Everyone has a different preference when it comes to ATV tires.
However, the majority of riders usually find themselves in one of two
categories: riders who focus on tread and riders who focus on air
capacity. No matter what you prefer, an upgrade is usually necessary to
keep your tires in the best shape possible.
First, you have to consider what machine your ATV tires are intended for in addition to what type of activities you plan on doing with your new tires. It's important to know what your intended purpose is for your tires, because this affects how the quad will be handled. However, if you are unsure what your purpose is or which category you may be a part of, it's usually best to go with an all-purpose ATV tire. All-purpose ATV tires may also go by a few other names, including trail tires, general purpose, OEM replacements, or all-terrain tires. Although these types of tires are great for a variety of different purposes, when you have a clear purpose in mind, and choose the tire accordingly, you can see incredible advancements in your overall performance in the activity of your choice.
Although trail atv tires aren't intended to enhance performance on any terrain in particular, they do offer excellent traction for a wide variety of different trail conditions. If you are most likely to encounter hard pack, mud, stone, and various terrain within this realm, all-purpose tires are the best fit for your needs. Unlike all-purpose tires, mud tires are easy to distinguish because they are characterized by thinly dispersed tread with sharp angles. This odd design comes with a clear purpose: to gain traction on unstable ground and to free mud and other debris from the tire to eliminate interference with the tire's rotation. It may be obvious by the name, but mud tires are specifically designed for muddy terrain. If you tend to enjoy the best of dry and wet terrain, it might be better to consider another type of tire.
Just like mud tires, it's easy to distinguish sand tires due to their unique tread patterns. Rear sand tires usually display cup-shaped tread propellers which keeps the ATV running smooth by eliminating any loose sand. Front sand tires feature either a single or pair of continuous rudders and often resemble slick tires used in racing. Of all the different terrain-specific tires available, sand tires are the most specific and should only be considered by those who spend the majority of their time on the dunes or other primarily sandy regions.
Sport performance tires (also known as racing tires) are great for maintaining traction on medium terrain, hard packed terrain, and everything in between. You can identify these types of tires by their even distribution of x-shaped knobs all around. Compared to other styles, racing tires are more low profile and often give off a square-shaped appearance when placed on a rim.
If you're still not sure about what type of tire is best for you, consider some of the top entries in each of the categories mentioned below.
Sport ATV Tires
Sport atv tires are typically designed for high performance when lapping around the MX track or cruising through the GNCC course. Especially designed for aggressive trail riding, you can find a great line of performance-enhancing designs from ITP's Holeshot selection of sports tires. The ITP brand used to only product a single model; however, recently the brand has come out with a wide variety of different Holeshot designs that offer distinctions in ply thickness and tread patterns. Each unique design was made specifically for events like motocross, supercross, Grand National Cross Country, woods and trail riding, rocks and roots riding, and rut and off-cambers riding. One of the cons of the ITP Holeshot collection is that they can cost a pretty penny. If you're looking for a cheaper cost with a comparable performance, consider Maxxis' Razr selection or Carlisle Trail Products collection of Badlands tires.
Mud ATV Tires
If you're a mudder by birth, the Mudzilla by Maxxis is the ultimate mudding tire to keep you performing at your best while out on the goo. With a massive tread bar design, you can count on ultimate traction for a smoother ride on harder surfaces. The unique tread pattern is also ideal for better flex in highly muddy areas, while the six-ply rating ensures your protection against punctures on the unpredictable terrain. To keep you extra protected, the Maxxis Mudzilla comes with a safety-enhancing rim guard which offers ultimate protection for your wheels against rocks and other inconsistencies in the mud pit. This high protection does comes with a cost, so riders on a budget should consider alternative tire types, such as the Mud Bug radial by Maxxis and the Outlaw MST mud tire by High Lifter Products.
All-purpose tires are great for establishing traction in a wide spectrum of terrain. Because of this all-encompassing protection, you've got a safe bet with many different manufacturers. GBC has the Grim Reaper, which combines an aggressive tread pattern with deep wrap-around shoulder lugs to give you uncompromising performance and traction. This new 8-ply rated all-terrain radial is constructed with a zigzag center ridgeline, for superior puncture resistance and enhanced rider comfort. GBC Motorsports carries a wide line of performance ATV tires for all types of terrains and riders. Another great All-Terrain ATV Tire by GBC is the Dirt Devil, GBC's best selling ATV tire of all time. Its original directional tread design was developed to provide exceptional traction in dirt, gravel, hard pack, and light mud terrains. Each lug is dimpled with more biting edges for better traction, and reinforced for a more stable and durable footprint. Built with a 6-ply rated carcass, the DIRT DEVIL also provides superior durability and puncture resistance. Carlisle Trail Products makes the AT489 all-purpose tire, which is an affordable and uniquely designed all-purpose tire that adapts to a variety of terrain. For riders willing to spend, the Bandits series by Titan is one of the most popular tires for trail riders everywhere. For a high-performance tire that goes a little easier on your budget, the Dirt Devil by GBC is the ultimate budget-friendly design.
When it comes to sand tires, it doesn't get much better than the performance of GBC sand tires. With the latest in sand tire technology, the SAND SHARK is GBC Motorsport's best selling sand tire ever. The classic V-angled paddle design churns sand and ensures traction and excellent cornering and turning stability. Also its lightweight construction ensures maximum performance.