Text: Kyle Bradshaw
Choosing an ATV tire has never been a more daunting of a task. With thousands and thousands of name brand tires mixed in with off-brand tires with similar tread patterns and prices ranging from cheap to quite expensive…which tires are the best tires? How do you choose from this vast list of offerings, “the best tires” for your application? In this article we will give you our Top 5 ATV Tire Recommendations for 2018.
Here at Chaparral Motorsports chapmoto.com we have more than 100k square-feet of our shop dedicated to just tires. Every manufacturer comes to visit, giving us the run down of what makes their tire better than the next guys tire. If everyone has the best tire… then which tire is really the best? How do they stack up against one another? With these questions in mind, we took 21 of our best-selling tires from nine different manufacturers and we put them to the test. Five different tests that is…
- Sled Pull Challenge
- Hill Climb Challenge
- Downhill Braking Challenge
- Top Speed Braking Challenge
- Mud Pit Traction Challenge
Learn more about these five tests by watching the YouTube video outlining how we chose the tests and how they were created:
After putting the 21 tires we tested to these five challenges, we had a clear understanding of which tires were the best performing tires in every category or situation. In this article, we are focusing on the Top Five Recommended Tires based upon overall performance. If you want to dig deeper, you can watch for yourself which eight tires performed best overall with scores of less than 50 points:
1st Tire Recommendation: AMS Slingshot XT - 25 Points[schema type="productembed" url="https://www.chapmoto.com/ams-slingshot-xt-tire-parent-p1252-651" name="AMS Slingshot XT Tire" image="p1252-651" ]
The AMS Slingshot XT is our 1st tire recommendation as it is the lightest weight tire, which allows it to transfer more of the vehicles power to the ground with minimal loss. Additionally, it rolls smooth on hardpack or asphalt, and has an aggressive tread pattern to conquer most terrains and great sidewall bite.
2nd Tire Recommendation: Ocelot P375 Tire - 33 Points[schema type="productembed" url="https://www.chapmoto.com/ocelot-p375-atv-utv-tire-parent-748-p375-0000" name="Ocelot P375 ATV/UTV Tire" image="748-p375-0000" ]
The Ocelot P375 is our 2nd recommendation due to the value that it brings to the table. This is not a “name brand” tire, but it is one that proved itself in the 25” ATV tire shootout. It took 1st place in Downhill Braking, 1st Place in Top Speed Braking and 2nd Place in the Mud Pit Challenge. Not only does it perform well, this tire features a value price point, which can’t be touched by the other brand name tires on this list of recommendations.
3rd Tire Recommendation: Kenda BearClaw HTR - 35 Points[schema type="productembed" url="https://www.chapmoto.com/kenda-k587-bearclaw-htr-radial-tire-parent-328-5372" name="Kenda K587 Bearclaw HTR Radial Tire" image="328-5372" ]
The Kenda Bearclaw HTR is a very strong overall contender. Unlike all of the other tires in this list, which had at least one challenge they basically failed at, the Bearclaw HTR performed with solid scores in every test. It’s worst scores were an 11 for the Hill Climb and 9 for the Mud Pit, but these are still good scores with a full run on the Hill Climb and 16 second Pit Run. Better yet, all of the other scores were at the top with 4th for Top Speed Braking, 5th for Downhill Braking and 6th for the Sled Pull where it managed to pull for 58 feet. This tire is a Top Seller due to consumer feedback and from the results of our tests, we can see why.
4th Tire Recommendation: AMS Swamp Fox - 34 Points[schema type="productembed" url="https://www.chapmoto.com/ams-swamp-fox-tire-parent-p0320-0735" name="AMS Swamp Fox Tire" image="p0320-0735" ]
The AMS Swamp Fox is our 4th recommendation as it was not the best at pulling or braking, but it does perform very well at hill climbing and mud pit traction. Our typical customer finds himself or herself climbing hills or splashing through mud puddles often, and this tire scored 4th place for each of those challenges! We found it fitting that this tire gets that 4th place recognition.
5th Tire Recommendation: Kenda K3203 Mastadon AT - 36 Points[schema type="productembed" url="https://www.chapmoto.com/kenda-k3203-mastodon-at-tire-parent-328-285490" name="Kenda K3203 Mastodon AT Tire" image="328-285490" ]
The Mastadon AT is our 5th recommendation as it is the polar opposite of the Swamp Fox above. This Mastadon AT tire excelled at the Sled Pull, taking 2nd place at 88 feet and 3rd place in the Downhill Braking with a stop time of just 2.41 seconds. Our customer feedback tells us that hauling, pulling, and traversing downhill are key skills they perform most often and therefore, the Mastadon AT gets this 5th place recommendation. That being said, if hauling, pulling, and or traversing down hills are tasks that you tackle daily, this tire might rank higher on your list of best suited for your particular activities.
And there you have the top 5 Recommended ATV Tires for 2018. We would love to hear from you, what tires have you tested? What are you currently running? What challenges to you traverse when you jump onto your ATV?