If you own an ATV or UTV, you will need tires for them. But, what type of ATV and UTV tires you should purchase? Things can get tricky answering this.
There are versatile tire types and ATV tire sizes available on the market. How do you know which ones are for your vehicle?
Priority Tire would like to offer this short ATV/UTV tire buying guide to your attention, where we will go over everything you need to consider when purchasing a new ATV & UTV tire set. UTV/ATV tire size, tread design, inner structures, and terrain applications will be mentioned, we promise.
WHAT ARE ATV TIRES?
ATV is short for All Terrain Vehicle, which is a vehicle type that is basically a single-rider quad. ATVs are used for both on- and off-road performance.
Technically speaking, ATVs are smaller than most utility task vehicles. They are often used for racing, as their frames are optimized for tighter spaces and faster maneuvering.
Compared to larger side-by-side vehicles, ATVs 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 more on other accessories, including protective clothing (helmets, gloves, and boosts). Taking a tumble off an ATV is not fun, it can cause major injuries if drivers are not wearing the correct clothing.
All in all, ATVs are known for their split-second maneuvering and the adrenaline rush the drivers experience. If this risky fast-paced driving is up to your standards, an ATV will be perfect for you.
HOW LONG DO ATV TIRES LAST?
While there is no legal time limit on how long ATV tires can be used, typically they will last around 5 years. However, this greatly depends on when, where, and how often these tires are used. ATV tires have specific tread patterns that sort them into trail applications and misusing them will lead to accelerated tread wear.
WHAT ARE UTV TIRES?
UTV is short for Utility Task Vehicle or Side by Side Vehicle (which initially makes no sense but bear with us), which 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 purchased 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, manage 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.
Is Using Truck Tires on UTV Vehicles a Good Idea?
While it can be done, we would suggest sticking to UTV tires. Even if you are able to find truck tires in the correct UTV tire size, they will offer different driving characteristics than actual UTV tires.
For example, all terrain side-by-side tires and all terrain truck tires may have similar tread patterns, but their constructions differ. As a result, mounting truck tires on your UTV will result in a rougher off-road ride. Truck tires are not able to flex as UTV tires do, and their flotation capabilities are also worse. This can leave you stranded off-road.
ARE ATV AND UTV TIRES THE SAME?
ATV tires and UTV tires are similar, but they are 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 these differences, tire size, tread design, and structure types are identical.
CAN YOU PUT UTV TIRES ON AN ATV?
UTV and ATV tires might seem identical, but they are not interchangeable. ATV tires will not fit UTVs and vice versa. The problem is that SXS vehicles need bigger and stronger tires compared to smaller ATV quads. As a result, UTV tire sizes will be too big to mount on ATVs.
While the term "big ATV tires" exists, not all of these tires are actually for ATV use. Whether you are looking for all terrain tires for UTV or all terrain tires for ATV applications, the tire size will determine which tires for four-wheelers you can actually choose from. Understanding ATV tire sizes is the first step to purchasing the correct set.
How to Measure ATV Tires and UTV Tires?
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 the numbers on ATV tires mean?
This is UTV and ATV tire sizes explained!
They are the tire height, the tire width, and the rim diameter in inches.
So let's say your utility ATV tires have a 25X12.00-9 sizing. What would the actual ATV or UTV tire size meaning be? Keep in mind, that the tire size can also appear without zeros, like so 25x12-9.
ATV & UTV TIRE HEIGHT
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. This difference should not be more than 1/2 to 3/4 inches.
ATV & UTV TIRE WIDTH
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 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, resulting in problems - if you can even leave the garage at all.
ATV & UTV TIRE DIAMETER
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 mounted on your vehicle. While the previous numbers can be adjusted slightly, this third number has to be the same (unless you are also switching the rims).
Therefore, by combining the three numbers, you will know approximately which tire sizes will fit your UTV or ATV. 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 consult with a professional.
Rear and Front ATV Tires
In some instances, the front and rear tire pairs will not be the same size. ATVs and UTVs are designed in order to securely perform off-road. Therefore, there is a chance your vehicle will need different tire sizes for the front and rear axles.
For example, you might need to purchase 27x9x12 27x11x12 UTV radial tires, but the difference can be even bigger. There
ATV & UTV TERRAIN TYPE GUIDE
From all- to mud terrains, from on-road to trails, from off-road to sand - (utility) quads 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 expect 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 treads and close block placements. This footprint prevents tread flexing, ensuring a lengthened usability and a quiet performance.
ON-ROAD > OFF-ROAD
When you use your ATV or UTV both on 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 a 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 conquer different terrains, without accelerated tread wear or high noise levels during their pavement performance.
50 - 50 ON AND OFF-ROAD USE
True 50-50 ATV all terrain tires feature higher void ratios and optimized block placement. This combination ensures optimized tread life and high comfort levels, while the tread elements find the necessary traction on muddy and loose terrains. These models are popular among ATV enthusiasts, as they provide the best of both worlds.
OFF-ROAD > ON-ROAD UTV TIRE TREAD
If your vehicle is driven more off-road than on pavement, you will need to invest in a set of tires with a more aggressive tread design. These footprints are optimized for versatile terrain performance, but they won't ruin the passengers' 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 additional damage resistance.
OFF-ROAD AND TRAIL ATV TIRES
Tires with wider void spaces between the lugs offer great soft and loose terrain traction. UTV and ATV tires with this tread pattern are designed mainly for off-road performance, but they also provide the necessary traction on versatile trail surfaces. If you are an off-road junkie, these ATV trail 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. Mud tire tread patterns are manufactured for stronger vehicles that need excessive mud traction. They are basically UTV and ATV mud tires. While their mud and off-road terrain traction are unparalleled, they do not offer excellent traction on paved roads. ATV sand tires also belong to this category.
ATV/UTV TIRES - BIAS PLY OR RADIAL
Whether you need a bias or radial ply structured tire set, depends on a few factors - mainly where and how you utilize your tires.
Radial tires handle high speed pressure, promote better structural flexibility, and minimize road disturbances. 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 (not all of them), 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 set will be the 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, forward motion, and better flotation.
WHERE TO BUY ATV TIRES AND UTV TIRES?
With all the safety gear and accessories we tend to spend on, spending extra on tires might be out of our budget. Still, choosing the least expensive might not be the best idea. So, where can you get cheap ATV tires without sacrificing quality?
No matter what type of ATV, UTV, or quad tires you need, 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. Top brands, like Cooper UTV tires, and budget-friendly options, like
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.
HOW MUCH ARE ATV TIRES?
Depending on the ATV tire size and brand you want to purchase, the prices differ. Typically a set of UTV tires starts from $200 (for smaller sizes) and the sky is the upper limit. However, you will need to pay at least $500 for tire sets with decent quality, good traction, and stable performance.
WHAT PRESSURE SHOULD ATV TIRES BE?
Usually, ATV tires run at 5-6 psi. Still, this is an overall average estimation that is recommended for typical terrain and on-road conditions. In instances where lower or higher tire pressure is needed, most ATV tires can run at 3-12 psi. But, that mainly depends on the UTV tire sizes and their applications.
CAN YOU PUT UTV TIRES ON A TRUCK?
While UTV and truck tires are similar, UTV tires should not be mounted on a truck. UTV all terrain tires copy the design of truck models, you will be able to find good-quality truck tires for the same price or cheaper. This eliminates the need to use UTV tires, which also will probably not perform well on trucks.