PRODUCT EVALUATION STI VORTEX 27-INCH PADDLE TIRES Big tires for big power
q For dedicated dune riding, having a set of paddles on your UTV makes things much more fun. However, the power from the newest big-bore UTVs and ATVs (e.g., the Commander, RZR XP, Wildcat, Outlander, Sportsman, Brute Force or Thundercat) have smaller, 25- and 26-inch paddles spinning and begging for mercy. Sure, you could opt out for a 26.5-inch buggy tire, like the ones from Fullerton Sand Sports?and those tires are incredible in the sand. The problem is, however, they can run you over $200 a tire, which is approaching truck-tire prices. STI has been hard at work in the development lab and has just released their newest UTV fitment?the 27-inch Vortex V-Roll paddle tire.
BIG SIZE FOR BIG POWER
The reasoning behind such a big tire is simple: having nearly 100 horsepower run through a 25- or 26-inch tire works, but it isn’t as efficient as a larger tire with more paddles. The molded-in, 20mm paddles on the V-Roll are 14 inches wide for incredible grip, and the four-ply tires are soft enough to squat out and provide great flotation. We got them mounted up on a set of STI’s HD Alloy wheels, which added even more of a trick look to our RZR XP. As of now, the tires are only available in 27×11-14 front and 27×14-14 rear sizes for $159.72 and $196.02 each, respectively. That’s about as top of the range as ATV-specific tires get, as most 26-inch paddles can be had for $500?$600 a set online (four tires). We found a set of four Vortex V-Roll tires for $659 online, so pricing isn’t too far off. Call STI to find your nearest dealer at (318) 255-0049.
BUILT TO PERFORM
We bolted up the HD Alloy wheels and Vortex V-Roll paddles to our resident RZR XP 900, which also had a set of Barker’s Performance dual-exhaust pipes. The tires hook up well off the line, digging in 3?4 inches until they bite hard and rocket the XP off the line. The front mohawk-style tires turn extremely well in soft sand, especially when the ground is moist. The XP’s power was transmitted to the ground with authority, thanks to each paddle offering over 11 inches of pure surface area. They grip well in a straight line, but having only eight paddles, the rear tires break loose and slide without hooking like a drag paddle. As an overall duning tire, they’re phenomenal.
HITS AND MISSES
Performance-wise, the Vortex V-Roll tires are a home run. Great looks, a strong carcass and huge grip all make the UTV?or ATV?duning experience a blast. However, they are expensive! At $659 a set, we can almost get tires to fit our truck for the same price. Good thing is, this set of paddles will most likely last the life of your UTV if you take care of them, and, hey, can you really put a price on performance?
Contact STI Tire & Wheel at (318) 255-0049 or www.stitireandwheel.com. Prices are $159.72 (front, 27×11-14) and $196.02 (rear, 27×14-14) each.q
The V-Roll’s front ribbed design helps with bite in corners, keeping steering responsive and crisp.The tall, 27-inch tires have plenty of paddle for forward bite, but they will still slide.