ATV Tyres Buying Guide

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ATV Tyres Buying Guide

The number of ATV, or All Terrain Vehicle, owners continues to grow, and consequently, so does the number of people looking for ATV parts, like tyres. With brands ranging from Honda to Kawasaki to KTM to Yamaha to Suzuki, and more, buyers have various options to search through, and with the different kinds of ATV tyres from which to choose, those looking for the same are truly spoilt for choices. The reasons why people look for new ATV tyres are different, and while some are not very happy with their ATV's stock tyres and are looking for better alternatives, some are simply looking at replacing worn out tyres.

When shopping for ATV tyres, while buyers have the option to turn to brick-and-mortar shops that deal in ATV parts and accessories, turning online to websites like eBay, it has been noticed, gives buyers more alternatives to search through. In any case, buyers should ideally start by identifying the size of the tyres that they are looking for and follow up by learning how to differentiate between different types of ATV tyres. Given the price differences that buyers come across when buying ATV tyres, establishing some kind of a budget at the onset helps, and knowing how to look after these tyres helps in the long run.

 Identifying ATV Tyre Sizes

A number of ATV owners aren't sure of how to identify the size of their ATV tyres, although there's not much to it. Just about every ATV tyre comes with three sets of numbers, with some kind of a symbol separating each, such as: 25x10x12 or 25-10-12. The first number in this set represents the tyre's overall height, which, in the given example, is 25 inches. The second number represents the tyre's width, and in the given example, it stands at 10 inches. The last number represents the rim diameter, and in this case, it is 12 inches. Buyers should bear in mind that these figures are approximate values, and sizes of individual ATV tyres may vary slightly. For instance, the Maxxis Bighorn 25-10R-12 actually comes with a height of 25.4 inches, and the "R", in this case, represents "radial".

 Which Tyre Size to Choose

When it comes to buying ATV tyres, buyers have the option to look for tyres that aren't the same as those that their ATVs currently use, and buyers looking for ATV tyres that are around an inch or more higher than their stock variants are not uncommon. For example, with an ATV that comes with front tyres that measure 25-8-12 and back tyres that measure 25-10-12, replacing them with 26-9-12 and 26-11-12 tyres, respectively, should help improve its off-road capabilities, whilst also making it look more aggressive. Just how big replacement tyres can be varies from ATV to ATV, and while some accept tyres two or three sizes larger than stock variants, this is not always the case owing to factors like clearance.

It is recommended that users opt for tyres that match their existing tyres' measurements as closely as possible because all good ATV manufacturers spend a fair amount of time and money in the research and development process, establishing the best possible tyre combinations for any given ATV. The table below helps to illustrate how changing tyres sizes can affect an ATV's performance.



 Height decreased

Increases engine RPM; decreases overall speed; less flexible but firmer ride; can stress axles, transmission, engine, and more

Height increased

Decreases engine RPM; increases overall speed; can overheat engine; more flexible, smoother ride; can stress axles, transmission, and engine

Width decreased

Smaller tread pattern surface area; typically poorer traction; often preferred when to be used with muddy surfaces

Width increased

Larger tread pattern surface area, typically better traction; can cause steering problems; can stress drivetrain

Shorter sidewall

Lesser flex; increased ground clearance

Taller sidewall

More flex; more prone to punctures

Given that buyers have an assortment of ATV tyre types from which to choose, thinking about changing tyre size may not necessarily be required and, as the table shows, is not always a good idea. Buyers who do wish to look for different sized tyres should do their best to strike some kind of a balance in order to minimise the risk that the new tyres can pose to the vehicle's suspension and drivetrain.

 Types of ATV Tyres

Buyers looking for ATV tyres, as mentioned, are bound to find different types of tyres. Different types of ATV tyres are designed taking into account the different terrains that ATVs are commonly ridden upon, and consequently, the biggest differentiating factor between most of these tyres is the tread that they contain.

 Trail Tyres

These tyres are also referred to as all-terrain tyres because they can be used with different types of terrains, although they are not specialised in any particular manner. As a result, while they can be used on most surfaces, just how well they perform can leave a lot to be desired, especially if riders are looking for high performance. Some trail tyres, however, are designed to perform better on a particular type of surface, and these are ideal for people who tend to favour riding on one type of terrain over others.

The treads in trail tyres tend to overlap, generally varying from 1.5 to 1.75 inches in height, and these tyres come with smaller gaps between treads when compared to mud tyres. These tyres tend to offer better lateral and vertical stability in comparison to most other types of ATV tyres and they tend to last longer than most mud ATV tyres; however, mud tyres tend to rate better when it comes to self-cleaning.

 Mud Tyres

These tyres are designed to offer better traction when used with muddy terrain, which includes wet, mucky, and slushy surfaces. The typical tall treads in these tyres come in angled patterns, and these deep, wide-spaced, and irregular treads are known to offer better gripping capabilities. While using mud tyres with most other types of terrains is a possibility, using them with hard surfaces can result in uncomfortable riding experiences; and they can become unstable during sharp turns or when handling hillsides. These tyres come with good self-cleaning capabilities.

 Racing Tyres

Designed for high-speed racing, racing tyres generally come with evenly distributed horizontal and vertical small and knobby treads. Ideal to be used with medium and extremely hard packed terrains, these tyres are known to offer high levels of stability when used on such surfaces. Racing tyres are made using different compounds depending on the type of track that is being ridden, and variations in tread patterns are also common. These tyres aren't suitable to be used with soft terrains and they can be more expensive than other alternatives.

 Sand Tyres

These tyres are also referred to as paddle tyres because the treads that back sand tyres come with resemble paddles; front tyres come with tread that is raised along the centre. Sand tyres are designed to offer more stability in sand, and they also help to keep the engine from overheating; however, they cannot really be used to good effect on any other kind of terrain. When used with other terrains, sand tyres tend to wear out much quicker.

 Snow Tyres

Snow tyres typically come with horizontal treads and their functionality can be compared with that of snow chains to some extent. The horizontal treads that these tyres come with allow them to dig through snow to get to firmer ground below, and coupled with the soft compounds that are used to make these tyres, helps prevent them from spinning. Given their soft compounds, these tyres wear out much sooner when used on hard surfaces. Snow tyres aren't really suitable for any other kind of terrain.

 Buying ATV Tyres on eBay

The number of people who turn to eBay when looking for ATV parts and accessories continues to grow, as does the number of sellers who use this platform to sell their wares. Buyers looking for ATV tyres can expect to find tyres designed to be used with ATVs manufactured by most popular names, and some of these include Arctic Cat, Bombardier, Honda, Kawasaki , Polaris, Suzuki and Yamaha. In addition, buyers can also expect to find just about every type of ATV tyre when shopping on eBay, which include trail tyres, mud tyres, snow tyres, and the like.

Buyers looking at saving some money when buying ATV tyres on eBay have the option to look for used as well as remanufactured ATV tyres. In either case, while the possibility to save some money does exist, the responsibility is upon the buyer to establish the quality of the tyres being purchased, so some caution is required. Another way to save some money is to look for sellers who offer free delivery or the option of making purchases in person, and given that ATV tyres can be quite heavy, buyers can expect some sellers to charge fairly high postage and packaging costs.


Before venturing out to buy new ATV tyres, buyers should establish if they need new tyres in the first place because most stock tyres that have not seen too much wear and tear are good to handle most commonly encountered riding conditions. People who use their ATVs in conditions that require strong and sturdy tyres may want to consider upgrading to tyres that come with higher ply ratings. Paying attention to the cost is important given the variation in ATV tyre pricing, and setting a budget ahead of time certainly helps.

Taking into account the kind of terrain that is most commonly encountered should help narrow in on suitable options, and buyers should know that tyres designed to work with specific terrains don't work very well with other types of terrains. Buyers looking at buying very big ATV tyres should make sure that they fit, and should also take into account that big tyres almost always affect the drivability and manoeuvrability of an ATV. Lastly, when new ATV tyres are installed, users should take some time to become accustomed to how their ATVs handle with new tyres in terms of accelerating, braking, as well as turning.

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