— Testing a tough new tire —
Fuel is a familiar tire and wheel brand among truck enthusiasts that has become big with UTVers. Their newest tire is the Gripper T/R/K, a DOT-approved, all-terrain radial that brings the toughness of steel belts, 10-ply construction and Aramid fiber-reinforced sidewalls to the Fuel tire lineup. Starting at $221 per tire and available in 28x10R14, 32x10R14, 32x10R15 and 35x10R15, the T/R/K is Fuel’s most expensive UTV tire, but it’s designed for racers and adventurers who want extra protection against flats. Thanks to the light weight of aramid fiber, a material used in bullet proof vests, the tire’s armor doesn’t make it excessively heavy, and temperature doesn’t affect puncture resistance. The 32x10R14 Gripper T/R/K weighs 41.9 pounds each, not much more than the 40.78 pound, 32x10R14 8 ply Fuel Gripper R/T.
We tested the 32x10R15 Gripper T/R/K on a modified Polaris RZR RS1 on trails that included loose, rocky terrain, solid rock, hard pack and deep sand. The T/R/K is designed for hard to intermediate terrain, and it shows in the sure acceleration, cornering, and braking they provide on packed dirt, rocky soil and in rocks. These tires also offer an impressively smooth, quiet ride on hard surfaces. We were surprised by the T/R/K’s traction in sand; it’s outstanding for a hard-terrain design, which makes this a true all-terrain tire.
The T/R/K’s toughness has been proven by successful Baja and Best in the Desert race teams, and we experienced it ourselves in desert riding, testing and a photo session. We ran the tires repeatedly through rock obstacles and rocky turns with no regard to saving them from damage, and we got no flats. The tread and sidewall showed no signs of abuse.
Fuel’s Gripper T/R/K offers true all-terrain capability with the extra measure of toughness racers and aggressive drivers need.
PRICE: $221–$310 each