ATV Tires – Buyer’s Guide

atv mud

If you want excitement from your
ATV you’ll need to get a good set of tires

There are 2 compelling reasons to upgrade from the stock tires that came with your ATV or UTV.
  • OEM stock tires are less durable than replacement ATV tires. Because they are built to a price they are more prone to punctures and will wear out quicker.
  • OEM stock tires can’t match the performance of replacement tires purpose-designed for specific conditions.

So you’ve decided it’s time to ditch the stock tires and get a decent set of boots. Do a bit of research before you buy and you’ll end up with tires you’ll be far happier with, which will give you thousands of miles of ATV excitement.

Terrain and Traction

The #1 consideration is traction. What will you be riding on; mud, rocks, sand, snow, flatland or hills, and will it be predominantly wet or dry? If you’ll be mainly riding on one specific type of surface, get a tire that’s purpose-designed for it. If you’ll be riding on multiple surfaces opt for a more all-round performance tire.

Tire Sizes & Aggressive Tread Patterns

efx motomonster2

The MotoMonster by EFX features some
of the most aggressive lugs available

Check that a wider or taller tire will fit your ATV/UTV without rubbing against the frame or fenders. The advantages of tires with an aggressive tread pattern are better traction and slightly increased ride height, but the downsides include poorer handling on compacted surfaces and more mud/sand/snow thrown up by the treads. You might need to fit larger fenders to give the tires more room and to contain flying debris.

Aggressive treads also increase the stresses on the drivetrain and it might be necessary to upgrade axels and gear ratios.

Tire Quality vs. Budget

The better quality the tire, the more durable it will be; able to withstand sharp rocks and unseen objects. Even if you’re on a budget spending slightly more may save money over time if you don’t have to constantly repair sidewall gashes and punctures. A tougher tire’s tread  will also last longer and be more cost effective.

ATV Tire Manufacturers

sand atv

For this much fun you’ll need a
set of paddle sand tires

There are plenty of manufacturers producing quality ATV tires to choose from. Some specialize in tires for a particular environment (mud, sand, etc.) whereas others offer a wide range of tires. Personal riding styles and preferences make it impossible to say one brand is better than another, but here are some suggestions:

ITP.   Offers one of the largest selections of ATV/UTV tires. If you want different sets for different conditions but wish to remain brand-centric, ITP is highly recommended.

Interco Super Swampers and EFX.   Both brands specialize in extreme mud tires. EFX’s MotoMonster boasts 2” lugs – among the largest on the market.

Cheng Shin.   The Abalze sand tires are incredibly light and convex in profile to keep them skipping over dunes. Cheng Shin also offers a full range of mud, snow and dirt track tires.

You can browse the precise sizes, tread patterns and recommended uses of each tire from all these manufacturers and many others at 4WheelOnline.com.

By John Bone

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