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A Great Gift Idea for Kids Who Enjoy the Great Outdoors

(ARA) – There is nothing that can compare to the joy of watching your children's faces light up on Christmas morning when they open their gifts. The laughter and smiles are priceless, especially if you guess right and pick out a gift your kids really want.
So what’s the key to getting it right? The experts say when shopping for a young child, get your hands on the latest “must-have” toy, which is likely to be something Harry Potter related this year -- the young sorcerer’s new movie comes out around Thanksgiving. For the older child who is starting to show an interest in more adult things, how about a present too big to wrap -- with paper anyway. Put a bow around an ATV built just for your child.

In recent years, ATV riding has become one of this country’s most popular pastimes, so it should come as no surprise that the youth market for ATVs is growing by leaps and bounds. According to the latest estimates over 800,000 new ATVs were purchased in 2004.

“Just a few years ago, the best option for kids who wanted to ride was to sit on their parents’ ATV as a passenger, or parents bought one that was too big for them; now that has all changed,” says Kale Wainer of Arctic Cat. “There are models designed specifically for youth ages 6 and up with safety in mind.”

Colton Cutsforth, 9, of Grand Rapids, Minn., got his first ATV for Christmas when he was just 6-years-old. His dad, Rocky, says it was a gift his son had been dreaming about practically since he could walk. “We have about 40 acres behind the house and our land adjoins thousands of acres owned by the paper company, so we’re always out in the woods riding as a family. We’ve been taking Colton riding since he was big enough to hold on, but when he started to get too big to sit on the back of our machines, he got frustrated. We knew it was time to do something,” he says.

Colton’s first ATV was a cheap knock-off model that was easy for him to handle, but it broke down often. When they started looking around for a replacement, his parents fell in love with the Arctic Cat DVX50, a sporty machine modeled after the ATV his dad rides, the Arctic Cat DVX 400.

It has a 4-stroke, 50cc engine with automatic transmission and hydraulic disc brakes, along with fully integrated floorboards for solid rider footing, stability and control. Bright orange whip flags are included for visibility and added safety. The machine also has a parent controlled throttle/speed limiter. “I really like that feature,” says Cutsforth. “Because parents can govern the speed of the ATV, I can slowly increase the speed output as his riding skills increase.”

Arctic Cat also offers a DVX90, which is similar in appearance but as the name indicates has more horsepower. With a 90 cc motor rather than a 50cc one, it is recommended for children ages 12 and older. “If you prefer more of a utility vehicle-look to a sporty one, you may want to go with the 50 2x4 or 90 2x4 models,” says Wainer.

In addition to purchasing a vehicle that’s appropriate for use by a child, here are some other measures you should take to keep your child safe on the trail:

* Enroll your child in a training course before he or she gets behind the wheel of an ATV alone. (When a first time purchaser without previous ATV experience completes the SVIA/ASI training, the individual will receive a check for $100 from Arctic Cat. Please visit your local dealer for more information.)

* Be sure your child always wear a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing (long sleeves shirts and pants and closed-toe boots).

* Supervise your youth; never operate ATVs on paved surfaces or public roads.

* Urge your youth to avoid excessive speeds on varied terrain.

“For Colton, half the fun of the riding experience is putting on all the protective gear,” says Cutsforth. “Then, when we hit the trail, I don’t have to worry about him getting hurt. We can just have fun.”

To learn more about Arctic Cat ATVs or to find the dealer nearest you, log on to Courtesy of ARA Content

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