— PRODUCT TEST, by UTV Action magazine —
Fuel Off-Road tires and wheels may be a new name to UTV enthusiasts, but it’s a well-known brand to truck fans. Fuel’s UTV tires and wheels bring fresh designs and high quality to the UTV market. Fuel’s Gripper UTV tires are eight-ply, DOT-approved, all-terrain radials that are available in 28×10 and 30×10 sizes for 14-inch wheels and 30×10 for 15-inch wheels. These tires have off-road truck-like tread that’s just over an inch deep. We went with the 30×10-14R for this test. These tires are $175 each in the 30×10-14R size, which makes them more affordable than many eight-ply, DOT-approved radials. Some are over $200 per tire.
We mounted the tires to Fuel D918 beadlock wheels, one of Fuel’s large line of beadlock and non-beadlock UTV wheels. These single beadlock wheels clamp the outer bead with a 24-bolt ring and have recessed beadlock bolts and anthracite-painted centers with black beadlock rings. Knurled surfaces on the beadlock rings and the wheels’ clamping surfaces grip the tire bead securely. Two sets of bolt holes in the wheels make the wheels usable, even when a bolt hole gets stripped or damaged. Fourteen-inch D918 beadlocks are $215 each. These are well-made, nicely finished wheels, but they are more expensive than some. In contrast, ITP HD Series beadlocks are $144 each.
We tested the Fuel tires and wheels on a Polaris RZR XP 1000, a powerful sport machine that can use all the traction it can get. Unlike many custom wheels, Fuel’s D918 wheels accepts stock Polaris lug nuts, so there’s no need to buy custom hardware. The stock tires on this machine are 29s, so the 30-inch Gripper tires added some extra ground clearance for rutted or rocky terrain. Our test loop threw hard terrain, rocky trails, sand, soft terrain, and some pavement at the tires and wheels so we could see how they performed in a variety of conditions.
For tires with fairly open, aggressive tread, we were impressed how smooth and quiet they were on hard dirt and pavement. The tires also deliver a respectably smooth ride on packed, sun-baked dirt that is rough and rutted. Traction on hard dirt is excellent. We got strong acceleration with sure cornering and braking. The tires also grip well in softer terrain and sand, and they slide predictably. Trails comprised of loose, jagged rocks offer limited traction with lots of tire hazards, but the Gripper tires made good progress with no flats or tread damage.
The D918 beadlocks were unfazed by the test loop’s tough terrain and provided the bead-retaining security only true beadlocks offer. Rocks we grazed couldn’t get to the recessed beadlock-ring bolts, and the wheels didn’t pick up any dings. The finish held up well too.
Fuel’s Gripper UTV tires provide impressive traction and toughness in a wide variety of terrains with smooth, quiet operation on hard surfaces.
Fuel D918 beadlocks are more expensive than some single beadlock wheels, but they are well engineered and finished and accept stock Polaris lug nuts.
Fuel Gripper UTV tires: ★★★★★.
Fuel Anza D918 wheels: ★★★★
PRICE: 30×10-14R Fuel Gripper UTV tires: $175 each. Fuel Anza 14-inch D918 wheels: $215 each.