HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE

Upgrade the right way By the staff of Dirt Wheels

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE
The California 300 “Contingency” 2022

The original-equipment tires that come on your ATV or UTV are good. However, they are not sourced for a specific type of riding or terrain. So, by the time you wear them out, you typically have an idea of the type of terrain you spend most of your time riding on. It’s at a time like this that a terrain-specific tire of your choice will improve the fun factor of your day on the trail. Based on the test rides we have completed over the years with these tires, we will let you know our favorites. However, all brands typically have tires for a wide range of uses, and it is likely they have something that fits your specific needs as well.

For sand riding, you would be surprised at how well your stock tires work. They are light and offer great floatation. However, if you get serious about riding sand, there are better options, especially for drag racing with high-horsepower machines.

 

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE
This is the aggressive sport quad tire from Obor and is great for rutted trails. The side lugs help keep you moving forward when you are leaning hard into a berm or the side of a deep rut.

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE: SPORT ATV

Your 2WD sport ATV comes with a light, comfortable tire that works great in terrain ranging from hard-packed to sand. In fact, in the cases of the Yamaha YFZ450 and Raptor 700, we often prefer the stock tire over a paddle in the dunes. However, if you are drag racing in the dunes or have heavy motor mods, you will want a more aggressive paddle. When selecting a paddle, remember this: a straight paddle will make you go straight. An angled or V-shaped paddle will allow you to turn and carve better than the straight paddle does.

If you are more into desert or woods riding, you will want to upgrade to a more durable tire. “Durable” can mean better puncture and cut resistance, longer tread wear or a combination of those traits. In the woods, you want a more aggressive knobby that will help get you through mud as well. Also, if your trails tend to be rutted, an aggressive side lug will help you get through those ruts.

In the desert, the sidewall lugs aren’t as important as durability and height. Finally, the opposite is true if you want to take your quad to the track. For the track, look for a lower-profile tire.

• ITP Holeshot; Top Choice: MX

• Maxxis Razr; Top Choice: Desert

• Obor Advent; Top Choice: Woods

The tires that come stock on your machine are good; however, they are not specific to your riding area. Wear out your stockers while you investigate what tires work where you want to ride. Photo credit: Obor/Iron Mountain Resort

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE: UTILITY/4X4 ATV

If you are using your machine for a tool on the ranch or hunting cabin, you are probably happy with the stock tires. However, some users might want something a bit more durable to reduce downtime. Additionally, something more trail specific may be in order if you ride twisty gravel-covered forest roads through muddy areas or even some pavement. Most companies offer a tire for these needs.

• ITP Trail Tamer; Top Choice: Pavement

• Sedona Mud Rebel R/T; Top Choice: All-around riding

• Obor Prianha; Top Choice: Woods riding and racing

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE
Sedona’s Rock-A-Billy excels on loose gravel roads and works very well everywhere else.
THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE
Not only is the M1 from Excel a good all-around tire, it has a lower price point than other comparable tires. See your dealer for exact pricing and sizes from 26/12–34/15 inches.
THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE
Don’t let the name fool you, the Sedona Mud Rebel RT is a great all-around tire.

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE: 4X4 MUD RIDING

Mud tires are ultimately designed for traction going forward and clean-out, so mud doesn’t build up between the lugs. Fortunately, some tire companies design their tires to ride smooth on the trails that get you out to the mud holes as well. If the lugs cross each other in the center of the tire, they tend to ride smoother. Depending on what part of the country you ride and at what park, those considerations will help you make the right buying decision. We suggest going to your local ride area on a busy weekend and see what tire is working the best. Keep in mind, the more aggressive tires are hard on drivetrain components. You also want to consider tire size. The bigger you go, the bigger lift you will need and more power the tires will rob from the engine. Bigger is not always better.

• EFX Moto Havok; Top Choice: Extreme mud

• ITP Mudlite; Top Choice: Light mud 

Landon Wolf has been winning championships with Obor tires for two years now. These same tires would work great on your 4×4 hunting quad as well.
THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE
Mud specific tires offer excellent cleanout and are smooth to ride on in the dry. EFX’s MotoHavok offers both and is available up to 45-inches tall.
Maxxis has two compounds of the Roxzilla—normal and sticky—and sizes from 30.5 to 34.5 inches tall.

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE: ROCKS

For rock crawling, you want a tire that is pliable and grips the different rock surfaces well. However, other than Moab, Utah, there are always other surfaces you have to ride to before getting to the rocks, so a versatile tire is what you want. CST, Maxxis and Obor all have rock-specific tires for UTVs. However, the other companies have tires that will work, too. Rock tires typically have a soft rubber compound and a flexible knobby that is not too tall with a mix of solid and siped lugs.

• Maxxis Roxzilla; Top Choice: Competition (Sizes for UTVs only)

• Obor Roc Monster; Top Choice: All around (Sizes for UTVs only)

• EFX MotoClaw; Top Choice: Utility ATV sizes

The unique Terra Master from GBC is a dual-directional tire that allows you to choose the traction action you are looking for. Swapping the tires around will prolong their service life as well.
Manufacturers are building race-specific tires that work well for all-around riding. You can bet they are long-lasting and very puncture-resistant. Obor’s latest Daemon tire just won the SCORE Open UTV Championship in Baja.
The Tensor DSR is a desert-racing-specific tire for larger UTVs. It won the 2022 Baja 1000 with Branden Sims at the wheel. If that’s not proof enough that it’s strong, we don’t know what is.

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT TIRE: HIGH-PERFORMANCE SXS

When choosing a high-performance UTV tire for mud or the rocks, the same selection process applies as it did for ATVs. However, in the desert or mountains, your tire selection should be more specific. Believe it or not, for sand riding, the stock (new) Maxxis Bighorn tires work very well on most UTVs. So, if you don’t ride in the dunes a lot, keep your Bighorns for that occasional dune trip. If dune riding is your thing, high-horsepower rigs require a taller paddle, and drag racers all want that straight-cut paddle, and the sizes all depend on your vehicle of choice.

On gravel-covered forest roads, you want to stick with a flatter knobby tire with lots of lugs and very little spacing. On hard-packed desert terrain with some sand, you can get away with a more open lug pattern. All conditions require a stronger sidewall. At a minimum you want an 8-ply tire, and if you are not concerned with weight, consider one of the 10-ply versions that will almost never leave you stranded.

• Sedona Rock-A-Billy; Top Choice: Forest

• ITP Ultra Cross; Top Choice: Desert EFX Motorally, Top Choice: Desert

• GBC Terra Master SQ; Top Choice: All around

• EXCEL M1 Evil; Top Choice: All around

• Tensor DSR; Top Choice: Racing

CONTACTS

Braven: www.bravenoffroad.com

CST: www.csttires.com

EFX: www.efxtires.com

Excel: www.exceltireandwheel.com

GBC: www.greenballtires.com

ITP: www.itptires.com

Maxxis: www.maxxis.com

Obor: www.obor-tires.com

Sedona: www.sedonatires.com

Tensor: www.tensortire.com

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