Selecting ATV tires that ensure top performance

November 25, 2014

The tires you chose for your ATV can enhance or hinder how it handles. Here's what you should know about selecting the right ATV tires to ensure top performance.

Selecting ATV tires that ensure top performance

Vehicle use

You can make the most of your ATV's versatility and fuel economy by selecting the perfect tires. Before looking into all the different types of tires available, think about how you intend to use your ATV and the activities you plan for it. For example: What time of year do you plan to drive your ATV most?

If it's mostly during the winter, then there are tires specifically designed to improve traction on snow and ice.If you plan on driving during the warmer seasons, you should buy treads suited for the type of ground or trails you plan to ride on. Different tires are needed for sandy, muddy or packed terrain. Similarly, some tires are designed specifically for sports driving and racing.

Choosing the right size

If you’re finding it difficult to choose the right ATV tires, it’s because there are many types to choose from. You have to know, among other things, the tire size you need for your specific model.

If you install ATV tires that are too large or too small in diameter, you risk damaging a number of components on the vehicle, including the engine and transmission. Furthermore, the wrong-size tires can compromise the brakes—and that could be dangerous.

Beyond the diameter of the tires, you will also need to pay attention to width. The terrain you choose to drive on will determine the ideal tire size for your ATV. Wider tires are preferred for driving in snow and sand, while the narrower tires are good for treading in the mud.

All the dimensions you need to know are listed on the sidewall of the tire. You can also consult online charts and ask retailers to help you understand the meaning of the letter and numbers on the tire.

Tire specificity

Every model has its own characteristics and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all tire. When buying tires, be sure to check:

  • Number of plies it has: Plies are nylon and rubber layers found beneath the surface of the tire. They reinforce the tire and make it more shock resistant. The tire may have two, four, six or eight plies using either radial or bias construction.
  • Tire tread: The pattern on the tire relates to tread function and how you plan to use your ATV. For example, an angled tread pattern going from inside to outside is best for muddy terrain. The design forces mud to move from the center of the tire outwards, and is more or less self-cleaning.
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