If you own an ATV, you already can attest to what a blast it is to ride. Off-roading is an extreme sport that few people can deny is inherently thrilling.
Unfortunately for some riders (even seasoned ATV enthusiasts), they aren’t aware that they could be severely decreasing their enjoyment of the ride or the abilities that their ATV is capable of.
Did you know that the tires can completely make or break your experience? Did you know that one tire may not perform the same in all conditions?
There is a lot to break down when it comes to having the right ATV tires. We know that it can be tough if you’re just starting out, or if your ATV is in dire need of a new set and you aren’t sure which ones are best.
In order to make your life easier, we rated our favorite brands of ATV tires in this guide, along with the importance of having the right tires for the right conditions.
All of the brands on this list have high-quality options. When it comes to purchasing each individual brand, you can find them at department stores that sell tires, such as Walmart, and also online from many different ATV part stores.
Many of the best deals and discounts can be found online. Each brand comes in a variety of different styles. All of them, however, sell all-terrain tires at a variety of price points.
Of all the ATV tires on this list, Wanda tends to be one of the more affordable brands. Their all-terrain tires can easily tear up rocks, mud, and dirt.
Their tires distribute the weight of your vehicle evenly and have precise dimensions for a better fit. The only problem is that there tends to be one size available per model.
- Great traction
- Super tough
- Lot of grip
Carlisle ATV tires boast a smooth ride and quality construction. They do have a versatile selection of ATV tires that can handle a wide variety of terrain and tasks. They have tires for casual riders and those who live the ATV lifestyle.
The downside to Carlisle is that they do tend to be more expensive than some other brands on the list while retaining a similar quality.
- Stand up to heavy trail
- Quality tire at reasonable cost
- Get punctured easily
- Soft and thin
ITP is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to challenging terrain. Their tires are made sturdy and durable. Their popular Mud Lite, for instance, can withstand sharp rocks, jagged edges and are still a reasonable price.
Additionally, ITP has a 2-year limited warranty for its tires.
- Awesome in mud and heavy snow
- LIght tires
- Not enough grip
- Tread is not tall enough
Kenda is one of the more popular choices for ATV tires. They have the most high-quality tires with the largest range in price. Many of their tires have the highest ratings of any brand on the list.
They tend to be an affordable, reputable option with great reviews.
- Light and aggressive
- Great traction
- Explodes while mounting
- Shred up fast
Maxxis tires are an affordable option for ATV riders. Their most popular tire is the Bighorn tire, designed for the serious enthusiast.
While their tires do have a break-in period for you to follow, they tend to have a smooth performance, especially when it comes to rock climbing.
- Great over dessert trails
- An all around tire
Before you dive into purchasing new ATV tires, there are probably some facts that you don’t know. There is a lot to ask before you buy new tires.
Likewise, there is a lot to ask about the stock tires that came with your ATV. To help you out, we put together a list of the most commonly asked questions.
What type of maintenance should I perform on my tires?
Any regular inspections are necessary to the health of your tires. In addition, if your tires are new, you should pay close attention to how they behave when you accelerate, brake or turn corners.
Until you’re accustomed to how they perform, be extra careful with them. While riding, it’s important that you also test your tire pressure regularly and check for any signs of cracking or punctures.
How can I get more mileage out of my tires?
The best way to take care of your tires while driving is to avoid quick stops or fast starts. In addition, regular maintenance will help your tires last longer.
What causes air loss?
As with all vehicles, punctures or cracks can cause air loss in your tires. In addition, if you’re experiencing air loss in your vehicle, it may be a broken valve stem.
Should I replace my stock tires?
When it comes to your stock tires, find out what type of terrain they handle best. If they aren’t adequate for what you need your ride to handle, then you should look into replacement tires. Always make sure that your replacement tires can fit your particular vehicle model.
How do I know the correct air pressure?
If you want to know what air pressure you should keep your ATV tires, you should find out from your vehicle’s manufacturer what the recommended pressure is.
Of course, the maximum air pressure is also listed on the sidewall of the tire. This does not mean that you should use that exact pressure. It is simply a guideline you shouldn’t exceed.
What is the ply rating of my tire?
The ply rating of your tire tells you how durable it is. The rating is between a 2 and a 6, with the 6 being the most durable. In order to find out your rating, you will see stars imprinted on the sidewall of your tire.
When it comes to understanding everything that there is to know about your ATV tires, remember that there are no wrong questions. The more that you know, the better purchase you can make.
Basics About ATV Tires
So, what makes ATV tires different from other tires? You know that your vehicle handles rough terrain differently from any other machine.
For instance, your 4-wheeler and your Jeep are not going to be able to tackle the same type of terrain, just as you can’t expect your dirt bike tires to meet ATV expectations. So what makes ATV tires so special?
Manufacturers design all-terrain tires to be able to stick to a variety of terrain. ATVs are popular throughout the country and for a variety of different reasons.
Where some people may be tearing up mud, others may be climbing through sandy deserts or over rocky terrain. They design tires to be able to handle all sorts of wilderness.
However, not every tire is great for every landscape. We’ll walk you through the types of tires available.
For desert riders, the sand tires are necessary. These tires are lightweight and function well in desert environments. When it comes to rear sand tires, what stands out the most is that they have a paddle tread pattern. The paddles allow the tires to grip the sand so that it can propel the 4-wheeler forward.
When you’re climbing sand dunes, you need a wide footprint or else you won’t be able to get any traction. The front tires, on the other hand, maybe completely bare or have a limited pattern. This keeps your vehicle from sinking into the sand.
Rocky Terrain Tires
Unlike sand tires, you need a tighter tread pattern for rocky terrain. These angled grooves will increase your contact and allow you to climb rocks without trouble. In addition, you should be able to climb up loose terrain.
When it comes to durability, you need rocky terrain tires to be able to withstand a lot more abuse than a sand tire. This is because rocks and other debris can easily puncture tires.
Who doesn’t like to burn up the muddy terrain? For mud tires, you have to have wide tread in order to disperse mud. The type of mud tires that you purchase is dependent on the type of mud that you drive through. Some tread can handle deeper mud than others.
The deeper the tread, the deeper you can crawl through the mud. You do have to be more careful if you decide to drive on harder or dryer terrain. These tires won’t grip it well.
For the most part, if you live in a snowy area, mud tires are going to work just fine for your ATV. Mud tires are great on snow. Now, you don’t have to go out of your way to get the most intense mud tires. These aren’t ideal for snow.
However, you should look for wide and deep tread so that you can grip and disperse the snow easily. If you want your quad to have a little more traction, you can use tire chains.
If you’re about to race an ATV, then you need special tires for that also. There are a lot of options when you look for sports tires.
Racing tires are lightweight and have a consistent knob pattern that allows for them to tackle medium to hard terrain.
In a racing situation, you need the best traction possible but also have to be able to stay in control. Unlike rocky terrain tires, these ones have to be lighter and less durable.
This means that you may have to replace them more often because they can wear out. Now if you’re cross-country racing, then you’re going to need tires that are more durable.
How We Reviewed
Or each tire that we review, we keep quad riders like you in mind. We go through countless reviews and read through the specs thoroughly.
When it comes to choosing the best, we look at things like durability and the ability to handle different types of terrain.
What matters the most is the reputation of the brand. After all, if a brand is the choice of professional riders, then you can guarantee that it holds up well competitively to others.
Additionally, we make sure that we keep the price in mind. While some tires are more expensive for good reason, some may be overpriced.
We make sure that the features match the price. Through everything that we research, we weigh out the pros and cons before coming to a decision on our favorite brands.
Kenda is one of the leading tire manufacturers. Its brand has a sparkling reputation among ATV owners. Not only are their tires of high quality, but they offer a wide variety of price options.
They build many of their tires with versatile designs that allow you to tackle most off-roading conditions with ease. They are functional, durable and look great. Some of their tires even come with a puncture resistant casing for off-roaders who love rocky mountain trails.
While every brand on this list makes high-quality tires, Kenda really stands out with several tires that are the best on the market. Customer reviews are outstanding, and when it comes down to it, Kenda really outperforms most brands.
While fun tends to come first when it comes to taking your ATV out for a spin, you have to remember that sacrificing your safety could make that ride end miserably. Equipping your ATV with the best tires is going to be safer for you.
For serious off-roaders, the best tires are usually what they need. As long as you understand the type of surface you’ll be driving on and the kind of durability you need out of your tires, you should be able to make an educated choice when it comes to purchasing new tires for your ride.
Featured Image: CC0 rihaij via Pixabay