Tips for Selecting ATV Tires
ATVs are built for a variety of uses, and not all tires perform the same function. Use these ten tips when shopping for your ATV tires.
1. Consider Your Needs
Before you even look at brands and specs, think about your lifestyle and requirements. What kind of ground do you typically drive on? What’s the climate like? What do you carry?
2. Match Your Needs
Knowing what you need helps you choose from the four main types of tires: racing, sand, all-terrain, and snow or mud. The all-terrain option is by far the most common, especially among farmers who require an all-purpose machine.
3. Decide Between Bias and Radial
Bias tires are built with a stiffer sidewall and shoulder, making them great for steep inclines and smooth pavement. Radial tires allow for more ground contact, which improves traction and reduces tread wear and compaction. They also absorb more shock, so they’re generally more comfortable to ride on.
4. Pay Attention to Ply
The ply rating is the load capacity of your tire. For general use, you don’t need anything higher than a four. However, if you plan on hauling around heavy items, consider going with a six or higher. Ply also indicates puncture resistance, so be sure to choose a higher ply if you regularly drive over thorns, cactus, or sharp rocks.
5. Determine the Load Capacity of Your ATV
Make sure that the load capacity of your tires conforms to the maximum load capacity of your ATV. Buying heavy-duty tires does no good if your machine is unable to handle the extra weight.
6. Choose Your Tread
Deep tread is the primary element on snow and mud tires. For all-purpose use, you want a tread depth between 1 and 1.5 inches. Shallower depths are designed for turf and pavement, while deeper treads are needed for loose, ultra-soft terrain. Just be sure not to drive on turf when running deep-tread tires.
7. Always Match Your Bolt Pattern
Bolt patterns vary between each ATV. You don’t want to bring home a new set of wheels only to discover that your machine is offset differently or has four lugs instead of five.
8. Know Your Size
Every ATV tire is marked with three different numbers for three different measurements: height, width and rim diameter. All numbers are expressed in inches. Higher tires give you more clearance while increasing your center of gravity. Alternatively, smaller tires keep you more stable through your turns while allowing for faster accelerations. Keep in mind that being low to the ground reduces both clearance and top speed.
9. Read Your Warranty
When choosing a tire size, be sure to consult with your manufacturer or manual. Some warranties become void once you use aftermarket tires that are larger or smaller than the manufacturer’s recommendation.
10. Consider Cost
No one wants to be taken advantage of, so it’s important to always do your homework. Prices vary according to size and construction, with radial tires typically being more expensive than bias tires. Ultimately, you want to purchase your ATV tires from a company that specializes in this industry. This ensures that you get the best price, the best quality and the best service.