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The purpose of most ATVs and UTVs is not speed, but their off-road capabilities.
And high speeds are certainly not where 4x4s shine. It’s also not the type of riding most people want to do when they’re winding through muddy trails and over rough terrain.
However, it’s always interesting to know how fast your ATV can go.
Continue reading to get a better understanding of how fast an ATV can really go.
How Fast is an ATV?
The average ATV can typically reach speeds up to 45-50mph.
Larger-sized ATVs with more powerful engines may be capable of speeds up to 75 to 80mph.
The fastest stock ATV is the Polaris Scrambler XP 1000, which can reach speeds of just over 80 mph.
The world record for the fastest top speed on an ATV was set at just over 196 mph on a heavily modified Yamaha Raptor 700 ridden by Terry Wilmeth.
|ATV Engine Size (CCs)
|Estimated Top Speed
|50cc to 150cc
|150cc to 250cc
|250cc to 450cc
|450cc to 650cc
|650 to 850cc
|850cc to 1000cc+
Remember, the cost of an ATV is typically associated with the size of the engine, and therefore the speed. If you want a faster stock ATV, you can expect to spend more money.
Youth ATVs (50cc, 110cc, 125cc, 150cc)
Youth ATVs are designed for smaller, inexperienced riders.
As such, their engines are much smaller and less powerful.
Many youth ATVs also come equipped with speed limiters and parental controls, so you can set exactly how fast your child can go.
Most youth ATVs in the 50cc to 150cc range have a top speed of no more than 30mph.
ATV Speed Limiters
Most ATVs are equipped with mechanical or digital speed limiters.
A mechanical limit utilizes an adjustment screw to set the wide-open-throttle limit. Opening the screw would raise how wide you can open the throttle and potentially raise the top speed. However, messing with the speed limit is usually not recommended.
Other ATVs may feature digital limits. Some manufacturers include digital keys that can be programmed to different speed limits.
When riding off-road and through rough trails, a high top speed is usually not your friend.
A better spec to look for would be acceleration.
Traveling on an ATV at excessive speeds can cause handling issues or make you lose control and flip over.
How Fast is a UTV/Side-by-Side?
UTVs have top speed ranges similar to that of ATVs. The average speed of a UTV is around 45 to 50mph, while the fastest models are capable of speeds up to 80 to 85mph.
When comparing UTVs and ATVs of the same engine sizes, the UTV will typically be a little faster.
Sport UTVs are generally faster than utility models.
When you’re riding off-road, on trails, and through terrain – lower speeds are going to feel much faster than if you were in a car or motorcycle on a paved street. You don’t need to be going very fast off-road to have a lot of fun.
ATVs and UTVs are generally not designed for high speeds. Their wheelbase is too short and their off-road tires are not suited for going fast.
Racing ATVs have modified suspensions, racing clutches, gear ratios, and tires that are much better suited for racing speeds.