Skip to main content

The Hood Magazine

Get Your ATV or UTV Ready For Summer Fun

Jun 04, 2020 ● By Discount Tire
By: Discount Tire

Whether you like single riding on ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) or alongside friends on UTVs (utility-terrain vehicle), there’s nothing like tearing up the trails on an off-road adventure. If you’re one of many planning a backroad escape this summer, there are a few things you should consider. Tire selection is key. Other than the type of vehicle you’re driving, think about your skillset, the terrain where you’re riding and the difficulty of the trails.

Also, new tires are a perfect gift for Father’s Day! The tread of your tire is one of its most critical design components. Different tread patterns divide off-road tires into four different categories: all-terrain, mud tires, sand tires, and racing tires. To help you better understand which tire is best suited for your needs, here’s a breakdown of each and their intended purpose: All-Terrain Tires All-terrain tires – also known as all-purpose tires – have tread designed to tackle a wide range of different surfaces. They do well on soft-packed trails, in water and light mud. Their tread patterns can vary quite a bit, but they’re fairly tight for increased contact.

Terrain tires are designed to improve the contact of the tire to the ground, allowing it to hook better when accelerating, braking or turning. All-terrain ATV/UTV tires are good in a variety of mild to moderate terrains. Mud Tires Mud tires are designed for optimal performance in, you guessed it, mud. They typically have very wide tread patterns, large individual lugs and void spaces between the lugs. Mud tires are made to be self-cleaning – they actively push mud out and away from the contact patch of the tire. Their directional tread pattern allows for better grip in mud.

These tires are normally made from stiffer rubber, so they don’t grip hard terrain as well. Sand Tires While the other ATV/UTV tires may provide some small use in other settings, sand tires are designed exclusively for sand, often floating on top of the surface. The tread patterns are so particular - not only will you get little use out of them in hard-packed surfaces or in mud, but they can be easily damaged outside of their intended environment.

Sand tires typically have staggered tread patterns, meaning the front tires have a different tread pattern than the rear tires. The rear tires, known as drive tires, have a tread pattern that features extreme amounts of void with large scoop-like tread lugs. In contrast, the front tires usually feature either a solid rubber block down the middle or a smooth tread without any individual lugs.

Racing Tires If you use your ATV/UTV for trail racing, you need a tire that has a strong grip and steering response. ATV/UTV racing tires are designed for just that. They are lightweight and have a more regulated tread pattern, sharp edges and a softer compound. This delivers excellent grip and constant contact on harder compact trails that are often associated with trail racing. Racing tires are designed for hard-packed surfaces; therefore, they do not do well in loose surfaces like sand or mud.