ATV Tire Guide

Currently, more and more people seem to be interested in knowing more about All-terrain Vehicle Tires. This is not wrong considering the tires of an all-terrain vehicle makes or mar the driving experience to a greater extent.

This article delves into what ATV tires are, their types, their different sizes, etc. Read on to be informed.

What is ATV Tire?

ATV tires are tires designed or made to work perfectly on different road types or terrains. They are manufactured for off-road or tough conditions like light mud, soft-packed trails, gravel, water, rocks, and any other terrain apart from sand or heavy mud.

Types of ATV Tire

All-terrain vehicle tires come in different types. Knowing these types will help you achieve so much precision in decision-making as to the type to buy. Below are the types;

Pavement or Turf Saver Tires

Pavement or Turf Saver tires are tires designed ideally for turfs, lawns, and pavements. They come with unique features like;

  • Out of the different ATV tires available on the market, only this type will not wear up lawns or turfs. This is because they are made for the highest traction even in dirt.
  • These tires have a resemblance to tires for lawnmowers as well as cars.
  • Turf-saver tire treads are spaced tightly. This is done to ensure ride on flat and solid surfaces is very smooth.
  • The tread depth of these tires are minimal. This way, it doesn’t bite or dig into turfs.
  • Due to the tread design of these ATV tires which is flat and closely spaced, it lasts longer on harder surfaces.
Turf Saver Tire
Turf Saver Tire

These tires will work so well on hard surfaces. However, they will work badly on other terrains because the traction provided is minimal.

Trail Tires

Trail tires represent the most common tread design out of all ATV tires you will find out there. This is because most all-terrain vehicles come standard with these trail tires. Some unique features of these tires are;

  • They are highly versatile.
  • They are designed to be able to handle different terrains and situations well.
  • Trail tires last longer compared to all the other types or styles of ATV tires.
  • All-terrain ATV tires are designed to come in different tread patterns. You will find them in long lateral lugs, squared lugs, etc.
  • Trail tire treads or lugs are known to be set closer to one another. This is a common feature that creates a contact patch that is large in a way.
  • Trail tire tread or lug depths mostly range from a 1/2 inch to just under an inch. It is this depth when added to the large contact patch, that brings out the good traction in tires for smooth rides.

It is important to know, however, that all-terrain ATV tires are not made to be perfect in any specific terrain. So, if all your riding will be done in a specific terrain such as sand or mud, choosing an ATV tire that is specific to those conditions or terrains is best.

Trail Tire
Trail Tire

Some more information on ATV street tires.

Mud Tires

Out of all ATV tires, mud tires are famous for their unique performance abilities and their aggressive outlook. Some other features of these tires include;

  • Mud tires come with less aggressive treads or lugs that can work ideally in different conditions. However, they do not work so well on surfaces that are hard-packed.
  • There are the more aggressive types that have tall lugs or treads. These types perform very well in the mud.
  • Due to the makeup of these mud tires, they should be used or fitted on ATV that will be ridden mainly in the mud pit.
  • Mostly, ATV will require lifting and fitting with wheel spacers, or, wheel offset can be modified to welcome larger tires.
  • Larger mud tires are mostly heavy and need additional low-end power to make turning through the mud possible.
  • More weight when added to tires can add additional stress to the CV joints, differentials, wheel bearings, hubs, and axles.
  • The lug depth and tread pattern of mud tires must always be considered. Lug depths are laterally longer with tread depths ranging from 1 to 2 inches and more.
  • The tall and long lugs perform their duty as paddles to ensure traction is perfect in soft mud. For mud to be sliced through, the tires tread pattern is mostly directional.
  • Compared to trail tires, mud tires have their lugs spaced further apart. This makes it impossible for mud to get stuck between lugs when the wheel spins.
  • Also, mud tires can clean themselves through wheel spinning.
  • Most mud tires come with extra lugs on the tire shoulder. This is to help in gripping the rut sides. This tread pattern mostly works in muddy situations. However, it still makes the ride a rough one.

You can learn more about ATV mud tires.

Mud Tire
Mud Tire

Snow Tires

Most mud and trail tires are designed to work perfectly in snow. However, actual snow ATV tires are made to get good snow traction. Below are more details about snow tires to note down;

  • Snow ATV tires come in two major designs.
  • The two designs of snow ATV tires look like the bringing together of other ATV Tire styles.
  • The very first design of the snow tire comes with shorter lugs. It is in the shape of trail tires but has mud tire spacing. This design makes it possible for studs to be added for more traction in snow.
  • The second one has the mud or trail pattern. However, its lugs just like a dune tire are very thin, just a bit shorter. This style can paddle through more powdery snow. It also works perfectly for play on sports ATV.
  • Both designs have a wide spacing between their tread which makes it easier for snow to be cleared as the tires spin.
Snow Tire
Snow Tire

Here is more information about ATV snow tires.

Race Tires

ATV race tires are mainly designed to get as much traction as needed on motocross terrain tires. Some more features about them include;

  • Race ATV tires are designed to be durable. This is because they need to be able to face the abuse of races from the beginning to the end.
  • They are mostly made with harder compounds to ensure the most bite is obtained, without much give.
  • Although these tires excel on hard-pack and medium-pack terrains, they do not work for terrains that are softer such as snow, sand, and mud. This is due to their shorter tread depth.
  • Race tires come with a knobby tread design that runs both horizontally and vertically.
  • Its knobby lugs are stiff and come with a tread depth that is 1/2 inch or less.
  • These tires come with a square shape. Due to this, they easily move or turn in all directions.
  • The spaces between tires are quite close to one another. This creates a wide contact patch which helps in tire acceleration.
  • This setup is ideal for harder terrains like hard-packed trails and motocross tracks.
Race Tire
Race Tire

Learn more about ATV sport tires.

Dune or Sand Tires

ATV sand or dune tires represent the most specialized out of all ATV tires you can find out there. More details about them include;

  • They work perfectly on sand and dune terrains.
  • The rear and front sand tires are made a bit differently.
  • Rear sand tires come with a paddle style and they provide users with the traction and flotation needed to sail through dunes. These tires are also called paddle tires.
  • Instead of having the normal lug tread, rear tires come with long ridges that make using these tires exciting.
  • Rear sand tires are designed to be more than an inch longer and have far-apart spacing.
  • Front and tires come with unique tread patterns. They are slick in design with one or two raised ridges in the middle. These ridges go all around the tire.
  • Front sand tires are designed in this way to aid steering. Without center ridges, these tires cannot obtain an ideal bite in the sand to turn immediately.
Dune or Sand Tire
Dune or Sand Tire

You can get more information on ATV sand tires.

All-terrain Vehicle Tire Size

In deciding the ideal all-terrain vehicle tire sizes, sticking to stock is the best. This is mostly best if the wheeler hasn’t been modified in any way. Manufacturers select stock tire sizes to work better with how the tires are setup. This entails;

  • Torque
  • Horsepower
  • Body
  • Gearing
  • Handling

A major change in tire size can change everything negatively. This can make it hard for the tire to perform as it needs to. The following need to be considered too;

  • If you prefer to stick with bigger tires, enough clearance is left by most manufacturers for tires that are 1 inch larger than stock.
  • If it is larger than an inch, there will be the need for ATV modification. This will be needed to take in the added weight and height.
  • On the other hand, you must choose smaller tires with care. Smaller diameters will increase RPM. This can lead to engine over-rev as well as transmission getting over-worked.

Flat or Round? Which is best?

All-terrain Vehicle Tires come in flat and round. Mostly, casual riders are not abreast of this. So, they do not make that their priority. However, if you want to have the best riding experience,  the shape of your tire is important. Consider these;

  • Flat tires are beneficial for sport and racing quads. So, flat tires work perfectly on medium to hard-packed terrains.
  • Round tires are ideal for all-purpose and utility all-terrain vehicles. These tires work perfectly with soft terrains.

ATV Tire Construction

It used to be the case that only bias-ply construction brand offered in the world of ATV’S. Things have changed, however, recently. There are a lot of brands that are making ATV tires. Read on to know more about these two ATV tire constructions. This will help you make better decisions.


In times past, the tires ply rating was the specific number of plies bonded together to make the tires carcass. With tire construction material advancement, the need for many plies has faded off. Due to this, ATV tires get a play rating based on strength. A 6-ply ATV tire in the modern day might not necessarily have 6 plies, but only 2 or even 3 plies.

Bias-ply tires due to their very thick sidewalls can run easily on low pressure.

How bias-ply is constructed

  • Each ply is laid down diagonally (bias) from one bead to the other.
  • The next ply is laid over in the opposite direction of the top. This ends up creating a crisscross pattern.


Radial tires come with these features;

  • These days, most riders tend to be using radial tires due to the smooth ride they provide.
  • Their tread doesn’t wear as that of bias tires do.
  • Their softer tire sidewalls help in absorbing bumps as well as make it easier for tires to flex on corners. This ensures more of the tread is kept on the riding surface and leads to added traction.
  • Radial tires that are belted share the machine’s weight evenly all through the tread. This leads to low heat generation and aids in prolonging the tire tread life.
  • Although weaker sidewalls ensure the ride is smoother, they make tires easily prone to punctures.
  • Radial tires depend on air to ride, this is why they cannot be aired down.

The construction process for radial tires is as follows;

  • Plies are laid down 90 degrees to the travel direction or the middle of the tread.
  • Plies are made to run from one bead to the other, over the face, then below the tire sidewall. This has a wrapping effect created.
  • When the above is finished, some tires have a type of steel belt fitted to them. This helps in stabilizing the tire and lessens wear.

Most radial tires end up having their walls staying or remaining thin and very weak than bias tires do.

Best Material for All-terrain Vehicle Tire Construction

All-terrain Vehicle tires are constructed from different materials. However, the best construction material is mostly a softer rubber compound. Softer rubber because it provides riders with tires that have a grip on surfaces that are loose at the cost of longevity.


Do Tires for ATV have Tubes or Tubeless?

Most ATV tires do not have tubes or are tubeless. This is because the disadvantages are more than the gains.

How do you know the Right Tire for ATV?

Where knowing the right ATV tires is concerned, how you intend to use your ATV is what matters. Most importantly, reaching out to experts is best. They will help you make the right choice based on your needs.


Being able to have the ideal tires fitted for your ATV makes a major difference in how fun or inconvenient your rides can be. With the information in this article, you can make more confident decisions where ATV tires are concerned.

More Resources:

All-terrain Vehicle – Source: WIKIPEDIA

ATV Tire Size – Source: SUPERATV

One Stop Solution Wheels & Tires Manufacturing

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