What is the best tire for my UTV? It is a question that can spark hours of debate and there is no single answer that will be the same for everyone. There are many factors that come into play when truly attempting to answer the question, but we are going to do our best in providing you a guide to help get the tire that is the “best” for your SxS.
There are several questions that have to be asked to best determine what tire is right for you. Some are built for strength, others for traction, some are built for tread wear and most try to compromise and give good characteristics for as many factors as possible. There are a few that are purpose built that excel in certain conditions, while not being great in other environments.
What type of conditions do you normally ride in? Are you in a wet and muddy area where deep and wide lugs perform? Do you ride in dry and rocky areas, where a soften compound provides superior traction? Does your rig see a lot of asphalt where tread wear becomes a key concern? Do you like to ride fast and hard, where sidewall strength and predictable handling is the name of the game? These questions are just a start, but we’re going to attempt to break down tires into various categories and help you figure out which tires are best for you.
All Terrain General Purpose UTV Tires
These are the tires that most UTV owners will want to run. They’re designed to run the widest variety of terrain that users come across and are generally the tire of choice for short course and endurance racers, along with the everyday hobbyists.
Winner: BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3
The BFG KM3 was engineered for sport and multipurpose UTVs. Built with steel-belted radial construction and adapted from race-proven technology designed for Baja 1000-winning tires, the KM3 balances maximum toughness with minimal weight. The tires are highlighted by superior sidewall toughness, which is normally only seen in much heavier tires.
When tackling wet and muddy terrain, the KM3 features “Mud-Phobic” bars on the tire’s shoulders that are designed to release compacted mud for enhanced traction in muddy or soft soil conditions. The tire’s Terrain-Attack tread pattern includes massive tread blocks designed to deliver incredible grip from any angle of approach.
The UTV-specific tread compound in the BFGoodrich KM3 is designed to deliver enhanced grip on rock and other slick surfaces. The tire’s Linear Flex Zone allows it to envelop objects at reduced inflation for even more grip when climbing. The Traction-Armor Sidewall Sculpture and notched shoulder design also boost traction capabilities in soft soil and mud. The tires perform very predictably in hard pack conditions as well.
The BFG UTV tires are designed to conquer the toughest off-road challenges with extreme sidewall protection, pinch shock resistance and chip-and-tear resistance on gravel.
We believe that if you’re looking for an all around tire that performs well in multiple conditions, the UTV tires from BFG are very hard to beat. Despite not looking as aggressive as some other tires on the market, the traction afforded from these tires is very surprising. BFGoodrich has knocked it out of the park with their latest offering of tires.
BFGoodrich tires are made in the USA. The KM3 is available in a variety of sizes from 28″ to 32″ for both 14″ and 15″ wheels. The tires run true to size and in a couple of instances, slightly larger.
Runner-Up: Maxxis Carnivore
The Carnivore from Maxxis has grown to be a hugely popular tire. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the first 32″ sets of tires back in the Summer of 2016. The Carnivore provides superior traction in a variety of conditions, while being the lightest 8-ply rated tire on the market.
The Carnivore is a light truck inspired design, but one of the more aggressive looking all terrain UTV tires on the market. The somewhat soft compound does well in rocks, mud and soft pack. The Maxxis also does fairly well on hard pack surfaces and is fairly predictable on when it will break traction.
With the lighter tires offered, the Maxxis can be a little more forgiving on stock clutching for UTVs running CVT belt driven machines. The one downside to the lighter tire is that they are not as puncture resistant as some heavier tires on the market and as such, sidewall cuts are a bit more common.
The Maxxis Carnivore is available in a variety of sizes from 28″ to 32″ for both 14″ and 15″ wheels. The tires run fairly close to true to size, except the 32″ flavor which runs about 1/2″ small.
Rock Crawling Tires
If you’re looking for ultimate traction, rock crawling tires are the best choice. While not designed to be run on the road or at higher speeds because of their super soft compound, they are hard to beat on the trails. Technical riders prefer these types of tires to the longer lasting and harder compounds of regular tires.
Winner: Maxxis Roxilla
If ultimate traction in the rocks is what you’re looking for, the Maxxis Roxilla is absolutely the best tire on the market today.
Taking many cues from their full size competition Trepadore cousin, the Roxilla has a super soft “sticky” compound that features incredible grip on rocks and dry surfaces. The more the tire spins, the more it heats up and grabs even more traction. Alternating staged side lugs help in finding traction and help protect the sidewall from cuts. The tread pattern and aggressive side wall makes for a menacing looking tire.
The Roxilla is no slouch in the mud as either. The deep tread depth cleaning out fairly easily with some wheel spin. They also do very well is side hill situations We’ve been continually impressed with the variety of conditions that these tires excel at. Weight is fairly managable as well, with the 32″ version weighing 42 lbs and the 35″ version only weighing 48 lbs. However, make sure that you have upgraded your UTV, because the traction provided by these tires will find the weak link in your drive train quickly if you decide to get rowdy.
The Maxxis Roxilla is available in 30″ and 32″ sizes in their “non-sticky” version for 14″ wheels. 30″, 32″ and 35″ versions for 14″ wheels are available in the competition compound.
Runner-Up: SuperATV RT Warrior
Every facet of this tire has been meticulously designed to give you great traction on rocks, dirt, gravel and sand. The 1” tread depth and tapered pyramid tread pattern works like a tank tread to grab and compress the terrain. This unique design allows it to grip harder than other tires with deeper lugs. The RT Warrior takes advantage of unique Ejector Ribs that keep dirt and mud from clinging to the tire between the lugs. This gives them to ability to clean out completely for continuous traction just by adding a little wheel speed.
The 8-ply construction and aramid belt construction keeps the tire stable, but flexible even in off-camber and low pressure situations. SATV even siped the lugs to ensure that every last inch of this tire is designed to grip. Siping in a traditional highway tire is used to help disperse water at higher speeds, however when used in an offroad application, this siping allows additional bending of the lugs to conform to and grip surfaces.
Where this tire loses a few points is in its ability to keep traction in side hill situations and it doesn’t seem to grab traction in the mud quite as good as the Roxilla. Outside of those two instances, the RT Warrior works as an incredible tire for technical rock crawlers.
The SuperATV RT Warrior is available in a variety of sizes from 30″ to 34″ tires for 14″ wheels in both a standard and “sticky” compound.
When it comes to the messy soup that will suck in most UTVs, dedicated mud tires are the weapon of choice to combat the elements. Mud tires feature huge and wide lugs that will power through the sloppiest of conditions.
Winner: Sedona Mudder Inlaw
First off, this tire wins points on the name alone. The Mudder Inlaw means business and she’ll bite back when things get nasty.
The 8-ply rated construction makes the Sedona a super tough tire to take a beating, yet the radial construction actually makes this one of the smoother dedicated mud tires for just regular trail riding. The tire features 2″ deep center lugs that increase to 2-1/4″ at the outside edge to paddle you through mud pits quickly. The unique tread design does a very good job of pushing mud outwards and expelling it from the tire.
The Mudder Inlaws wear very well for a tire this aggressive. Slow speed hard pack you will definitely feel them, but they smooth out nicely above 15-20 MPH.
The Sedona Mudder Inlaws are available for 14″ wheels in 28″, 30″ and 32″ flavors. This is our only gripe against them in that we wish they were available for more wheel sizes and there were options for larger tires for the really deep mud pits.
Runner-Up: SuperATV Intimidator
The SuperATV Intimidator is designed for the rider who loves the mud, but also wants a civilized ride around the trails. Let’s face it, the mud pits are fun, but you’ve got to travel some distances to get to them. The SATV Intimidator gets you there without shaking out all your teeth fillings.
Being relatively smooth, yet so aggressive is where this tire really shines. The 6-ply bias construction does well against punctures. The tread design works awesome to push mud towards the outside. The staged side lugs on the sidewall do an excellent job of generating additional traction.
This was the most difficult choice out of all the tires we reviewed to not give the winner to. For dedicated mud performance, the Sedona just nudges it out, however for versatility and variety of tire size choices, the Intimidator is a winner.
The SuperATV Intimidator is available in a variety of sizes from 28″ for 14″ wheels all the way up to a whopping 40″ tires for 20″ wheels.