PRODUCT EVALUATION: MAXXIS ROXXZILLA
Like having suction cups for tires By Ray Gibb and the staff of Dirt Wheels
Maxxis UTV tires cover an enormous range. Many of the tires fall in a middle area where they work well everywhere. At the ends of the spectrum are specialty tires. Maxxis’ Roxxzilla is as specialized as tires come.
WHAT IT IS
Maxxis’ Roxxzilla ML7 is a tough 8-ply tire but is built with a flexible carcass to help the grippy tread and sticky rubber compound grab rock like a barnacle. Often referred to as “stickies,” these tires have a pencil-eraser-like durometer (rubber compound hardness) number. A small red “M” on the sidewall of the ML7 designates it the sticky version. Maxxis also offers the Roxxzilla in a 396 compound that is harder (with less grip) but lasts longer.
Our testing with the 32×10-14 tires took place in the dry western Mojave region. We have more time with the 35-inch version of the tire in southern Utah. There wasn’t much moisture in either location, but we did do river crossings with wet rocks, and hit rocks and slabs with wet tires.
Our test mules were a 2021 Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails & Rocks Edition that came with 30-inch tires and a Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000 that came with 31-inch tires. We had 32s on the XP 1000, but we drove on Roxxzilla 35s with the KRX. The 32s were brand new, but the 35s had over 2000 miles showing a good deal of tread wear. Once out on the trail the Polaris required a bit more throttle to get moving, and the steering felt a little heavier with the taller tires and running a lower air pressure in a soft, flexible tire.
The new 32-inch Roxxzilla tires have some serious grip! The XP was less willing to slide in corners on hardpack, even in 2WD. On the rocks, the machine felt like it had Velcro for tires! There is a level of grip we hadn’t ever experienced. We ran a conservative 15 psi, and they truly impressed us. Rock guys run around 7 psi! Grip at lower pressure is prodigious. On hardpack off-camber sections the OEM tires would slide down the slope, but not the ’Zillas! They stick. Surprisingly, the 35s with worn edges and reduced tread height still offered outstanding traction, and perhaps better traction on rocks.
Although not categorized as a sand tire, they work surprisingly well. In our local sand wash where the matrix is a combination of sand and tiny pebbles, the tires stayed up “on plane” and did not dig in. The exaggerated shoulder lugs add sidewall traction in the rocks also protect the tires from abrasions and punctures. These lugs also seemed to add a component of lift, which helps to keep the tires up and out of the deep ruts that occur with UTV traffic. They do fling a fair amount of soil up in the air on sandy corners!
Roxxzillas are not desert tires for high-speed running, but at the famed King of the Hammers UTV race there is a fast desert loop to start. It looked like well over half the field was running Roxxzillas with no problems. That includes the winners for the last three years!
Roxxzillas provide remarkable traction in almost any condition, especially rocks, but the sticky version will wear faster if used on hard surfaces. If you live near rocks or do rock crawling exclusively, these are your doughnuts! But, if you like to experience the many different facets of off-roading, have the Roxxzilla stickies on rims for rocks and other tires for general use, or else go with the normal compound version. Roxxzillas are available in 30- to 35-inch and in 14- and 15-inch rim sizes.
If you want a tire that is stunning for rocks but has a wide spectrum, then the Maxxis Roxxzilla—in either compound—is a great option. Go check out www.maxxis.com or a local Maxxis dealer to look at their full lineup of tires.