Tire Tech: UTV Tire Selection

Looks Vs. Functions

Published in the April 2013 Issue April 2013 Feature, Reviews By Dustin Pancheri, For Dirt Toys Magazine

“Hello sir, how can I help you today?” the salesman behind the counter asks.

“Well, I just purchased this new side-by-side and now I want to put some new tires on it—you know, like those big ones right there,” the customer says. “They look cool.”

The salesman looks at the tires and responds, “Those are the Super Mud Destroyers. They’re a 30-inch tire which can be too large for some UTVs and are designed for mud only. What type of riding will you be doing in your new side-by-side, Sir?”

The customer explains, “Oh you know, a little bit of everything. Mostly camping and stuff, but it doesn’t matter. I like those Destroyers or whatever you called them. I’ll take ‘em.”

Two weeks later the customer comes back to the dealer and asks for the same salesman.

“Hello sir, it’s good to see you again,” the salesman says. “How do you like your new side-by-side?”

“Well, my wife and I have now put more than 500 miles on our side-by-side but I’m a bit disappointed actually. It doesn’t go very fast and the tires are really noisy. Plus it doesn’t seem to have much power and my tires seem to be half-way worn out already. Any ideas why?”

The salesman replies, “Those tires you chose are much bigger than stock and in most cases require a different clutch setup to compensate for the added gear ratio and heavier weight which can hurt acceleration and top speed. Not only that, but because they are an aggressive tread, they make more tire noise and tend to wear quicker than other tires if driven on pavement.

“They are a great tire for mud where they will outperform the stock tires, but they can be a disadvantage everywhere else. They are a purpose-built tire.”

This scene is an example of a UTV owner installing the wrong tire on his UTV for the type of conditions he usually drives it in.

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