q The most popular replacement tires for UTVs have a non-directional, hard-terrain, all-purpose tread pattern. One of the best selling of these tires has been the Big Horn from Maxxis. From the beginning, its indestructible carcass has been able to hold up to heavy UTVs.
But what if you are happy with the stock directional tires your UTV comes with? With the introduction of the new Vipr, Maxxis has you covered there too. This tire has a radial construction like most stock treads and is six-ply rated. For our first look at this product, we mounted up a set of 27x14s on a new Yamaha Rhino.
We wrapped the new Maxxis rubbers around four of STI’s HD2 wheels, which retail for around $90 a piece. These wheels are an eight-spoke design that really make any tire or vehicle stand out. The wheels have a popular matte-black finish with bright, machined aluminum accents on each spoke. Another asset of this wheel is that it is available in a stock offset, so if you have a Polaris RZR and want to keep it narrow, this is the only aftermarket wheel available to you. The wheel is also available in 12-, 14- and 15-inch sizes. (Yes, you will start seeing 15-inch tires/wheels on ATVs and UTVs in the near future). See more on these wheels at www.sti
The new Maxxis Vipr tire is constructed specifically for side-by-sides and UTVs. Even though the radial only has a six-ply rating, it is as thick and tough as an eight-ply. For example, this tire took extra effort to mount since the sidewalls and contact patch are tough and not as flexible as we are used to working with. However, these findings translate to extra protection on the trail. And with heavier side-by-sides, you want as strong of a tire as you can get.
Fully mounted and aired up to a test pressure of 10 pounds, the tires look great. Even at 27 inches tall, we never had the tires rubbing the fenders on our stock Rhino. The Vipr’s feature a directional, V-pattern, 1-inch-tall lug pattern.
There is nothing more we like to do than to see if we can get products to fail. Well, in this case, we failed. The Maxxis Vipr was so strong—no matter what we drove over—we could not get the tire to puncture. We hit square-edge ruts, huge rocks and piles of sharp sticks without a single puncture. Many miles of our testing was in goopy mud, and the tall lugs cleared quickly.
As for traction, the new Vipr tires far exceeded our expectations. Not only were they smooth on hardpack, they stayed glued to the ground while still riding just as smooth as the much thinner stockers. In the sand, we were very relieved that the new Vipr tracked much straighter than the Maxxis Big Horns.