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How Much Power? Choosing an ATV to Meet Your Needs


If you’re in the market for a new ATV, one factor you’ll need to consider in your search is engine power, which has a correlation with engine size. The number of CCs (cubic centimeters) is the measurement of the ATV’s engine volume. The general rule is that larger vehicles need more CCs, and more CCs means more power. Every ATV engine should have its CCs printed or stamped on it somewhere.

But power isn’t the only consideration, or even the most important one, especially if you’re new to ATVs. You should consider a variety of factors, including the kind of ATV you’re most comfortable riding, and the tasks you’ll be performing with the ATV.

An overview of the various types of ATVs

One of the most common questions people have when searching for an ATV is how much power they need their engine to have. While it can be tempting to maximize your engine power, this really will not be necessary for most users.

Here’s a quick look at some of the most common types of ATVs and their typical engine requirements.

  • Utility: Perhaps the most common reason people purchase ATVs is for utility purposes, such as yardwork, general hauling and towing, and hunting. You can find a wide range of attachments to add to your utility ATVs, such as plows or rakes. You’ll find utility ATVs with engines ranging from 450 cc to 1100 cc, but for most people, somewhere around 550 or 600 cc will be more than sufficient to accomplish the vast majority of jobs they have around their property.
  • Sport: Sport ATVs are primarily used for riding around trails or dirt tracks. Some serious riders may attempt to do stunts, or participate in races. They’re typically created with a more attractive, aerodynamic design. For this type of ATV, the engine size you get will really depend on how serious you are about the sport. You’ll find sporty ATVs ranging anywhere from 70 cc to 1100 cc. Beginners will have a lot of fun with just a couple hundred CC, but more serious riders will generally look toward the upper end to get the performance they need for competition. Sport ATVs are generally not going to be used for utility work like towing, hauling and other odd jobs around your property.
  • UTV: These vehicles are often designed to seat more than just one person, up to four or even more. You’ll find them designed for either sport or utility purposes. But because they’re often larger and have greater seating capacity, they need more engine power, which means they’ll come on the higher end for CCs. Expect to find most engines between 700 and 1100 cc.
  • Youth: There are some ATVs designed specifically for kids. Because these ATVs are typically going to be smaller and because the primary concern is safety, the engines will be limited to between 50 and 150 cc in most cases. As your child grows larger and more comfortable with the vehicle, you can always increase the allotted power, or move them up to a larger vehicle. But the smaller engine is ideal for teaching kids the basics of off-roading in a safer, more controlled environment.

You are the best judge for what your needs are as far as engine size and power, but the majority of buyers do not require a massively powerful engine. You’ll save money on both fuel and the vehicle itself by going with an engine that’s suitable for your needs.

Black Widow 8’ Extra-wide Arched Dual Runner ATV Ramps
Black Widow 8’ Extra-wide Arched Dual Runner ATV Ramps

Don’t forget ramps

When researching ATVs, don’t forget to look into ATV ramps as well! These ramps make it easy to load or unload your ATV on to a truck bed or trailer.

Black Widow Pro has a large selection of ATV ramps, all of which are designed to be lightweight yet extremely durable, offering high traction for extra safety during loading and unloading. Any ramp you purchase should have a load capacity that makes it capable of supporting the loaded wet weight of your ATV. Non-folding ATV ramps are usually shorter and designed for loading ATVs into trailers. If you need a longer ramp to get your four-wheeler into the bed of a truck, folding ramps in full-width or dual runner designs provide the length yet store compactly when they’re not needed.

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