3 Considerations When Choosing a New ATV Tire
By Midwest Traction on March 12, 2018
Whether you’re ready for an upgrade, or you’ve had an unfortunate tire malfunction, knowing how to choose the correct tires will save you time and money.
First and foremost, you need to know the size of your tires. Many customers call asking about what will fit their model. Models may be modified, they may have different specs, so to avoid this problem, we advise using the numbers on the sidewall of the tire. Sticking to the tire size ensures the best fit. If you’re unsure, check your manufacturer manual for what should be run on your vehicle.
Where Do You Ride?
Most ATV’s come stock with an all-terrain tire, but if you’re riding in more specific terrain, it’s important to consider key features you’ll want a tire to have.
Mud - You’ll want sharp, angled treads for grip, but search for large gaps between the tread blocks. This helps clean the mud from the tires, which affords more traction and keeps your vehicle from being weighed down
Sand - Paddles are key. These are cup-shaped tires in the rear of the bike that displace the sand in a scooping motion. The front tires have rudders to help steer your direction
Racing - You’ll need a tire that provides traction while taking curves at high speeds. This means you’ll look for a larger width (maximizing contact with the ground for more push off) and evenly spaced treads
Work - If you’ll primarily use your vehicle for work purposes, like transporting goods, doing chores, or working on a farm, durability and strength should be your top priority. Look for multi-ply construction and a radial casing. Some utility tires will have a special know running down the centerline, which decreases vibration. The tread is typically one that handles most terrain.
Is Bigger Better?
All four tires need to be the same size. So, if you’re bumping up from a 25 to a 27, all of your new tires will start with a 27 measurement.
Increasing overall size provides more speed, but it comes at the cost of holeshot performance. Larger tires will give you more flexibility, and thus, a softer ride, but you’ll want to be careful. Oversizing your tires can overload both the engine and transmission, in addition to sacrificing braking performance. If you choose to decrease your overall size, you’ll wind up with more firmness and a faster holeshot speed, but you lose top speed and seriously reduce the amount of control you have over your vehicle.
In regards to width, a narrower tire has decreased tread, so if you’re riding in mud, this is not a feature you’ll be looking for.
A shorter sidewall allows for taller rims, meaning more ground clearance. If you’re looking to gain serious height, a lift kit is the best way to achieve that. Rims will only give you 1-2 inches max. Taller sidewalls offer more flexibility, but they’re not compatible with high speeds, nor do they perform well on hard pack, and your risk of puncture increases substantially.
Before making any major changes, always do your research! Peruse our Resource Center articles for information, send us a message on social media, or give our sales team a call at 1-855-681-8326.