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ATV Tire Replacement Wisdom

Time to replace your ATV tires? Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind.


Choosing the right tires will maximize your vehicle use while lengthening the life of your tire treads. A lot of farmers and co-ops use ATVs as transportation vehicles. This requires less aggressive treads that provide more stability on hard surfaces. If you love mud, not all tires are capable of paddling through slop and water. Research to make sure the tires you are looking at are right for their use.


A 4X4 quad transmission is set to run on tires with a pre-determined rolling circumference. All four tires must roll at an equal speed in order to avoid binding the transmission. Stock tires are the correct circumference. If your quad came with 25-8.00-12 front and 25-10.00-12 back tires, those are the parameters to maintain.

ATV tire manufacturers have no set specifications to follow when producing tires. This means one manufacturer's 25-8.00-12 tire could measure 26.2 inches tall, while another could measure 24.5. If you aren't replacing all four, maintain the same model, or make sure the new specifications match the original. 

If you plan to increase size, you must increase all four. For instance: if you have 25-8.00-12 tires on the front and 25-10.00-12 tires on the back, replace the front tires with 27-8.00-12 & the back tires with 27-10.00-12. Notice how everything else stays the same, but 25 increases to 27 on all four tires. Note: Check manufacturer specifications for clearance minimums.


Two-wheel drive units are not as specific; there is no transfer case. Clearance is the largest consideration when modifying for taller or wider tires. When changing width, consider your current wheels. Can they support the new tires? Wide tires on narrow wheels causes crowning, which makes the tire balloon. This leads to uneven wear and minimizes traction. The same is true of the reverse; too narrow a tire on too wide a wheel causes the tire to stretch, leading to steering issues and risking the tire getting knocked off the bead upon contact. 

When replacing your ATV tires, be sure to choose correctly for their application. Examine specifications to ensure safety and optimum tire performance. As always, be safe, and enjoy your ride.

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