KYMCO MXU 300 ($3999)
Kymco’s 2WD budget utility quad is the MXU300. This
machine bears a strong resemblance to the Arctic Cat
300, with its 270cc, liquid-cooled, overhead-cam motor, CV
transmission, and shaft drive. Even though the two have
some DNA in common, they aren’t identical, each having
proprietary designs and features. The Kymco factory warranty is one year.
KAWASAKI BRUTE FORCE 300 ($4299)
Last year the ATV industry collectively sensed a need
for an inexpensive, two-wheel-drive utility quad and
there was a miniature space race to fill the void. The
Kawasaki Brute Force 300 was one of the results and is
apparently successful because it’s back for 2014. The little
Brute has a carbureted, liquid-cooled motor and can
carry 300 pounds on its steel racks.
SUZUKI OZARK 250 ($4599)
Suzuki’s two-wheel-drive utility quad has been in the
lineup under various names for years. It’s a proven commodity with its air-cooled, two-valve motor and five-speed
manual transmission with a centrifugal clutch. The chassis is solid, with double A-arms in front and a swingarm in
the rear, coupled with a driveshaft. The price remains a
little high for this category, however.
ARCTIC CAT 150 ($3599)
Even though the 150 is included in the Arctic Cat Youth
line, this is a real utility quad with steel racks that can
carry 75 pounds of Legos and Transformers. The front suspension is single A-arm and the rear has a swingarm
with a single shock. The motor is governed to 20 mph, but
can be adjusted to achieve a 30 mph top speed. Just
remember, you have to chase the kid down.
Apex designs highly specialized racing minis in
Chandler, Arizona, then has some of the parts built overseas. They come with two-stroke motors in four different
sizes—50cc to 100cc. The chassis is lightweight and highly functional with high-end accessories like DWT wheels
and tires. At most racetracks, the youth classes are dominated by Apex products.
ARCTIC CAT DVX90 ($2699)
Most dads are jealous—8-year-olds should not have
quads that look this fast. The DVX90 looks like a racer and
has decent credentials. The 90cc air-cooled motor has an
overhead cam and an automatic, continuously variable
transmission with reverse. The suspension has single A-arms in front and a swingarm in the rear, providing almost
3 inches of travel. The speed can be governed to 15 mph.