Best Semi Automatic ATVs: Off-Road Riding Made Easy

One of the things that I like the most about off-road riding is that it’s an activity for all ages. Starting with 125cc ATVs for youth and ending with super-fast ATVs, there’s an ATV for everyone. It gets even better. If you are finding it difficult to shift gears, there are many premium semi-automatic ATVs to choose from.

Here are the best semi-automatic ATVs on the market:

  1. Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4×4 – 749cc
  2. Can-am Outlander Max 570 DPS – 570cc
  3. Polaris Sportsman 570 SP – 570cc
  4. Yamaha Kodiak 450 EPS – 421cc

These five premium quads are all equipped with next-gen semi-automatic transmission systems that make shifting gears easy while providing the engine with constant power.

I have listed the top 4 best semi-automatic ATVs by engine size, but if you want to find out more about their specs and features, you should keep reading. I will break down all their highlight specs and showcase what makes them the best.

Top 4 Best Semi-Automatic ATVs on the Market

Top 4 Best Semi-Automatic ATVs on the Market (and their top features)

Before kicking things off, I want to mention that the order of the semi-automatic ATVs is based on the size of their engines. The list doesn’t represent which ATV is the best because all of them are the best semi-automatic quads you can find on the market. With that said, let’s jump into it.

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#1 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4×4

stock photo of Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4

If you are looking for the biggest and meanest semi-automatic ATV that you can get, Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4×4 is the answer. The ATV ships with a 749cc V-Twin engine that delivers immense power. In fact, the quad is so powerful that it can tow up to 1,250 lbs. It’s also worth noting that the Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4×4 offers selectable 2WD/4WD modes. This is really useful because it allows the rider to send power to the wheels depending on the type of terrain they are riding on. Since this is the most powerful ATV on the list, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it also appears in my best ATV for mountain list.

Highlight features:

  • 749cc liquid-cooled, V-Twin engine;
  • Electric power steering;
  • Digital fuel injection;
  • 1,250 lbs towing power;
  • Selectable 2WD/4WD modes.

Read more about Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4×4’s specs by clicking here.

#2 Can-am Outlander Max 570 DPS

stock photo of Can-am Outlander Max 570 DPS

If you are familiar with ATVs, then you probably know that Can-Am makes some of the best quads in the world. In fact, the company’s Can-am Outlander Max 570 DPS is one of most powerful semi-automatic ATVs that you can get. The four-wheeler is powered by a 570cc engine that is paired with 3-mode intelligent throttle control so that the wheels always receive constant power. No matter if you are riding the Can-am Outlander Max 570 DPS uphill or through mud, you will always have the necessary torque to get through. Furthermore, the four-wheeler is quite spacious and it features ample storage capacity. This is why I think it’s the best ATV for camping.

Highlight features:

  • 570cc liquid-cooled, V-Twing engine;
  • 3-mode intelligent throttle control (great for power distribution);
  • Tri-mode dynamic power steering (DPS);
  • Torsional trailing independent rear suspension;
  • Selectable 2WD/4WD modes.

Read more about Can-am Outlander Max 570 DPS’s specs by clicking here.

#3 Polaris Sportsman 570 SP

stock photo of Polaris Sportsman 570 SP

With a powerful 570cc engine that uses a high performance true on-demand 2WD/4WD drive, the Polaris Sportsman 570 SP is a fantastic semi-automatic ATV for teenagers who are just getting started. The Polaris Sportsman 570 SP stands out with its great design and 44 horsepower, which is more than enough to conquer any trail. If you give this ATV a try, you will quickly find out that it has a fantastic suspension system. You will be able to ride on bumpy trails without any serious discomfort. Another cool feature that I think is worth mentioning is the lighting system. The semi-automatic ATV features a triple 50w high beam and dual 50w low beam headlights. Thanks to the next-gen headlights, you can ride the Polaris Sportsman 570 SP at night without any issues.

Highlight features:

  • 570cc engine that delivers 44 horsepower;
  • High performance true on-demand 2WD/4WD system;
  • Next-gen headlights (great for night rides);
  • Single lever 4-wheel hydraulic disc with hydraulic rear foot brake;
  • Dual A-arm suspension with 9.5 inch (24.1 cm) of travel for extra comfort.

Read more about Polaris Sportsman 570 SP’s specs by clicking here.

#4 Yamaha Kodiak 450 EPS

stock photo of Yamaha Kodiak 450 EPS

Right from the get-go, I want to highlight that the Yamaha Kodiak 450 EPS is my favorite ATV for women thanks to the long list of premium features it offers. For example, the ATV is equipped with Yamaha’s ultramatic and on-command system. This is the most reliable transmission system on the market and it uses a centrifugal clutch to provide maximum performance. What’s really great about the Yamaha Kodiak 450 EPS is that it pairs the semi-automatic 421cc engine with selectable 2WD and 4WD riding modes with the simple press of a button. I should mention that the 4WD mode features a fully locked differential to give the rider maximum control.

Highlight features:

  • 421 cc engine that uses an ultramatic and on-command system;
  • Compact body with tall handlebars and seat with improved plush for comfort;
  • Electric power steering;
  • Independent front and rear suspension;
  • Selectable 2WD and 4WD modes.

Read more about Yamaha Kodiak 450 EPS’s specs by clicking here.

Are Semi-Automatic ATVs Better Than Fully Automatic Ones?

Semi-automatic ATVs are better than automatics if you are an experienced rider. The ability to shift gears gives the rider more control over the four-wheeler’s power. However, this also comes with a big downside that you should consider. Having to constantly think about shifting gears depending on the type of terrain you are riding on and the speed you want to reach can be challenging. This is why it’s always best for beginners to choose an automatic ATV.

The Pros of Semi-Automatic ATVs:

  • Maximum control

Riding a semi-automatic ATV gives the rider maximum control over speed and torque. The rider will always be the one who dictates the speed of the four-wheeler. For example, the ATV will not go faster than 10 MPH if the rider doesn’t shift into second gear.

  • Ideal for Challenging Terrains

As previously mentioned, semi-automatic ATVs allow the rider to control the power output. This is really useful when riding on challenging terrains, such as going uphill, where you want the ATV to stay in the first or second gear for maximum torque.

  • The Clutch Lasts Longer

Another important pro of choosing a semi-automatic ATV is that the clutch will last longer. Since the gears will shift only when the rider chooses, the clutch will be under less strain.

The Cons of Semi-Automatic ATVs:

  • Difficult to Master

The reason why I recommend semi-automatic ATVs to experienced riders is the learning curve. It can take some time to get used to shifting gears, but it will feel like second nature if you do it every other weekend. If you don’t know how to shift gears, you should be pleased to know that I wrote a full guide that explains how to shift a semi-automatic ATV.

  • You Will be Slower

This might be a deal breaker for some, but semi-automatic ATVs are slower. Shifting gears doesn’t happen in an instant, especially if you are a beginner, and this will slow you down significantly. This is why the fastest ATVs in 2023 are all automatics.

  • They Cost More

More than often, semi-automatic ATVs are more expensive than automatics. The transmission system is more complex and requires additional parts than in comparison with automatic systems.

Final Words

There are many powerful semi-automatic ATVs on the market. Today I highlighted the top 4 best ones you can get and shared their top specs. If you are an intermediate or experienced rider, choosing a semi-automatic quad is the best thing you can do because it will give you full control over speed and power. However, I advise beginners to start with a fully automatic four-wheeler.

Bob Kelly

Hey there, my name is Bob and I've been riding ATVs, dirt bikes, and UTVs for most of my life. Going on outdoor adventures has always been my passion. I love sharing tips and tricks with beginners who are getting ready to join the world of outdoor enthusiasts. You can reach me at if you want to get in touch.

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