Baja! The nostalgias of the Baja 1000 and the craziness surrounding the event give me goose bumps. All kinds of desert bound vehicles pinned at speeds up over 100 mph… all aiming to just finish, let alone win. When setting up a Baja Style ATV two different set-ups come to mind. The first would be the traditional sport quad set-up and the second is the more modern trend of putting the same sizes and style of tires at all four corners, like a trophy truck. Let’s explore the best Baja tires for both of these kinds of set-ups, beginning with the sport quad Baja Style ATV.
Best Sport Quad Tires for a Baja-Style ATV
First things first, we need to get the sizing correct. Many ATV’s come stock with 22” front tires and 20” rear tires. There are Baja-Style tires in these sizes, but if you want to get that true Baja-Style ATV set-up, you will want to upgrade to 23” in the front and 22” in the rear. Now that size is covered, another huge topic of discussion, or debate, would be tire construction. Some guys like lightweight 4-ply tires, while others go with a more heavy-duty 6-ply set-up. There are plenty of options for each… so let’s continue.
When thinking back to one of my more recent trips as a spectator at the Baja 1000, there are two tires in particular that stand out in my mind, the Razr tire from Maxxis, and the Holeshot tire from ITP.
Maxxis Razr Tires
The Razr family of tires from Maxxis has grown over the years and we will actually talk about three different Razr tires, which are perfect for Baja-Style ATV’s.
The Original Razr M931 and M932 tires: This was Maxxis’ first stab at a true cross country Baja type tire. The tire began to produce wins over and over and over… and with feedback from users, they then created the Razr2 tire.
The Razr2 M933 and M934 tires: These Razr tires have the same roots as the original Razr tires, but have been given deeper tread for increased mileage and a more durable 6-ply construction.
The Razr Plus MS-SR1 and MS-SR2 tires: These are the newest to the line-up and like the Rzar2 have been developed out of feedback from very satisfied Razr and Razr2 users. This set of tires feature a modified tread block, which is visually different and much more aggressive than the previous two versions. Additionally the Plus tire has been developed to be even more durable and is able to handle heavier loads.
ITP Holeshot XCR Tires
Like the Razr tires above, the ITP Holeshot tire has had a very similar evolution. There are half a dozen different versions of the Holeshot tire, but the tire, which was built specifically for Baja is the ITP Holeshot XCT. This tire is a 6-ply tire with a super tough carcass, just like most of the other Holeshot tires. What makes the XCT Holeshot tire different is that it is the tallest of the Holeshot tires. It is the only tire in the Holeshot family made in a 22” and 23” sizes.
Budget Friendly: Ocelot P356 Front and P336 Rear Sport ATV Tires
If you want a similar look, but don’t want to spend the dough… you might want to take a look at the Ocelot P356 Front and P336 Rear Sport ATV tires. These tires are very similar to the Razr and Holeshot tires we featured above. Keep in mind that these Ocelot tires are just 4-ply and they do not feature the patented tread block styles of the Razr nor the Holeshot, but they do hold their own… and for the price, they just can’t be beat.
Now that we have covered the Sport Quad set-up, let’s move to the increasingly popular Trophy Truck set-up for the Best Tires for a Baja-Style ATV.
Best Trophy Truck Set-Up for a Baja-Style ATV : 4 Matching Tires
A very trending ATV tire style is to mount matching front and rear tires, similar to how tires are used in the UTV market. As more and more UTV’s have taken on the various Baja races, tires similar to those run on Baja Trophy trucks have replaced the all popluar Maxxis Bighorn. ATV riders have seen the benefit, and have followed suit as well. But why did this change happen? Why was the Bighorn being dethroned? What benefits do these new tires have to offer?
Basically, all of these smaller vehicles have begun pushing their tires to the limits. They find themselves in the need for tires that can perform better at high speeds, withstand harsh terrain, provide more ground clearance, be more puncture resistant and provide a better contact patch for more traction. These tires existed in larger wheel sizes for more traditional Baja bound vehicles, but the offerings for the small ATV wheels just weren’t there… until STI, GBC, ITP and Tensor stepped up to the plate.
These new style ATV tires are typically radial tires which feature 8-ply construction, close lug tread designs for minimization of punctures, maximum traction in loose dirt, best coverage when crawling on rocks, and the ability to run at high speeds for long stretches of time. Here are several of the best-selling 8-ply desert worthy Baja-Style ATV tires.
STI Chicane RX : STI Chicane RX quad / side-by-side tires serve owners well with high performance features, including a deep rim guard and a reinforced bead/lower sidewall that allows lower psi operation. The result is maximum tire performance and durability over a variety of terrain, without the need to run overly high psi to avoid flats. The 8 ply carcass offers the perfect mix of durability, light weight, and smooth ride flexibility. Featuring a unique split knob non-directional tread design, the Chicane RX radial ATV/UTV tires are DOT marked and ready to hit the road for powerful performance and high mileage value.
GBC Kanati Mongrel : The GBC Kanati Mongrel is a true all purpose, DOT approved tire built specifically for side-by-side UTVs offering unparalleled performance in all terrains. Named after GBC's affiliated light truck tire, the Kanati Mud Hog, this quad tire utilizes the very same tread pattern marked by aggressive diamond shaped lugs. The Kanati Mongrel overcomes the toughest off-road obstacles while providing a smooth and safe ride in your street legal SXS. Mongrel tires are sure to remain the preferred choice of professional and recreational drivers.
Tensor Regulator A/T : With thick 8 ply construction, DOT approval and a tread design based off of truck tires rather than quad tires, the Tensor Regulator AT tire is the all terrain side-by-side tire you've been waiting for. No matter the terrain, the Regulator has you covered with suggested psi's for sand, rocks, and basic flat ground to ensure the best traction regardless of location.
ITP Ultracross R Spec : This is an 8-ply DOT rated tire born to race and WIN Baja. This tire has been used to win the Baja 1000 and “Best in the Desert” Parker 250 with over 1,250 miles total without a single flat!
BEST VALUE: TG Tyre Guider Victory Tire : If you are all about this look for your ATV, but do not need the name brand, nor 8-ply construction, you might like this TG Victory Tire. Featuring a tread pattern very similar to the ITP Ultracross, it is a 6-ply version good for sandy, rocky and high-speed situations.
Best of the Best
Well, there you have it! Two bulletproof Baja-Style ways to outfit your ATV with either Sport Quad or Rally Truck tires. Please check out our YouTube channel for more information regarding all of the various tires we have discussed here in this article. Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care and ride safe.