Unfortunately, you have to have tires on your ATV or UTV for them to be functional. However, when it comes to what type of ATV and UTV tires you should purchase, the explanation gets a bit tricky. There are versatile tire types and sizes, with different construction types, available on the market, but how do you know which ones are for your vehicle?
We at Priority Tire would like to offer this short ATV and UTV tire buying guide to your attention. In this blog post, we will go over all things you need to consider when purchasing a new set for your vehicle - from the tire size, through the tread design, all the way to its inner structure.
Take a few minutes to read through our checklist to see what you have to look out for when shopping for the perfect tire set for your ATV or UTV.
Are ATV and UTV Tires the Same?
ATV and UTV tires are similar, but not the same. UTVs require tires that are durable, as they have to handle loads and can carry multiple passengers. ATVs are usually single-rider vehicles, which do not require stronger load durability. Apart from this, tire size, tread design, and structure types are identical.
ATV Tires 101:
ATV is short for All Terrain Vehicle. This vehicle type is basically a quad meant for single-riders and is used for on- and off-road performance.
Technically speaking, ATVs are smaller than most utility task vehicles. They are typically used for racing, as their framers are optimized for tighter spaces and faster maneuvering. These vehicle types only seat one passenger and are more demanding to control. The driver needs to saddle the seat and maintain their balance throughout the performance in order to ensure their control over the ATV.
ATVs are also less expensive. However, this comes with a drawback. They feature less safety gear than UTVs, which will make you spend on other accessories as well. To ensure your driving safety you will have to spend on protective clothing (including helmets, gloves, and boosts). Taking a tumble off an ATV is no fun, but it can also cause major injuries if the correct clothing is not worn.
All in all, ATVs are known for their split-second maneuvering and the adrenaline rush the drivers' experience during their faster performance. If this is up to your standards, an ATV will be perfect for you.
UTV Tires 101:
UTV is short for Utility Task Vehicle - or Side by Side vehicle (which initially makes no sense but bear with us). This vehicle type is meant for utility applications. It usually features multiple seats, where the riders have to sit side by side (now the name makes sense).
Due to the load durability, transporting abilities, their multi-passenger capacity, UTVs are manufactured with larger frames. Their top priority is driving safety and their ability to accomplish the tasks they were purchase for. In other words, their design was optimized to haul and transport heavier loads than ATVs can handle. It also ensures the driving comfort of the passengers and offers a less strenuous way to control the vehicle - without the driver having to physically exert themselves.
UTVs also cost more and their upgrades also carry a higher value. Their larger frame and better durability, along with the multiple safety features added to their construction, manages to greatly push up the final price of a UTV. The safety additions, like roll-cages, windscreens, and seat belts, cost more but are a necessity to ensure the passengers' driving safety. The popularity of UTV modifications has also caused that price tag to increase.
This vehicle type is made for functionality. Apart from the passenger number and load durability, if you prefer to customize your vehicle to fit your perfect ideal, a UTV might be a better option for you.
ATV & UTV Tire Size Guide
ATV and UTV tire sizes consist of three numbers. If you check your currently mounted tires you will find them on the sidewall. But what do these numbers mean?
They are the tire height, the tire width, and the rim diameter in inches.
So let's say your ATV or UTV has a 25X12.00-9 sizing, what would that mean?
The first number, in this instance 25, indicates the overall height of the tire - after inflation. However, these numbers are not completely accurate. Just because the size said 25 inches, does not mean the tire will be exactly 25 inches tall. Smaller errors within reason are normal, especially since many external factors also regulate the actual height of the tires. Additionally, aftermarket or replacement tires are known to be smaller than what they are advertised, but the difference should not be more than 1/2 to 3/4 inches.
The width of the tire is the second number. In the above example, it is 12.00, which means it is 12 inches wide. Like with the first number, this does not mean that the tire width is 12 inches, as many factors will influence the actual width. The biggest factor that will do this is the rim the tire is mounted on. Depending on the rims, the tire may be wider or shorter than the indicated number. However, you will have to purchase tires that are a bit wider than the rims. If the rims are wider, the tires will not mount properly, which will cause problems - if you can even leave the garage on them at all.
Lastly, the 3rd number of the rim diameter. This is the size of the rims you have on your vehicle, which in this case is 9. This number HAS TO match the diameter of the rim you have on your vehicle, as bigger or smaller rim diameter tires will not work for a specific rim. While the previous numbers can be adjusted slightly, this third number has to be the same (or you will have to get a new tire set).
Therefore, by combining the three numbers you will know approximately which tire sizes will fit your UTV or ATV. The rim diameter must match the size of your current rims if you wish for the tires to fit, but the tire height and width can be adjusted a bit. Just make sure that by going up or down on the sizes, you are still accommodating the vehicle and its performing needs. You can check this in the vehicle's owner's manual or just checking with a professional.
When you know what tire size - or sizes most likely as many ATVs and UTVs feature staggered sizing - you need, take a peek at the different tire selection you can find on our Priority Tire website.
ATV & UTV Terrain Type Guide
From all- to mud terrain, from on-road to trails, from off-road to sand - ATVs and UTVs can easily conquer versatile terrain types with ease, as long as they have the correct tires. Think of tires as the shoes your vehicle needs to wear in order to not lose traction on various terrains.
Much like how you would not wear white tennis shoes for a grueling mountain hike, you do not want to use on-road tires on a vehicle you mainly use on muddy terrains and except superb traction.
What type of terrain tires can you find for your ATV or UTV tires?
If your vehicle is driven mainly on concrete and paved roads, it is not necessary to get tires with aggressive tread patterns (it will just cause excessive tread wear and road noise). Instead, find tires with shallow tread and close block placement. This footprint prevents tread flexing in order to ensure a lengthened usability and a quiet performance.
On-road > Off-road
When you use your ATV or UTV on both road and terrain surfaces, but it still spends more time on-road, you will have to look for a tire with a deeper tread design and more spaced-out block placement. These tread patterns offer all terrain traction, while also promoting excellent driving comfort on-road. In other words, they can handle different terrains, without accelerated tread wear or high road noise levels.
50 - 50 On and Off-road
A true 50-50 all terrain tire features a higher void ratio and an optimized block placement. This combination ensures its optimized tread life and overall comfort levels, while the tread elements find the necessary traction on mud and loose terrain surfaces. These models are popular among ATV-enthusiasts as they provide the best of both worlds - comfort and different terrain traction.
Off-road > On-road
If your vehicle is driven more off-road than on it, you will need to invest in a set of tires with a more aggressive tread design. Their footprint is optimized for versatile terrain performance, but it won't damage the driving enjoyment if they have to be driven on pavement. The tread elements, with the high void ratio, keep the footprint clean at all times, providing the necessary mud, snow, and loose terrain traction.
Off-road and Trail
Tires with wider void spaces between the lugs enable the tire's great soft and loose terrain traction. UTV and ATV tires with this tread pattern are made mainly for off-road performance, but they also provide the necessary traction on versatile trail surfaces. If you are an off-road junkie, these tires will ensure you get from point A to B without getting stuck in the mud.
These tires feature the most aggressive footprint of all ATV and UTV tires. This tread design is manufactured for stronger vehicles that need excessive mud terrain traction. While their mud and off-road terrain traction are unparalleled, they do not offer excellent traction on paved roads.
Bias Ply and Radial ATV & UTV Tires
Whether you buy a bias or radial ply structured tire, depends on a few factors - mainly where and how you utilize your tires.
If you are in need of tires that handle high speed pressure, promote better structural flexibility, and minimize road disturbances, radial tires will be a good option for you. These tires absorb the driving shock and withstand structure pressure build-up along their tread area, which enables its optimized on-road application. Most radial tires are DOT approved for highway use, but they also tend to be more expensive.
On the other hand, if your vehicle has a slower performance, and higher load durability, a bias tire might be a better option. Tires with this construction type were used on all older ATVs and UTVs before radial tires were introduced. However, bias ply tires are perfect for aggressive terrain traction as they do not flex - which results in stronger traction and forward motion.
Best Rated ATV & UTV Tires
If you have read through our explanation above, you now know what type of ATV or UTV tires you can purchase, but how can you find the perfect ones?
There are numerous excellent quality brands you can choose from when looking for these types of tires. Which brand and model you will decide on will highly depend on the conditions you wish to utilize the vehicle.
The tire models below are among the outstanding models we currently offer on our website.
Kenda Speed Racer
The Kenda Speed Racer is available with two distinctive tread patterns: the K546 tread code is made for the ATV's front axle, while the K547 code is for the rear axle. These tires are manufactured for excellent on-road performance, promoting better controllability and an overall secure drive. The tread design's close block pattern optimizes its pavement and concrete traction, while also ensuring its light trail grip.
The Duro Frontier features a directional tread block placement, which provides the necessary traction. The tire is able to securely conquer soft, loose, and uneven terrains with ease, while also providing a comfortable and secure concrete surface drive. Additionally, this model also ensures a fuel-efficient performance during its on-road application as it greatly decreases its rolling resistance.
Maxxis ML1 Carnivore
Durability, traction, and great handling on versatile terrains are ensured with the Maxxis ML1 Carnivore. The tread pattern features a high void ratio and staggered and stepped blocks, which work together to increase the different terrain traction, while also promoting excellent comfort levels. The stronger radial structure enhances the tire's load capacity, while the surface contact boosts the overall controllability.
GBC Dirt Commander
A higher void ratio and angled lug placement are the tread characteristics of the GBC Dirt Commander. This model promotes exceptional terrain traction, focusing on soft and loose terrain driving safety. While the tire still can securely perform on pavement, it truly shines during its off-road application. The bias ply structure helps to enhance its damage resistance and load capacity, promoting a secure driving experience.
ITP Mega Mayhem
The ITP Mega Mayhem guarantees various terrain traction and durability. The angled lug pattern and high void ratio do not just optimize the terrain traction, but they also help keep the footprint clean. As a result, the tire combats stone retention and ensures constant surface contact. The strengthened internal structure enhances the tire's load durability and performing capability.
Deestone D936 Mud Crusher
With the Deestone D936 Mud Crusher, you can find the perfect mud terrain traction. Combine soft, loose, and uneven terrain traction, with the tread's self-cleaning nature to greatly improve the tire's off-road terrain capabilities. The reinforced nylon construction enhances the load capacity, while the tread design effectively avoids stone retention throughout the drive.
Ready - Set - Off-road
No matter what type of ATV or UTV tire you are in need of, Priority Tire is here to help you. Search for all terrain, mud terrain, on-road, and trail tires among our wide inventory and find the perfect match for your vehicles.
Check out our offers and find the perfect tire set for your ATV or UTV without leaving the comfort of your home. Enjoy the off-road driving safety and traction these tires offer, without the fear of your vehicle getting stranded on harsh terrain surfaces.