 wheeler. I've ridden them very little, but I have a gut feeling that two wheels are safer. Am I off base? He will probably have very strict (paranoid parents - in my opinion) parental supervision, but they don't ride at all. I could/will take him out occasionally but they live four hours away. Any statistics out there regarding relative safety? Any other suggestions?
 
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#2
I agree, they are inherently more dangerous by virtue of their weight and instability. 2 local teens have dies recently while riding. Both expert quad riders. When they flipped over the bars, the quad came back down on them and crushed their skulls. I have ridden quads and they are extremely dangerous.
 

JWW

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#3
The first ohv I had was a 88 Honda 4-trax 250r. I had a blast on the quad but I got hurt more often than I do on my RM.

I think people have a false sense of safety security on 4 wheels and will attempt things with really thinking about it.

Not that I'm trying to start a flame but its just to easy to get on it and go, it really doesnt take that much skill.
 

RM_guy

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#4
IMO, I feel quads are more dangerous because of the appearance that they are easy to ride. At first glance it wouldn’t seem that you need any special skills to ride one as compared to a dirt bike. The very fact that they look easy to ride makes them more attractive to non-skilled operators, and that’s the problem. A lack of skill can get you into trouble fast and they “look” easy to ride so the operator becomes complacent.

On a dirt bike, the operator thinks it takes more skill to ride so they tend to pay more attention and concentrate on the task at hand. Also riders on 2 wheels tend to wear more protective equipment because it looks more dangerous.

In skilled hands a 2 wheeler and a four wheeler are probably equally dangerous. The fact that a quad looks easy to ride makes it much more dangerous because riders don’t give it the respect that it deserves.
 

JPIVEY

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#5
Originally posted by RM_guy
2 wheeler and a four wheeler are probably equally dangerous.
Whoever said lack of respect hit it head on, you can get yourself just as hurt or killed on either one. Anything that could cause physical damage to your self or someone else should be treated with the highest reguards. Everything from Hollerblades to top fuel can bite you on the butt,if you don't have the respect or know your limitations. IMO

Even with that said there is always Murphys Law
 
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Old CR goat

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#6
I have both and ride both. The quad can certainly be more dangerous, if not operated properly, for reasons already stated.
First, how old is the grandson?
If his parents don't ride and have never gone through a rider's safty coarse, then at least one needs to go with him. Or you could go with him, but if they will be him riding then they should go too.
 

LoriKTM

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#7
KawieKX125, think about your post.
Two teen "expert" quad riders. They flipped over the bars and the quad landed on them, crushing their skulls.
A) Sounds like they weren't wearing helmets.
B) Sounds like they were riding double on the same quad.

They certainly weren't "experts" now, were they?

An unfortunate accident, but one that we read about all too often. 4-wheelers deserve the same respect as any 2-wheeled (motorized) vehicle.
Under the proper instruction and supervision, quads can be handled by kids. It is also important that the quad (like a bike) be sized appropriately for the rider. Unfortunately, quads seem to have become the outdoor babysitter for ignorant parents. They buy a big quad so that all the kids can ride together, and never provide helmets or proper riding instruction.

Earlier this year, we bought a little quad for working around the ole homestead. I was *shocked* at the amount of legal paperwork, forms, notices, and warnings that came with the vehicle. NONE of this stuff was given with any dirt bike I bought. That is how seriously the industry has been affected by idiots and their asinine lawsuits.
 
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#8
Lori, they were on different quads, different states for that matter. Both fully protected. They both died of massive head trauma(skull fracture and massive bleeding). They flipped after coming up short and got whacked by their quads. I have talked to MANY people who used to ride quads around here and they all say they switched because of the incresed danger. One man told me whenever he flipped, he had to scramble out of the way or he would get hit by his quad. I find them extremely dangerous, much more so than bikes. I am not saying bikes are not dangerous, but going fast on a quad can really quickly bite you in the butt.
On another note, I don;t think the smaller riders on the tiny quads are in too much danger at all. Those things don't go that fast and they don't weigh too much. Also, in an open area with no jumps or trees, I believe the danger of a quad is very low. It is when you add obstacles that they get very dangerous.
Lori, I find quads fine for work or SLOW recreation. It is when people try to go fast and try to ride agressevely on an MX track that the danger level goes way up.
I guess I should have said that in my first post:eek: :) .
 
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#9
You might want to get him one of those offroad go-karts that have a roll cage. Probably as much fun as a quad but safer with the cage and stability.

Jim
 

RM_guy

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#10
Originally posted by LoriKTM
...Unfortunately, quads seem to have become the outdoor babysitter for ignorant parents. They buy a big quad so that all the kids can ride together, and never provide helmets or proper riding instruction....
Lori hit the nail on the head. Ignorant parents see a cute quad and think that little Johnny would look adorable on it. They let the kid take off like it’s a freakin’ bicycle for crying out loud! No helmet, shorts, friend on the back…you get the picture.
 
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#11
I thought...

I saw this and thought I would jump in...

Quads are marginally more dangerous than bikes. If the rider is new, then the danger actually goes down. Old bike riders that get on a quad can really get in a pickle quick! If you get him that quad, make sure he rides it now. Dont get him a bike and expect him to get into quads later... It wont happen.

I have been riding quads since I 9 years old, and I still have the occasional get-off. It happens... Its just easier to do on a quad. They are considerably harder to ride than bikes, too, and people dont realize this. There is more weight to slide around, and more body movement involved. Thats why you need to get him started early on a small machine, so he can learn these things on something light...

As far as ATV racing goes, it is no more dangerous than bike racing. The racer needs to know his limits... You cant jump a 120 foot triple on a quad. They tend to forget this and wreck, then then end up like the two unfortunate teenagers mentioned above. Then we get the bad name...

You should only ride as fast as the abilities of the machine, and your abilities, will permit. The Yamaha Grizzly 4X4 may go 60mph, but can it handle those really tight turns at those speeds? No. Most beginner ATVs come with a throttle limiter that will keep him from going too fast for his skills. The very small ones even have a cord that the parent can hold as they walk behind the ATV... Pretty cool, huh?

Should you get the youngster a quad? Of course! Off roading is an excellent way to teach him responsibility, as well as good excercise.

If you need any help as far as which one to get, or anything, feel free to e-mail me.
 

yzeater

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#12
It seems to me that the little bikes (XR50's, JR50's, little KTM's) are so close to the ground and so slow that if kids fall off of them, they almost don't have anywhere to fall. BUT it seems like the quads would be more likely to roll on little kids.
 

LoriKTM

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#13
Sorry, Kawie, I stand corrected. From your initial post, it sounded like two kids riding double on the same quad. (Unfortunately, a scene that I've witnessed too many times). I agree with you, though, quads are good for working trails (stapling arrows) and light (slow) recreation.
 
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#14
Originally posted by RM_guy
On a dirt bike, the operator thinks it takes more skill to ride so they tend to pay more attention and concentrate on the task at hand. Also riders on 2 wheels tend to wear more protective equipment because it looks more dangerous.
I think this is a key issue. I see far more quad riders without even so much as a helmet. I've seen quad riders riding in shorts and no shirt even. Yes, there are bike riders that ride with no safety equipment, but by and large, it is the four-wheeler crowd that takes all the risks without the gear.
 

HiG4s

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#15
I raced quads for many years, and I started with bikes and switched to quads, and since have switched back. I still like quads but can't afford both and I find bikes more fun.
If you look at a racing situation with serious riders, quads have no more serious injuries than dirt bike. This would indicate that they are NOT inherently more dangerous. Several of the posts here mention that the feeling that it is eaiser to ride can make it more dangerous, that is very true. They do allow you to ride at a higher level with out getting serious, because little mistakes don't throw you to the ground as can happen on bikes.
If you realize they ARE dirt bikes that do not lay down you will be well served. They ride like very heavy dirt bikes, ie: dual sports, that have a hard time with side hills. Because they do not lay down, if you ride well within what is reasonable they will seem real safe. But if you push, like with a bike sooner or later you will crash and they only high side or flip. Riding and racing bikes I crash 3 to 4 times as often as with a quad, but my quad crashes were always as hard the harder crashes on my bike. But I have actually been hurt much worse on bikes.
I truly believe quads are no more dangerous than bike but have gotten a bad rap because of those people who gotten hurt because they just haven't taken quads seriously. You very seldom see anyone riding a dirt bike without a helmet, yet I constantly see people on quads without.