An old expression comes to mind when it comes to the subject of choosing an ATV for a young rider. “It’s like shooting fish in a barrel”. Your choices are far from limited. The problem is that while there is a large pool to choose from, there are very few that are worthy of taking up the space on your garage floor. You can’t pick up a weekly auto-swapper magazine without seeing the ads for no-name 50, 90, 110, or even 125cc youth ATVs, many of which can be had for less money than a monthly payment on a new diesel pickup.
And how can you ignore them? For the price… You can afford to buy a few replacement parts and it ought to last a few years, right? Sadly, the “few years” with these things often turns out to be unrealistic and parts support is kind of like sasquatch… meaning you could chase leads around for years and never find one. And there is no greater annoyance for a parent than to have a kid pestering you to let them ride their quad when it’s broken down in the corner and you have no idea what it’s going to take to get them back roosting up the field. In the end you saved a bunch of money, but the kids are sad and the parents are annoyed. Not a great investment.
THE REAL DEAL – POLARIS OUTLAW 110
For the last year our crack youth test rider Timmy has been tearing up the yard, trails, and even a little bit of MX track on the Polaris Outlaw 110 EFI. Like the Outlaw 90 that we covered last season, the Outlaw 110 is a far cry from one of the wanna-be ATVs that we just mentioned. While it IS built by the Taiwanese company Aeon, a Polaris manufacturing partner, it is definitely not in the same class as the dime-a-dozen knock-off ATVs that grace the pages of the circular classified papers. Instead, the Outlaw 110 is indeed worthy of being branded with the Polaris name. We’ll defer to the unique insight and in-depth review from Timmy the test rider.
Who am I kidding? He’s a kid and most of the time his “review” consists of “It was awesome!” followed by “Can I ride some more?”. If it starts and drives, he’s in seventh heaven. Like all parents, what’s important is that I’M happy with the ATV. First of all, I want to know that my kid is on an ATV that handles properly to ensure his or her safety, as well as to prepare them for riding a larger ATV when the time comes. I also don’t want to be working on it nonstop, and when I do, I want parts and service support available for a reasonable amount of time and money.
After our test of the Outlaw 90 we were quite happy with the junior Polaris. There were really only a few things that missed the mark. The flag broke on the first ride. Our Outlaw 110 didn’t even make it that far and snapped in the back of the truck on the way home from the dealership. On the plus side, that flag makes a sweet driveway marker for when the snow flies. Another complaint we had about the 90cc Outlaw was that the fuel cap didn’t seal properly and would leak fuel easily. That problem is solved with the Outlaw 110 since it is fuel injected and the tank is a different design to accommodate the fuel pump. The 110’s cap fits snug and easily every time. (Most likely to comply with emissions standards) The third thing we didn’t care for about the 90 was that the battery crapped out on it within a few months, and unfortunately that problem carried over to the Outlaw 110. But in all fairness, with the exception of the high-end lithium batteries, pretty much all batteries these days are more or less junk. You can pretty much look forward to buying a new battery within the first year.
In all practicality, the Outlaw 110 EFI comes that’s a pretty short list of negatives and a long list of positive attributes, starting with the fact that it’s just plain well-built.
The Polaris Outlaw 110 has a solid feel to it and the steering and suspension moves smoothly without feeling loose or sloppy. The fit and finish of the little Outlaw is good, and the layout doesn’t leave you scratching your head, wondering how to take it apart far enough to perform routine maintenance. It even utilizes a nice, sturdy O-ring chain unlike many youth ATVs that use a glorified bicycle chain!
As I mentioned earlier, something I look for in a youth ATV is that it will prepare the younger riders for their next step up to a bigger machine, and I felt that the function and performance of the Outlaw 110 definitely encouraged Timmy to form good riding habits that’ll carry him on to bigger machines without a huge change in his learning curve. The Polaris accelerates, brakes, turns, and handles bumps and jumps predictably and consistently, unlike many small ATVs that tend to react poorly and unpredictably to inputs from the rider or the terrain. The Outlaw allows the rider to gain confidence in order to grow their skills rather than spending every ride fighting machine demons.
The Outlaw 110’s controls are easy to understand and operate for any rider, and one thing that really stands out is the shifter. Not all mini ATVs have reverse or even a neutral. Eventually your young rider will turn too wide or down a path they didn’t intend to take and being able to back out of it is a definite plus. It’s also nice that they can have it in neutral while it’s warming up and they are getting ready to ride. We’ve seen a few times where other ATVs have tried to idle away since the clutch engagement is usually barely above idle speed.
Whoever had the idea to use EFI on a youth ATV is a bona fide genius as far as I’m concerned. Kids often struggle with the idea and the function of a choke lever, and I’m surely not the only parent who has ever had a kid saying “dad… it won’t stay running”. The Polaris EFI fires right up every single time, even in the winter. That is, as long as the battery stays charged! Unlike the Outlaw 90 which uses the traditional screw and locknut for a throttle limiter, the 110 EFI has a jumper wire under the seat that can be disconnected when it comes time to uncork a little (actually a lot) more performance, and I found that once unrestricted, the Outlaw 110 will take even a 200lb dad around the yard for a fairly spirited rip.
To me, a big part of my kids being involved in ATVs is that they need to learn how to do at least basic service and maintenance. They really need to learn to do simple tasks like check their oil level and the air filter, and it really shouldn’t take an engineering degree to be able to do those things. The Outlaw 110 is laid out to promote that and encourage kids to take part in some of the responsibilities of ATV ownership. It is also sealed up well enough so a younger rider can partake in the washing of their own machine without the imminent danger of an engine full of water.
THE BOTTOM LINE
At $3099, the Outlaw 110 EFI is a significant cash layout, especially when less than $1000 will put a kid on something with 4 wheels that goes VROOM. (Well, some of the time anyway). But at the end of the day, the Polaris Outlaw 110 is well worth it. A youth ATV should do more than occupy their time. It should help them grow. The Polaris does just that. In addition, it doesn’t suck up all of mom and dad’s time and money to keep it working properly. It’s a good quality youth ATV that is definitely worthy of that space on your garage floor… but probably won’t spend much time being parked.
POLARIS OUTLAW 110 EFI Specifications
Engine Type: 112cc, 4-Stroke Single Cylinder
Transmission: 2wd with Automatic CVT F/N/R; - O-ring Chain
Front Suspension: Single A-Arm with 5" (12.7 cm) Travel
Rear Suspension: Mono-Shock Swingarm with 6" (15.2 cm) Travel
Front/Rear Brakes 4-Wheel Drum
Parking Brake: Lockable Hand Lever
Front Tires: 19 x 7-8 Duro
Rear Tires: 18 x 9.5-8 Duro
Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gal (5.9 L)
Ground Clearance: 4" (10.2 cm)
Overall Size: 61.25"L x 36.75"W x 38.5"H (155.6 x 93.3 x 97.8 cm)
Dry Weight: 278 lb (126.36 kg)
Color / Graphics: Lime Squeeze
Instrumentation: Neutral/Reverse Light
Lighting: Dual Front Running Lights; Single Rear Brakelight/Taillight