WHAT IT IS:
CST’s Pulse is a new, six-ply-rated sport ATV tire that’s designed to work in everything from soft loam to hard desert terrain and rocks. The six-ply construction reduces tire flex for more precise handling and fights flats better than common four-ply original-equipment sport ATV tires. Irregularly shaped tread blocks provide more gripping edges than common square knobs, and the Pulse’s tread has reinforced, angled sides for predictable sliding and extra durability in punishing hard terrain and rocks.
The Pulse has plenty of cool features, but one thing we find especially interesting is the price. Six-ply sport tires are normally fairly expensive, around $145 each, so the Pulse, which starts at $91, got our attention.
Sport riding can be tough on wheels, and it can also be handy to have a spare set for sand tires or race tires. GMZ is a popular name in tires that is well known for wheels too, so we mounted the CST Pulse tires to GMZ Sportech wheels so we could compare the stock tires on our test quad with the CSTs back to back. GMZ’s Sportech wheels are light, strong, high-quality aluminum with rolled, hollow bead lips for durability and light weight. At just $70 for fronts or rears, the Sportech wheels are much less expensive than stock wheels. Stock wheels for the Raptor 700 we used for testing are $253 for fronts and $319 for rears.
We used our Yamaha Raptor 700 for testing because its power, weight and speed seriously challenge tire grip, durability and wheel toughness. Yamaha puts very good original-equipment wheels and Maxxis tires on the Raptor, so the CST Pulse and GMZ Sportech tire and wheel set had a tough act to follow. We ran the stock set and the CST/GMZ combination back to back on the same cross-country loop comprised of hardpacked dirt trails with rocky hills and soft sand washes.
There’s a lot to like about the stock four-ply-rated Maxxis M971Y front and M976Y rear tires. The Raptor’s impressive acceleration, braking and cornering owe a lot to the original-equipment tires and wheels. All tires wear, and the Raptor has a big appetite for rubber if you ride it hard, so it’s good to know what your options are before the stockers are smoked.
After a session out on the test loop with CST’s Pulse tires and GMZ’s Sportech wheels, we can say they are a great choice for maintaining the high-performance acceleration and handling you feel with the stock set. As a bonus, the CST tires offer even more accurate steering because of their sturdier six-ply construction. Traction, even on dry, slippery hardpack, is very good, with a predictable transition to sliding and impressive control when drifting around turns. The Pulse’s sturdy tread blocks allow fairly open spacing with no knob tearing or chunking, so soft-terrain grip is strong too.The test loop has flatted its share of tires, but we didn’t get a flat with either set. If you’re experiencing more than occasional punctures with stock sport tires, which are typically two- or four-ply, the six-ply-rated Pulse tires should save you some plugs and lost riding time.
CST’s Pulse tires’ grip matches the high-performance original-equipment rubber on the Yamaha Raptor 700, with the benefits of better cornering control and more predicable sliding. Six-ply construction should also offer more flat protection than the stock four-ply tires. Best of all, these tires are very affordably priced.
GMZ’s Sportech aluminum wheels provide perfect original-equipment-like fit with impressive strength at an economical price. They are an excellent economical choice when replacing damaged stock wheels or when a second set of wheels is needed.