Whether you’re replacing worn out tires or purchasing your first set, it can be hard to know what the best ATV/UTV tires on the market are, looking at all the options out there.
We’ll start by trying to find out what the best all-terrain UTV tires are on the market, then we’ll have a look to what the best UTV tire is for trail and mud. At the end, stick around for answers to a few commonly asked questions about UTV and ATV tires.
Our Reviews Of The Best UTV Tires
SUNF POWER.I ATV/UTV ALL-TERRAIN TIRE
The SunF Power.I ATV or UTV tire is our choice for the number one all-terrain tire. It shines above its competitors, even though it’s a bit more expensive, you get what you pay for with a premium rubber material, with hearty treads on the sidewalls and a better than decent speed rating
NEW WANDA ALL-TERRAIN ATV/UTV TIRE
Balancing out a speed rating even greater than our number one choice, with a six-ply nylon material, the WANDA ATV/ UTV tires are our number two choice of all terrain tires. Constructed with a bias ply give greater traction in some circumstances but these tires will take you wherever you need to go.
SUNF WARRIOR AT MUD & TRAIL TIRE
You’ve looked at all terrain tires and know what you want, you want mud. With the SunF Warrior tires you’ll blast through all the mud you want and more. With thick and strong lugs that are designed to self clean as you ride, you’ll keep traction as you whizz into, out of and around mud puddles.
Finding the best ATV/UTV tires to suit your needs requires a lot of research. We hope that this guide makes that research a little bit easier. As always knowledge is power, and we hope you’ll take the time to use the resources below to learn more about ATV and UTV tires.
What those numbers on the side wall actually mean and how to read them; which tires are useful for riding in snow; how to replace, and maintain your tires once you’ve purchased them, and much more.
Happy off roading.
UTV Tires FAQ
How To Measure UTV Tires
When searching for UTV tires, you’ll want to make sure of a few things. Firstly you’ll want to know how wide the diameter of your rims are in inches. You’ll be disappointed if you purchase a tire that would just hula-hoop around your rims.
You’ll also want to be aware of the amount of space you have allotted for the tire, if the tire you purchase is too big for your wheel well, you may run into some troubles. You can find this by measuring the diameter or height of the entire wheel.
The last measurement to know, is the width of the tires you wish to purchase from side to side. You have a little more wiggle room to play with on this one. In fact, purchasing a tire that is wider than your rims, may in some cases even be a good idea. When inflated the tire would actually protect the rim, keeping dirt or sand from getting inside the tire.
So now we have three very basic measurements, but how do we know the tire we’re purchasing will be the right size? Very often, on ATV/UTV tire buying websites, tire measurements are written in a alphanumeric code that can look like hieroglyphs. These same confusing codes can be found on the side of the tires themselves. So let’s see if we can get a better understanding of what these numbers are trying to tell us.
What do the markings on the tires mean?
Quite helpfully, the measurements we’ve just taken will come into play with this alphanumeric code. The code is very often written like so, the numbers used here are just examples and may differ on your tires:
25x 10- 12 or sometimes there is the letter R after the second number like so: 25x 10R- 12. The letter refers to the actual construction of the tire and we’ll cover that below in the section “Radial vs Bias Ply.”
But first let’s try to understand these numbers. They’re always written in a consistent pattern, the first number, what we’ll call “X”, refers to the tire’s overall height in inches.
So our example tire is 25 inches in diameter from the floor to the very top. The second number, “Y”, refers to the tire’s width in inches, meaning that our example tire is 10 inches wide.
The final number, which you can guess will be called “Z”, refers to the wheel’s inner diameter; the empty space that will eventually connect up with the rim to form a seal.
To give a better understanding of the formula we can write the code like this, [wheel height (x)- wheel width (y)- wheel inner diameter (z)] or [x- y- z] .
Radial vs Bias Ply
Above we discussed the little capital R that sometimes accompanies the wheel’s width measurement. This refers to the way the wheel is constructed.
Most tires are constructed by combining fibers of rubber, though sometimes kevlar or even steel fibers are used to strengthen the tires. When tires were beginning to be industrially manufactured they were built using the Bias ply technique.
A tire is a bias ply tire when the fibers are laid in a pattern diagonally over the body of the tire, and cross hatched together with the other fibers. If you were to look at one of these tires before they were finished with thick rubber treads, you would see a bunch of little Xs or tiny diamonds.
This construction method allows the tire to flex under the forces it’s put under. This means the tire can flex out of the way when it encounters an obstacle.
But this method does have its drawbacks:
That’s why in the in the 1980s the Radial Ply tire was invented and the capital R was added to the code. (Important note: if there is no R on the side of the tire, then it is not a radial ply tire.)
This method of construction takes the same kinds of fibers that would have gone into the bias ply tires and lays them in shorter strands radially and then perpendicularly to that straight along where the treads will be.
In other words, if you were to pull one of these tires off of the production line before they were finished, you’d see crosses rather than Xs.
The benefits of using Radial ply tires have dominated the market since the late 1980s, but they aren’t without their drawbacks. So it’s up to you, the rider and the buyer to choose what kind of tire will be best for you.
This leads beautifully into the next topic which is Ply Ratings. A ply rating refers to the number of these fibers that are laid over each other. The more plys there are the stronger your tire will be.
For instance, heavy duty trucks usually have a ply rating of () which means they can support the truck’s massive weight and handle anything the road has to throw at them.
For UTVs, you’ll be fine with anything from a 2 ply to an 8 ply rating. These numbers will be written on the side of the tire in plain english, 2-ply, for example; or as a set of stars.
Understanding the star-ply rating system is incredibly simple: one star equals 2 ply. So if you have three stars on the side of your tire, that tire is a 6 ply tire.
Which UTV Tires Are Good For Snow?
When hunting for UTV tires, you’ll want to make sure to purchase tires that fit your specific needs. There are several different types of UTV tires, each designed for their specific terrain, and sometimes it would be a bad idea to, for instance, use UTV tires designed specifically for sand on hard roads, or while rock crawling.
But what if you’re planning on plowing a snowy parking lot, or driving through a winter wonderland?
Well you’re in luck. While there are a few tires designed specifically for snow, utilizing more flexible rubber and occasionally metal rods that can dig into the ice, most tires, which aren’t designed specifically for sand, work very well in mud, and tires that work well in mud, will work just fine in snow.
Mud tires, and indeed all terrain tires work so well in snow because what’s important in an icy environment is the same as what’s important when sunk half a foot deep in mud: clearance. If mud gets trapped in the gaps between treads, it will lower how much friction the tire will provide.
These tires’ designs solve this problem my implementing what’s called a self-clearing system. Which means that the tires use the shape of the treads, or lugs, and the centrifugal force of their rotation to allow the mud or snow to fall out of the lugs.
A mud tire may work well in snow but that doesn’t mean that it will absolutely keep you from slipping. An added precaution which may be a good idea to implement would be the use of snow chains.
Just like the chains you would use on a regular car or truck, you can wrap these snow chains around your UTV tire and increase your traction greatly.
How to maintain UTV Tires?
Like any vehicle, UTVs need to be maintained to ensure optimal performance, and that’s just as true for UTV tires as for the rest of it. UTV tires are made of rubber, and rubber does deteriorate over time.
If your UTV tires are used often, you should regularly inspect them for damage; lost lugs or treads; scraping or cracking on the tire’s side wall; any regular deflations which may mean you’ve sprung a leak.
Any of these signs might mean that it’s time to replace your tires, but if you keep a sharp eye on the health of your tire, you should be able to keep them alive and working for much longer.
If you keep your UTV in a garage or in a storage facility over the winter, or for long periods of time, be sure to inspect the tires for wear before taking it out on the trails.
You’re looking for any unwanted deflation, any cracking or brittle areas on the tire’s side walls. A good way to see if your tires have any small holes in them too small to see with the naked eye, is to fill them up with air, and listen carefully for any hissing.
Varying air pressure for performance
In general it’s a good idea to keep your tires at the PSI rating listed on the tires outer wall. However, there are some instances where varying the air pressure in your tire for short periods can improve your UTV’s performance.
Running your UTV with too much or too little air pressure can wear the tire’s treads unevenly, eventually weakening the tire to a point of failure, but there are few situation where altering your air pressure can be useful to you.
If you deflate your tires a little bit, the tire will spread out giving your UTV more surface area. This is a good technique to know if you’re going to try rock crawling, lower air pressure with give you more grip on the hard rock.
Alternatively, increasing the air pressure in your tires would be a good idea if the terrain you’re driving on is hard packed earth. Another time to use higher air pressures is when you’re carrying a lot of weight, since the weight will disperse the tire down to normal shapes.
How to change an UTV Tire?
Let’s say you’ve inspected your tires and have seen that one or more are beyond saving. A crack or hole lets all the air pressure out and they need to be replaced.
First off, it’s a good idea, if one of your tires is beyond repair, to replace all the tires, or at the very least make sure that tires that share an axle are as new as one another.
You could of course take these tires to a mechanic who offers tire replacements, but they’re likely to charge upwards of $25 per tire, and you can get a device that you can use to change your tires yourself for a little over $120. Plus it’s always a good idea to know how to do things yourself, just in case you absolutely need to.
The device I mentioned above is called a wheel changer. It looks like a tripod with very short legs which go up only maybe half a foot, while the rest of the device extends up to about four feet high. Halfway up the center column, is an arm with a flat metal plate at the end which hangs down near the ground.
When you’re ready to change the tire, let out most of the air until the tire is soft to the touch and place the tire at the bottom of your tire changer. Use the metal arm with the included leverage rod to press firmly down on the rubber part of the tire until it separates from the rim. Repeat this process on the other side until you have your tire dangling loosely off of your rim.
You can change the configuration of your tire changer to work as a workbench to finish the job. Screw on the platform ring, which is just wide enough to stop the tire from slipping down the rod all the way, and slide and secure the tire firmly in place.
Using the leverage rod, or perhaps some sturdy screwdrivers to pry the old tire free from the rim.
When the tire is free, you should use this opportunity to clean your rim, and make sure the edges, where the tire’s bead connects with the rim, is free from rust, dirt or grime.
To attach the new tire, lubricate the bead of the tire with some dish soap or whatever lubricant suits your fancy. You can use your screwdrivers or the specialized head of the leverage arm, to pry the tire into place. Now you’ll have a tire that is on the rim but isn’t sealed.
Sealing the tire into place is the easiest part of all, though exercise caution and wear protective eye gear in case the worst happens. Attach your air compressor and fill up the tire.
There will be a loud pop for each of the two beads sealing into place. Lastly re-adjust the tire’s air pressure to suit the recommended PSI, listed on the side of the tire.
Can You use ATV tires for UTV?
The majority of UTV or ATV tires on the market are interchangable. that being said, there are few things to take into consideration. The first thing to note is that there are many different models of UTV.
There are the fun, extreme models of UTV which have wide openings instead of wheel wells, exposing massive shocks, which are designed to handle crawling over big rocks or zooming down trails at breakneck speeds.
However there are also more utilitarian UTVs which are designed to handle jobs on farm land which do have wheel wells.
The second thing is that ATVs and UTVs are often very different sizes. You must pay close attention to the allotted space your specific UTV has for tires. If you purchase very large 28 inch tires, but only have room for 24 inch tires let’s say, you’re going to run into some problems.
The last thing to consider is the size of the inner diameter of the tires you wish to purchase. If the inner diameter of the tire is larger than the rim you wish to put that tire on, it won’t work.
Once you’ve taken into account all those factors, it doesn’t much matter if it’s a UTV or an ATV tire. A tire is a tire is a tire.
Deciding on the perfect tire depends almost entirely on your specific needs. We’ve looked at a few of the best in this article. The mud specific SunF Warriors, with their self cleaning, strong and powerful lugs, and the bias constructed nylon all terrain tires by WANDA.
But we will make our recommendation for the best all terrain UTV/ATV tire: The winner of our little head-to-head competition, is the SunF Power.I.
It is a few bucks more expensive than it’s all terrain competitor by WANDA; however you get what you pay for with the added traction and durability of the premium rubber, combined with the 6-ply bias construction makes it a classic that will do you well no matter where you find yourself.
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