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Five best quad bikes

From countryside workhorses for the farm to fun runabouts for the kids, quad bikes are both accessible and fun – here are our picks!

Phil West

Words by: Phil West

Published on 29 December 2023 | 0 min read

Quad bikes, which is to say four wheeled motorcycles, might seem like a fairly obscure niche of a niche, but there are actually far more types than you might imagine and capable of and legal for both road and off-road riding.
Their inherent stability makes junior versions appealing first-time kids’ bikes, their rugged performance makes them exciting, dedicated racers, there are plenty of road-legal versions while biggest of all make great utility vehicles for farmers and others working in the outdoors. But what’s out there, what do you get, and which are the current best?

1 – Quadazilla Buzz 50: the affordable kids’ quad

Leading UK quad bike experts Quadzilla does its own range of machines across a variety of categories, and in the kids’ class the simple but effective Buzz 50 stands out, not least for its bargain price of just over £1,200 at the time of writing. It’s powered by a two-stroke 50cc engine with a speed restrictor for peace of mind, also has a throttle control, enclosed footwells for maximum safety and a remote engine cut off. Quadzilla also does other kids’ quads ranging up to £2,000 while, of the major manufacturers, Yamaha currently has a range of 50-110cc kids’ quads as well.

2 – Kymco MXU 150: the ‘next stage’ kids’ quad

As well as its impressive and affordable scooters and small motorcycles, established Taiwanese brand Kymco also has a significant ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) range comprising the entry-level Mongoose 90, four 300cc-plus utility vehicles and, sitting in the middle, the MXU 150. Boasting a rugged, four-stroke 11 horsepower 150cc engine, automatic transmission with reverse it combines manageable proportions and light steering all for just under £3,000. As such it makes a great all-round off-road leisure quad, and a great step-up from smaller kids’ quads.

3 – Aeon Cobra 400: the road-legal fun quad

Admittedly the public road isn’t always the best place to enjoy a quad, but if you’re committed to the cause the Aeon Cobra 400 is among the best, if not only road-legal sports quad currently available. Its fuel-injected, 400cc engine offers decent performance, there's a useful reverse gear and, with decent suspension and disc brakes, it handles and stops reasonably well, too. It currently comes in two forms, the Sport and the Supermoto, with the Sport starting at just over £7,000.

4 – Yamaha YFZ450 Raptor: the off-road racing one

Yamaha continues to lead the way when it comes to racing quads and its Raptor family (it also offers kids quads and more utility ‘Grizzly’ quads) comes in either single-cylinder 450 form or monster three-cylinder 700 form and remains the benchmark. The 450 has a fuel-injected engine from the YZ450 motocrosser, advanced aluminium frame, top quality suspension and brakes and gizmos like a slipper clutch. Not for the faint-hearted and, starting at around £11K, not cheap, either. But it's almost certainly the best.

5 – Suzuki KingQuad 750/500: the biggest ‘utility’ quad

Big, farm-style ‘utility’ quads of the type used to recover injured sheep and deliver straw bales might not be the type of thing you had in mind but for their sheer practicality they remain a big part of the market so deserve a place in this list. CanAm, Polaris and Honda are among the brands offering them but, of the Japanese brands, Suzuki has probably the most impressive current range with its KingQuad, available in both 500 and 750cc form. In a variety of specifications it stands out for its performance, rugged durability and impressive features. Prices currently start at about £12,500.

Which should I go for?

Again, it all depends on what you want a quad for. If you want it as a road machine you’re in a minority and pretty much limited to the Aeon. But if you want a fun off-roader it all boils down to your experience, ability and budget. The Kymco makes a great introductory machine while experienced racers only need apply for Yamaha’s Raptors!

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