Best ATV Snow Tires Reviews
With the changing of seasons and coming of winter, some of us turn to the thoughts of winter or snow tires. The reason I said some of us is because I have realized that very few people use snow tires during winter. Most drivers do not consider snow tires when buying their ATV's accessories; they think that all- season tires have what it takes to work efficiently in all seasons as their name suggests. Some drivers are familiar with snow tires, but they may lack enough information needed to make a sound decision when purchasing the snow tires.Table could not be displayed.
To maintain their top notch and efficient performance, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) require very specific tires. Choosing the wrong set of tires can damage your ATV. You should consider all the factors involved such as constructions, price, brand, and tire size among others. Since different ATVs take different tire sizes, getting the right tire size for your ATV is a very crucial consideration. Generally, ATV drivers are looking to give their ATVs a new look and increase ground clearance by changing tires while others just want to buy specific terrain tires to get the best performance possible.
It is always advisable to purchase tires for your All-Terrain Vehicle based on the terrain that you are more likely to encounter on a regular basis. Specialty tires like snow tires and racing tires are a must-have. However, for All Terrain Vehicle drivers who can only afford one set of, then all-terrain tires have been designed to provide a commendable performance in most weather situations all year round. ATV drivers looking to buy new tires should be informed of the available choices as well as the differences of various ATV tires. It may significantly impact them with the knowledge and insight they need to make informed tire choices.
ATV snow tires are designed to ride through the thick layers of snow without any hustle. You will get to experience better turning, acceleration and stopping distance. In places that don't get too much snow, skinny tires will be cut through the snow due to the pressure they exert and reach dirt or the pavement which will, in turn, make driving more comfortable. This is however not always the case. When driving in places that have snow which goes several feet deep, skinny tires will not be of much help. This is because the only way to get through such kind of snow is by trying to stay afloat. It can only happen with wide winter tires that have been aired down. In the absence of a winch, always be sure to carry chains and shovels for back up.
All-Terrain Vehicle Tire Construction
ATV tire construction can be broken down into two main categories that are, radial and bias. Understanding the difference between these two constructions will help the buyers make choices that will best suit their needs. The two questions that should guide you as an ATV driver on choosing between bias and radial is the terrain you most frequently drive on and how you are planning to use your ATV.
Tires with a radial construction are best suited for flat paved driving surfaces. They also allow driving at high speeds. Radial construction tires will provide you with a flexible construction and smooth ride hence some increased fuel economy. These tires also have a high probability of getting damaged and are expensive and difficult to repair and replace. However, like many other things, when correctly used and maintained, radial construction tires will last you quite a long time.
Bias construction tires, on the other hand, are more suitable for use on rough terrains and steep hillsides. They are therefore not ideal for use on flat surfaces or on hard-surfaced roads as they give you as a driver a rough ride. Though their tire treads wear out quickly, they are not as expensive as radial tires hence are quite easy to replace. Due to their rough ride nature, bias construction tires have lower fuel economy compared to radial tires. Finally, bias tires are not as stable radial tires hence it is advisable that you always maintain low speed when using bias tires to avoid complications.
As far as tire tread type is concerned, it is paramount that you choose the right tire tread design that will best suit the kind of driving and terrain you will be using your ATV with. Tread diameter, height and width will vary between different types and tire styles or types. Depending on the type of terrain the tires will be used on, the variance in tire trends can be an advantage or disadvantage. Also, to increase traction and cornering, wider tire treads also increases breaking and acceleration. Narrow treads, on the other hand, causes less hassle on suspension and eases your ATV's steering. Narrow tire treads work best in soft environments like snow and mud.
The ply rating of tires refers to the number of sheets layered into the tire during its construction. Ply rating has become a standard measure of tire strength even though modern day tires are not being made using the ply layering constriction. The ply rate is usually noted on the sidewall of the tire using stars. Hence, tire strength is directly proportional to the ply rating. Most ATV tires have a rating that starts from two stars but can go as far as four stars for more quality and expensive tires. ATV tires with higher ply rating are less prone to damage or punctures and have a higher load capacity.
It goes without saying that the weight of your ATV tires adds to the overall weight of your machine. Heavy tires add load to your engine as you drive along any trail. It is therefore essential to choose with a weight that your engine and other components of your machine can turn quickly. Large displacement engine however with 500cc and above have no problem turning heavy aftermarket tires. Small engines will have trouble.
Special Terrain Tires for All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Several common tire types are used by most people for riding in various terrains. However, there are specialty tires specifically designed or suited to work best in specific grounds or the environment. It is advisable for ATV buyers who are looking to use their vehicle in such environments to buy a set or two of special terrain tires and in our case, snow terrain tires. Some drivers like to think that all-terrain tires can be used in snowy terrain but is wrong. We are therefore going to look at the difference between snow tires and all terrain. There is a wide range of unique terrain tires for All Terrain Vehicles. They include;
Racing Tires: Treads on racing tires are usually knobby and are evenly distributed horizontally and vertically. It makes the tires best suited for handling flat surfaces at high speed. Going on top speed on hard-packed surfaces is what the tires are suited for. They do not wear out as fast as other tires. Racing tires are not suitable for any other terrain and can be quite expensive
Sand Tires: These tires are specifically designed to work best in environments where the terrain is primarily loose and sandy like at the beach or in desserts. Sand tires treads are paddle-like to ensure they provide the much needed extra traction. Sand tires are the only tires that can get your ATV through sand without straining your engine.
All Terrain Tires
Snow Tires vs All Terrain Tires ATV Tires
Snow tires are specially designed or suited to work best for wet and slippery environments like snow. The snow tires horizontal tread pattern works like snow chains that are to prevent the ATV tires from spinning. The treads do this by allowing the ATV tires to dig into the ground. Snow terrain tires are soft and using them on hard surfaces would wear them out very fast.
On the other hand, all-terrain tires being some of the most commonly used types of tires are suited to work well on a variety of terrains. In addition to having better lateral and vertical stability than most tires, all-terrain tires will provide excellent traction in most terrains. Though all terrain tires perform well in most terrains or environments, they should not be used to replace specialty tires.
Understanding ATV Tire Sizing
The task of finding the right tire size for your ATV can be a difficult and overwhelming task. Knowing and understanding how All-Terrain Vehicle tire sizes work is paramount for you to get the right tire size for your ATV without much strain. Generally, ATV tire sizes use a three number set that is usually separated by forwarding slashes and or dashes that indicate the measurements of various tire parts. The three numbers are;
First number: Indicates the overall height of the tire in inches.
Second number: Shows the tire's overall width in inches
Third number: The rim's diameter in inches
For instance, a tire size “23-8-13”, would mean that the tire is 24 inches high, 8 inches wide and can be mounted on a 13-inch rim. Ones you master how to read these tire sizes, choosing the right tire size for you ATV becomes an easy task.
Choosing the Right Tire Size for Your ATV
The tire size suitable for your ATV can be easily found in the manufacturer's documentation about the ATV. However, instead of lifting and modifying the ATV's frame, some ATV owners choose to buy tires of a different size from the size recommended in the documentation by the manufacturer. If this option is aligned with your preference then buy larger tires, it is advisable that the tires you buy do not exceed 1 inch in both width and height to avoid complications that may arise from tires larger by more than 1 inch. It, therefore, allows you as an ATV owner and driver to adjust your All-Terrain Vehicle by one inch for a more aggressive and rugged look and feel. This increased height also come in handy when more ground clearance is wanted.
Tips on Preparing For ATV Snow Ride
Riding your ATV on snow can be an exciting experience, even more, when your ATV has the best wheels to handle snow. However, depending on the amount of snow your area receives, it can be a challenging experience. This is why preparation is essential even when you have the right snow tires. Some of the rips include the following;
Counter checking your tire pressure is a crucial factor to consider. For most off-road conditions, riding in low-pressure tires is advisable. However, in snowy circumstances, it is better to consider high tire pressure as it will be lighter and hence easily slide through the snow.
Secondly, consider your equipment and wearing gear. Ensure that all your ATV equipment is in excellent condition to avoid accidents. Consider wearing a full-faced helmet and gloves. You should also ensure you wear non-slippery and water-proof pants. Suitable shoes for such an activity should even be considered.
Checking whether your winch is operational is another critical factor to consider because, in case of any difficulties, a winch is the easiest way to yourself out.
Having some auxiliary accessories in the ATV can make your snow ride even more fun. If you can carry things like snow blower and snow ploughs.
Best ATV Snow Tires Reviews 2020
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After a thorough market research and tests we came up with the top ATV snow tires in the market today. Here are the more effective and efficient ATV snow tires:
1. Kenda K299 Bear Claw ATV Bias Tire
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Kenda K299 Bear Claw has a tread design that is very aggressive, and that has angled knobs that dig into the snow terrain hence provides more traction. The center lugs on the tread design allow much better and stability control as well as adding into the traction. Kenda Bear Claw tire has an infused with a snug and tear resistant material that prevents it from punctures as well as extending its tread life. This tubeless design bias tire has an inbuilt rim guard that ensures that your wheel does not dent or ding. The rim guard also prevents dirt from stacking up between the rim and the tire. It is a ply 6 tire hence one of the high quality
2. ITP Mud Lite AT Mud Terrain ATV Tire
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ITP Mud Lite is the lightest 6ply mud and snow radial tire available in the market today. That has been integrated with cutting-edge technology for increased overall performance. ITP offers exceptional handling in mud and trails and traction because of its unique tread pattern that features angled ¾ inch deep shoulder lugs. It also features a wear rubber compound that ensures better value as well as long tire life. ITP Mud Lite is mainly for use by most late model ATVs
3. SunF A033 ATV/UTV Tire
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SunF A003 is one of the leading tire companies in the world. It features a non-directional aggressive tread with a radial composition design that gives a smooth ride and allows even breaking while ensuring that traction is at maximum. SunF A003 ATV/UTV tires feature shoulder lugs that help protect the rim and the sidewall. It is most suitable for dirt, mud and rock. An exceptional all-terrain tire.
4. Set of 4 New WANDA ATV/UTV Tires
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New Wanda ATV/UTV has a heavy nylon ply6 construction that is highly resistant to abrasions and punctures. Its front 25*8-132 tire has a tread depth of 0.79 inches. Compared to ITP Mud Lite and Kenda Bear Claw tires, Wanda ATV/UTV has the deepest tire treads. It also features shoulder lugs that serve to protect the rim and the side wall.
5. Pair of Kenda Bear Claw (6ply) ATV Tires
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This pair Kenda Bear Claw has all the qualities of Kenda K299 Bear Claw only that it now comes in a pair. It is a well-rounded tire that has excellent all-around functionality. Beat suited to for exceptional performance in water, gravel, mud, rock and most other terrains that your ATV may encounter.
Factors You Need To Consider Before Installing Large Tires on Your ATV
It is said that Bigger is better, but that is not always the case especially when it comes to ATV tires. Aside from some unique situations like extraordinarily uneven or rough terrain, deep snow or mud where the additional traction and ground clearance is needed, in most other cases, wider tires are mainly cosmetic and just for looks.
Therefore whether you are after aggressive looks or increased ground clearance or even both, you need to be sure that you All Terrain Vehicle can handle the stress and extra work that comes with larger tires. If your ATV is well capable of handling the additional work that comes with the larger tire, you will then need to consider all the alterations and modifications you will need to make to your ATV to make room for bulkier and taller tires.
Most ATV owners and drivers tend to overlook the fact that oversize aftermarket tires are usually way heavier than stock tires that come with your ATV. This point should not, however, be ignored because if your ATV’s engine is not designed to handle such extra weight and height, your ATVs performance will be affected. Some of the issues you need to consider before installing larger tires on your ATV include;
- Additional Stress to Suspension and Drivetrain
Most ATVs have their stock suspension and drivetrain components set up in such a way that they are not able to handle the extra workload and stress that comes with these oversized more massive tires. These added stress or workload will, in turn, accelerate the wear and tear of the components of the suspension and drivetrain leading to overall failure faster than the ATV's stock set up would allow. To avoid this premature failure, you may want to install heavy-duty drivetrain and suspension components like shocks, axles and CV joints.
- Clutch/Gearing/Low-end torque
The height of the tire you install on your ATV is directly proportional to the gear ratio. It means a higher gear ratio will result after you install very large tires. Due to increased weight, larger tires will also have a large rotating mass. As a result of these two problems, low-end torque will result. Low-end torque will mean that your engine will have to work harder to get the wheels running than it did before because of increased weight load. Your ability to spin your tires in soft and wet terrain will have significantly reduced. To address this issue, you will have to make a gear reduction as well as install a clutch kit that will provide lower end torque. This way, the clutch kit will allow your engine to rev higher before engagement as the gear reduction allows your wheels to spin faster. It will give your ATV its much-needed power. Though this adjustment will help your ATV run better on snow, it will result in loss of top end speed. If you are more interested in speed than in making it through snow, then gear reduction is not for you.
- Low-end acceleration
As we have said, increased gearing and larger rotation mass will make it difficult to get the wheels to turn at the beginning. If you are the kind of person whose most significant concern is to get off the line faster than any other person, then downsizing from stock tires would make more sense than upsizing. A smaller tire is more comfortable to turn, and it also reduces gearing hence allowing you higher acceleration. However, if you really want the large tires then like we have already said, you will have to install a clutch kit and reduce your gearing for you to experience faster and higher acceleration.
- Poor handling/ Raised Centre of gravity
When you install taller tires on your ATV, the goal is usually to lift it higher to acquire more ground clearance. When the chassis of your ATV is raised, your ATV's center of gravity is also raised hence a lot of instability especially when taking corners. With increased height and weight, your turning radius is also reduced which makes you ATV very hard to steer. Large tires affect your trail capabilities negatively in most cases.
- May null manufacturer's warranty
Like I have already mentioned, severely altering or modifying your ATV's stock set up may lead to premature failure if done blindly. It is on that same note that most ATV manufacturer makes their warranties on valid if your car remains in stock set up.
How to make the change
If you have taken consideration of all the above factors and still feel that you want to upsize your ATV's tire size, you will need to make some modifications depending on your ATV and the tire size you wish to upgrade. These changes may include acquiring things like wheel spacers, lift kits and heavy-duty suspension and drivetrain components.
- Wheel Spacers
Wheel spacers are not only suitable for wide tires but also for taller ones. The larger the tire’s diameter is, the more prone it is to rubbing as it is turning. In addition to extending wheels further away from the exhaust, shocks and struts, wheel spacers also increase your ATV's stability. Since increased ground clearance results to raised center of gravity, your ATV becomes more prone to tipping. However, with wheels spaced out hence a larger surface, the ATVs weight is evenly distributed thus lowering the center of gravity which allows your vehicle to take corners more efficiently? It can also achieve by carefully adjusting the offset of your ATV wheel.
- Lift Kits
Installing larger tires does not entail only purchasing the tires themselves. Like I mentioned before, you can use larger tires that only exceed your stock tires by one or two inches without any hassle. However, if you are planning on installing overly large tires, five inches and more than the stock tires, you will be required to consider a suspension lift kit
A lift kit will raise your ATV's suspension higher to create more room to fit your larger tires. Lifting your ATV will not only allow you room for larger tires but will also increase ground clearance in addition to the already provided ground clearance by the height of the tire. The size of the lift kit you install is determined by the size of the tire you are looking to install.
- Heavy duty Drivetrain and Suspension Components
With the increased angles and weight that results from large tires, it is vital that you consider upgrading your suspension and drivetrain components. The added stress can easily wear your ATV's acceleration and vehicle performance in general. Without upgrades, components like CV joints, axles and shocks will wear out rather fast.
- When no modifications are necessary
If you are not looking for a very dramatic change on your All-Terrain Vehicle, you can increase your tires without any modifications. Most manufacturers leave room for a tire increment of up to 2inches taller than stock without risking rubbing on shocks, plastics or even the exhaust. With this upgrade of up to two inches higher catered for, whether or not you can upgrade your tires to one or two inches without modification solely depends on your ATV's engine size.
If you have an engine that is below 500cc, then you are limited to upgrade to only one inch to avoid stressing your engine to maintain efficiency and performance. However, ATVs with bigger engines of 500cc and above can handle a two inch larger tire without stressing, straining or overworking its engine. Upgrading to more than two inches call for modifications like we have already discussed.
There are other functional and high-performance snow tires in the market. The discussed aspects will give you a head start to get the best snow tires that will work for you. It is crucial that you talk to your dealer for more guidance on newer All-Terrain Vehicle accessories in the market that you may need. Some of these tires and modification processes require professional installation and monitoring. You should be sure not to overlook such, always ask for expert help and advice whenever needed.