After months of anticipation and waiting, the almost immediately sold-out, $1900 Tesla Cyberquad electric ATVs for kids was finally ready – and we couldn’t wait to put one through its paces outside the Radio Flyer factory in Chicago, Illinois.
Tesla? Radio Flyer? Chicago – if you’re not familiar with the history of collaboration between Tesla and Radio Flyer, that last sentence may be a bit confusing. Let’s start with that Tesla/Radio Flyer connection.
Radio Flyer got into the kids’ electric ride-on game with the Tesla Model S for kids back in 2018. That collaboration set the bar for kids’ powered rides, and pulled ahead of the competition with more advanced batteries that delivered better performance, more drive time, and quicker charging than the powered wheel alternatives you have have had, yourselves, as kids.
The success of that collaboration led to– well, more collaboration! And Tesla once again tapped Radio Flyer to develop a scaled-down version of the Tesla Cyberquad concept that made its debut in the bed of the dramatic, Blade Runner-styled Cybertruck pickup. While that version hasn’t yet made it production (don’t hold your breath) this version, for ages 8 and up, is finally ready to ride.
Finally, Radio Flyer’s corporate headquarters and historic wagon factory is located in Chicago, Illinois – just up the road, in fact, from yours truly. So, when the Tesla Cyberquad (for kids!) was ready for prime time, I packed the 8 year old into the Mustang Mach E and headed over.
All caught up? Great!
An Electric ATV for Kids
At first sight, the Tesla Cyberquad for kids looks awesome. The body is plastic, but sprayed to look like the Cybertruck’s stainless steel. From ten feet, as an adult who’s spent way too much time obsessing over stainless steel kitchen appliances? It’s convincing. For a kid? Our test rider was inches away asking if it was real metal. It looks that good – and the LED lightbar up front helped sell the illusion, too.
The bike also has what looks like a powdercoated frame, good for fighting rust, along with coilover rear suspension with disc brakes and pneumatic tires elevating the Cyberquad from a toddler’s toy to a real entry-level, “big kid’s” ATV.
At the back, under the LED brake lights, there’s a speed control (easy enough, select level 1 or 2), an on-demand battery life indicator (press the button, 1-4 bars will light up) built into the removable li-ion battery that takes about five hours to charge, and a familiar power button.
Those two speeds are very different, too. At speed level 1, the Radio Flyer-built Tesla Cyberquad is a fun little driveway/yard hopper that your kids will actively have to try to get into trouble with. It’s smooth, safe, and the suspension/brakes are serious overkill. Here’s a quick video of our test rider at level 1 …
Tesla Cyberquad Test Ride (Level 1)
… I’m not going to show you level 2 because her mother will absolutely kill me. Suffice it to say that level 2 will lift the inside tires in the corners and very nearly chirp the tires on the cobblestone drive, shown. On a smooth new driveway or coming out of a concrete floor garage? You’d definitely hear that characteristic tire chirp – if the kid wasn’t squealing with joy while they were doing it.
If your kid can handle a CRF50 or has any kind of go kart/Stacyc experience under their belts, level 2 is an absolute winner. If they don’t? Level 1 won’t freak them out, and they’ll learn enough fundamentals to build up to level 2 soon enough.
Full disclosure here: I am a huge Radio Flyer fan. I had the yellow Radio Flyer Fireball wagon as a kid. My kids had (and have) little red ones of their own, having outgrown the folding Radio Flyer wagon they got dragged to the farmers’ market in, pre-COVID. Robert Pasin, Radio Flyer’s “Chief Wagon Officer” is my neighbor, too, and he’s never failed to roll out the red carpet for me or my family. As such, you might be tempted to take what I’m about to tell you with a grain of salt. So be it.
If you are at all thinking of getting your kid onto an ATV, this is the one. Yes, I know the Yamaha YZF50 seems like it’s comparably priced at $2199 to the Tesla Cyberquad’s $1900-ish price (when you can find one), but the dealers’ freight and setup fees will add a few hundred dollars to that bill, as will the little ATV’s title. What’s more, the YZF50 is gas-powered, which is– let’s just say that’s not what we’re going for.
Finally, if you’re strictly looking at this kind of purchase from an investment standpoint, the gas-powered ATVs have a long history of depreciation. The Tesla Cyberquad? Business Insider reports that they’re selling on eBay for more than $4000 as I type this. This one, still in its crate? $10,000. When was the last time you doubled your money on a 50cc Yamaha?
Original content from CleanTechnica, with special thanks to Radio Flyer.
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