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ATVs are a fun way to get outdoors and enjoy some off-road trails. Many quad bike models are also great for handling most light-duty ranch work too. However, owning an ATV isn’t always pure fun and added convenience and owners have their complaints. But the most complained about ATV brands don’t have to be the worst.

A professional riding a quad made by the Yamaha ATV brand off-road in the Dakar Rally.
Yamaha quad during Stage 7 of the 2018 Dakar Rally | FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

First of all, it makes sense that the most complained about ATV brands are also the most popular. Let’s take a look at some complaints to see which brands are complained about more than others. Then we can talk about why these complaints don’t necessarily mean that the most complained about four-wheeler brands are still good options.

The most complained about ATV brands

Naturally, the most complained about ATV brands are going to be among the most popular. The more models that a brand has in circulation, the more room there is for error. So it’s no surprise that verified reviewers on Consumer Affairs complain about Polaris ATV models a lot, as they are among the most widely produced quads in the world.

riding the 2021 Polaris Sportsman 1000 ATV in the forest on a trail
2021 Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 | Polaris

Consumer Affairs also shows owner complaints about top brands like Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Arctic Cat. Unfortunately, there aren’t any owner reviews for other big names in the industry like Can-Am and Honda. In fact, determining which four-wheeler brand is the most complained about is nearly impossible.

Whether you wade through reviews of specific models, take a dive into forums, or simply look at the reviews on Consumer Affairs, you’ll find a significant amount of owners on each end of the spectrum. Each brand has its loyalists heralding their experience. There are also bound to be complaints about warranty coverage and quality issues from owners of pretty much every quad bike brand.

Just because someone complains doesn’t mean we should overlook an entire brand

The quality and durability of the models in each brand’s lineup depend on so many variables. One rider may complain of issues with a Yamaha quad, for example, while another could happily own their third unit of the same ATV with every intention of buying another because of their positive experiences. Every rider rides their ATV differently over varying terrain.

an ATV rider on a quad riding fast in the desert
A rider on a quad bike| Khaled DESOUKI / AFP via Getty Images

Complaints about an ATV brand shouldn’t necessarily steer buyers away from that brand. Sometimes a brand produces a model that has more problems than others in its lineup. This can rack up complaints, but those number don’t represent the brand as a whole.

How hard you ride and where you ride plays a massive role in how your ATV holds up. Yes, quad bikes are designed to handle off-road conditions. But every ATV model has its limits. If those limits are regularly pushed, repairs and extra maintenance are virtually inevitable––no matter which brand you buy.

How to choose your ATV

Choosing the right ATV brand to buy from depends largely upon your intended use of the vehicle. There is a wide range of options. From beginner ATVs to utility models, to high-performance sport quads like the Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 S, four-wheelers are generally purpose-built.

Places like are great sites to visit. These websites also publish guides on how to choose the best ATV for your specific needs. New models continuously hit the market, but guides like this are timeless in most ways. Overall, it all comes down to the individual rider.


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