AMS PACTRAX TIRES
— DIRT WHEELS TIRE TEST —
Great grip at a great price —
Some say that traditional, solid-axle sport quads are dead and that there is no point in directing product development towards them. We have two problems with that thinking: there are more far more beloved sport ATVs in the garages of off-road enthusiasts than there are UTVs, and modern IRS 4×4 quads are sport quads. AMS knows that truth, and they support our love of quads with tires that grip at costs that are easy on the wallet. We picked up a set of their Pactrax tires mounted to their aluminum, rolled-lip wheels. We immediately headed to a WORCS race at Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California to test the tires on the harsh desert and motocross-style GP course.
AMS designed the Pactrax tires purely for use on recreational sport quads and for racing quads as well. The tires have a flat-resistant six-ply construction for the carcass while still maintaining great traction in 21–22-inch front tires and 20–22-inch-sized rear tires. The motocross version of these tires have a four-ply carcass for the 18-inch rear and 20-inch front tires.
The front Pactrax tires are multi-directional and are designed to provide steering and cornering control on many different types of terrain. The new Pactrax II rear tire provides more traction and bite than the previous model, and the tires are non-directional so you can get a longer lifespan out of the tread. The tread blocks are made of a somewhat soft yet durable rubber compound that promotes traction yet gets long life out of the tire. These tires have a good clean-out design and a wide surface area to provide as much grip as they can for hardpack, sand and slick terrain.
The course that WORCS setup was multiple miles of motocross track, rough and rocky desert, sand and even an asphalt section. We pitted these tires against a set of GBC XC Masters with interesting results. The AMS tires were quite comparable to the GBC tires. Straight-line traction was impressive from the rear tires. Our tester could land from a jump and instantly pick up forward momentum without too much tire spin. Sliding the rear of our Honda TRX450R around corners was controllable, while lesser tires would cause the machine to try to spin out on dry hardpack.
The front Pactrax tires traveled the direction that we pointed the Honda’s front wheels. The front end of the quad would occasionally push a little bit more than we wanted it to, but that was our only complaint. Generally, they helped the machine corner very well, let the quad pull itself through ruts and we didn’t get any flats on the rocky desert terrain of Glen Helen’s GP sections. You can pick yourself up a set of Pactrax tires starting at $43.95 each and wheels starting at $75.95 each.