How Long Do ATV Tires Last? [Miles or Years]

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are designed for adventure, but just like any other vehicle, their tires don’t last forever.

Whether you’re navigating muddy trails, sandy dunes, or rocky paths, the tires are subjected to wear and tear. The longevity of ATV tires can be influenced by many factors, from the kind of terrain and usage to the tire’s quality and maintenance.

In this post, I want to answer how long you can expect your ATV tires to last and what you can do to make them last longer.

How Long Do ATV Tires Last?

On average, an ATV tire can last 2,000 to 6,000 miles or 3 to 5 years.

Your ATV tires can wear out faster based on various situations you might face. Sometimes, even if an ATV tire looks okay, it might not be safe to use. I’ve seen many folks riding on worn-out ATV tires just because they haven’t reached the maximum mileage. But remember, just because you haven’t hit that max distance doesn’t mean your tires are still good to go.

There are plenty of reasons why an ATV tire might wear out sooner than expected. But don’t worry, there are also ways to make them last longer. We’ll dive into all of this in the next section.

What Affects Tire Lifespan

Below are things that affect the longevity of your ATV tires and what it means.

  1. Aggressive riding – Going hard with your ATV, doing burnouts, and just being crazy is a fast way to wear out your ATV tires.
  2. Letting the ATV sit – An ATV tire may look fine, but if you’re not using your ATV enough, the tires can dry rot. A tire that is dry rotted is very dangerous to drive on.
  3. Rough terrain – Riding your ATV on rough terrain can wear it out quicker. Things like rocks to even thorn bushes can puncture the tire prematurely. Even pavement is bad for your ATV tires.
  4. Overloaded – Hauling too much weight for your ATV and its tires can cause the tires to wear uneven or even pop.
  5. Low tire pressure – ATVs tend to run lower PSI in their tires, from 5 to 12 PSI. Not only do you need to keep the correct PSI, but it needs to be the right for all tires, or you’ll have uneven wear, sometimes the front tires have a different PSI than the rear.
  6. High tire pressure – People are used to higher PSI for their car or truck, but going to similar PSI for your ATV will cause it to explode or wear uneven and damage the tire. The correct PSI for your ATV tire is on the ATV itself, do NOT go by the MAX PSI on the tire.
  7. Age – ATV tires don’t last forever. The tires are slowly breaking down and with enough time, they become useless.
  8. Lack of maintenance – You still need to rotate and maintain your ATV tires to get the most life out of them.
  9. Type and quality – Every ATV tire you buy is different and made differently. Some ATV tires are cheap and don’t last long, and you also have some expensive tires that tend to have more tread and hold up better to the abuse.

Signs Of A Bad ATV Tire

There are several signs of a bad or worn out ATV tire, such as the following.

  1. No tread left.
  2. Pulling to one side when you ride.
  3. Odd vibration, especially from the handlebars.
  4. Splitting or chunks missing.
  5. The metal belting showing through.
  6. No traction.
  7. Tires constantly flat or won’t hold air.
  8. Belt breaking more often, worn out tires are not the same size anymore, and it can affect the belt on your ATV.

If your tires look like the image below, you’ve gone too far and the tires are very worn out and dangerous.

Why Do ATV Tires Wear Out So Fast?

In comparison to car tires, an ATV tire doesn’t last nearly as long.

The reason ATV tires don’t last as long as car tires is that driving on a solid surface like asphalt is very different from off-road terrain. Your car tires are made for driving on roads and are made to handle that.

ATV tires are more about grip for off-road terrain, and this means the ATV tire is shaped different and made different. You have more “knobs” on an ATV tire made to grip different objects like rocks, sticks, mud and more. These knobs are smaller and since there are less of them, they wear out quicker.

What wears out an ATV tire faster is driving on asphalt and concrete. If you avoid such hard surfaces, you can extend the life of your ATV tires. If you mostly drive on asphalt, there are other options for you.

Can You Drive An ATV on Asphalt?

You can drive your ATV on asphalt and pavement like you do with cars, but the tires will wear out a lot faster. You can expect an ATV tire lifespan to be cut in half or more if you drive mostly on pavement.

I had an ATV that spent a lot of time driving on asphalt, and I swapped out the rims and tires for one from a Geo Metro, as it was very similar. Using car tires and rims on an ATV that spent 99% of time on asphalt worked very well.

The one big downside of car tires on an ATV is that steering is much harder, so I suggest ATVs with power steering.

How To Make ATV Tire Last Longer

The best thing to do when it comes to ATV tires is to buy good quality tires and don’t ride them hard.

Keeping the tires clean, avoiding tire shine, and riding your ATV often is about the best you can do to extend the life of your ATV tires.

A lot of the tires I had to replace too soon were merely me doing stupid things, hitting rocks or thorns, or driving too much on pavement. For others, the tires go bad because the ATV sits too long.

Either way, if you think your ATV tire is bad, replace it.

Do ATV Tires Need To Be Balanced?

It’s ideal to balance all your ATV tires, but it’s not always needed.

Balancing your ATV tires can extend their life, but if your ATV is not going over 40 MPH, it can be pointless. So, many smaller ATVs don’t get their tires balanced, as it’s not needed.

For more info on balancing ATV tires, go here.

How Much To Change ATV Tire?

If you decided you need to change your ATV tires and looking at the general cost, I have a post that covers that here.