The first modification that most ATV owners make on their vehicles is new tires. Some add larger tires, providing an aggressive look, greater ground clearance, and greater traction. Others purchase tires that have deeper treads that cling onto the mud and dirt, adding to grip and maneuverability. Knowing which tires are right for you can be tricky as the many options available make it hard to narrow down which one is right for you.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you are considering upgrading your ATV tires.
It's important to know the difference between ATV tires and other types of tires, primarily car tires. ATV tires are much softer than traditional car tires, making them the ideal choice for off-roading. There are two different ways that an ATV tire can be constructed: Radial and Bias. Bias tires are made by laying the plies diagonally, extending from bead to bead, and this creates a crisscross pattern. These tires have a lot of flex. Radial tires are made by laying plies of rubber straight across from bead to bead, with the tread running perpendicular. Radial tires are more stable and puncture resistant, but they also don't flex as much as Bias tires.
The vast majority of tires used on ATVs are bias tires, and it's likely that the tires that came with your ATV when you purchased it were bias tires. If you want to check, there might be a letter before the rim size, either R (for radial) or D (for bias). If you don't see a letter, then it's likely bias tires.
All tires follow this same format: Height-Width-Diameter of the tire. An example of an ATV tire size is 24X8- 12. The height of the tire is the overall height of the tire when it is properly inflated. It's important to note that, when the tire is under the pressure of the ATV, the height may change.
The second number is the width of the tire and not just the rim. Although the width of the rim can be important to help understand which bolts are needed, the width of the tire is more important. As long as the width of the tire is greater than the width of the rim, then you should have no problem mounting them together. The last number is the diameter of the rim, and knowing this number can help you know what tires can mount on your rims. All sizes in Ontario are listed in imperial measurements (inches) rather than metric (mm).
There's a little bit of wiggle room for ATV tires, and if your vehicle is 500cc or less, you can go up at least 1 size from the stock tires that came with your ATV with no problems. This includes both the height and the width of your tire. If your vehicle is between 500cc and 1000cc, you can go up two sizes on your tires.
Although increasing the size of your tire provides more ground clearance and traction, there are also drawbacks to the larger size of the tires. For example, the larger ground clearance may work against you because, since your ATV is higher off the ground, you're also at greater risk to roll over. Other issues include increased clutch wear, tire rubbing on body panels, and even premature axle failure.
When trying to find the right tires for your ATV, ask yourself this question: What am I going to drive my ATV on? There are different types of tires for different terrain.
All Terrain/Trail Tires - These are the standard tires that come with your ATV. The reason is that they can handle just about any terrain: mud, sand, gravel, dirt. Depending on the ply rating, some all-terrain tires can even be driven on the road.
Mud Tires - These specialty tires are for those who like to get their ATV dirty. Boasting larger treads that act as a paddle to pull your ATV through loose mud, these tires are designed for soft terrain. As a result, these tires will not perform well on hard surfaces.
Turf Saver/Pavement Tires - Similar in build to lawn mower tires, turf saver tires have a tight, recessed tread pattern that won't tear into your lawn. This is the perfect tire to drive on hard surfaces. Other specialty tires include Race and Sand.
Before you head out on the trails, it's important to check to see if your tires are properly inflated. Depending on the temperature, or the amount of cargo you're carrying, you should make adjustments to avoid a tire rupture. All the tires that you purchase will have the maximum PSI listed on them, but this isn't what you're going to want to go with. Instead, your ATV should have the manufacturer's recommended PSI listed on the sticker.
Before you begin your search for tires, check out Kalinowski Power Equipment's ATV and UTV parts and accessories.. They're passionate about providing you with top-quality tires. If you're interested in tricking out your ATV with the latest atv accessories, they have everything you need, from hunting to cargo boxes. Located right outside Owen Sound, on the way to cottage country on Lake Huron, Kalinowski Power Equipment will have anything you need for your ATV, and their knowledgeable staff are passionate about helping you find the right things to make the most out of your ATV.