Choosing the Right ATV Tires and Wheels
Whether you're an outdoor enthusiasts or an indoor geek (like myself), riding an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) can be a rewarding experience. There's nothing like the adrenaline rush you get from speeding through bumpy roads or sand dunes while feeling the full effects of the elements around you to get your mind off work-related stress. The ATV industry includes an impressive array of vehicle manufacturers. Names like Honda, Kawasaki, Bombadier, Suzuki, and Yamaha, and Polaris are among the well-known manufacturers that makes ATVs.
There are a few things you will need to know about maintaining or even upgrading your ATV. You have to make sure you're equipped with the proper ATV parts and accessories. And if you're going to be doing some serious ATV riding, that means ATV wheels, tires, and winches.
ATV Wheels and Tires
ATV tires are perhaps the most obvious of the group. If you're going to be doing some serious off-roading, you'll need to have some quality off-road tires. It's important to know that all-terrain vehicles can have three, four, or six wheels. Obviously this will affect your choice of tires. This is one of the things to take into consideration when shopping for ATV wheels or tires.
Since ATVs by their very nature tend to geared towards harsh terrain, there doesn't exist the same danger of choosing a street-oriented wheel that can't handle constant abuse the way you'd come across with truck, Jeep, or SUV tires. Of course, your decision will be affected by your ATV use. A utility ATV (or UTV) will not require quite the same rugged tires or wheels as their sport ATV counterparts. The type of terrain you'll be riding on will also affect your ATV wheel/tire decision. ATV trail tires, sand tires, and race tires all have their pros and cons relative to each other as they are each geared toward a specific type of terrain.
Fortunately, there are a number of well-known manufacturers that make tires and wheels for all-terrain vehicles. With brands like ITP, Kenda, Maxxis, STI, and Super Swamper/Intero, making the right choice in ATV wheels and tires is rather easy. If you have a preferred brand, then chances are you've already made up your mind. Otherwise you'll want to compare specs, along with the type of terrain and the level of extremity at which you'll be riding against costs (assuming you are on a budget).
The more adventurous you plan on getting with your ATV off-roading, the more you'll want to be equipped with a quality ATV winch. A winch can prove to be that 'get out of jail free' card or that reset button (depending on whether you're a board game or video game geek) for sticky off-road situations. Long story short, a quality winch will pull you out of compromising positions (like being stuck in mud, sand, or in a ditch).
Mile Marker, Warn, Superwinch, and Ramsey are among the trusted manufacturers that make ATV winches. Deciding on an ATV winch rests largely in the type of winch and the line pull you prefer. Since you're in an ATV, an electric winch makes the most sense. And because your ATV isn't a truck or SUV, you shouldn't need to worry about needing 12,000 lbs worth of line pull. Depending on your ATV, 3,000 lbs will likely cut it but it's possible you'll need a bit more. Check with your ATV manufacturer for more information.
Now that you're familiar with the 101 of ATV riding, it's time to go forth and shop. Choose the ATV tires, wheels, and winches that best suit your needs. If you're on a budget, you may have to be a bit creative. If not, the sky is the limit.