UTV desert tires from a car tire company By the staff of Dirt Wheels
BFGoodrich (BFG) has a long, impressive history in four-wheel off-road racing. Until recently, BFG only had tires for cars and trucks, but that has changed. UTV drivers can tap into that BFG history and racing success. BFG’s UTV tires only come in one tire size—30×9.5-15—so they won’t fit on the stock wheels. We tested the KR2s on a set of trick OMF beadlock wheels. The BFGs are about 2 pounds per tire heavier than the STI tires we tested in the last issue, and they are not DOT rated. BFG basically built these tires with desert racers in mind. The $258-per-tire price is discounted if you do compete in supported race series. That price gets you premium pit service in events like the Baja 1000, and we feel that quality pit service is invaluable.
ON THE TRAIL
From the first 5 feet that we rolled the RZR forward we could tell the BFGs had a lot more traction than we were familiar with. The knobs are gummy like an ATV tire, but the footprint is a little flatter like a truck tire, so they offer a big contact patch. Once we got moving the tires rolled very smoothly and didn’t feel overly heavy. In the loose, dirt-covered hard pack traction was abundant. The tires didn’t float at all. They were a little more darty instead. At high speeds they were very smooth and stayed glued to the dirt.
Around corners the front turn-in traction was amazing. The tires would grab and carve a very sharp corner. You could really notice the body roll of the stock RZR in the sharp corners. The back end was equally as grippy and would hardly slide at all.
Over the rough stuff the bump absorption was as good as other quality tires, and again you couldn’t even feel the smaller rocks we hit. We drive most UTVs in 4WD, and that’s what we did for this test, and all the tires were inflated to 20 psi. We didn’t like the way the BFG worked in the sand at 20 psi. The tires wandered a lot and wouldn’t stay in the ruts as well as we expected. They are better than many of the stock UTV tires for desert conditions but, at 20 psi, not perfect. We aired down to 15 psi and liked them much better in the sand.
WHAT WE THINK
If we were racing events like the Baja 1000 and needed the pit support that BFG offers, it wouldn’t take any convincing for us to buy the BFGs. They held up to our abuse very well and didn’t wear quickly. For casual trail riding we think they would work better on a wider, heavier car, as they provide more grip than we have ever had in a RZR. But with a narrow stock car it might be too much, and the extra weight is something we are very hesitant about adding, especially way out on the four corners. Contact www.jacksonmotorsportsgroup.com.