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BUYER’S GUIDE: HARDPACK & DOT UTV TIRES

June 20, 2017
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— The UTV market has been wide open for a few years, and the tire side of things is a prime example. Just 10 short years ago when it was all about Rhinos and Rangers, there were probably only 10–12 UTV-specific tires on the market. Present day, we’re breaking tires down into subcategories, and we’ve got 32 great tires to talk about just in the hardpack-/DOT-legal-specific category. There is a tire out there for everyone, and hopefully this guide can help you find the right one for you.

 

AMS RADIAL PRO

Construction: The Radial Pro is built with an extremely puncture-resistant rubber compound and a radial casing.

Reason for being: A true all-terrain tire that’s DOT rated for the highway and uses a radial casing and unique tread pattern for a smooth, consistent ride.

Ply number: 8-ply
Sizes: 245/50R12; 23x10x14; 25x8x12; 25x10x12; 26x9x12; 26x11x12; 26x9x14; 26x11x14; 28x10x14; 30x10x14

Price(s):$95–$170

Worth knowing: The AMS Pro is available in affordable tire and wheel kits through any Parts Unlimited dealer.

BFGOODRICH BAJA T/A KR2 UTV TIRE

Construction: The non-DOT, UTV-specific KR2 tire features radial construction with the race-proven CoreGard technology.

Reason for being: This tire is developed specifically for desert racing, as BFGoodrich is already producing the sought-after tire in classes like Trophy Truck, Class 1 and Class 10. It’s designed for superior performance and increased mobility in soft soil, enhanced traction in mud, and improves braking in loose or rocky soil.

Ply number: 3-ply

Sizes: 30×9.5×15

Price(s): $258

Worth knowing: The BFG KR2 is designed, tested and manufactured in the USA.

www.jacksonmotorsportsgroup.com

ARISUN AFTERSHOCK XD

Construction: The Aftershock XD uses a specially formulated rubber compound that is both flexible for increased traction yet durable for the harshest conditions you can find. The K3D Armor is an Aramid-reinforced composite material that is found in the third cord and sandwiched between two layers of nylon on the shoulder and sidewall for added puncture protection.

Reason for being: This tire is built for desert racing’s extreme conditions and uses closely spaced tread blocks for a smooth ride on hardpack surfaces. The siped knobs are compliant for increased traction in the rocks.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 28x10x14; 28x10x15; 30x10x14; 30x10x15; 32x10x14; 32x10x15

Price(s): $140–$210

Worth knowing: The Aftershock XD aims to be the go-to tire for desert racing in a UTV. With new 28-, 30- and 32-inch sizes, they will have a tire for just about every full-size UTV. Aftershock XDs are dynamically balanced just like a car tire.

www.arisuntiresusa.com

FUEL GRIPPER UTV

Construction: Radial construction with Fuel’s Pro Grip tread technology.

Reason for being: The Gripper uses deep-grooved tread lugs and a reinforced sidewall to create a UTV-specific tire that can handle the heavier payloads while still providing a comfortable and predictable ride.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 28x10x14; 30x10x14; 30x10x15; more to come!

Price(s):$165–$175

Worth knowing: There are many more sizes to come later this year, and they also have a great selection of wheels and beadlocks to choose from.

www.fueloffroad.com

CST LOBO & LOBO RC

Construction: The DOT-rated CST Lobo features radial construction and has been engineered for durability, comfort and the ability to handle heavier loads.

Reason for being: Built to be the true all-around UTV tire, the DOT street-legal Lobo features a fast-rolling center tread that is optimally paired with stepped, aggressive shoulder knobs for exceptional straight-line stability, predictable sliding and better cornering grip.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 27x10x12; 27x10x1428x10x14, 30x10x14, 29x9x15, 32x10x15, 32x10x16

Price(s): $180–$216

Worth knowing: The Lobo is rated for carrying heavier loads than most DOT-rated UTV tires on the market.

www.csttires.com

EFX MOTOVATOR

Construction: The DOT-rated Motovator features steel-belted radial construction.

Reason for being: EFX uses light-truck engineering, with inner and outer steel belts to ensure what they claim is the smoothest, quietest ride quality on the market. Great puncture-resistance and high-speed performance on any hardpack surface. A unique center tread provides a massive contact patch, and the elongated shoulder tread improves cornering with reduced rolling resistance.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 28×9.5×14; 30×9.5×14; 30×9.5×15; 30×9.5×16

Price(s): $199–$216

Worth knowing: This is one of the only true steel-belted radial UTV tires we know of and can’t wait to try it out.

www.cocomponents.com

BRAVEN IRONSIDE DOT RADIAL

Construction: The Braven Ironside features advanced radial construction with Pit Bull’s proven chip- and tear-resistant rubber compound.

Reason for being: The Ironside is all about traction, durability, handling and more traction. The tread design wraps down the sidewall for increased strength and traction to the shoulder and sidewall areas. Staggered lugs increase biting edges for extreme weather use while also reducing road noise. Strategic voids and stone-kicker bars provide easy clean-out and increase traction.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 27x9x14; 27x11x14; 28x10x14; 30x10x14; 30x10x15; 32x10x14; 32x10x15

Price(s): $149.34–$176.34

Worth knowing: These ultimate-traction tires are even siped for increased traction and meet DOT
regulations for on-road use where legal.

www.pitbulltires.com

GBC KANATI MONGREL

Construction: The DOT-approved radial-construction Mongrel now features a lightweight 10-ply-rated carcass design.

Reason for being: The ever-popular Mongrel gets a much-improved sidewall for greater puncture resistance and a smoother ride. The re-engineered carcass is more durable and allows for less sidewall flex and lower operating pressures than the previous 8-ply design.

Ply number: 10-ply

Sizes: 23x10R12; 25x8R12; 25x10R12; 26x10x12; 27x9x12; 27x11x12; 27x9x14; 27x11x14; 28x10x14; 30x10x14; 32x10x14; 28x10x15; 30x10x15

Price(s): $175–$227

Worth knowing: The Mongrel was already a proven favorite, and the new carcass improves the weak sidewall issues.

www.gbcmotorsports.com

GMZ KAHUNA

Construction: Radial construction with a heavy-duty sidewall and a rubber compound that has been developed for multiple types of terrain.

Reason for being: This tire is meant to perform on most any track surface you can throw at it with its special compound rubber and unique tread pattern.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 30x10x14; 30x10x15

Price(s): $199–$201

Worth knowing: GMZ claims the lightweight (32-pound) Kahuna is the strongest all-terrain UTV tire on the market.

AMS M1 EVIL

Construction: The M1 Evil is constructed with a radial casing and a special rubber compound that has been specifically developed for superior tread life.

Reason for being: The M1 has been developed with a non-directional truck-tire-like tread for a smooth ride and incredible tread life. We’ve heard rumors in the 3000–4000-mile range. The M1 is built for the desert, mountains and anything in between with a strong shoulder and sidewall tread for added protection and traction in sand, dirt, rocks, etc.

Ply number: 6-ply for 26-inch sizes and 8-ply rating on larger sizes

Sizes: 26x9x12; 26x11x12; 26x9x14; 26x11x14; 27x9x14; 27x11x14; 28x10x14; 30x10x14; 32x10x14

Price(s): $149.95–$197.95

Worth knowing: The M1 has a healthy 1-inch tread depth and a DOT rating for on- and off-road use.

www.amstires.com

GOLDSPEED SERIES IV RUN-FLAT

Construction: Bias-ply construction with multi-directional tread.

Reason for being: Military authorized and combat-proven, this run-flat tire is designed to go 50 miles at 40 mph with no air while retaining a 450-pound load per tire. These are the tires that will take you there and back, regardless of where “there” is.

Ply number: 8-ply, 12-ply

Sizes: 27x9x14; 27x11x14

Price(s): $202–$260

Worth knowing: The slightly heavy 12-ply options include the run-flat technology, while the 8-ply option offers the same tread and handling with less weight.

GOLDSPEED GRAVITY 845

Construction: The Gravity tire uses radial construction with Puncture Proof Material (PPM) added to the sidewalls for extreme survivability.

Reason for being: The DOT-approved Gravity 845 is built for extreme off-road racing with precision steering capabilities and smooth, comfortable ride. A dual-formulated tread compound ensures a great combination of traction and life expectancy.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 30x10x14

Price(s): $199

Worth knowing: Nick Nelson tested these at the Baja 1000 with zero flats for over a thousand miles.

www.goldspeedproducts.com

ITP BAJACROSS

Construction: Radial construction with extended-life rubber compound and stepped lugs for increased traction over a longer timespan.

Reason for being: ITP designed the original Bajacross to be the most rugged tire yet with a predictable ride and slow wear. There are sizes for Aces all the way up to 1000s and Turbos.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 25x8x12; 25x10x12; 26x9x12; 26x11x12; 26x10x14; 26x11x14; 28x10x14; 30x10x14

Price(s): $191–$283

Worth knowing: Wrap-around lugs provide shoulder protection, and a super-deep rim guard protected your wheel investments.

www.itptires.com

ITP BAJACROSS SPORT

Construction: A radial-construction tire with extended-wear rubber compound.

Reason for being: A reduced tread depth with lower tread-to-void ratio makes for a lighter-weight, more-comfortable, better-handling version of an already stellar tire.

Ply number: 6-ply

Sizes: 27x9x14; 27x11x14; 29x9x14; 29x11x14

Price(s): $195–$222

Worth knowing: The BajaCross tire’s unique design has inspired more than one manufacturer looking to share on its success. ITP has now improved on it, looking to take it from good to great on larger UTVs.

www.itptires.com

GMZ CUTTHROAT

Construction: Six-ply radial design with a heavy-duty sidewall.

Reason for being: A great short-course race tire that’s equally as impressive on the trail, the Cutthroat features an off-road race-truck-inspired tread design with a tighter tread pattern that helps prevent punctures between the tread. The heavy-duty sidewall is paired with a 3/4-inch-tall tread and a very soft yet durable rubber compound.

Ply number: 6-ply

Sizes: 28×10-14

Price(s): $169

Worth knowing: The Cutthroat is DOT approved, and its single size is designed to run front and back, eliminating the need for a second spare.

www.gmzraceproducts.com

ITP ULTRACROSS R-SPEC

Construction: Radial construction with a multi-surface,
non-directional tread.

Reason for being: A great tire for open desert and slick-rock conditions, the Ultracross R-Spec offers great traction and versatility.

Ply number: 8-ply (23x10R12 6-ply)

Sizes: 23x10x12; 27x10x12; 27x10x14; 28x10x12; 28x10x14; 29x9x14; 29x11x14; 30x10x14; 30x10x15; 32x10x15

Price(s): $220–$283

Worth knowing: The R-Spec is offered in a multitude of
popular sizes to fit just about any UTV on the market.

www.itptires.com

MAXXIS LIBERTY

Construction: Radial carcass tire that exceeds DOT test standards.

Reason for being: A true light-truck-inspired UTV tire, the Liberty is engineered to perform in a variety of terrain, including pavement. Built for superb wear characteristics and features a specialized rubber compound for excellent traction on rocks and desert terrain.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 28x10R14; 30x10R14; 32x10x15; 29×9.5×16

Price(s): $216–$244

Worth knowing: This tire was podium-proven at the 2015 Baja 500.

www.maxxis.com

 

MAXXIS CORONADO

Construction: The Coronado uses a radial carcass for supreme performance and longevity.

Reason for being: Looking for the ultimate in ride comfort and tread wear, the Coronado uses stepped lugs and a long-wearing compound for optimized performance in loose-over-hardpack desert terrain.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 26x11x12; 26x9x12; 25x10x12; 25x8x12; 26x11x14; 26x9x14; 30x10x14; 28x10x14; 2711×14; 27x9x14

Price(s): $190–$250

Worth knowing: They are performance matched front to rear for optimal steering control and confidence at higher speeds.

MOTORACE MRT RACE

Construction: Radial construction with triple Kevlar-belt layer sidewalls for puncture resistance.

Reason for being: A lightweight tire that will support you with or without air through any terrain you can throw at it.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 28x10x14; 30x9x15

Price(s): $275–$295

Worth knowing: The Race tire is DOT rated with a smooth ride on hardpack or pavement.

MOOSE UTILITIES 8-BALL

Construction: Radial construction with DOT and E-marked to meet the highest standards.

Reason for being: The 8-Ball’s unique tread design gives you traction in the mud combined with a good ride on hardpack.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 26x9x14; 26x11x14

Price(s): $143–$169

Worth knowing: Front and rear specific sizing, and it offers better resistance to punctures on smaller UTVs.

www.mooseutilities.com

MAXXIS ROXXZILLA

Construction: Radial construction with a soft, rock-crawling tread compound.

Reason for being: A true high-performance, rock-crawling tire with a high-void ratio in the center and two layers on the shoulder to improve grip and puncture resistance. The multi-layer sidewall design enhances sidewall traction for rock crawling.

Ply number: 8-ply rated

Sizes: 30x10x14

Price(s): TBD

Worth knowing: This looks like the tire to have if Moab or King of the Hammers is your thing. Jason Weller finished eighth in his Roxxzilla-shod YXZ.

www.maxxis.com

MOTORACE X-ROX DD

Construction: Radial construction with three layers of Kevlar in the sidewall for extreme puncture resistance.

Reason for being: This tire can run on any terrain, claiming operating pressures as low as 5 psi without issue on the roughest, nastiest courses.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 30x10x14; 32x10x14

Price(s): $310–$355

Worth knowing: The X-Rox also has an unheard of 1330-pound load rating and is DOT compliant.

www.motoracetire.com

PIT BULL GROWLER A/T EXTRA DOT

Construction: Steel-belted radial construction with chip- and wear-resistant rubber compound.

Reason for being: A real-world, tough, all-terrain UTV tire that is a true 30-inch diameter. The AT Extra is ready for anything you can throw at it and more. An impressive 1440-pound load rating.

Ply number: 6-ply

Sizes: 30x10x14; 30x10x15

Price(s): $204–$209

Worth knowing: A true DOT-legal, steel-belted radial UTV tire that’s made in the USA!

www.pitbulltires.com

PRO ARMOR HAMMER TIRE

Construction: Armor-belt construction.

Reason for being: The Hammer features an aggressive tread pattern and a deep side bite for increased traction and performance in hard- or softpack trails, mud, rocks and sand. This lightweight, 30-inch tire is ready for race or recreation.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 30×9.5×15

Price(s): $210

Worth knowing: The 9.5-inch-wide, 30-inch tire size is becoming more and more popular with the desert crowd.

PRO ARMOR CRAWLER XG & XR

Construction: Armor-belt construction

Reason for being: This aggressive tread pattern tire is built for the rocks and highly puncture-resistant. Engineered for unmatched grip, it comes standard on
the Polaris RZR XP Gold Matte Edition (rock crawler).

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 28x10x14; 30x10x14; 32x10x14

Price(s): $190–$240

Worth knowing: The XR runs about 32 pounds, and the heavier XG models run 39 pounds apiece, while both are 8-ply rated.

www.proarmor.com

QUADBOSS QB846 RADIAL

Construction: Radial casing for a smooth, consistent ride that meets DOT specifications

Reason for being: Designed for optimal performance on intermediate to hardpack terrain. The 846 has a built-in rim guard and a 3/4-inch tread depth.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 27x9R14; 27x11R14; 28x10R14; 30x10R14; 30x10R15; 32x10R15

Price(s): $144.95–$189.95

Worth knowing: The 846 features aggressive sidewall tread to grab traction in ruts and other sticky situations. We’re testing a set right now.

www.quadboss.com

SEDONA ROCK-A-BILLY

Construction: A puncture-resistant tire with radial construction.

Reason for being: The Rock-a-Billy features an aggressive tread design with integrated side lugs to grip in extreme riding conditions. The new tread compound is designed to outlast, out-grip and outperform the competition.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 28x10x14; 30x10x14

Price(s): $214–$230

Worth knowing: The Rockabilly claims operating pressure to be only 8 psi on both 28- and 30-inch tire sizes.

www.sedonatires.com

STI CHICANE RX

Construction: DOT-legal, radial construction tire

Reason for being: The Chicane RX is STI’s desert-racing-developed tire. A unique split-knob non-directional tread design for high-mileage value with a mix of durability, light weight and smooth ride.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 26x10x12; 27x10x14; 28x10x14; 30x10x14; 31x10x14; 30x10x15; 32x10x15

Price(s): $145–$175

Worth knowing: STI just released a uniquely sized 31x10x14 that is going to be very popular with the higher-horsepower, 1000cc sport machines.

www.stitireandwheel.com

STI ROCTANE XD & XD-K

Construction: Extreme-duty radial construction, and now available in select sizes with dual Kevlar belts running shoulder to shoulder for added puncture resistance

Reason for being: Made for the confidence with today’s biggest and baddest UTVs. The non-directional tread offers a wide-profile footprint that is still smooth and quiet.

Ply number: 8-ply

Sizes: 25x8x12; 25x10x12; 26x9x12; 26x11x12; 26x9x14; 26x11x14; 27x9x14; 27x11x14; 28x10x14; 30x10x14; 32x10x14; 34x10x15

Price(s): $135–$295

Worth knowing: The massive 34-inch Roctane XD is the biggest all-terrain tire we’ve seen to date. o

www.stitireandwheel.com

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