WHAT IT IS: GBC DIRT COMMANDER 2.0
Since way back when we used to test ATVs and parts to make them better, the Dirt Commander tire from GBC has been one of our favorites. It’s aggressive; deep lugs provide awesome traction on a variety of surfaces. The New GBC Dirt Commander 2.0 is even better.
WHAT IS IT?
First Polaris then, more recently, Yamaha commissioned GBC to build a tire to OEM spec for a few of its models, including the latest Wolverine RMAX 1000. That really put this tire on the map. Luckily for us, this collaboration resulted in a new tire large enough for some high-performance machines, including the RZR XP 1000. GBC has also made changes to this tire over the years and, most recently, came out with the 2.0 version. This Dirt Commander is an 8-ply radial with a more aggressive square tread patch, which is what most people are putting on the wider high-horsepower cars these days. The new 2.0 is available in 28-, 29-, 30-, 32-, 33- and 35-inch sizes. The larger 32- to 35-inch tires are for 15-inch wheels, and the others fit on 14s. Our test tires measure 30×10-14 and have a retail price of $237.08 each.
We installed the new rubber on a 2020 Polaris XP 1000 using the stock wheel. This way we could test it, apples to apples, against the stock Maxxis Big Horns. What we liked right off the start was that the exposure to stick punctures on the tread patch was reduced by about 60 percent. The aggressive knobs are still far enough apart so as not to collect rocks/gravel in the knobbies that just fling out later.
Straight-line hookup is awesome. No longer is our back end spinning wildly when we stab the gas pedal. The car hooks up and goes forward. Braking traction is improved as well. The XP now stops as well in two-wheel drive as the stock tires allow it to in four-wheel drive. Throwing the car sideways is more of the same. The tire will break loose some, but not as freely as when it was stock. On flat corners we could carry an extra 5 mph through the turn without sliding or experiencing any hint of font-end push. Our magic tire pressure was 18 psi in the desert. In the rocks, we could leave it at 18 psi and still have excellent traction without diminishing power. Fifteen psi gave us a plusher ride and a soccer cleat-like grip.
The 2.0 is neutral feeling on the RZR XP. We love it. It does a ton of things well and nothing bad. We love the traction it provides on the hard-packed, sand-covered soil we typically ride on. It hooks up like you are actually riding on loamy dirt. The square edges help the RZR crawl through ditches and up and over rocks like a much softer tire would. It has just enough flex in the knobbies to grip without wallowing from side to side. If you are looking for a great stock replacement tire with a noticeable traction advantage and puncture resistance without a bunch of extra weight, the GBC Dirt Commander 2.0 tire is it.
See UTV Action’s report on 10 more new UTV tires you need to know about here: https://utvactionmag.com/10-new-tires-you-need-to-know-about/