Rock and roll, and rolling rocks By the staff of Dirt Wheels
When we first saw the GBC Kanati Mongrel tires in action, we wondered if they were an automotive tire adapted to UTV use. Nope, they are designed for ATVs and UTVs.
When a tire company is building a tire for original equipment, they have a lot of demands to meet. It must offer traction in an extremely wide range of terrain. The tread should clean well in mud yet not be destroyed easily in rocks. The suspension department will want the tire to be as light as possible as well. The result is usually a tire that works fine everywhere, but not great anywhere. When you actually own the UTV or ATV and have some experience with the tires, you may not care about the parameters that seemed important to the designers. You want good traction, long wear and no flats.
GBC’s Kanati Mongrel is a tough, DOT-rated tire that offers excellent wear and good flat protection. GBC’s use chart rates the Kanati Mongrel as great for rocky terrain and general trail riding or driving for utility and 4×4 ATV and all sorts of UTVs. The tire is also rated great for pavement, but only good for sand. It isn’t recommended for deep mud, cross-country racing or closed-course motocross racing. We first noticed the tires when drivers looking for some extra height for clearance ran them in the King of the Hammers race. We like running the same size all the way around, and that is the way to go, since one spare covers everything. We run the 30×10-14 on 1000cc machines and 28x10x14 on 900s. GBC does offer other choices in sizing and are now offering a 10-ply for more flat resistance. The DOT-approved Mongrels have a flexible sidewall, and the sidewall flex really helps with added traction in the corners.
The tires we have the most time on are the eight-ply 30×10-14s on a 1000cc turbo. In this size the tires weigh 33 pounds each, and they retail for $210.77 each. At the moment GBC has 11 sizes, with the smallest being 26 inches and the largest being 32 inches. They can be had to fit rims between 12 and 15 inches. We ran the same-sized tires front and rear.
The DOT-approved Mongrels have a flexible sidewall, and the sidewall flex really helps with added traction in the corners. It also offers a more comfortable ride over chatter bumps, and the better sidewalls suck up quite a bit of the small bumps found on a lot of trails. The Mongrel is a very impressive tire with excellent traction. Obviously, given the closely spaced tread blocks, the traction is superior on packed surfaces or rocky terrain. Even though we were running tires that were narrower than stock in the rear, we found the performance quite good and consistent in sand. Most of the sand we encountered was coarse desert sand and not fine dune or beach sand. We did find that we liked to run relatively high air pressure. We run a minimum of 16 psi, and usually around 22 psi in the back, and 16 to 18 in the front. These tires also really last under conditions that shred general-purpose stock tires.
We originally noticed these tires when we saw off-road race teams running them. At the time there were not many choices in taller tires, and we assumed that was the primary reason that teams chose the Kanati Mongrel. Now that we have more experience with them, we are fans of the look, the performance and the wear. If we lived in a state that allowed limited street use for UTVs, we would like the DOT rating as well. We have ordered a set to try on a 4×4 ATV, and we will report back when we have miles on them. See your dealer or www.gbcmotorsports.com.