Built for fast and rough country

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

This photo was taken in the wet and muddy trail area. The traction in turns and climbs was impressive. We had to go into ruts, then climb out, and the handling was excellent.

Desert tires are a different breed compared to other UTV tires. Traction is essential, but it must be the proper traction. Tires that don’t come apart, get flats, or wallow around at speed are the goal. The tires must be tough. Whether you race or ride desert, you will hit rocks and rugged dirt ledges at speed, and you want tires that can take it.

We mentioned traction. Most tires are aimed at all the traction you can get, but a desert tire is looking for all the traction the machine can stand. When the tire gets off the ground, they slam back down to earth and bury hard into the surface. At speed, there are a lot of rotating parts spinning. When that tire grabs, it shouldn’t bite so hard that the axles, CV joints, and transmission components take a load they can’t survive. The courses tend to devolve into twin grooves that wrap around the tread surface. A desert tire will have a rounded profile to keep the tire from biting too hard on the sides.

Ideally, the tire should also be as lightweight as possible to allow the suspension to be active. The Daemon weighs a reasonable 39 pounds on a 33-inch tire.

That is relatively light for an 8-ply tire of that size. Tread spacing is closely spaced, and the lugs are not tall. As a result, the ride is smooth and quiet on hardpack. Traction gets more impressive as the surface gets firmer. Conversely, the softer the terrain, the more the tires spin. We hit some random dunes hiding behind rocky hills. Without a run, the car didn’t want to climb faces. Conversely, we hit a clay and rock area with tight, rutted trails. The location was muddy, with standing water and small ponds to cross. The tire cleaned well in the mud and worked better than expected. We hit some loose desert lines that climbed through sand mixed with rocks with no problem.

We installed the tires on a Polaris Pro R 4. That is a fairly heavy and high-speed machine. The feel of the Daemon tires is a little crisp compared to the stock tires. As a desert tire should, the Daemon showed negligible wear after long days in the rough and rocks.

Tire punctures can deflate and derail your day. We never had any punctures or pinch flats.

We installed the tires ourselves, and they mounted easily, seated quickly, and gave no trouble that you sometimes get with stiff tires. The stockers are rated at 32 inches, and setting them side by side, the 33s looked pretty close in size. As a result, there was no feel of a gearing change.

The tire’s rounded profile pays off when you start railing through the desert on rutted two-track. It grips well without catching and standing the car up. If it slides a little, it breaks loose smoothly and gets back in line quickly. It truly shines at speed. We learned to trust it, and if we couldn’t miss rocks, we learned not to cringe.

The Daemon is a good-looking tire designed with many biting edges to the tread blocks. It is 8-ply-rated, and we experienced no cuts or punctures in the tread or sidewall.
This angle shows how rounded the Daemon is. The rounded profile is welcome when you drop into a rutted turn, keeping the tire from catching suddenly.


This is a balanced, high-performance desert tire. It supplies a well-mannered ride while still providing a long tire life. We experienced a light, accurate steering feel. Launching from a stop, the tires grip well with minimal wheelspin. Once we were moving, a heavy throttle opening offered a strong drive forward. There is little tendency to stand up in turns or ruts. We only ran 15 psi in the desert. That resulted in a comfortable ride without signs of wallowing or rolling to the side. That is true when braking hard into corners and actively changing direction and speed.

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