Considerations Before Upgrading Your ATV Tires
When the trail conditions are just right, riding in the off-road on your ATV can seem like heaven. However, all good things come to an end, including the life of your ATV tires. With such a wide variety of models and manufacturers to choose from, finding a quality replacement for your tires can be a bit confusing and intimidating. However, we there are several considerations to keep in mind before upgrading your ATV tires. In this guide, we take a closer look at what features are most important throughout the process of shopping for new ATV tires to help you make the best investment.
Considerations Before Upgrading Your ATV Tires
Buying new ATV tires for the first time can be terrifying, but here are some features you should think carefully about!
Size: ATV tires come with a lot of information printed right on the sidewalls, but this information might as well be written in Latin if you are just getting into the off-roading lifestyle. When there is one block of numbers on the tire sidewall, you can usually understand the following from left to right: tire width in millimeters, aspect ratio, speed rating, radial construction, and rim diameter in inches. We recommend replacing your old tires with new tires of roughly the same height and width to ensure optimum component fitness, engine power, gearing, and handling.
Should you decide to bend the rules a little bit, here are a few things to think about. A smaller diameter tire will reduce the overall speed and increase the overall engine RPM but it will sometimes allow for quicker acceleration. Riding on too small of an ATV tire can cause stress on the axels, engine, and transmission. A larger diameter tire will increase the top end speed and overall speed while decreasing both the engine RPM and hole shot speed. Riding on too large of an ATV tire can also cause stress on a number of components and overheat the engine. Riding on a tire that is too wide can wreak havoc on both steering and suspension components while riding on a tire that is too narrow will decrease the amount of tread pattern that contacts the ground.
You should also take sidewall height into consideration. Most ATV tires had very tall sidewalls, but manufacturers have recently started making tires that will accept rims up to 12 and 14 inches in height. The sidewall size will determine how stiff the tire is as well as how much it flexes, how comfortable it is to ride on, and how resistant it is to both punctures and slices. We recommend staying as close to the original equipment size as you can or at least striking a balance.
Tread Design: There are many different tread designs to choose from, but the one you choose should depend on the type of terrain you will be riding on most often. An all-terrain tire will give you excellent traction on pavement but it might not perform as well in the muddy conditions of a trail. That being said, you should choose a high-quality all-terrain tire if you plan on doing a little bit of everything. Sand tires are typically wider than a standard tire and feature a wave-like tread. Mud tires feature an angled, wide tread pattern that allows them to disperse dirt and debris. Racing tires feature a flat-top, knobby construction that is ideal for hard-packed courses and trails. Snow tires feature a wide and deep enough tread pattern to effectively grip the snow, but some even come with tire chains. Rocky terrain tires feature a tighter tread pattern with deep, angled grooves for increased contact and exceptional traction.
Tire Construction: Every ATV tire on the market is made using a special combination of polymers, but you should focus on the ply rating and belt type construction to make the best decision. When it comes to sport riding, you will want to look for tires with lower ply ratings for better control and traction on high inclines with a minimal load. If you are hoping to pull medium to heavy loads in muddy or slushy conditions, you will want to look for tires with higher ply ratings.
Another consideration to keep in mind is whether you would like to ride on flat-top tires or round-top tires. Flat-top tires allow for more tread contact on the ground as well as sidewall stability, so you can execute power slides in a more controlled environment. Round-top tires are more versatile and will perform better in soft or slushy environments.
Price will also play an important role in your decision to purchase new ATV tires. On average, you can expect to pay between $200 and $400 for a brand-new set of ATV tires. However, you should come up with a realistic budget before settling on a specific brand. Last but not least, you should take into account how much weight a new set of specialty tires will add to the overall weight of your machine. Heavy tires will put an additional load on your engine and its components as you ride, but a large displacement engine should have no trouble pulling most after-market tires.
By keeping these considerations in mind before upgrading your ATV tires, you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you made a smart decision. At Can-Am Parts Nation, we offer a broad selection of tires for a wide variety of Can-Am ATV models. One of our representatives would be happy to help you find the best solution for your ATV.