Versatile tires designed to work on a variety of terrain
The vast majority of UTV drivers want a tire that works well for a wide-range of conditions. Here are ten of the best all-terrain UTV tires and what to look for when shopping for your machine.
As UTV enthusiasts, we all like to tackle some rugged terrain. Some days we’re driving in sand, and other days we’re driving in hard-packed dirt. We might go from extreme rocks, to extreme mud in the same ride. Planning out the right tire for all of these conditions would be impossible. The solution is an all-terrain tire that performs well in a wide range of terrain and conditions. Luckily, this is the broadest assortment of tires out there and your machine usually comes stock with something that will work pretty good. Are there better options out there? Of course, and you can get tires that work well in any terrain, but have an advantage over another tire in select terrain types. Here are ten all-terrain UTV tires that may outperform your stock tires.
Editor’s Pick – Maxxis Carnivore Radial
Normally you might expect to see the Bighorn tire from Maxxis here, but that tire comes stock on a lot of machines. However, it is not the only tire Maxxis makes. The Carnivore is a design brought in from its truck division. It is a tough 8-ply, super-aggressive tire that has specialized rubber for gripping rocks, roots and other trail stuff you’d run into in extreme terrain. It has a lot of sidewall tread, and will work ok in mud, too. While designed for western terrain, the Carnivore is proving to work well just about anywhere – a hallmark of all-terrain UTV tires.
EFX MotoClaw Radial
The Motoclaw is one of those all-terrain UTV tires that will leave you really glad you made the call to put them on. This is one of those tire designs that seems to excel in almost any condition, including not-so-serious mud. In other words, if you’re not a serious mudder, these tires will be perfect for you and everywhere you ride. These are 8-ply, DOT-approved radials that will dig in to anything and the sidewall tread will help pull you out of some seriously nasty ruts. They have a strong rubber compound and combined with the 8-ply, can feel a little stiff, but the trade-off is great traction and durability.
GBC Kanati Mongrel Radial
The Mongrel was first introduced as a truck tire, before being developed for the UTV scene. It was apparent that this made a great extreme terrain tire for high-performance machines, and the newest version has been updated to work even better on a wide variety of terrain, especially with the machinery we have now. The Mongrel is a 10-ply tire with a re-engineered carcass to have a tougher sidewall while reducing the overall weight. The tire is also DOT compliant and has a smoother ride than you might expect. If you are in the market for rugged, all-terrain UTV tires, the Mongrel is worth checking out.
ITP BajaCross X/D Radial
You might get a little confused at a tire called “BajaCross,” thinking that is will only work in desert conditions. Far from it. If you think about the famous Baja races, you’d know that the racers have to be ready for just about every kind of terrain and weather condition. One year they may have dry desert, and the next, they’re dealing with mud. They even had snow one year. There’s always rocks, too. The ITP BajaCross X/D is an extreme tire, built on a rugged 8-ply carcass. It has deep lugs with tread along the whole sidewall to help pull you out of ruts and to add extra protection to the bead. These tire do extremely well on everything from high-performance rides, to hard-core utility machines, too.
Best Tire You Didn’t Know About – BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3
There’s a decent chance you have BFG tires on your truck right now. They are one of, if not the most popular truck tires on the road. You may think their UTV tires are just downsized version of the truck tire with the same name, but you’d be mistaken. The Mud Terrain UTV tire has a specific tread pattern and construction for the UTV market. It takes all of the technology from the truck version, adds a specific compound that gives the tire better grip on rocks and other off-road surfaces and the tread patterns is a little more closed than the Mud Terrains on your truck. This may call itself a Mud tire, but it is truly an all-terrain UTV tire that is seriously ready to go.
Pro Armor Crawler XG Radial
Remember how we said that some all-terrain UTV tires work better in certain conditions? The Crawler XG is one of those tires. It works best in hard-pack and rocky terrain, as you might expect with rock crawling implied in the name. Pro Armor designed these tires to be seriously tough and puncture resistant with an 8-ply, belted-radial construction and .78-inch tread depth. The tire is made with a dual rubber compound that mixes tread life with slick-rock grip. They’ll work on all terrain, but excel in hard pack.
Sleeper Pick – Sedona Rip-Saw R/T Radial
The Rip-Saw is one of our favorite all-terrain UTV tires because it works really well in every terrain we’ve thrown at it. It’s a 6-ply tire with 1-1/8” deep tread. The tread pattern is spaced well for cleaning, and wraps around the sidewall for bite. The knobs are siped for slick surface traction, too. We’ve used them in sand, mud, snow, hard-pack soil, deep woods and on rocky terrain, and have zero complaints. They work well for performance machines and utility work. An all-around great tire.
Best Aggressive DOT Tire – STI X Comp ATR Radial
When we said all-terrain UTV tires, STI took it seriously. To them, that includes pavement. The X Comp is a 10-ply radial with dual steel belts that makes this a seriously smooth tire on every surface. It exceeds DOT requirements, and that is helpful for those of us with a plated UTV. They have a wide footprint and angled tread for traction on intermediate to hard pack terrain, and the tread patterns will find traction just about anywhere. The construction gives these tires an incredible life span, too. These tires will work on most any machines, but will work best on the higher-performance sport UTVs.
Tensor Regulator Radial
Tensor is a unique company. It makes high-performance UTV tires and are widely known in the desert-racing world. The Regulator is a really good all-terrain tire that meets DOT standards and has a nylon-reinforced 8-ply construction. The tread pattern is based off of a light truck tire design as opposed to an ATV design. This is interesting because Tensor doesn’t make truck tires. What it did was make a tire with a quiet ride, good handling and braking and a wide footprint for excellent traction in a wide variety of terrain.
Best Bargain Tire – Tusk Kevlar Terrabite
Tusk is a product line well known for being a value to the purchaser. You often get some of the same features of a higher-priced product at a lower price and still get the performance you are looking for. The Terrabite tire was good on its own, but the addition of bead-to-bead Kevlar banding makes this tire, at this price, a great buy. Radial 8-ply construction and a tread pattern that works across a wide range of terrain types add to the pot. Throw in DOT compliance and aggressive shoulder and sidewall tread, and you’ve got some great all-terrain UTV tires.
What is the Best All-Terrain UTV Tire?
Any one of the ten tires listed above are great all-terrain UTV tires for your machine. The secret to finding the best one for you is knowing exactly what you want to get from your tire and where you plan to do the majority of your driving. Most tires that are considered “all-terrain” will work just about anywhere, but often have a specific area they work best. Some good advice is to get the tire that will work for where you ride most, or that has qualities that will help you in a terrain type that challenges you the most.
For example, let’s say you spend the majority of your time riding the trails at Hatfield/McCoy in West Virginia. Great place and we LOVE it there. There is just about every terrain type on those trails, but let’s say, again for example, that you find you struggle a little more on the rocky parts of the trails. Understandable, as rocks can be tricky. It would work, then, to get tires that work very well in rocky terrain, and still do well in regular riding too. There’s a number of those on this list to choose from. The same can be said for mud, sand, hard-pack…
What is the Best UTV Tire for Trail Riding?
Getting the best tire for UTV trail riding depends on your trail conditions and the machine you’re driving. You can get a little better performance from different -than-stock tires and can often go up a size or two without drastic performance issues, and gain a little extra ground clearance. The nice thing about an all-terrain tire is that it was designed to give you excellent traction, but it’s not going to be the hyper-aggressive tread of a mud tire that will tear up the trails. Remember to be respectful and help keep the trails open for all.
Do UTV Tires Differ from ATV Tires?
Yes and no. Many of the tires will fit across the board. However, UTVs typically have more weight and can fit taller tires than ATVs. Plus, many are much higher in horsepower, so the construction of the tire has to be able to handle the extra power. So while you will see ATV tires that are specific to ATVs, especially sport models, you’ll find far more UTV tires that are specific to UTVs. Any that are DOT approved are meant for UTVs only, for example.
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