For those that love all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), there comes a time when the wheels must be replaced, either due to normal wear and tear or because of a fault. There is a wide range of ATV wheels on the market, so it can be challenging to select the right product. There are many different factors to consider, including understanding and identifying the right wheel offset type, selecting the right bolt pattern and size, and choosing the correct wheel diameter. It is important to address all of these components in order to select the right wheel.
Additionally, buyers must choose an appropriate tyre to match the wheel by considering the tread pattern, width, and diameter. At the end of the process the ATV should be equipped with the best wheel and tyre combination possible. ATV wheels can be bought from specialist motor sport shops and dealers. For the most extensive range at excellent prices, visit eBay.
Identify the ATV Wheel Offset
An ATV wheel offset refers to the position of the wheel in relation to the rest of the vehicle. It is important to choose the right type of wheel offset, as not all offsets are suitable for all vehicles. For example, some are only suited to rear-wheel drive models, while some ATV models, such as the Honda TRX, require different offsets for the front and back wheels.
Overview of ATV Wheel Offsets
ATV wheel offsets are represented by two numbers and a plus sign, such as 5+2. The first number is the measurement from the inner wheel rim half, which faces the body of the ATV to the point at which the hub is joined at the back of the rim. The second number measures from the point that the hub joins the rim to the outer rim edge, which is exposed, facing away from the body.
Offsets for Straight Rear Axle Models
A straight rear axle ATV requires two different sets of wheel offsets, one for the front and one for the back. For a 12-inch rim, 5+2 or 4+3 offsets are required for the front wheels and 2+5 or 3+4 wheel offsets are required for the back wheels. With 14-inch rims, there is only one correct choice for front and back with the need for further adaptation; the front wheels should have a 4+2 offset, while the back should be a 5+3 offset.
Offsets for Rear Suspension ATV Models
Offsets for rear suspension ATVs depend on the rim size. Independent rear suspension models most commonly have the same wheel offsets on the front and back of the vehicle. For 12-inch rims, buyers should choose a 5+2 or 4+3 offset. With 14-inch rims, different offsets are required for the front and back; the front wheels should have a 4+2 offset while the back wheels require a 5+3 offset.
Understand ATV Wheel Lug Bolt Measurements
The wheel lug bolt measurement is an essential factor to consider when choosing the right wheels for an ATV. ATV models and wheels have a range of lug bolt placement patterns; there are three, four, and five lug bolt wheels. The lugs are spaced equidistant around the wheel. To further complicate the issue, different models and wheel sizes have different measurements between the bolts. It should also be noted that the front and back wheel sets should both be measured as there are often differences, particularly where the wheel sizes differ between front and back.
With 3-lug wheels, the measurement is taken by drawing a circle that travels through the centre of all three lugs. The diameter of this circle is the measurement used when purchasing new wheels. One of the most common 3-lug wheel measurements is 90 millimetres, written as 3/90.
The 4-lug measurement is taken by calculating the distance from the centre of one lug hole to the centre of the hole diagonally opposite. One of the most common distances is 110 millimetres, written as 4/110.
The 5-lug wheel measurement is taken from the back of one hole, skipping the adjacent hole, and measuring to the centre of the following one in a straight line. One of the most common sizes is 110 millimetres, written as 5/110.
Choose the ATV Wheel Size
Some ATV models can be fitted with either 12-inch or 14-inch wheels. There are pros and cons to each wheel size.
The 12-inch wheel is less susceptible to damage because it usually sits closer to the body of the vehicle, with less exposure, and it has a smaller surface area, which provides less opportunity for damage. These wheels tend to be more robust than their 14-inch counterparts, and are also considerably lighter, affording more speed and faster acceleration.
The larger 14-inch wheel provides better traction and control, which gives extra stabilisation when taking corners. Many ATV riders also feel that the larger wheels are more aesthetically pleasing, especially when combined with larger tyre sizes.
Match ATV Tyres to the Wheels
Once the correct ATV wheels have been chosen, new tyres must be purchased. There are three measurements to be taken into account. Most tyres use measurements such as "20x10x12". The first number in the string refers to the diameter of the tyre in inches, the second number refers to the width, and the third number refers to the wheel size the tyre is suited to. Paying close attention to these numbers and knowing the size of the tyres that are being replaced is essential. Buyers cannot drastically change tyre sizes without the use of a lift kit. A change in size also has ramifications for the performance and maintenance of the ATV.
Decreasing the ATV Tyre Diameter
Decreasing the tyre diameter is a fairly uncommon choice and should be avoided where possible. Using tyres with a smaller diameter than the originals reduces the top speed of the vehicle, while simultaneously increasing the rpm of the engine. Reducing the diameter of the tyres also puts far greater stress on the engine and the axle. Therefore, it is not recommended because of the risk of damage and increased wear and tear on the rest of the vehicle.
Increasing the ATV Tyre Diameter
Increasing the tyre diameter also increases top speed, but lowers rpm. However, it decreases braking efficiency and puts significantly more stress on the engine because it must work much harder to turn the larger tyres. This means that ATVs fitted with larger tyre diameters are also at risk of overheating.
Increasing the ATV Tyre Width
Increasing the width of the tyres of an ATV increases traction. However, increasing the width too much reduces braking efficiency. It also causes poor steering and handling. The suspension is strained and often far less efficient when wider tyres are used. Wider tyres can also reduce the top speed of the vehicle.
Select the Right ATV Tyre Tread Pattern
The right ATV tyre tread pattern depends on the most frequent types of terrain and courses covered by the vehicle. Mud tyres have a tread with an inward angle, providing more traction on muddy terrain. They are not high performance tyres, but are well suited to any terrain type except hard-packed trails. Trail tyres are mid range all-terrain tyres. They are well suited to any type of terrain, but do not excel at any particular type. Sand tyres are very useful when taking an ATV on the beach or across sand dunes. They have a very distinctive scoop-like tread that provides traction on sand. It should be noted that these should only ever be used on sand. When used on other terrain, these tyres do not provide any traction or stability.
How to Buy ATV Wheels on eBay
eBay offers a wide range of ATV wheels. Buyers can simply search from the eBay home page to find their items, such as "ATV wheels", or narrow their search by choosing the appropriate category features. If buyers have a particular type of ATV wheel in mind, they can enter more specific terms, such as "Yamaha ATV wheels".
Some of these items are large and heavy and can be quite costly to post. Therefore, if the item is located within a reasonable distance of the buyer, it is worthwhile asking the seller if it can be collected after the transaction is complete. This may also incur fuel costs, but reduces postage costs, so is likely to save money overall. Buyers can also choose to purchase used items, which is a great way to get high quality wheels at a reduced price. Buyers are free to contact the seller if they require further information about the items or if they want more detailed images to ensure that the ATV wheels are in good condition.
During their lifespan, ATVs should have their wheels replaced. While buyers can take their vehicle to a specialist and purchase new wheels, it is possible to buy the wheels independently and fit them at home. When buying ATV wheels it is important to check the existing wheels and use that information to identify which items are required. Buyers must know the diameter and the offset value of both the front and back wheels. The lug bolt pattern and measurements are also crucial to ensure that the wheels are compatible with the ATV.
Buyers may choose to purchase new tyres at the same time as the wheels. If so, they should know the diameter of the tyre and understand the potential drawbacks of increasing or reducing the tyre size. Buyers should also be aware of the tyre tread. This is dependent on the performance that the rider wants from their vehicle and the type of terrain they most commonly traverse. eBay sellers offer a range of ATV wheels for all budgets.