Polaris Predator 90 Review: Right For Young Riders?

Polaris Predator 90 Review

For parents looking to buy their child their first ATV, the Polaris Predator 90 is one of the top choices to consider. With its easy handling, safety features, and adequate power, the Predator 90 makes an excellent starter ATV for young beginners.

In this in-depth Polaris Predator 90 review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this youth-sized four-wheeler:

  • Polaris Predator 90 top speed and acceleration capabilities
  • Engine specs and performance
  • Key features for young riders
  • Pros and cons compared to competitors
  • Detailed specs chart
  • Pricing and cost analysis
  • What Predator 90 owners are saying
  • Common problems and fixes
  • Verdict: Is the Predator 90 the right starter ATV for your child?

Is The Polaris Predator 90 Fast Enough For Young Riders?

When buying a starter ATV like the Predator 90, one of the top questions parents have is: Does it have enough speed and power to be fun, while still being safe?

The Polaris Predator 90 strikes a nice balance in this regard. It delivers an exciting top speed of 45 mph thanks to its peppy 89cc engine. This gives young riders plenty of speed for trail riding and adventure.

At the same time, Polaris has built in speed limiting and throttle control features to prevent the Predator 90 from going dangerously fast. As a parent, you can set the maximum speed to match your child’s experience level.

The Predator 90 offers brisk acceleration for a youth ATV. While it can’t compete with powerful adult-sized models, the 89cc engine has enough torque to get the Predator 90 up to top speed reasonably quickly. This makes the overall riding experience more fun.

To sum up the Polaris Predator 90’s speed and acceleration:

  • Top Speed: 45 mph
  • Acceleration: Quick for a youth ATV thanks to the 89cc engine.

So while the Predator 90 isn’t blindingly fast, it delivers an exciting blend of speed and handling that makes it one of the best starter ATVs for 10-14 year old beginners.

Polaris Predator 90 Engine Specs And Performance

Under the hood of the Predator 90 is an 89cc single-cylinder 2-stroke engine. This provides ample power for younger riders, while keeping maintenance and running costs down.

The engine is air-cooled rather than liquid cooled. Air cooling improves durability and keeps the engine design simple. This single-cylinder powerplant has proven reliable over many years of Predator models.

One downside is that the Predator 90 lacks an electric starter. It has to be started with a traditional pull start system. This can be difficult for younger kids who lack arm strength. Once running though, the engine performs nicely.

The transmission on the Predator 90 is an automatic CVTech system with reverse. This auto transmission makes the ATV easy to operate for beginners. Simply twist the throttle and go – no worrying about shifting gears. Reverse is also convenient for maneuvering the ATV around or out of tight spots.

In summary, the engine performance and transmission of the Polaris Predator 90 deliver a smooth, uncomplicated riding experience well suited for youngsters. The pull start requires some muscle, but the engine itself runs reliably once started.

Key Features That Make the Predator 90 Ideal for Kids

Polaris has built the Predator 90 from the ground up with young riders in mind. Key features include:

  • Large, rugged tires – 20″ tires (front and rear) provide ground clearance for off-road terrain. The aggressive tread pattern improves traction in mud, dirt, and over obstacles.
  • Comfortable seat – The seat is specially contoured for smaller riders. The height is also optimized for short legs, with a seat height of just 25.5 inches.
  • Easy handling – With a light weight of just 295 pounds and compact size, the Predator 90 is remarkably maneuverable and easy for kids to control. The steering geometry is designed for responsive turning.
  • Safety tether cord – The tether cord attaches the child to the ATV. If they fall off, the ATV engine cuts out automatically. This prevents a runaway ATV.
  • Speed limiter – As mentioned earlier, parents can limit the engine throttle and set a lower top speed as they see fit. This helps keep new riders safe as they learn.
  • Front storage rack – The front rack allows riders to strap on extra gear for the trail. Handy for hauling small items like snacks or tools.

Polaris clearly had beginners in mind when it built the Predator 90. Between the safety features and easy ergonomics, this ATV gives parents peace of mind while letting their child have fun on their first quad.

Pros and Cons of the Polaris Predator 90

To help summarize the highs and lows of this youth-oriented ATV, here’s an overview of the key pros and cons of the Polaris Predator 90:

Predator 90 Pros

  • Quick acceleration – The peppy 89cc engine provides brisk throttle response and acceleration up to 45 mph.
  • Rugged durability – Built with Polaris’ reputation for quality. Can withstand abuse from new riders.
  • Safety features – Speed limiter and tether cord allow parents to control the riding experience.
  • Responsive handling – Compact size and optimized geometry make the Predator very maneuverable.
  • Ideal seat height – Low seat height works perfectly for kids with short legs.
  • Polaris brand recognition – One of the most reputable and highest quality ATV brands.

Predator 90 Cons

  • No electric start – Pull start requires strength that young kids may lack.
  • Small gas tank – Just 3.5 gallon capacity limits range before refueling.
  • Performance trails off at high speed – The 89cc engine runs out of power above 45 mph.
  • No fancy features – Missing conveniences like storage bins and high-end suspension.
  • Low ground clearance – Less clearance than adult ATVs limits very rough terrain.

As you can see, the Predator 90 clearly skews towards younger novice riders, with both its pros and cons reflecting this. Seasoned adult riders would find it underpowered, but it hits the sweet spot for getting kids started safely.

Polaris Predator 90 Specs Chart

Here are the key technical specifications for the 2023 Polaris Predator 90 ATV:

Engine89cc 2-stroke single cylinder
Fuel SystemCarburetor
TransmissionAutomatic CVTech with reverse
Drive SystemChain driven solid axle
Power7 horsepower
Tires20 x 7-10″ (front); 20 x 10-10″ (rear)
BrakesRear hydraulic disc
SuspensionDouble A-arm (front and rear)
Wheelbase48 inches
Seat Height25.5 inches
Ground Clearance7 inches
Weight295 pounds
Length/Width/Height67″ x 39″ x 36″
Fuel Capacity3.5 gallons
InstrumentationBasic: Speedometer, odometer
ColorsBlack, Orange Madness, Red Hot

This specs overview gives you an idea of the size and capabilities of the Predator 90. The compact physique, low seat height, light weight and 7 HP engine make it the perfect starter quad for young riders transitioning from something like a 50cc dirt bike.

Polaris Predator 90 Price: How Much Does It Cost?

The 2023 Polaris Predator 90 has an MSRP of $3,299 in the standard model. There are also two package variants:

  • Predator 90: Standard model with basic features. $3,299 MSRP.
  • Predator 90 Deluxe: Adds tilt steering, cargo rack, and battery tender plug. $3,599 MSRP.
  • Predator 90 Hunter Edition: Comes in Realtree camo pattern plus winch and gun boot. $3,999 MSRP.

Keep in mind that most dealers will sell for a bit under MSRP. You can expect to pay around $3,000 to $3,500 out the door for a new 2023 Predator 90 depending on the variant.

Below is a pricing chart showing MSRP trends for the Predator 90 over the last 5 years:

Model YearMSRP

As you can see, the Predator 90 has crept up gradually in price over the years. But it remains very competitively priced compared to youth ATVs from Honda, Suzuki, Taotao and others. Relative to its competition, the Predator 90 delivers strong value for money.

One tip to save money is to search locally for used Predator 90 models. Parents often sell them after their kid outgrows the ATV in a year or two. Buying used can save $500-$1,000+ off new MSRP. Just be sure to have a mechanic inspect any used ATV before purchasing.

What Do Owners Say About the Polaris Predator 90?

The best way to evaluate an ATV like the Predator 90 is to listen to feedback from real owners. Here’s a sampling of what Predator 90 owners are saying in online reviews:

“Bought the Predator 90 for my 12 year old son as his first quad. He is able to handle it safely and really enjoys riding trails with our family. The throttle limiter gives me peace of mind he won’t go too fast.”

“My daughter was so excited when we got her the Predator 90 for her 10th birthday. She raced around our property the first day like a pro. The safety tether makes me feel better since she’s so young. No issues after a year of ownership.”

“After my son mastered a dirt bike, we wanted to upgrade him to an ATV. The Predator 90 was the perfect fit. He thinks it’s a blast and the size is just right for him to handle at age 11.”

“I bought a used Predator 90 for cheap and have been impressed with how well it has held up. Starts easily and runs strong. Wish it had a bit more power at high speed but that’s expected for a 90cc youth model. Great value ATV.”

The consensus among owners seems to be that the Predator 90 hits the sweet spot of being fun and safe for young beginners. Both kids and parents love this ATV thanks to its blend of capability, ease of use, and family-friendly features.

Common Problems and How to Fix Them

While the Predator 90 is generally quite reliable, these youth-sized ATVs do experience some common issues:

Difficult to start

  • The pull start requires strength that younger kids may lack. This can lead to frustration trying to start the engine.
  • Fix: As they get older and stronger this becomes easier. In the meantime, have mom and dad help start it.

Throttle sticking

  • The throttle mechanism can get gummed up over time, leading to sticking issues.
  • Fix: Clean the throttle body and replace any worn cables. Use fuel stabilizer to prevent gumming.

Engine lacks top end power

  • The 89cc motor runs out of steam at high RPMs. Top speed is just 45 mph.
  • Fix: The Predator 90 isn’t designed for high speeds. This is just the reality of a youth ATV.

Chain slips off sprockets

  • If the chain becomes loose it can derail while riding.
  • Fix: Keep chain adjusted to proper tension specs. Replace worn sprockets.

Electrical issues

  • With basic electronics, the Predator 90 can suffer burnt out bulbs, weak battery, or bad starter relay.
  • Fix: Check all connections and use dielectric grease to prevent corrosion.

Following the maintenance schedule and checking components like the chain will help prevent most issues. Overall the Predator 90 is proven to be very reliable when properly cared for.

Polaris Predator 90 Review Verdict: Ideal Starter ATV

After reviewing all the specs, features, owner feedback and competitive landscape, the Polaris Predator 90 earns a strong recommendation as a starter ATV for young riders.

It hits a sweet spot between cost, capabilities and safety that makes it one of the best quad ATVs for introducing kids to off-road fun. They’ll love the brisk acceleration and ability to ride trails with mom and dad.

While the Predator 90 lacks fancy features found on pricier adult quads, it delivers where it counts for the target youth demographic. Both parents and kids agree this is an excellent first four-wheeler.

So for families seeking a quality starter ATV, the Polaris Predator 90 should be at the top of your shopping list. It will provide many miles of smiles on the trails for young riders.


This concludes our in-depth review of the 2023 Polaris Predator 90 youth ATV. We covered everything from top speed and engine performance to features, pricing, owner reviews and common issues.

The Predator 90 earns strong marks for providing an ideal blend of capability, safety and value. While not a high performance speed demon, it’s a perfect introductory quad for beginner riders aged 10-14. Both kids and parents love the Polaris Predator 90.

Hopefully this review gave you all the details you need to decide if the Predator 90 is the right choice as your child’s first ATV. It has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the best starter models on the market. The Predator 90 allows young riders to start making off-road memories that will last a lifetime.

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