PRODUCT EVAL: CST LOBO Tires and Vision 550 Wheels

WHAT IT IS:
The Lobo is an all-new, eight-ply radial, DOT-approved, all-terrain tire engineered for today’s faster, heavier UTVs. It has a closely grouped tread and large contact patch to put as much rubber on the ground as possible. Prices for these tires range from $180 to $216, which is $20 to $30 less than some other eight-ply-rated radials. The Lobo is available in a wide range of sizes: 28×10-14, 30×10-14, 29×9-15, 32×10-15 and 32×10-16. Vision’s new 550 beadlock-styled wheels have the rugged, purposeful look of beadlocks with the simpler tire mounting and more affordable price of one-piece custom wheels. At just $89 to $110 each, they’re no more expensive than regular custom wheels, and the beadlock styling incorporates functional, reinforcing rings on the wheels’ outer edges.

PERFORMANCE:
We tested the CST Lobo/Vision 550 set on a RZR 900 XC, a powerful, hard-cornering, high-performance sport UTV that can give tires and wheels a workout. The Lobo is designed for hard to intermediate terrain, and it’s DOT rated for road use, so we tested on desert terrain with hard-packed dirt, rocks and sand washes, and included some paved sections for good measure.

CSTLOBO

Sturdy eight-ply tires help fight flats, but some ride so firm you may think your suspension needs adjustment. The Lobos were the opposite—smoothrolling with impressive ride comfort and very low noise on hard surfaces. With the Lobo’s closely grouped tread, we expected average soft-terrain grip and were surprised at the secure traction they found in sand. Hard surfaces are where these tires hook up better than the soft/ intermediate-terrain tires many UTVs come with. We got strong acceleration and sure cornering, even on slippery, sand-covered hardpack. Vision’s beadlock-styled 550 wheels fit perfectly, though you’ll need splinedrive or 14mm-hex lug nuts from Vision or a supplier like Rocky Mountain Cycle to mount them. Stock Polaris 17mm and 19mm nuts don’t leave room in the lug recesses for a socket, so set aside $16–$20 for lug nuts. The 550’s styling and finish quality are excellent, and the wheels each come with a center-cap removal tool. On Polaris vehicles, you don’t need to pull the caps to access the lugs.

THE VERDICT:
CST’s new Lobo eight-ply radials provide the kind of grip and strength needed for punishing hard terrain on powerful UTVs with impressive performance in sand, and they’re DOT rated for drivers with street-legal rides. Vision’s 550 wheels gave our RZR serious-looking beadlock styling with functional outer reinforcing rings without the beadlock price.

CONTACT:
CST: www.csttires.com/us/ or your dealer.
Vision: www.visionwheel.com or your dealer.
RATING:
CST Lobo tires: ★★★★★.
Vision 550 wheels: ★★★★★.
PRICE: CST Lobo tires: $180–$218 each.
Vision 550 wheels: $89–$110 each.

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