How Often Should ATV Tires Be Replaced?

In ATV Setups by Kevin

Tires have always been one of the most important parts of a quad. even though your average ATV might have a certain amount of ground clearance, the tires are the real reason why it is able to ride and go anywhere without breaking a sweat. and since the rubber takes a beating daily, the tires can quickly wear themselves in a matter of weeks, especially if you are using the quad very often or riding on rough terrain. and so, many people should be wondering: how often should I replace my tires?

And the short answer to that is: replace your tires every 3-4 months if you are riding often (more than 3 hours weekly). you also should be inspecting the tires every month or so to know if you should be making the change earlier or if you can stay with the tires a little bit more. the specific time to change a tire is not something that is set in stone though. it’s going to depend a lot on how often you are going the quad, the quality of the tires, and the terrain that you are riding on, among other things.

So How Often Should ATV Tires Be Replaced?

How often should you change your quad tires is something that is going to depend on a lot of things. one of those things is the terrain that you are using the tires on. are you riding on rough paved roads? are you riding on rocky trails? are you riding on muddy conditions? fast driving and sharp cornering on a public road is going to wear the tires much faster than riding on controlled speeds on mud.

The quality of the tires is also a big determinant on whether you are going to have to replace the tires. while generic rubber is going to be significantly cheaper than buying a tire from a reputable brand, it’s also going to wear much faster. so because of this, I would personally just use rubber from an established brand. not only it’s going to last longer, but they will generally provide better performance when cornering and accelerating.

Also, if you are a hardcore ATV rider, then obviously you are going to wear your tires much quicker than normal. I consider heavy use as anything over 6-7 hours of use a week. if this is your case, then you should be checking your tire’s thread often to make sure you aren’t riding on slicks, which can be very dangerous, especially when its cold.

How Are ATV Tires & Wheels Measured?

If you are looking to replace your tires with new ones, you are going to have to know how ATV tires are measured. if you check the size of a tire, you are going to notice that there is a series or group of numbers that look like this: 24 x 11-12, and those numbers represent the tire’s dimensions. the first number represents the tire’s height when inflated (24), the second number represents the tire’s width (11), and the third number is the rim’s diameter (12).

Image from mudthrowers.com

In order to know if a specific tire is going to fit in your rim, both the rim’s and the tire’s numbers must match up. understanding ATV wheel sizes can be complicated for a new rider. if you are interested in understanding how they are measured, check this article out.

Which ATV Tires Are Best?

In the ATV & offroading world, there are several tire types and each is suited best for a specific terrain or situation. so, the best ATV tire for you is going to depend on what conditions are you doing your riding. Heavy mudding tires aren’t going to be as useful on paved roads, and general use tires are going to get you stuck on muddy conditions. anyways, I decided to make a list of the best tire models available for deep mudding, rocky terrain, and all terrain.

  • All-Terrain Tires – SUNF All-Terrain Tires: This is the best ATV tire available for those who ride in different conditions. let’s just say that this tire is a jack of all trades, master of none.  if you often ride on dirt and grass, with the occasional snow riding on winter, then this is the best choice. however, do not expect great performance from these tires. these do not grip paved roads very well so they aren’t very good for those who like riding on neighborhoods or more extreme conditions.
  • Snow Tires – WANDA Mud & Snow Tires: Most good snow tires have a tread pattern that resembles a paddle, and this is to ensure that traction remains constant as you move forward. most snow tires are going to handle muddy conditions very well too. however, I would avoid using these for everyday riding or riding on the dirt because the tread is not well suited for those types of situations. snow tires also have the added benefit that they generally last longer than most other tire types, so don’t be surprised if they last you more than 1 winter.
  • Deep Mudding Tires – SUNF Mud Trail Tires: There are several good choices when it comes to good mudding tires. most of these have very pronounced treads which generally look like claws. that shape helps the tire move through even the roughest conditions. mudding tires generally are a little bit more expensive than normal tires, but if you offroad often in the mud, this rubber will provide the best performance for the dollar. mud tires can also be used in snow conditions.

How To Make ATV Tires Last Longer

While tires are not going to last forever, you can definitely do some things to extend the useful life of them. not taking proper care of the tires are one of the main reasons people replace them prematurely, so if you are looking to save some bucks over the long term, follow these tips!

  • Rotate your tires: Rotating your tires refers to changing the tires from one position to another so that the wear on the tire’s treads becomes more even. doing this ensures your quad can corner the way it should, plus it also helps with fuel economy. in order to rotate your tires, move the rear tires to the front, the front left tire you are going to move to the lower right part, and the front right tire you are going to move to the lower left. this picture explains how you should be doing it.
  • Make sure you are riding with tires that are correctly inflated: if you ride with tires that are underinflated or overinflated, you might be putting the bulk of the quad’s weight on an specific part of the tire, meaning that the tire’s tread is not getting used up uniformly. this might affect the handling of the quad and the traction in slippery or rocky conditions. while the optimal tire pressure is going to depend on several factors, like the tire, how worn it is, and the temperature of where you are riding at, it’s usually between 1-15 PSI. to calculate your tire’s pressure, a tire pressure gauge is used.
  • Do not overload the quad with weight: if you are the kind of person that likes to ride with more than 1 person often, that might be wearing your tires prematurely. ATV tires usually have a maximum weight that the rubber is supposed to withstand, and while you can exceed that limit without any safety issues, doing so is going to wear the tread prematurely. try to avoid riding with more than 1 person if possible. and if your quad is undersized for your body weight, then that might affect your tire’s wear too.
  • Avoid doing donuts, wheelies or launches: Anything that you do that chirps or scrapes the tires are no bueno for the treads. and so while it might be fun to do donuts or straight line launches, doing that stuff consistently is going to destroy your tires. so if you like doing that stuff, your best bet is just to have a specific set of tires so that you don’t affect your main rubber.
  • Use the correct tires for the situation: as I said at the top, there are different type of tires available, including snow tires, mud tires, offroading tires, and more. if you are the kind of person who rides in different kinds of terrains, then you should get all-terrain tires, but if you are somebody who exclusively uses your quad in rough offroading or muddy conditions, then your best bet is getting something more specialized for your needs. this will ensure that you are getting the best performance from your quad but it also help you avoid prematurely replacing your tires.
  • Use Protectant On The Tires: Another good way to make sure that your tires last significantly longer and making them look good in the process is to apply some protectant to the tires. while the rubber used in tires is very strong and sturdy, it is susceptible to sunlight, water, snow, and other particles. the end result after being constantly exposed to this is a tire that is less rigid and more vulnerable to cracking. applying a tire protectant once every month or so will make sure that your tires do not wear themselves out prematurely because of rain, snow, or the sun’s UV. I recommend this protectant. simply spray the inside and outside part of the tire once every month.