PRODUCT: Maxxis Liberty ML3 Tire
WHAT IT IS:
OHV enthusiasts know that Maxxis is a leader in ATV, UTV, motorcycle, bicycle, automotive, light truck, trailer, industrial and go-kart and golf-cart tires, and most of today’s UTVs come with Maxxis Bighorn Radial or Bighorn 2.0, which are designed to work in all terrains. Maxxis also specializes in tires for mud, snow, desert, rock, hardpack and intermediate terrains, and the allnew Liberty is designed to excel in hardpack and intermediate soils. It also exceeds DOT test standards for road use, as it was inspired by Maxxis’ lighttruck tire, the Bighorn MT-762. Jason Weller used the Liberty to finish the 2016 King of the Hammers UTV race in a YXZ1000R, and it has also podiumed at the Baja 500.
The Liberty ML3 is an eight-ply radial with a specialized rubber compound designed to deliver excellent traction and control with long tread life. Large shoulder lugs wrap around the carcass, and two inner rows of lugs put a lot of meat on the ground. All lugs are siped for extra bite and have three edges along the sides for a fresh edge as the lugs wear. Lugs are 1/2-inch tall with a very soft-feeling compound. The Liberty ML3 comes in 29×9.5R16 and 30x10R14 sizes, and the 30x10R14 is actually 30.5 inches in diameter, so it’s a great OEM replacement tire for RZR XPs. We got a set for testing and mounted them on stock RZR XP 1000 rims. They weigh 34 pounds each, which is light for a 30-inch eight-ply, and have a load rating of 551 pounds.
We took the Dune Patrol Turbo XP to the Sierra National Forest for testing and found that the Liberty works very well in more conditions than Maxxis claims. It has the freedom to hang it out on hardpack, silt-covered hard pack, deep silt, sand, mud, roots, loam, loose rocks, asphalt and granite monolith. Hook-up in extreme rock crawling is excellent, and we couldn’t get them to break loose on rough granite. Traction is great in mud, and the stepped lugs clean out nicely. Steering and feel are excellent in silt and sand, and the Liberty doesn’t wander like a Bighorn. Drifting on silt-covered hardpack in 2WD is a blast, as the Liberty gives great feel and stays consistent. Switching to 4WD, the XP handles like it’s on rails with the Liberty.
Not only does the Liberty excel in every condition we threw at it, the eight-ply is super tough and takes impacts like a BFG without worrying about flats. Maxxis recommends 18 psi, but ran 15 psi and liked the feel as they flexed on large rock hits. With beadlocks, we’d be confident going lower. Braking and hard acceleration on tarmac didn’t phase the Liberty, and we really like the steering traction and feel. After the initial 47-mile ride on everything from granite to deep silt and roots, the tread looked brand new. It’s amazing how such a soft compound can provide both supreme traction and extreme resistance to wear. It’s also priced less than the BFG KR2 Baja T/A initially and has much bigger discounts on Rocky Mountain ATV/MC and other sites.
CONTACT: www.maxxis.com to find a local dealer
PRICE: $216–$226 ($151–$165 online)