What To Consider Before Buying UTV Tires and Wheels?

What To Consider Before Buying UTV Tires and Wheels?

Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) are multi-purpose and can be used for transporting items, navigating rugged terrains, or racing. However, it is essential to maintain the performance and safety of your UTV to enjoy seamless driving. The right selection of UTV tires and wheels can ensure the best performance in different environments. 

What To Consider Before Buying UTV Tires and Wheels?

The selection of UTV tires and wheels mainly depends on the purpose for which you use your UTV. Here are the factors to consider that will help you purchase the best UTV tires and wheels: 

On-Road Vs Off-Road 

Before you choose the UTV wheels, you must decide whether you will be using your UTV on-road or off-road. If you plan to use it off-road, then you must check any laws and regulations set by your local transportation department. Such protocols are usually for the safety of the driver and vehicle. 

The ideal UTV tires feature different materials and narrower tramps and are suitable for rugged paths and hard-packed tracks. They would last longer than the off-road tires, however, on-road wheels usually require greater pressure to maintain stability. 

If you are driving off-road, lightweight tires with weightier tread designs will be a better option. A lower pressure off-road tire will save you from any hassles (perforation), plus will be able to drive at high speeds and enjoy better, more aggressive offroad performance. 

Wheel Size 

Experts suggest that large wheels will give your UTV a competitive edge. Larger wheels allow you to traverse rough pathways such as mud, snow, sand, and rocks. You should remain cautious when choosing oversized wheels, as it may make your UTV more vulnerable to wear and tear. 

Greater height ensures high ground clearance that is ideal for off-roading and exploring rugged terrain. On the contrary, small tires (with lower ground clearance) are best for higher speeds and typical day-to-day use. Evaluate your perfect exact tire size based on your desired use and choose accordingly. If you are unsure about what is the best UTV tire size for your vehicle, contact an expert.

What is Ply? 

A higher tire ply rating means more layers creates a thicker overall tire, which makes them more puncture-resistant. It also improves the tire’s load capacity and provides extra durability. So, what is the best tire ply rating for your vehicle? It depends on the purpose you intend to utilize your UTV for. Usually, the best ply rate for off-road vehicles ranges from 4-6, however, 8 ply is better for rugged pathways. UTVs require more durability in hilly areas and rocky paths. 

Tire ply rating is important, choosing the correct rating is essential. The two types of tire ply are: 

Bias Ply 

In this version, the plies overlay in a traverse pattern over the tire surface. 

Radial Ply 

In this type, the plies are layered at the core of the tire and don’t spread to the sides. The plies are positioned at the right angle to the direction of travel. The center and sides of the plies move in diverse directions. This pattern allows easy bending of the sides that support seamless driving and better vehicle handling. It also improves the tire’s heat tolerance, shock absorbent capacity, and overall durability. 

The preferred option is are radial tires, however, some choose the budget friendly alternative - bias tires.

Tread Depth 

Tread depth impacts the way a tire can perform at a particular terrain. It is the main factor that distinguishes one type of tire from another. For rugged terrains, you may opt for deeper tread tires as they will easily drive you through challenging spots. For muddy and snow-paved paths, you may opt for basic tread patterned tires. On-road and sandy paths may require shallower treads or even plain tires as they will allow you to glide through without sinking into the surface. 

Rubber Compounds

The rubber compounds utilized in the fabrication of a tire directly impacts the way the vehicle performs in varied environments. Softer compounds have a better grasping power and are relatively heavier as compared to harder ones. For more durable tires with enhanced rolling resistance, you may opt for harder compound varieties. However, hard or soft rubber compounds might not truly define your UTV’s performance unless you push your vehicle’s performance off road or at high speeds.

Moreover, the placement of rubber compounds also impacts the ride quality. Soft rubber functions better on tall tire knobs and provides extra support on bumpy surfaces. However, a majority of wheel manufacturers prefer using a combination of soft and hard rubbers to create the best overall version. Such tires feature the softer rubber on the outside and the harder rubber on the internal surface. This provides better grip and support to the wheel. Some dual-compound tire designs also place harder compounds on the middle section of the tire and softer rubber on the sides to minimize rolling resistance and improve power delivery.

Which UTV Tires Are Available in the Market?

UTV tires are available in different types, each with diverse features that make it best suited to different terrains. However, the most common types may include: 

All-Terrain Tires 

All-terrain tires are the “go to” for day-to-day use, that can be the best option unless you’re pushing the limits in severe weather or off road environments. 

Mud Tires

Mud tires feature complex tread patterns and are ideal for navigating muddy pathways where you have a high probability of getting stuck in an all-terrain tire. 

Sand Tires 

Sand tires feature lightweight and paddle-like tramp design that makes them suited for driving on sandy grounds. They are engineered to drift on the sandy surface allowing you to enjoy a smooth ride without sinking.

Rock Crawling Tires 

Rock crawling tires feature hard compounds and specific tread patterns that improve their grip on jagged and gravelly surfaces. These deliver the ultimate performance in rough terrains where high stability and traction is required.


Having sufficient knowledge about UTV tires and the factors to consider when choosing the right tire for your vehicle, you will be able to make the right decision. Contact an expert to discuss your use and which tire will best suit your needs.