When side by sides were first introduced, the aftermarket for them was pretty slim. Riders had to retrofit ATV parts for their UTV’s and tires were no exception. But great ATV tires don’t necessarily translate to being great for an UTV, which presents much different needs. Over the past few years, tire manufacturers have recognized the demand for side by side specific skins. The wider wheel base, heavier weight and massive power of today’s side by sides require a different kind of tire that was available up until recently. Now there are some serious contenders that will push your buggy to perform at its best by getting the best hookup and by holding up to the abuse that a side by side can put on a tire.
The boom for side by side specific tires is really just starting to explode right now. This year, we are seeing more new entries than ever before. Riders can either choose skins that are extremely specific to the type of terrain that they ride or they can choose from the bevy of all terrain/intermediate tires that are now out there. Because this is a relatively new realm, there aren’t a ton of cult favorites with crazy followings that we can see in the ATV world, but there are certainly some options that are impressing riders right out of the gate. Let’s take a look at what some of these are.
The Rock-A-Billy tires from Sedona are fairly new, but they already have a lot of hard pack and rock crawling riders pretty excited. These 8-ply, puncture resistant radials are made to shine in rocky conditions. Sedona uses a softer compound on the Rock-A-Billy to provide maximum grip on ultra-hard terrain and rocks. A built-in rim guard protects against side impacts and punctures. The tread features integrated rock ejectors to help clear the tire. And even though this tire is built to excel in rocky conditions, it will certainly perform well in most intermediate terrain conditions as well.
ITP Ultracross R
For riders who like to go fast and compete in races, the ITP Ultracross R Spec should be at the top of the list. First introduced in only 30” sizes, ITP has now released the Ultracross R in a full range of sizes. The 30” has seen amazing success in racing, including victories in the Baja 1000 and the Best in the Desert Parker 250. One unique feature of this tire is the non-directional tread pattern that will grip well on even the most slippery hard pack surfaces. This 8-ply radial is designed for speed, control and punishment.
CST Lobo CH01
CST has a lot of compelling new options for side by side tires and the Lobo is certainly one of those, especially for riders who are looking for a performance hard pack tire. This DOT, 8-ply rated, radial tire was developed to be ran in Baja conditions at high speeds. Though it is a very durable tire, it is still fairly light for a side by side tire, which makes it easier for your machine to turn. Racers have been able to run this tire on fairly low psi to increase the grip and ride comfort. You can expect predictable traction from the tread in corners and in the straights.
Maxxis has a great reputation in the ATV/UTV racing world. The Ceros is their new short course and cross country offering that is sure to push your machine to the front of the pack. Short course tracks present a unique challenge by starting off fairly muddy and end up to be a fairly hard packed surface. The Ceros 6-ply radial tire has a tread that hooks up very well in all of the conditions to provide consistent traction throughout the race. The fact that it performs well in many different terrains makes the Ceros tire an excellent choice for trail riders.
Durability is a huge factor for many riders who are considering a tire and, at the moment, it seems that the DWT MOAPA Run-Flat Utility tire is as good as it gets. This 12-ply tire was designed and built with extensive engineering and testing and the result is incredible. Through strict military puncture testing (multiple large caliber bullet holes) the MOAPA’s were able to be ran flat at 40mph speeds over 50 miles with a 650lb load per tire without any rim damage. This virtually eliminates the need to carry a spare on most rides. This tire is also designed to perform well in all-terrain conditions. It features a multi-directional tread and wide footprint to get great hookup while still providing a smooth ride.
Having been tested extensively in GNCC racing, the Behemoth from CST has proven to be an excellent choice for great hookup in both the woods and desert. The aggressive tread pattern that features deep, ridged shoulder lugs allow this tire to really hook up in the corners and also provides extra sidewall protection. The radial construction reduces the rolling resistance, which makes it very stable at high speeds. The 8-ply construction carries the weight of heavy side by sides very well and resists punctures.
Sedona Mudda Inlaw
As the name implies, the Mudda Inlaw is designed to be a beast in the mud pits. Dedicated mud tires for UTV’s are fairly rare, which makes this Sedona offering really stands above the rest. As the only 8-ply, deep lug, puncture resistant radial mud tire available, it is the go-to option for side by sides. The lugs range from 2” in the center to 2-1/4” on the outside edge. This creates a powerful paddle to get you through the mud quickly. The radial construction of the tire provides a smooth ride that you just wouldn’t expect from a deep lug mud tire. If the mud pits are where your machine lives, it’s hard to beat the Mudda Inlaw tires.
Which UTV tires have you had good results with? Let us know in the comments.