GBC KANATI TERRA MASTER TIRES
— TESTING THE NEW DUAL TREAD PATTERN TIRE —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
When we first saw the GBC Motorsports Kanati Terra Master tire, we were intrigued with the unique tread pattern that GBC calls “asymmetrical non-directional.” For those of us who like smaller words, the tire has two different tread patterns. It is essentially divided along the center with tread for harder surfaces on one side and more sideway lugs and open space on the other. The sides of the tire are labeled “side A” and “side B.” We ordered a set of 30×10-14 tires to mount on our stock wheels.
GBC Motorsports’ Kanati line already has a great reputation as an effective desert tire with the Mongrel. The new Kanati Terra Master has a very different look to the tread design compared to the Mongrel. According to GBC, the “specially designed tread pattern gives you the benefits of two tires in one. With two distinctive sides to choose from, you can customize your tire setup to your vehicle application, and your driving style.”
Side A is for soft to intermediate surfaces and side B is for intermediate to hard terrain. Our closest OHV area is mostly hard surface with a lot of rocks, so we mounted the tires ourselves with side B out. That puts the side of the tires with the most closely spaced tread blocks to the outside. Like most aftermarket tires, the GBC Kanati Terra Masters come in a single width for each size. We installed the tires on stock Polaris RZR XP Turbo 4 Dynamix wheels that are not all the same size; the rear wheels are wider. Once we broke the beads, the tires changed easily with normal tire irons. The fronts seated easily, but we ended up having to take the rear wheels to a tire shop to get them seated.
We were instantly impressed with the traction on the packed surfaces. From our usual staging area there are two brutal climbs in the first two miles, and the second one has jagged rock slabs. On rocks, the Terra Master tires gripped like glue. The narrower rears drift out a little under turbo power, but smoothly and with good control. When we did hit softer dirt, there was more wheelspin than with the stock all-surface tires.
When we realized that there are no double-sided rims and that we would need to flip each tire on the wheel, we wondered who would actually go through that trouble. As it turned out, we would. If all the wheels had been 8-inch ones, or if they had been beadlock wheels, it would have taken only about 30 minutes to reverse the tires on the rims. We did struggle seating the wide rims, but otherwise the job was easy. We had Zip-Ty Racing motorcycle tire irons, a Harbor Freight 110-psi air compressor and a $60 Harbor Freight car tire-changing stand. The tire stand has a built-in bead breaker that works great.
You wouldn’t think that simply changing the outside half of the tread would make that much of a difference. The tire has the same footprint, but having the sideways tread blocks at the outside edges of the tire made a huge difference in forward drive in sand and soft soil. Steering was very solid and accurate as well. With the narrower rears, the rear still drifts a bit in turns, but our RZR really handled very nice.
The stock tires are a bit lighter at 30.4 pounds, but they are six-ply, and the GBCs are 35.4 pounds each for tires that are 10-ply rated! We had no flats during the test. Running the RZR Turbo 4 hard in the rocks and romping the throttle hard on packed roads did produce a little wear, but not much.
Even with the 10-ply construction and slightly heavier tire weight, the suspension action and ride are quite pleasant.
After trying the tires on side A and side B, we would probably run them on side A for the majority of our driving situations, but we are willing to swap them for rock crawling or truly hard surface driving. These tires are DOT rated as well.
GBC has accomplished a couple of important things with the Kanati Terra Master tire. For one, it made the tire stand out in the crowd of UTV hopefuls. It created a tire with an amazing wide range, though the fact that the tires must be removed from the rims to utilize that full range may be a problem for some. It also created a 10-ply tire with great traction and a very pleasant ride. Those are all good things, and they combine to make a tire that we really enjoy driving with.
Go to www.gbcmotorsports.com to see the full line of GBC tires.