Buying The Right ATV Tire
There are a lot of options out there, so how do you choose the right ATV/UTV tire? Here are some questions that should help you narrow down your options and find the right ATV or UTV tire for your needs.
What Do You Use Your ATV/UTV For?
ATV/UTV tires are engineered for a specific type of terrain or performance. Consider your regular riding conditions when looking for new tires. For example:
- If you ride in very rocky, soft-packed trails = All-Terrain tire
- If you ride most often in very wet, muddy terrain = Mud tire
- If you use your ATV/UTV for hard-packed, off-road trail racing = Racing tire
- If you are riding in sand or loose gravel = Sand tire
ATV tires are very specialized and should be used for their recommended terrain. You will find mud tires handle badly, ride poorly, and wear quickly on hard-packed terrain and pavement. Sand tires won’t perform well in deep mud or on rocks. So whatever terrain you use the most, choose the tire that is optimized for that terrain.
Learn more about ATV/UTV Tire Types
When Do You Need New Tires?
Because of the different types of driving that ATV tires undergo they don’t wear the way car/truck tires do. If your ATV tires still have decent tread, inspect the tread lugs for chunking or cracking. If the lug edges are severely rounded and are losing their sharp edges, the tires could be losing traction and may need replacement soon.
It is best to regularly inspect your tires to ensure that the air pressure is properly set and that there is no obvious damage. If you have multiple punctures, or a large puncture, your tires should be replaced. Tire "slime" and "sticky plugs" are rarely effective for preventing air loss long term.
How Many ATV/UTV Tires Do You Really Need?
Replacing all four tires allows you the most flexibility in choosing a tread pattern that matches your driving demands and provides your machine with optimum traction in mud, hard-pack, or any other terrain. Because ATV/UTV's see a variety of harsh terrains, having the best possible traction makes a very big difference for performance and safety.
Many ATV/UTV's are all wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD), which means that the tires need to be of the same diameter to prevent damage to the drive train and transmission. A large difference in tread depth can cause the tires to spin at different speeds, putting added strain on the drive train and transmission.
What Size Tires Should You Get?
It is possible to change the tire size when replacing all four of your ATV/UTV tires. However, if you elect to change tire sizes, it can alter the way your machine performs. If you decide to change tire size when replacing your original equipment (OE) tires, it is vital that you maintain clearance between your tires and your suspension. The OE tire size can be found on the sidewall of the tire or in the owner’s manual.
Learn more about ATV/UTV Tire Sizing