— TIRE TESTING, By the staff of Dirt Wheels —
Now that we’re in fall and winter is fast approaching, we’re starting to get the itch to get a little mud on the tires. But, there’s nothing worse than going into battle with mud without the proper weapon. I’m sure we’ve all been in some mucky situations on our quads or UTVs without the proper tread installed, and we ended up losing some of those gooey battles. But, that doesn’t mean we must lose the war!
Our 2017 Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 has been put through the paces racing desert, trail riding and even towing trailers around the house. We were excited to test it in mud. However, we knew our all-terrain tires weren’t going to cut it. One call to GBC Motorsports and we had a cache full of weapons heading our way to slay the mud.
MOLDED FROM ZEUS HIMSELF
The GBC Spartacus gets its name from a Thracian gladiator from the Roman Empire era, and there is a reason the two correlate—the tire can take a beating and still win! The Spartacus has an eight-ply-rated radial design. The directional design adds traction in muddy terrain, and the sword-shaped lugs have large clean-out areas to dissipate the sloppy terrain. A rim guard was built into the tire to help protect the wheels from harm. Tire sizes range from 25×8-12 all the way to the monster 32×10-14 sizes. We opted for the 27×9-14 size on all four corners. Each tire weighs in at 27 pounds. That’s not shabby for an eight-ply design.
THIS IS SPARTACUS!
The Spartacus has a stiff sidewall that we can appreciate. Heavier machines tend to get less flats with a stiff sidewall, especially while running low tire pressure. The heavy-duty tires are tougher on install, though, but with a good air compressor and some ratcheting tie-downs, we installed all four tires onto the OMF beadlock wheels quickly.
We were happy to see how well rounded the Spartacus tires are. Most mud tires tend to make a lot of noise, have a bouncy feeling at speed and turning isn’t precise. But, the Spartacus tires were quiet, handled over 70 miles an hour like a dream and turned as well as an all-terrain. They were impressive on the hardpack roads leading us to the mud. We couldn’t believe these were mud tires. Naturally, mud is where these tires really shine. We tested in some small mud holes in California, and it ate them for lunch. Then we tested them during a desert race on the border of Utah and Idaho that had large mud holes throughout the course. The Scrambler slowed a bit in high gear, but the large lugs on the Spartacus tires ripped us through to the other side unscathed. One hiccup on our end is that we went with 27-inch tires, and that size ended up rubbing on the rear fenders when the shocks bottomed out. However, the 27-inch all-terrains did not rub at all. A 26-inch Spartacus would have cleared the fenders easily, even when the rear shocks were fully compressed.
Whether you’re in training or a full mud gladiator, this tire does it all! The Spartacus tire starts at $94.99. For more information, visit www.gbcmotorsports.com.