All You Need to Know About Tires For Your UTV or ATV.

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All You Need To Know About Tires For Your UTV Or ATV

If you are an ardent recreationalist, you already know that UTV and ATV are two fantastic vehicles that can allow you to experience the best of the outdoor world. When mulling deciding between a UTV or ATV, it is good to keep in mind that one isn’t better than the other.

Each has its unique advantages and disadvantages in regard to different activities, riding environments, trails as well as logistical aspects.

Perhaps this why most outdoor fans tend to own both ATVs and UTVs because this allows them to experience two different outdoor worlds.

ATVs are considered the more maneuverable machine compared to their UTV counterparts because they can expertly handle dense timber, tight turns, muddy terrain with minimal fuss.

What’s more, they are relatively quick to hop on and off and are narrower, implying that you will be able to slip through tight gates, narrow trails as well as other obstacles that bar UTV access.

Also referred to as side-by-side (SxS), a UTV features four to six wheels and a bucket-like seat with belts for up to six passengers. People usually gravitate toward UTVs because of their versatility.

Outdoor fanatics can access a broad range of trails with a side-by-side vehicle at their disposal. And if you are a hunter, you’ll highly appreciate both the UTVs ability to tackle remote trails and tough terrain.

A UTV offers awesome access to hard-to-access fishing and hunting grounds as well as the means to transport game and gear.

UTV and ATV tires are one of those components that make them unique. And part of their unrivaled strength originates from the tires. Regardless of what you are driving, you need to have a set of durable wheels.

Your tires will ultimately make all of the difference in the experience you have.

There are wheels designed for specific terrains for added safety, and it is higshly recommended that you look for specific UTV/ATV tires that suit your purpose.

Whether you already own an outdoor vehicle or are planning to purchase one, you are in the right place.

Today in this post, we are going to provide you with all you need to know about utv and atv tires. So, peruse the article and get to know.

Are ATV and UTV tires the same?

While the tires of these two wonderful outdoor giants look strikingly similar, they are not the same. As you go through the article, you’ll read on this.

How long do UTV tires last?

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utv tires used

Generally, UTV tires are extremely durable and provided you take good care of them, they should serve you for an extended period. However, this will largely depend on the type of surface you ride on, the type of the tire, rubber hardness, tire quality, and a range of many other factors.

Tire manufacturers often recommend replacement intervals for UTV tires based on time and mileage. While this offers a benchmark, you will still need to continually inspect your tires and check for signs of wear and damage.

Things to watch out for include uneven lugs, cracked rubber, bulging sidewalls, punctures, embedded nails or any other sign. Most manufacturers say that UTV tires can potentially last for six years!

You should always replace your tires if they show any sign of age-related tear and wear. If you didn’t know, failing tires not only compromises your driving experience, but equally puts you at great risk of accident and puts lots of stress on your UTVs suspension and drivetrain.

What are the different types of tires?

The frequency in which you replace your tires will also be affected by the type of tire you have, the terrain you ride on as well as the quality of the tire itself.

For instance, riding on asphalt will wear your UTV/ATV tires down much faster than if you were riding on mud or sand.

Below are the different types of UTV and ATV tires.All-round tires: If you want your UTV/ATV to perform well in nearly almost any situation, you’ll have to equip yourself with a set of all-round tires.

If you find yourself regularly riding on grass, trails, mud, and gravel terrains, then all-round tires are what you need.

However, it also important to note that since all-round tires are universal in terms of functionality, they tend to wear out relatively faster than more specific terrain type wheels

Mud tires

There are endless options when it comes to good mud tires. These types of tires offer absolute best grip in any mudding situation. As such, they are not a great option in hard surfaces because this will not only impact their performance but will also accelerate the wear and tear.

However, when used on their intended terrain, they are very aggressive and form arguably one of the best tire brands in the business. Mud tires often feature several layers of rubber to prevent puncture incidences caused by rough obstacles.

The lugs on mud tires are very heavy duty and feature tough sidewalls that can take a beating and can dig you out of any messy situation. They are usually heavier and equally much more robust and durable than the rest.

Snow tires

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Plowing snow with a blade mounted on the rear of four-wheeler (ATV). Close up.

Most mud and trail tires will perform better in snow-like environments. However, an actual ATV snow tire is specifically designed to offer much-improved traction in the snow.

There are two major designs of snow tires, both of which are like a combination of other styles. The first design features shorter lugs that closely resembles that of a trail tire but with the spacing of a mud tire.

The second design boasts the pattern of either mud or trail tire with very thin lugs. Both styles bring on board distinct advantages. The first design allows you to add more studs, especially if you need more traction in icy conditions.

The second style works magic in powdery snow and is ideal for sport ATV. Both designs have wide spacing between the tread, allowing the tires to easily clear any collected snow.


These are arguably the most common tires, and this is partly because they are incredibly versatile and can tackle most terrains and situations fairly well. What’s more, they tend to last fairly long.

Trail tires are also available in the widest variety of tread patterns. Some come with long lateral lugs whereas others come with squared lugs. One major common theme among trail tires is that the lugs are fairly closer to each other and this creates a somewhat larger contact patch.

The tread depth of these tires usually ranges from a to one inch. This depth of tread coupled with the large contact patch offers the trail tires a great amount of traction for a smooth ride.

Street tires

If you want to make your UTV/ATV street legal, you’ll have to equip them with street tires. In most states, these DOT-approved tires are mandatory before you can put your ATV on the streets.

Just like conventional car tires, these will require periodic rotation to prevent excess wear and tear. They usually tend to wear out the fastest perhaps because asphalt is always going to be rough on the tire tread, regardless of the vehicle.

Do you need to balance UTV tires?

This will mainly depend on the type of riding you always do with your UTV. If balancing your UTV tires will make them last relatively longer or give you a memorable riding experience, then it makes sense to balance them.

Generally, balancing your tires can be a good step towards preventing regular repair issues for your vehicle.

You are probably aware of the fact that unbalanced tires tend to be subject to more wear and tear, and this will eventually degrade their quality and performance.

What’s more, having balanced tires will enhance your overall safety because any slight incidence of imbalance will potentially result in loss of control.

What PSI should my ATV tires be?

Generally, the functionality and lifespan of your ATV depend on how you take care of it. Regularly checking your tires’ air pressure is a crucial thing that every serious rider out there should take into account.

The right ATV tire pressure should be based on your manufacturer’s recommendation (both ATV and tire), load, and terrain. This will always range between 5 and 10 psi. Take the following into consideration:

  • Terrain: For hard surfaces including dirt trails, pavement, sand, and hard snow, you should stick with your manufacturer’s recommended pressures for optimal comfort and traction.On the other hand, for soft surfaces such as mud, gravel, or loose sand, you are at liberty to reduce your tire pressure to as low as 2.5 to 3 psi for improved flotation and traction. Any lower, however, there is a risk of your tires popping off the bead. For rocky terrain, usually, a PSI of between 3 and 4 is recommended. This may also apply for sand and snow surfaces. For areas that hard-packed and you are driving at relatively higher speeds, a PSI of between 7 and 8 is recommended. Most manufacturers recommend between 5 and 6 PSI for normal trail riding.
  • Load: For zero load and single rider, you should stick with your manufacturer’s recommendations for optimal performance. Of course, you should not fail to make appropriate adjustments for your terrain accordingly. For an extra load such as tools, camping gear, hunting gear or game, you may increase the pressure of your tires to practically compensate, but not more than the pressure listed on the sidewall.

What do numbers mean on ATV tires?

One most common question that most riders often ask is ow do the ATV tire sizes work’. ATV tires are generally listed in a set of three numbers which are usually separated by either dashes or the multiplication sign or both.

For example,


In this case, the first number shows the overall height of the tire when inflated (in our case, the tire is 24-inches tall).

The second number is the overall width of the tire when inflated (in our example above, the tire is 10-inches wide.)

It is also important to note that if no letter follows this second number, then that tire is referred to as a bias tire. However, if the letter’ follows it, then it is a radial tire.

(example 24*11R-13). (You’ll find more information on this as you continue reading the article.)

The third number represents the wheel or rim diameter and the example above, the rim or wheel is 13-inches.

When should I replace my UTV tires?

Many telltale signs should roughly inform you that the time is right to replace your UTV tires. If you are regularly getting a flat tire, this is a pretty clear indication that your UTV tires require immediate replacement.

However, there are the so-called no-so-obvious signs that you should also watch out for. These may include:

Uneven wear and tear: Strange sounds, vibrations, pulling one direction or another are all clear signs of uneven tire wear and this implies that you need to replace your UTV wheels.

Different tires usually wear at varied rates. To ensure your tire doesn’t wear out too fast, always match your tires to the type of riding or terrain it’s designed for.

  • Cracks: Just like the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on your face is inevitable, so is the cracking of UTV tires as they advance with age. Small cracks will tend to develop in the sidewalls or at the base of the tread grooves. Common factors that will influence tire cracking include environmental elements such as heat, how regularly you use the tires, how you store the tires, the terrain, and even the cleaning detergents your tires are often exposed to. While cracks that appear only at the outer surface of the rubber are cosmetic, those that appear to go deep into the tire’s rubber are usually a cause for concern and you will have to replace your tires at this point. Most UTV tire manufacturers recommend replacing them after every six years regardless of whether they are worn out or not.
  • Tread separation: Always check your UTV tire treads or lugs for signs of wear, splits or separation. When the lugs separate from the carcass, it will eventually result in loss of control. And once the problem of tread separation crops up, you can’t reverse the effects. It only means that you’ll ultimately have to replace your UTV tires.

Can you put tubes in UTV tires?

Yes, you can put tubes in your damaged UTV tire. UTV tubes are usually used as the first attempt to repair air loss.

Because of the unforgiving terrain, UTV tires are always subjected to, their rims can get banged up, making the tire bead to come off the rim. And this implies that the seal isn’t as airtight as it should be.

With time, debris such as twigs, rocks will find their way between the rim and the tire bead, causing the rim to leak air.

Can you balance ATV wheels?

Despite the popular belief that ATV tires shouldn’t be balanced, ATV wheels are pretty much replaceable.

The wheel and tire assemblies should be balanced for optimal performance. If your ATV tire isn’t balanced, you’ll experience some degree of vibration as well as accelerated tread wear.

How do I know what size my ATV tires are?

Follow the procedure below to know the exact size of your ATV tires:

Consider this number: 25*8-12 (traditional ATV tire size.)

Identify the size of your tire on the sidewall of the tire.

The first number represents your tire’s height when mounted and inflated to the recommended air pressure.

The second number shows the overall width when mounted and inflated to the proper pressure.

The third number shows the wheel diameter that a particular tire will mount on.

However, it is imperative to note that the example above is for the traditional tire size. And the figures are in inches. Now let us learn how to read the so-called metric tire size.

Consider this number: 205/80 R 12

Identify the numbers on your tire’s sidewall.

The first number refers to the width of your tire when mounted and inflated accordingly. However, it is measured in mm (millimeters). To convert it into inches, divide it by 25.4. In a traditional tire size, this will become the second number.

The next number shows the tire’s height in millimeters when mounted and properly inflated.

To convert this into inches, double this number and divide it by 25.4, then add the diameter of the wheel, which is represented by the third number. The result now becomes the first number in the traditional size.

The letter R shows that the tire features radial construction. As we have already said, the final number will represent the diameter of the wheel where you will mount the tire on.

Why are ATVs tires smaller in the front?

ATVs usually feature front tires that are visibly relatively smaller. So why is this the case? Having smaller tires on the front makes it easier to steer. Smaller tires offer better handling as well.

Simply put, having smaller tires allows you to easily maneuver in between obstacles such as rocks on and off the trail.

What’s more, front ATV tires are smaller than their rear counterparts because they are meant to minimize handlebar whip.

When you ride your ATV off-road, you occasionally hit small bumps as well as other obstacles. The force created by every single bump gets transferred into the handlebar, commonly known as handlebar whip.

By having smaller front tires, ATVs can effectively minimize this tiresome and dangerous handlebar movement.

How to mount an ATV tire?

Mounting your ATV tires can be a daunting task, especially if you have never done it before. However, if you are ready to learn, it can be one of the easiest things to do.

And with regular practice a little help from experts like us, you will be mounting ATV tires like a pro in no time!

Equipment and tools needed:

  • Valve stem tool: This tool will enable you to effortlessly seat the valve stem into the wheel.
  • Three tire spoons: Without them, you may not be able to peel the tire sidewall off the wheel.
  • Air good compressor: Make sure you have a good air compressor capable of creating sufficient pressure to inflate an ATV tire and seat the bead.
  • A lubricant such as soap: Needed for lubing the tire bead.
  • Safety gear: Your safety is imperative. It is best to wear gloves and goggles to help protect your eyes.

Step one: Remove the wheel and deflate tire

Remove the wheel from the quad and subsequently deflate the tire. Loosen and eliminate the lugs and once you have completely removed the wheel, deflate the tire and remove it.

To deflate the tire, remove the cap and release all the pressure in the tire. Once this is done, use your valve remover tool to get the valve cores out.

Step two: Break the tire bead

This is arguably the hardest part of the entire procedure. This is partly because the bead is installed into the rim a lot more firmly on off-road tires than it is on car tires.

A popular option is to place the tire on plywood, or something similar to ensure the tire doesn’t dig into the ground. After this, put a jack on the tire near bead and jack up into something such as a hitch or truck bumper.

Repeat the process around both sides of the tire, especially in places where the bead is still intact. The objective is to get the bead off the rim so you can remove the old tire.

Step three: Peel the tire off the rim

Now that you have successfully removed the bead of the tire from the rim, you now have to remove the whole tire from the rim. It is always advisable to peel the tire off through the short side of the rim.

The shorter side of the rim usually features a shallower depth. You will need the tire spoons to get this task done. Use the tire spoons to pull the tire up over the rim.

You should use all the three tools to make the whole process easier. Let one of the tools acts as a lever and stick it down so that just a piece is below the tire and press it down to ensure you pop it under the rim.

Use the other remaining tools to carefully work your way around the rest of the tire through the rim.

Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you can effortlessly pull the entire tire by your hands.

Step Four: Clean the rim lip and apply an effective sealer

Now it’s time to clean the lip of your rim where your new tire will rest. Use a sealer to ensure the tire bead will seal well enough on the rim.

Step Six: Check whether the tire is directional or not

This is crucial to know. Just check your tire’s sidewall and if you can see and arrow, then your tire is directional and if not, it isn’t.

Directional tires should be mounted with the arrow facing a forward rotation direction. They can be mounted on either side but you must ensure that the arrow points forward when rotated.

Step Seven: Position your tire on the wheel appropriately

After this, put the tire onto the rim and as we earlier said, start with the rim’s shallow side. Put the rim on the ground, preferably on a surface that will prevent it from slipping away from you.

The shallow side should face upward. Carefully poke the bead part of your tire into the rim’s shallow side and press down the tire to ensure it pops onto the rim.

Step Eight: Mounting the new tire

Now you need to get the whole tire seated as needed and the bead lined up correctly as well. Use your tire tool to seat the whole tire into place.

Step Nine: Inflate the new tire:

This is the last step and equally the easiest. With all the pressure out of the tire, carefully re-install the valve stem guts using your valve stem tool. Now grab your air compressor and inflate your new tire to the desired pressure.

Don’t forget to put the valve stem caps on as this keeps it free from any debris.

What are the best UTV/ATV tire brands?

There are numerous ATV/UTV tire manufacturers out there on the market.

According to customer reviews and reliable consumer reports, Sunf and Wanda tires are currently head and shoulders above their competition on this field.

Most Wanda tires are tubeless, implying that you won’t need extra tubes to mount them. What’s more, their premium ATV/UTV tires boast high-abrasion design for enhanced durability and performance.

Simply put, you can never go wrong with any of Wanda’s tires.

SunF also provides a high-quality set of tires that are designed to last. They also guarantee excellent traction, and riders will never have to worry about sliding incidences.

A tire from SunF is always worth your hard-earned cash.

For transportion you’ll need a atv ramp.

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