ATV vs UTV TiresMaddy Scheinost
What’s the Difference Between ATV Tires and UTV Tires?
Like any vehicle, your All-Terrain Vehicles requires the best ATV tires, and your Utility Terrain Vehicles require the best UTV tires to ensure optimal safety, traction, performance and feel. That’s obvious, but it doesn’t mean that finding the right 4-wheeler tires for your machine is easy. The tire experts at Treadworld are here to help.
Are ATVs and UTVs the same?
No, they’re not the same. ATVs and UTVs are more like brothers than they are like twins. Each has its advantages, and each is better suited to certain activities and adventures, and environments, than the other. That’s why many outdoor-loving folks have both.
Generally, ATVs, also known as quads or four-wheelers, are considered to be the more nimble, more maneuverable machines thanks to their ability to expertly handle tight turns, dense woodlands, muddy terrain and narrow trails. They have a straddle motorcycle-style seat and handlebars for steering. UTVs, also referred to as side-by-sides because they often have two seats side by side, tend to be beefier, more powerful and faster, great for recreational use but also good for handling chores. They have a steering wheel and multiple seats, plus usually offer more cargo room.
Why do ATVs and UTVs have different size tires on the front and back?
The answer to this question includes a combination of tradition and physics. Part of it is that when ATVs and UTVs first became popular, they weren’t as specialized as they are today, and staggered tires helped them to be more versatile for a wider range of terrains and uses. Before power steering became standard, smaller width tires on the front made steering much easier and more responsive. Another advantage of smaller tires on the front is they provide better maneuverability, handling and cornering, especially crucial on rough terrain and in tight spots. They can also mean better overall traction. It’s pretty much an accepted fact that wider tires provide more traction, but smaller tires on the front of your ATV or UTV can mean better traction overall because they push less mud out to the side and create a narrower rut, leaving more muddy terrain for the rear tires to grip. Finally, smaller front tires can make for a cleaner ride. Narrower front tires will stay tucked under the fenders better, allowing the fenders to shield flying mud and debris better.
Is it OK to have the same size ATV UTV tires on the front and back?
Yes, it is OK. Especially now that power steering is pretty much standard. A potential disadvantage to running the same size tires on front and back is that you will likely need to change the factory wheel rims. But on the plus side, you will have an easier time rotating all four of your tires, and size won’t be an issue if you’re carrying a spare.
Tire size of ATV tires and UTV tires
ATV UTV tire sizes are generally stated in a three-number sequence. For instance, 21×7.00-10. The first number, 21, is the height of your tire in inches. The second number, 7.00, is the width of your tire in inches. And the third number, 10, is the diameter of your wheel in inches. If you’re running staggered tire sizes on your ATV or UTV, the only number to change would be the second number representing tire width.
Back to the beginning: are ATV Tires and UTV tires different?
Basically, no. They’re manufactured in the same manner, have similar construction and similar treads. And regardless of whether you own an ATV or a UTV, you need to have tires that fit the wheels on your machine. A better question is “which ATV and UTV tires are best for my activities?” The answer to that is that you should choose tires based on how you’re going to spend most of time using your machine. For example, if you’re going to be riding on sand dunes, you’ll want narrower tires in the front to cut through sand, while the wider rear tires provide the needed traction. If you’re riding rocky terrain, wider tires on front and back will serve you best because the contact patch is everything. And for muddy terrain, there are two schools of thought. One school prefers wider ATV mud tires and UTV mud tires to provide maximum traction, while the other goes for narrower tires on the front to cut through the mud. For the riders who rack up miles on all different types of terrain and during many different activities, either staggered or same size all-terrain tires should serve you well. Get more information on selecting the best off-road tires and recreational tires for you.
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Here at Treadworld, we have the ATV tires and UTV tires you need for wherever your adventures take you. What’s more, we’ve made it extremely fast and easy to find the best tires, in the right sizes, for your ATV or UTV. Just a couple of clicks and you’re done. Our wide selection of Master ATV Tires and Master UTV Tires are the high performance tires you want, made from top quality rubber compounds, triple-tested for quality before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect. Of course, Master Tires are covered by our Ultimate Advantage Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have, and to get the ideal Master ATV tires and Master UTV tires for you.