Jetmoto 110 review
Enter the new age of the 4-stroke youth quad
You may have noticed it already, but the two-stroke machine is going the way of the dinosaur. Too bad really, since the venerable two stroke engine is light weight, powerful, and relatively simple compared to its 4-stroke cousin. Its ugly side, however, is terrible CO (carbon monoxide) exhaust emissions. For this reason, Big Brother has seen fit to impose a crushingly stringent regulation in 2006 that will all but ban the two-stroke engine.
The major ATV and motorcycle manufacturers have been hip to this evolution, and over the years have tweaked their 4-stroke technology to give us machines like the earth shaking TRX450 and YFZ450 race-ready quads. While the other OEMs aren't quite up to the task of designing brand new 4-stroke (4T) engines from scratch, they've seen the writing on the wall and focused considerable attention on the release of new ATVs with 4T engines.
The youth ATV scene is also affected by the shift to 4-stroke engines, as evidenced by the huge number of 4T youth machines being showcased at the Indy Dealer Show this year. Not only have many manufacturers and distributors added 4T quads to their lineups, but many have gone as far to drop their 2T models in lieu of 4Ts. Models range from 70cc CVT powered quads to 125 and 150cc manual clutch units.
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A machine that sits right in the center of this group is the JetMoto 110. Manufactured in China, this quad is very similar to the other 110cc machines being produced in Asia such as the Yamoto, Kazuma, and Redcat models. Although very similar to one another, each of these machines are slightly different in various aspects such as suspension design, drivetrain, and body work.
Off-Road.com recently had an opportunity to review a Jetmoto 110 and immediately, we noticed the not-so-subtle resemblance to the Yamaha Raptor's bodywork design. The hand controls, indicator panels (reverse and neutral), even airbox are virtual duplicates of the Yamaha quad. At the rear end of the machine, the shaft drive, rear suspension, and drum brake echo the Raptor tail end as well.
As you move toward the engine and front suspension, it would seem Jetmoto decided that the Honda's TRX90 had bits and pieces worthy of duplication. Although the Jetmoto is a 110cc unit, the cylinder head and cylinder are nearly one-for-one knock-offs of the Fourtrax top end. Fortunately, the antiquated pull-start is gone, and an shiny little electric start motor sits on top of the engine. Starting the engine is as simple as turning the key, pulling on the hand-lever actuated choke, and jabbing the electric start button.
The semi-automatic transmission requires manual selection of gears, which translates to shifting once up from neutral to first, and then again twice more for third. The ATV has no manual clutch, so shifting gears is a no-brainer for the uninitiated young motorcyclist. First gear has plenty of low end to climb up most hills and for novice riders is slow enough to allow the parent or trainer to either jog along or watch from a distance with little worry of excessive speed becoming an issue. And upshifting to higher gears on the fly can eventually be learned, or simply done at a standstill - the 110cc four-stroke has plenty of grunt to pull away from a stop in even top gear.
A feature absent on many youth ATVs (and even full size quads) is reverse. The JetMoto has a very easy (almost too easy) to select reverse gear. To engage, simply shift down from neutral to reverse. A great feature for backing out of tricky trail situations or playing around on the farm, reverse was quick to bring a smile to our most avid recreational riders.
About the only gripe we had on this machine was the overly stiff suspension, which seemed to require a rider of adult proportions to get any sort of suspension movement. Reasonable for most trail riders, sure. But jumping or long distance trail riding would become arduous in short time with these rock solid boingers. Fortunately, Jetmoto tells us that they have a whole slew of aftermarket performance goodies in the works for this machine which not only include performance shocks, but wider A-arms, wheel spacers, nerfs, and exhaust system.
In a nutshell, at less than half the money for a brand new Fourtrax or Raptor, the JetMoto ATV is a steal. You could argue that the machine will never last as long as its legendary Japanese rivals, but when you throw in the goodies like electric start, shaft drive, lights, and reverse, it's really difficult to make the case, especially given the few years of use the average youth rider gets out of their machine before outgrowing it. The four-stroke youth ATV is here to stay. Might as well jump on board.
|Contact JetMoto at http://www.jetmotousa.com/|