Chinese-made ATVs have surged in popularity due to their attractive price points and wide range of options, but they’ve also sparked debates about their quality, reliability, and safety.
As people think about buying a new ATV the cheaper Chinese-made ATVs come up and people start to wonder if they’re truly bad, or do they offer value that’s often overlooked?
This post goes into the pros and cons of these ATVs, providing insights to help riders make an informed decision.
What Is A Chinese ATV?
A Chinese ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) is an ATV that is manufactured in China. Over the past few decades, China has become a significant player in the manufacturing of various products, including ATVs.
These vehicles are often more affordable than their counterparts from other countries, and are exported worldwide.
You can get Chinese ATVs in many sizes and shapes, from kids ATVs to adult or even side by side options. You tend to see lower horsepower and smaller ATVs from China than anything else, as they compete more on price.
Not only that, but you may be surprised by how many ATVs are made in China, but the major brands simply rebrand them. Also, a lot of the parts from the major brands also use parts made in China.
Are Chinese-Made ATVs Bad?
Chinese-made ATVs do have a stigma of being inferior and less reliable than other major brands across the globe.
But there are a few Chinese-made ATVs and side by sides that are actually good, for example CFMoto.
It’s not so much about where the ATV is made, as many of them and their parts come from China. It’s more about the brand, the dealer network, and parts that define whether an ATV is worth it or not.
Let’s go over the pros and cons of Chinese-made ATVs below.
Chinese-Made ATV Pros
- Affordable – Chinese ATVs tend to be cheaper than other brands and easier to get, with them shipping to many homes.
- Fun to modify – With their cheaper price points, you tend to see more people modify Chinese ATVs.
- Tons of options – You can get many types of Chinese-made ATVs, from ones made for kids to side by sides.
- Easy for beginners – Let’s be honest, everyone new to ATVs don’t need the top of the line models. While they can get used, sometimes new is the best fit, and a Chinese ATV is a great option.
Chinese-Made ATV Cons
- Cheaper materials – To get Chinese-made ATVs to a low price point, many manufacturers tend to use cheaper materials and building processes. Not all Chinese-made ATVs are built cheaply, but the cheaper the ATV, the more likely the case.
- Safety – To cut cost, cheaper ATVs tend to have safety concerns. More regulations are making this less of a problem, but it’s still a problem.
- Shorter lifespan – With cheaper materials, you tend to have a shorter lifespan on the ATV.
- Resale value – With the stigma that people have with cheaper ATVs, in general, means they’re harder to sell in the future.
- Lack of dealers – The biggest problem I have with many Chinese-made ATVs is the lack of dealers. If you can’t get parts or people to work on them, then the ATV won’t last long. Even regular backyard mechanics will refuse some brands because it’s hard for them.
Are Chinese ATVs Worth It?
Whether Chinese ATVs are worth it depends on the buyer and their needs.
If you want something simple, cheap, and easy to get in the market, a Chinese-made ATV is not so bad. So long as you understand you may have a harder time selling it in the future or if you don’t care about that, then most Chinese brand ATVs will be fine.
You even have some very good and trustworthy Chinese brand ATVs like CFMoto filling the gap and delivering products that the “bigger” brands are not.
With the price of everything going up, people are looking for new options and don’t want to pay for the “name of a brand”.
Parts Are Made In China
The most interesting thing to me in this whole topic is that most parts, even from the big brands, have many parts made in China.
The company in China making a big brand’s handlebars are also making handlebars for other less-known brands of ATVs.
While parts being made in China doesn’t nullify the value of ATVs being manufactured somewhere else, it’s still something to keep in mind. But the argument that an ATV coming from China is a bad thing is silly when most of the parts on the quad of most bigger brands are also made in China.
Are All Chinese ATVs The Same?
Many people assume that all Chinese ATVs are the same, but that is simply not true.
All ATVs, no matter where they come from, will use the same or similar parts. For example, the plastic rivets to hold the body together are often the same for most brands.
You will see some Chinese manufacturers use the same motor or other parts for their different SKUs of ATVs, but there are differences. This is not unique to Chinese ATVs, it’s common for motorcycle manufacturers to use an engine from a different manufacturer, for example, Aprilia motorcycles have used Can-Am engines.
When you really boil it down, most ATV manufacturers use the same or similar parts. Slight changes are made by all manufacturers, as that is what makes them different. If one brand does something new, others are soon to copy in some way, so you end up with a lot of ATVs, no matter the brand, being similar eventually.