PRODUCT EVALUATION: TUSK MEGABITE TIRE AND UINTA BEADLOCK WHEEL
Attractive traction at a nice price By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC’s Tusk house-brand tires have been joined by the intermediate-terrain Megabite 8-ply radial tire for UTVs. Our test tires came in 32×10-15 mounted on Tusk Uinta 15×5 beadlock rims. If you buy tires and wheels together, they come mounted at no cost. They ship with cardboard over the face of the wheel and fully wrapped in plastic film. It is luxurious to have the wheel combo ready to go. Compact lug nuts are required but are not included.
The tires are a realistic 32 inches tall, and the 15-inch rim size is required to clear the brakes on the Pro XP. The bolt pattern is shared with the Kawasaki KRX. Our RZR Pro XP 4 Ultimate came with 30-inch tires on cast-aaluminum wheels that weigh 46 pounds. We switched to 32-inch Megabites (37.8 pounds) to gain ground clearance. The stock tires and wheels worked great, but we dragged the skid plate often.
The Megabites range from roughly $130 to $200 each, and the Tusk Uinta beadlock wheels (18.8 pounds) are a reasonable $169.99 each. The tires and wheels weigh 56.6 pounds. That is pretty light for a 32-inch on a beadlock wheel.
The Megabite has a rounded shape and open tread pattern. Most desert tires have close tread blocks. The Megabite’s tread pattern and 3/4-inch-tall tread blocks are aimed at traction on intermediate to soft terrain. The sidewalls are protected by a protruding rubber design, which helps in ruts and protects from punctures. Wear is quite good, but the tires are not DOT rated, so no running them on pavement in states where that is allowed. We appreciate that the Uinta wheel has a minimum amount of offset.
The Megabite excels on intermediate to soft surfaces, but we had no issues with packed and rocky terrain. It handles sand, loam and light mud very well with impressive traction. It isn’t a serious deep-mud tire, but it has great range. We haven’t driven with it in dunes, but we wouldn’t hesitate given the performance in sand washes.
Beadlock wheels keep the outer tire bead on the rim at low air pressures or while driving with a flat. We had no flats, but it was comforting knowing we had beadlocks.
It tracks well at speed or slow with a light, accurate steering feel. Launching from a stop, the tires grip well with minimal wheelspin. After you are moving, heavy throttle opening continued to offer strong drive forward, but there is little tendency to stand up in turns or ruts. We ran only 15 psi in the desert. That resulted in a comfortable ride, but without signs of wallowing or rolling to the side. That is true when braking hard into corners and actively changing direction and speed.
Despite going up 2 inches in tire size, the RZR Pro XP felt like it was born with them. We didn’t notice any problems with the size change.
The Tusk Megabite competes favorably with great all-around tires, and it is reasonably priced. They come in sizes from 27 inches to 34 inches. Add a Uinta beadlock wheel and you have a winning combination. Uinta wheels come in Matte Black, black with milled edges and Gunmetal/Matte Black. All beadlock ring hardware is 5/16-inch Grade 8. Each wheel has a 1200-pound load rating, so they have capacity to spare on a UTV. Screw-on center caps are included. The wheels currently come in 14×4 and 14×5 or 15×5.
To get your own set of these 8-ply radial tires, go to www.rockymountainatvmc.com or call (800) 336-5437.