ATV Tire’s Buyer’s Guide – Best ATV Tires


ATV/UTV popularity continues to grow. Aftermarket ATV tires are the biggest and best upgrade investment a rider can make. Durable, brand name tires help improve gas mileage. Radial construction helps provide a smoother ride.

Finding the best, high quality ATV tires are affordable, durable, long-lasting, and make work easier and recreation more fun even in the most remote or severe terrain. The best tires should also effectively perform in a variety of weather conditions including mud, snow, water, or sand.

Selecting the right ATV/Quad tire depends on the terrain and individual riding style. For example, riding the dunes without a paddle tire will at best be frustrating. Conversely, a paddle tire is not suitable for mud and snow.

Types of ATV Tires

There are two basic types of ATV tire construction: Bias and Radial.

Bias tires designed and intended for use on rough terrain or steep hillsides. They have nubs designed to aggressively dig in and gain traction in and on unstable terrain (mud, water, gravel, etc.). As a result, bias tires provide a rough and bumpy ride on flat, hard surfaces and roads. The tread tends to wear out quickly. However, it is easier and cheaper to repair punctures, etc. than radial construction tires. Bias construction tires are hard on fuel economy and considered to be less stable as radials.

Radial tires are designed for smooth surfaces, flat roads, and high speeds. As a result, they provide a smoother ride. Fuel economy is better due to the more flexible construction. However, radials are more easily punctured or damaged and more expensive to repair. When properly maintained, they last longer than bias tires.

All-Purpose/All Terrain Tires

All-Purpose or All-Terrain tires are intended for use both on- and off-road. The design is a compromise between loose terrain traction and smooth, safe highway riding. All-purpose/all-terrain tires are manufactured from more durable materials with hybrid tread patterns for longer wear under a variety of terrain and road surfaces.

Off-Road Tires

Off-road tires (“knobbies”) are deep tread, wide-grooved tires that provide more traction on unpaved surfaces and terrain, such as loose dirt and gravel, rock, mud, sand, etc. Off-road tires are similar to all-purpose types, but made of stronger, more durable tread that holds tightly to unimproved narrow mountain trails, to high speed wide open dunes and desert riding, to hard-packed trails and solid surfaces, as well as dirt/loam.

Mud & Snow Tires

Snow tires are specialized. There are few manufacturers that exclusively produce winter tires dedicated for ATVs, Quads, and UTVs. Combined mud and snow ATV tires are typically strong and durable and built to resist direct impacts and punctures. The large high knobs are traction patterns that displace snow and mud elements that ordinarily slow down forward progress. Although these tires are quite effective in mud and snow, they can chew up and damage other terrain. As a result, mud and snow ATV tires should not be expected to provide smooth riding on hard surfaces.

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Sand Tires

Dunes and desert riding requires a combination of a nearly-slick (with a single rib) front tire and a beefy paddle rear tire, which may be straight or V-shaped. Straight paddles afford more traction (faster forward and hill-climbing action), while the V-shape paddle allows easier turning. The more paddles the tire has, the better traction the rider gains. The combination of slick and paddle tires provides overall steering, maneuverability, and traction.

Racing/Motocross Tires

Racing/Motocross demands the toughest, most durable tires that provide the highest level of performance. They must grip as well as stand the stresses of jumps and other course obstacles. A wide-spaced solid tread pattern provides traction on the loose dirt track. Stiff knobs provide consistent cornering. A solid center strip aids acceleration.

Choosing the Best ATV Tires

It is easy to see that the “best” ATV tire is the one that first, suits the individual’s needs, and secondly, has the best affordable durability and performance record. Aftermarket tires that are constructed differently from stock can significantly change ATV performance. Different construction types affect how well tires function on different terrains.

Appropriate selection according to where you ride and the type of terrain the tires will be subjected to is important. Tires not well-suited to the terrain and/or conditions will wear out quickly, costing a lot of added expense for replacements. Damaging the ATV is another possibility.

In addition to the following tire and price basics, the customer should also be sure to research the company and/or vendor regarding availability of basic and extended warranties as well as attentive and satisfactory customer service contact numbers.

Price

Affordability is important. Obviously you want the best tire money can buy. Recreational ATVs are not typically used every day so ATC tires are therefore a specialty item. The price should reflect what the individual can logically afford as well as the brand and tire quality, durability, performance, and use/terrain application.

Traction

ATV tires must be able to simultaneously adjust to the power and load as well as negotiate the terrain to keep you going forward. Whether it’s for fun, for work or hauling, or just getting out of a jam, marsh, or snowpack, you want to be certain the tread pattern provides enough traction in different terrain conditions to get the job done.

Ride

User satisfaction hinges on the ride. Not all tires provide an absolutely smooth right, but they should provide user confidence in how the vehicle handles, can be controlled, and adapts to road conditions.

Durability

The ATV tire cannot fail because of common and continued encounters with sticks and logs, thorns and briars, rocks and loose gravel, inclines and cliffs, or other varied hazards. The best tires are durable, puncture and damage resistant and about to take normal ATV punishment and reliably keep you going.

Best ATV Tires

The following are some, but by no means all, of the more popular ATV tires on the market. They include lightweight, mud and snow, motocross, and all terrain models.

ITP Mud Lite Kenda Bearclaw Kenda Scorpion Kenda Executioner Carlisle HD Field Trax
Construction Bias Bias Bias Bias Bias
Weight 14.4lbs. 17.4lbs. 27 lbs. 20.4 lbs. 27.4 lbs
Dimensions 26 x 26 x 12 inches 25 x 25 x 8 inches 23.5 x 23.5 x 8.4 inches 23 x 23 x 7.9 inches 25 x 25 x 13 inches
Rim 12 in. 12 in. 12 in. 8 in. 9 in.
Tread Width 0.75 in. 0.5 in. 1.0 in. 0.68 in.
Section Width 12 in. 12 in. 12 in. 8 in. 25 in.
Aspect Ratio 8 8 9.5 13
Cust. Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars 4.9 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars

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ATV Tire Reviews

These ATV tires are based on type, product specifications, use/users, and customer reviews (No. 1 being “the Best”).

5. Kenda K538 Executioner Front Tire – 25x8x12 085381245C1

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The Kenda K538 Executioner is a lightweight, bias construction mud tire that has grown as the sport has grown. It has an aggressive 4 x 4 tread designed for maximum depth traction. The tread was dimpled for improved traction on dryer surfaces. Reinforced knobs reduce knob rollover at low pressure. They also increase tread life. The 6-ply rating 2+2 casing adds increased puncture resistance and improves handling.

Pros Cons
• Cost

• 6-ply rating

• Rim protector; protects against rock/rut damage

• Parts warranty
• Very bumpy ride on hard packed surfaces/slow speeds

• Can cause damage to grassy terrain

4. Carlisle HD Field Trax ATV Tire

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The made in America Carlisle Field Trax ATV tire has an open tread design that prevents wheel-spinning and turf damage. This makes these lightweight tires ideal for use on lawns, fields, and golf courses.

The aggressive, non-directional tread pattern provides maximum puncture-resistant, damage-free, traction that also allows for hauling. Depending on the desired size, the Carlisle Field Trax tire is available in 2-ply or 4-ply construction for either front or rear tire replacement. These tires are not intended for smooth, hard surfaces, which are difficult to maneuver. Nor are they intended to perform very well on steep terrain or in mud, snow, sand, water, etc.

Pros Cons
• Cost

• Quality

• Increased traction; no slipping, sliding, or spinning on wet grass

• Parts warranty
• Intended for flat grassy, lawn, field areas only

• Turning difficulties

3. Kenda Scorpion 2 Ply 22-10.00-8 K290 ATV Tire

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The Kenda Scorpion 2 Ply 22-10.00-8 K290 ATV tire is ideal for light-duty operations. It is an affordable, lightweight, versatile 2-ply, all terrain, easy-rolling, knobby tread tire. It is a perfect solution for commercial and tractor mowers, golf carts, mini bikes, etc. The knobs add stability and a “predictable ride.”

This tubeless tire has a puncture resistant sidewall as well as tread. The special tear and snag resistant material is also intended to extend tread life.
The Kenda Scorpion tire also features a built-in rim guard to not only protect the rim, but also keep dirt from lodging between rim and the tire.

Pros Cons
• Cost

• Versatility

• Traction, control, smooth ride

• Available for front or rear

• Parts warranty
• No customer complaints

2. ITP Mud Lite AT Mud Terrain ATV Tire 25×8-12

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The ITP Mud Lite AT Mud Terrain ATV tire is ideal for brush hauling and other intense outdoor operations. It is an innovative and affordable all-purpose, lightest-weight-ever, mud tire designed for full trail performance as well. It is equally proficient at hauling and snow removal. It is a high-performance sport tire that is sized for use on most late-model ATVs.

The tire’s 6-ply rating offers unparalleled durability. It also has an extended-wear rubber compound that provides longer tire life and better value.
Its distinctive center tread contact area provides a smooth, radial construction-like ride, while the thick ¾-in. angled shoulder lugs provide superior mud traction.

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Pros Cons
• Cost

• Lightweight

• Grip; aggressive tread

• Smooth ride

• Durable; offers a second life after being plugged

• Parts warranty
• No customer complaints

1. Kenda Bearclaw K299 ATV Tire – 25X8.00-12

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The Kenda Bearclaw K299 ATV Tire is an all-purpse, tough, tubeless, durable, and aggressive tire that provides equally effective performance on dirt, rock/gravel, mud, water. Because these tires have angled knobs for maximum traction, and because they are intended for mud and snow, they do not work well in, or may cause damage to, other terrains, or the vehicle itself.

The tire’s 6-ply rating offers unparalleled durability. It also has an extended-wear, long range rubber compound that provides longer tire life and better value.
Center lugs provide extra traction and better control. Offset side lugs are cupped and provide for better cornering. Extra-rugged 6-ply construction resists punctures. A built-in rim guard protects wheels from dents and dings.

Pros Cons
• Cost

• Lightweight

• 6-ply durability

• Smooth stable ride/quiet

• Parts warranty
• No customer complaints

Conclusion: The Best ATV Tires

The general customer consensus indicates the best ATV tires are Kenda Bearclaw K299 or ITP 56A304 Mud Lite. The tires’ price, ride, and traction are nearly identical. The Bearclaw, however, may be less in price and have somewhat better durability than the ITP. In fact, there are seemingly no drawbacks to the Bearclaw. Bearclaw tires afford the rider more control. They are more quiet than other brands and models and provide smoother rides. The most attractive amenity, however, is its price. It is one of the least expensive AYV aftermarket investments you can make Little wonder why reviews consider it one of the best all-around ATV tires on the market.

Both the Kenda Bearclaw K299 or ITP 56A304 Mud Lite offer more traction, durability, and smoother ride than the Kenda Executioner and the Carlisle Field Trax ATV, as well as prices.


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