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I bought my son a Polaris 50 around 3 years ago. He is now 11 1/2, almost 5 foot tall, and over 100 pounds. He looks pretty silly on it, but still loves to ride it around the yard. My daughter is 7 now, so I would like to transition my son off of the Polaris and allow my daughter to start to ride.

We are not, by any means, hard core riders. We own nearly 3 acres with a creek running through and about half of it wooded. I want him to be able to ride through our property, and would like to put a blade on it, if possible. We live in central IL and typically get 1 to 2 snows of 6 inches or greater per year.

I dont need a racing quad or anything specialized. I am not mechanically inclined, so I also would like opinions on which brands/models need the least amount of owner maintenance.

Any guidance/knowledge would be greatly appreciated. I wish I knew more about these, never had one growing up. You know how it goes, want my kids to have things I didnt.
 

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Lots of choices. Of course, if he is asked, he'll probably want a 2WD racer. It really depends on what kind of riding you plan on doing. Utility/sport with the 4WD will get through the mud. Something he can grow into would be in the 400-500cc class.

Other things to keep in mind is automatic vs manual shifting.

AS far as brands. I'm not a Polaris person at all so my opinion would be to steer clear. If you're looking for used, you can't go wrong with Suzuki. Yamaha and Honda would also be in my choices.

Racing/Sport quads are not necessarily for racing only, it is just a classification to point out that you're not going to be winning mudding contest and they are better suited for trails, bumps and gravel pits. Generally geared higher as well. Honda 250 TRX will go 60-70 mph, where as a Utility ATV with a 250 will generally top out at 40-50.
Utility quads generally have lower gearing, 4WD, and larger tires.
 

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Honda makes good things, but IMHO, I think the Suzuki motors are the most reliable. I used to be a Honda man, but working on 3 different Suzukis this past two years has shown me a lot.

There is a reason that Arctic Cat used Suzuki for so long.
 

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IMO it is a bit too early for a 400-500cc ATV for a boy that age and size. 450 is an adult racer size. 200-250cc should be about the limit and is sufficient to get him where he wants to go. Something like the Suzuki Ozark, which is a 250cc 2wd shaft-driven utility model that is very reliable is something I can recommend from personal experience as an excellent choice. Honda has some excellent engines, but stay away from anything with drum brakes if you can, as creek crossings will flood Honda's "triple-sealed" drum brakes every time. Honda's drum brakes issues made me switch from "Riding Red" to Suzuki/Arctic Cat about 16 years ago, and I never looked back. All your 6 major manufacturers are the best to consider as parts and service are readily available by comparison to smaller companies.
 
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