A little about me. I’ve worked at ATV dealerships in sales, parts, and also service. I have also owned many different ATV’s (mostly Can-AM) and side by sides.
Yet, all over the internet, everyone claims the best tire is the Kenda Bearclaw. Sure it’s a great tire and I know why so many people like it (it’s priced right). But it’s just not my favorite.
I don’t consider the Bearclaw the best ATV tire your money can buy.
What I consider the Best Tire
What I consider the best tire for an ATV has stemmed from years of use and abuse. The tire that has not let me down and got me through the worst of terrain and still keeps on going, the Carlisle A.C.T HD ATV Tire.
*This completely changes when it comes to side by sides as I prefer the Maxxis BigHorn 2.0.
This could all change in 2017 or 2018 when they come out with new tires. For now, I consider these tires to be one of my go-to recommendation for ATV tires.
After reading many odd reviews by people who seem to have never seen an ATV or Side by Side, I’m not sure how they come to the conclusion that the Bearclaw is the best. The Bearclaw to me is just the “spare tire” or I’m broke and need a basic tire.
Now the Bearclaw will work just fine for most, but swapping it out and then riding on pavement you can tell the Carlisle is a better-built tire.
Different Tires. Different Needs.
Not everyone is going to need the same tire. Some people need mud tires, and some need snow tires. Everyone’s needs are bit different.
The Carlisle Tire I mention is a good all-around tire. No matter if its mud, snow, gravel, or pavement it will work just fine.
If you spend more time in the mud, then the Carlisle ACT HD tire is not going to be good enough. A tire that will be good enough is the Gorilla Silverback.
I consider the Gorilla Silverback to be one of the best Mud ATV Tire on the market, and a lot of manufacturers of ATV’s see that and are putting these things on stock machines. The Silverback is also a great snow tire for that deep powdered snow.
Since everyone needs an ATV tire for different needs, I’ve compiled a list of the tires I consider to be the perfect tire for that category.
The Best Tire for:
All-Purpose/ Trail: Carlisle A.C.T HD ATV Tire
Mud/Swampin: Carlisle A.C.T HD ATV Tire
Sand: Maxxis MS06 Razr Blade
Deep Snow: Gorilla Silverback
Compacted Snow/ Using Snow Plow: Maxxis MU09 26x9x14 Big Horn 2.0
When Is It Time For New Tires?
ATVs don’t have wear bars like a car or truck would have, but you can see an ATV tire wear out a lot better than a car. When the nubs on the tires of the ATV start to disappear, then it is time to get new tires.
Another and more often obvious is when the tires start to dry rot. This happens due to the tires being aged beyond their regular use or left exposed to elements. It’s best not to drive on dry rotted tires as they will soon go out.
If your tires look like the tires below, then it’s way beyond time for new ones. This is an example of mine from an old ATV I had that I ran into the ground. Never let your tires end up like this, there are no nubs anywhere on this tire, and the steel belting is showing.
How To Read ATV Tire Sizing
*Measurements are in inches.
A little Story
I did have one ATV that I only drove on asphalt all the time. If you did not know, normal ATV tires get worn down very quickly when you only drive on hard asphalt.
To solve this issue I ordered some Old GEO Metro Car rims and tires. Oddly enough it did work just fine but made steering hard as the car tires have great grip on asphalt. That year I went through a lot fewer tires, and the best part was the car tires were a bit cheaper.
This was just a little story, I don’t recommend using car rims and tires for your ATV. It was a specialty thing I had to do and wanted to share.