PRODUCT TEST: ITP Bajacross Sport Tires and SS316 Black OPS Wheels

ITP’s original eight-ply Bajacross tire set a new standard for toughness in ATV/UTV tires. The new Bajacross Sport joins the proven Bajacross tread pattern and compound with lighter sixply construction. The two tire models aren’t available in the same sizes, but the fact that a 27x11R-14 rear Bajacross Sport is 3.5 pounds lighter than a 26x11R-14 Bajacross shows the difference is significant. Many machines come from the factory with four-ply tires, so six-ply-rated tires are a good upgrade for rough UTV and ATV use. These tires start at $192 each, which is similar to other premium-quality six-ply tires, though we’ve found six-ply tires for $10 to $20 less per tire.

We mounted the Bajacross Sports on ITP’s new SS316 Black Ops wheels. Black Ops is the new matte black version of the popular SS216, SS316,  and SD dual-beadlock wheels. These wheels have an impressive 1000-pound-per-wheel load rating, “Rock Armor” internal reinforcement, and a lifetime warranty. These wheels start at $102 per wheel, similar to wheels without such a high load rating, and very reasonable for such a stylish design backed by a solid warranty.

We tested the ITP tires and wheels on a rough, off-road loop full of rocks, traction-less hard-packed dirt and sand washes. These tires and wheels are designed for UTV and ATV use, so we mounted them on the fast, 850-pound Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 to test their strength and performance. The Sportsman 1000 has the power to challenge any tire’s grip on most kinds of dirt, so we were impressed by how well the machine hooked up on slippery hard pack. Acceleration, cornering and braking were all at the high level we’d want from a tire for a high-performance vehicle like the XP 1000. In sand, the Bajacross Sports performed well for mixed-terrain tires. Rocky terrain showed the Bajacross Sport resists cuts and knob damage much like the original Bajacross. We didn’t get any flats or slow leaks while testing, but there’s no question that the original eight-ply Bajacross offers an extra measure of flat resistance that is useful on fast, heavy ATVs and UTVs.

We put ITP’s Bajacross Sport tires and SS316 Black Ops wheels through a seriously challenging test on one of the faster, heavier ATVs, and their traction and toughness were completely up to the task. The Bajacross Sport’s lighter weight compared to the original eight-ply Bajacross offers a slight acceleration advantage to performance-minded drivers and riders. That weight advantage can be very useful on smaller displacement ATVs and UTVs.

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RATING: ITP Bajacross Sport tires: ★★★★. ITP SS316 Black Ops wheels: ★★★★★.
PRICE: ITP Bajacross Sport tires: $196–$223 each. ITP SD dualbeadlock wheels: $102–$126 each.

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