Tires hold great importance whenever we talk about ATVs. ATV tires are available in various sizes, shapes, treads, and materials. It cannot be easy to go through all the options to find the right tire for your riding style. Choosing the right tire for your environment improves handling, cornering, and braking depending on the riding terrain.
Changing tires when needed also improves performance, and the difference between used and new tires is immediately noticeable. It’s worth the extra money for a high-end set of tires, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good tire that will last you years of driving. How to read ATV tire size?
Reading an ATV tire size is not an arduous task. It requires some specific things which need to be considered. The inch is the most widely used unit of measurement for ATV tires. In the format 25 × 8.0012, the meaning of the number is:
- 25 full heights of the tire with installed and inflated.
- The total width of the tire when inflated at 8.00.
- 12 The diameter of the wheel on which this tire will be mounted.
Start With Example on How to Read ATV Tire Size:
For Example, AT25 × 812
- The first number, “25,” in this example, is the tire height when installed on the rim and inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.
- The second number, “10,” represents the total width of the tire when mounted on the wheel and inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure.
- The last number, “12,” represents the diameter of the wheel on which the tire will be mounted.
So, in this example, the tire will be mounted on a 12″ wheel/rim, and its shape or shape cannot fit any other wheel size
Reading an ATV Tire Size:
Firstly, make sure that you deal with standard or metric ATV tire sizes.
ATV Tire Size: Standard Tire Size Table:
The standard format is much more common on ATV tires than metric. You can see the tire size is 26×1012 or 26x10x12. This format is very simple. Three numbers are used to sum the sizes.
- Tire Diameter inches
- Tire width in inches
- Wheel diameter in inches
|Height||The overall height of the tire when mounted and inflated to recommended air pressure.|
|Width||The overall width of the tire when mounted and inflated to recommended air pressure.|
|Diameter of the wheel||The diameter of the wheel that this tire will mount to.|
ATV Tire Sizes: Metric Tire Sizing Chart:
The metric format is extremely rare for ATVs, and you will rarely encounter it. But if you do, any letter thrown between those numbers will be a worthless sale. Metric always has three numbers and a letter.
- Tire width in millimeters.
- Aspect ratio (%)
- A letter to designate the construction type
- Wheel diameter (inches)
There may be different numbers and letters on the front and back, but that’s not important to understanding the tire size of your ATV.
|Width||The width of the tire is in millimetres.|
|Sidewall height||The sidewall height is represented as a percentage of the tire width.|
|Radial||This indicates the construction of the tire.|
|Diameter of the wheel||The diameter of the wheel that this tire will mount to, is 12 inches.|
Breaking Down ATV Tire Sizes by The Numbers:
Understanding how to read this tire size is just an initial phase. You also need to understand how to use them. Are 24 inches being suitable diameter for your quad? What type of length and width do you need for your quad?
Tire Diameter Breakdown:
If you’re thinking of replacing all your tires, you’ll need to buy tires that fit your standard vehicle. Typical ATV tire diameters range from about 20″ for the smallest machines to about 30″ for more factory equipment.
Typically, ATVs fall into one of several categories.
- Sports ATVs – 20 to 25 inches
- Versatile ATV – 24″ to 28″
- Factory mounted ATVs for mud or rock – 27″ to 30.”
Tire Width Breakdown:
The width of the tire is easy to understand. Choosing the right tire width largely depends on your preferences and riding style. Wide tires provide a flatter tread pattern and better grip. Narrow tires give you more control. ATVs tend to have a wider rear tire than the front to get the most out of both tires.
Typical ATV rear tires are 10" to 11" wide and front tires 7" to 8" wide. However, fitting the tire width to your riding style isn't the only thing to consider. You also need to make sure that it physically fits your chosen wheel.
There are two main ways to make sure it works:
- Check the tire manufacturer’s recommendations for your wheel. You must provide the range of wheel widths the tire is designed to handle.
- If you cannot find this information, it is generally recommended to choose a wheel that is about 2 inches narrower than the tire’s width. These are general guidelines, and there is no guarantee that they will apply to all tires, but experience has shown that in most cases, this is correct.
Wheel Diameter Breakdown:
You need to make sure that the wheel diameter of the tire matches the actual wheel diameter. Most off-road wheels are typically 10 to 12 inches in diameter, which is convenient considering that most off-road tires are designed for these wheels.
This is a good size as it provides ample cushioning between the tread and rim of the tire for a smoother ride and better rim protection. Of course, we can get bigger wheels with bigger tires, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Choose the Right Tires for ATV:
Old tires are not needed. You should choose the tire size that is best for your ATV. After all, you go your own way and have your needs. We’re going to simplify our riding style into three main types.
- Walking trails/dunes
- Rock / Mud Ride
All-Purpose ATV Tires:
If I can keep things simple and drive all these terrains without changing tires, I’d go with All-purpose tires. Anyway, this usually comes with a new ATV. If you choose to use these tires, keep the tread depth at least 0.5 inches. So, the tire will last for a while.
All-purpose tires are the most popular and most purchased 4-wheel vehicle tires. From muddy riverbeds to paved trails, you can experience the same performance on your rig. Surely the mud tires will beat them in the mud. But for casual riders, All-purpose tires are the best choice.
Off-Road ATV Tires:
Off-road tires are very similar to All-purpose tires. The only real difference is that Off-road tires are made with a harder tread and are generally more durable. You must be able to handle off-road situations. Off-road tires are generally the more durable all-terrain tires because you can touch everything from snowy mountain roads to sandy forest trails.
Motocross ATV Tires:
Human hands usually make ATV moto crosses. The soil is loose, so you’ll need tires with solid lugs to help you around corners. However, an increased tread pattern is also required to improve traction when accelerating. The grip is very important when jumps and other obstacles can lead to injury.
Mud ATV Tires:
These types of tires usually have a deeper hole than most other tires. Mud tires should provide traction in a worst-case scenario. Tires have large bumps to help them get out of mud or snow. They will guide you on dirtier terrain than off-road tires. Make sure you choose the right size for your wheel.
Sand ATV Tires:
Sand tires are only needed if you plan to roll the dunes. By the way, great and worth a try. In general, the rear wheel is like an oar through the sand, and the front wheel is smooth except for a centre rib for steering.
Sand tires can be expensive and hard to justify as they are only really useful for dune bikes. You might be fine with your general-purpose tires, but you’ll get stuck and tired of crawling.
If you want UTV/ATV legalized, you need to install road tires. In most states, these DOT-approved tires are required before the ATV can be taken out on the road. Like regular car tires, they need periodic replacement to prevent excessive wear and tear. Asphalt is always rough on the tire tread, regardless of the vehicle, so it usually wears out the fastest.
Snow removal with blades mounted on the rear of the ATV. Enlargement. Most mud and trail tires work better in snow. However, true ATV winter tires are specifically designed to improve traction in snow. There are two main designs for winter tires, both of which resemble a combination of other styles.
The first design is similar to a trail tire but with shorter lugs with a mud pitch. The second design sports a muddy or trail tire pattern with very thin lugs. Both styles have distinct advantages. The first design allows you to add more studs, especially if you need more traction on icy roads.
The second style works wonderfully on loose snow and is great for sports ATVs. Both designs have large tread gaps, allowing tire build-up to be easily removed.
This is arguably the most common tire, in part because it is very versatile and can handle most terrains and situations quite well. Besides, they tend to last quite a long time. Trail tires are also available in a variety of tread patterns. Some come with long side lugs, others with square lugs.
Trail tires have in common that the bumps are very close together, which creates a slightly larger contact patch. The tread depth of these tires is typically 1 inch to 1 inch. This tread depth, combined with a large contact patch, provides excellent grip to the trail tires for a smooth ride.
Facts related to ATV tires and tire size
- Tread Pattern
- Tire size
- Tread Pattern
Riding in mud holds no substitute and this is the basic tread pattern.
They are also called paddle tires as they look like paddles.
Racing tires hold specialty and are considered as best ones to work on sport ATV.
This is a weapon of choice in the world of ATV and side-by-side.
ATV mud tires are all about to go forward in sloppy surfaces.
Fronts are normally smooth and have a couple of simple ribs. They are not good for anything except sand.
They hold special tread designs and compounds and have a flat profile. This thing intends them to run on medium to hard-packed terrain.
This category holds the designs which are favorable to one kind of terrain more than another.
If you ride these mud tires in rocks or on hardpack terrain, then you will definitely pay the price for it. They are not too bad on other soft surfaces.
You can keep a pair of rear paddles mounted whenever you get the urge to ride the dunes.
These tires are probably the better choice in all-terrain type tires.
They have a little more tread depth with a bit more space between lugs. This thing is considered better for self-cleaning and gives better traction.
|Pros (Wider than stock)||Cons (Wider than stock)|
|Increased concerning traction||More steering efforts|
|Better Acceleration||Increased stress on suspension components|
|Braking on some surfaces||Tire rub on some ATVs|
|(Narrower than stock)||(Narrower than stock)|
|Improved grip in soft terrains like mud and snow||Less grip on most hard surfaces and more tendency to follow ruts|
Diameter of the Tires:
|Small Diameter||Large Diameter|
|They reduce the center of gravity and ground clearance.||They increase the center of gravity and ground clearance.|
|They reduce tip fins and provide a higher center of gravity on rough terrain.||Load on the transmission and brakes increases.|
|Acceleration is faster in this case and top speed is lower.||Acceleration is slower in this case and top speed is higher.|
Aspect Ratio (Side-Height):
If you don’t know yet, you might be shocked by the price of OHV tires. There are so many brands and types of tires to choose from; you can choose a price point before buying a tire.
Then limit yourself to considering tires in this price range. Choose the tire that best fits your ATV and riding style. If money isn’t really important to you, buy a few sets of special tires, and you’ll be ready for any terrain.
How to Read Standard Tire Size?
In the above example, 26 is the overall height of the tire.
In the above example, 8 is the overall width of the tire.
In the above example, 12 is the overall diameter of the tire.
It is related to height when the tire is mounted and inflated to recommended air pressure.
It is related to width when the tire is mounted and inflated to recommended air pressure.
It is related to the diameter when the tire will mount to.
This means that from the above example, the tire must be 26 inches tall.
This means that from the above example, the tire must be 8 inches wide.
This means the form above example, the tire must be 12-inch in diameter.
How to Read Metric Tire Sizing?
From the above example, 207 is considered as the width of the tire in millimeters.
From the above example, 60 is the aspect ratio.
From the above example, R is the radial construction.
From the above example, 13 is the diameter of the wheel.
It is related to the width when the tire is inflated and mounted to recommended air pressure.
Aspect ratio to the width of the tire is when it is inflated and mounted to recommended air pressure. This specifies the sidewall height.
R which is the radial construction indicates that the tire uses radial construction.
The diameter of the wheel indicates that the tire will mount to and from the above example, the wheel holds a 13-inch diameter.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What does the size number on an ATV tire mean?
ATV tires are listed in a set of three numbers which are separated by dashes. For example, we can consider 25 ×10-12 as tire size in which 25 is considered the tire’s height, 10 is the tire width, and the 3rd number, which is 12, is considered as wheel diameter.
How do you know the size of ATV wheels?
If you want to determine the diameter of the wheel, measure the width of the bead area of the wheel, excluding the outer rim. Measure the center weld to the center of the tire bead area on both sides of the wheel if you want to determine the offset and width of the wheel.
How do you determine which size tires will fit on an ATV?
It is a general rule that most vehicles tend to easily handle an increase in tire size one or two sizes larger than the stock.
Can you put the same size tires on an ATV?
It will become noticeably harder to steer, but still, you can install the same width tires. If you don’t have a power steering, it is advisable not to attempt this.
How can we read an ATV rim?
Every ATM rim has an offset that consists of two numbers. The first number is the measurement from inside lip to rim to the center of rim where hub and rim meet. The second number is the measurement from the hub to the outside lip of the rim.
Why are the smaller tires adjusted in front of an ATV?
Smaller-width tires are adjusted on the front side of the ATV as they have less surface contact due to their smaller size. There is less tire touching the ground at any given time. The steering effort is reduced so side-by-side becomes easier to maneuver.
Why are the rear ATV tires wider?
ATV tires are wider in the rear as they increase traction and stability. It enhances the safety and overall performance of the vehicle.
This is Surya. I am an experienced off-roader. I have been off-roading for many years across several terrains. I am passionate about 4×4 driving and want to share my knowledge and experience with others.
My goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive and unbiased information about off-roading.
I curated this article through my personal experience and expertise, and I hope it helps you with what you are looking for.