TUSK KEVLAR TERRABITE TIRES
— Testing them on Wasatch Beadlock wheels —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Tread with fresh edges just grips the dirt in such a satisfying way. Double that feeling when you get a tire that is perfectly suited to the terrain you drive. Rocky Mountain ATV MC’s house brand Tusk offers the Terrabite radial tires and have been joined in new sizes including 32×10-15. The tires measure 31.5 inches tall, and the 15-inch rim size is popular on the Polaris RZR S. The RZR S has nice, light conventional wheels with 32-inch ITP Coyote tires. The stock combination has worked well. Rocky Mountain only sells the 32×10-15 Terrabite in the Kevlar version. If you buy two or four tires with wheels, you have the option of ordering them mounted and ready to go. We went that route. The tires are $184.99 each, and the Tusk Wasatch beadlock wheels are a very reasonable $134.99 each!
The Kevlar Terrabite tire uses tough Kevlar layers rather than steel belts. Most steel-belted tires use the steel only in the tread area, but the Terrabite’s more flexible Kevlar belts run from bead to bead for increased sidewall cut and puncture resistance. The 8-ply Kevlar Terrabite tread pattern is a desert-style tire that has a wide surface area, but the Terrabite rounds nicely on the edges for cornering. The sidewalls are protected by a protruding rubber design, which helps in ruts and protect it from punctures. The truck-style tread pattern provides multi-surface performance and long-term wear while meeting DOT standards.
The tread design has reasonable lug spacing, but it excels on intermediate-to-hard and rocky surfaces. It will handle sand and light mud, but it isn’t a serious mud tire. We have used it in the dunes and sand washes with good results, but it spins more than a true intermediate tire, like the Maxxis Bighorn.
Our wheel package came nicely packaged and protected. Wasatch wheels come in gloss black with machined face highlights like ours or in full Matte Black. The wheels require spline-drive lug nuts.
Beadlock wheels keep the outer bead on the rim at low air pressures or while driving with a flat. The Tusk wheels in 15-inch only come in a +2 offset. Our Turbo S track width was 72 inches stock and 76 inches with the Tusk wheels and tires. The Wasatch rims weigh 20 pounds each. The combined weight of the tire and rim is 59.5 pounds. The stock wheel and tire weigh 58 pounds. A beadlock wheel is always heavier with the bead ring and 20 bolts that lock the ring and bead down.
When we mounted wheels with 2 inches more offset on a 64-inch RZR XP 1000, we felt heavy steering and increased bump-steer. We didn’t notice any problems on the 72-inch Turbo S designed for 32-inch tires. You’ll want to make sure your trailer (if you use one) and your trails will take the added width. We set all four tires at 15 psi for the high desert. Our first impression was that the ride was very nice. The tires roll over rocks and bumps well. We have always been happy with the traction and steering of the Terrabites, and this larger Kevlar version is no different. It hooks up well and has a cushy ride quality that still maintains clean control while pushing the pace.
Tread wear is very good, and with lugs that are 0.75 inches tall, they will offer a good, long life. We drove through miles of sharp rocks with no trouble, and we had no punctures or tears in the tires.
The Tusk Terrabite tire competes with some great desert tires, and it is reasonably priced. Sizes for the Kevlar version are 27×9-12, 27x-11-14, 30×10-14, 30×10-15, 32×10-14 and finally 32×10-15. Add a beadlock wheel while adding a negligible amount of weight and you have a winning combination. To get your own set of these 8-ply radial tires, go to rockymountainatvmc.com or call (800) 336-5437.