Best ATV Mud Tires – Top 10 Reviews [2021 EDITION]
What are the best ATV mud tires on the market today? That’s exactly what we will look into now with this top 10 review round-up.
With such a wide range of brands, types, and sizes available, and the fact you can choose to buy one tire or a whole set, it can be difficult to know which of the many options to buy.
Well hopefully, by the end of this article you will have a clearer idea. We have selected 10 top-rated ATV mud tires, covering the full spectrum of budgets and specifications.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For full reviews of each of our choices, plus a detailed ATV tire buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
- Our Top Picks
- Best of the Rest
- ATV Mud Tire Reviews
- Individual ATV Mud Tires
- ATV Tire Set Reviews
- 5. Best Mud Tire Set: Set of SunF A033 Power.I 25×8-12 Front and 25×10-12 Rear
- 6. Set of ITP Mud Lite 25×8-12 (Front) and 25×10-12 (Rear)
- 7. Set of Wanda ATV25S4P350 25×8-12 (Front) and 25×10-12 (Rear) Tires
- 8. Set of Maxxis Zilla 27×9-12 (Front) and 27×11-12 (Rear) Tires
- 9. Set of Sedona Mud Rebel 25×8-12 MR25812 (Front) and 25×10-12 MR251110 (Rear) Tires
- 10. Terache Aztex Premium 30×9-14 Tire Set
- ATV Tire Ratings
- How to Choose the Right ATV Mud Tires
- Parts of an ATV Mud Tire
- Further Information
Our Top Picks
Best Budget Tire: Kenda Bearclaw K299
- Tire only; rim sold separately; non-highway use only
- The Kenda Bearclaw features angled knobs to do dig into the terrain for maximum traction and a 6-ply rated extra-tough casing to resist punctures
- The center lugs provide extra traction and better control; the built-in rim guard protects your wheel from dings and dents
- Long-range tread compound
- 6-ply rating; 340 pounds load capacity; tubeless
Best Premium Tire: ITP Mud Lite XL
- Unique centre tread contact area provides a smooth, radial-like ride
- Extended-wear rubber compound for even longer life and better value
- Revolutionary mud tire that's designed for the trail
- Made in United States
Best Mud Tire Set: Set of 4 x SunF A033 Power Tires
- Front Size: 25x8-12 - Rear Size: 25x10-12 | Wheel (Rim) Diameter: Front 12 in - Rear 12 in
- Directional angled knobby tread design great in most terrain with high performance on trails and suitable for desert, mud, dirt and rock applications. Features premium rubber in our hard compound to withstand the harshest racing conditions. A perfect replacement tire for your quad ATV, UTV, Go Kart, Golf Cart or Lawn Mower.
- Heavy 6 ply rated construction resists punctures and abrasions.
- Lug depth and pattern offers enhanced skid and traction control, great in cross country or desert conditions. Aggressive shoulder knobs provide superb side bite and traction with added protection to rim and sidewall. Trully a great ALL TERRAIN tire at an affordable price .
- Rim(s) NOT included. Prior to purchase, please check the size of the original tire on your vehicle to ensure the size of the tire to be purchased is correct.
Best of the Rest
ITP Mud LiteAT Mud TerrainATV Tire
Maxxis M961Mud BugATV Tire
27x8-12 - 5psi max
ITP Mud Lite
Set of 4:25x8-12 Front25x10-12 Rear(6ply) ATV Tires
New WANDAATV/UTV Tires
Set of 4:25x8-12 Front25x10-12 Rear6PR P350 -10163/10165
Maxxis ZillaATV Mud Tires (4)
Set of 4: 27x9-12& 27x11-12
Sedona Mud RebelATV Tires (4)
Set of 4: 25x8-12& 25x11-10
TERACHE AztexPremium Tires
Set of 4:30x9-14 30x9x14ATV UTV Trail & Mud 8 PR Tubeless
ATV Mud Tire Reviews
ATV mud tires are designed for demanding off-road driving. Their tread patterns are characterized by large angled lugs, a central zig-zag groove, large voids, and prominent sipes on the lugs which allow the tire to easily disperse mud, dirt, and water instead of holding it in the tread.
What follows are the top 10 tires that we recognize as making the grade when it comes to these design qualities.
The review is divided into 2 sections; the first section covers 4 product reviews of individual tires. The second section contains 6 reviews of tire sets.
Individual ATV Mud Tires
1. Best Budget Tire: Kenda Bearclaw K299 25×8.00-12
The Kenda Bearclaw is a tubeless, high-quality yet budget ATV mud tire that has a ply rating of 6, and is designed for optimal toughness and resistance to punctures.
The lugs on this tire are 18 millimeters tall, which makes it difficult for short (less than 15 millimeters) sharp spikes in muddy environments to reach the tread groove. Even so, the relatively tall profile of the lugs makes this tire unsuitable for highway use.
Its lugs come in 3 shapes, and each lug design is uniformly distributed across the tread. These lugs are also widely spaced so as to create large voids and grooves that allow for mud and water to be channeled easily through the tread.
The lugs in the tread centerline are heavily-siped angle knobs, and on either side of these angle knobs are bearclaw-shaped siped lugs.
Near the tire shoulder are siped knobs. This shows that this tire comes with 5 lug columns – the angled-knob column in the centerline, 2 off-center (or side) bearclaw-shaped lug columns, and 2 knob-shaped lug columns at the tire shoulder.
This gives the tire an aggressive tread pattern that endows it with a good grip and optimal traction in muddy roads.
Moreover, the sipes in the lugs feature clean cutouts which improve tread traction. This also improves steering control for bias-ply tires, especially when the tread centerline lugs dig well into deep mud.
The plies in this tire are placed in a bias orientation, and its 6-ply rating means that the plies provide tensile strength equivalent to 6 cotton plies.
This well-designed, well-built product is designed and manufactured by Kenda Tires, a Taiwan-based company. (Its model number is K299 while the part number is 082991245C1.) This model is sold as a tubeless tire without a rim.
The puncture rating of this tire is 58 pounds, and its rubber hardness is rated at 62 using the IHRD scale. This material design feature allows it to be used as either front or back tires.
Likewise, this ensures that the tire wears off slowly, hence increasing its lifespan. Additionally, the bead of this tire is reinforced into a rim guard which serves to protect the (wheel) rim from being dented or dinged.
2. ITP Mud Lite 25×8-12
The ITP Mud Lite is a pneumatic, high-performance, and high-quality ATV mud tire with a 6-ply rating, and whose tread features large, uniformly-spaced lugs.
The height of each lug is 19 millimeters, which makes the tire safe for riding in areas with short (less than 17 millimeters tall) plant spikes as they cannot easily puncture the tread. Nonetheless, this tire cannot be driven on tarmacked highways.
On the bright side, its elastomer is made from extended-wear processed rubber which gives a relatively long lifespan. Moreover, its ply rating shows that it has been designed for optimal toughness and resistance to punctures.
Its lugs come in 2 shapes, and each lug design is uniformly distributed across the tread.
These lugs are also widely spaced so as to create large voids and grooves that allow for mud and water to be channeled easily through the tread.
The lugs in the tread centerline are V-shaped and each lug has 2 sipes. The side lugs are claw-shaped with each lug having 2 cleanly-cut sipes.
It, therefore, has 3 lug columns; the center V-shaped lug column and the 2 claw-shaped lug columns on the sides.
This results in a sporty, yet aggressive tread pattern that gives it a good grip and optimal traction in muddy roads. It also allows for good steering control for bias-ply tires.
These plies are placed in a bias orientation. This well-designed, well-built product is designed and manufactured by Carlstar Group, LLC, as part of its Mud Lite series of ITP ATV tires. (Its model number is 56A306.)
Even so, this tire is optimized for use as a front tire. It is also sold as a tubeless tire without a rim.
3. Best Premium Tire: ITP Mud Lite XL 26×10-12
This is a premium-grade, high-performance, and high-quality pneumatic ATV mud tire with a 6-ply rating and 28-inch tall lugs.
The XL stands for extra-large as this model is designed as a larger version of the ITP Mud Lite tire. In fact, its design in terms of tread pattern, tire shape profile, and lug shapes is the same as the ITP Mud Lite 25×8-12 tire reviewed above.
Its lugs come in 2 shapes, and each lug design is uniformly distributed across the tread.
In terms of functionality, the XL model is designed to provide a ride that is equivalent to riding a radial-tire; and it is this radial-like ride on a bias ply orientation that has necessitated the increase in lug size, as well as deeper angling of the side lugs as they cross the tire shoulder.
This gives the side lugs a sharper claw shape as compared to the side lugs of the Mud Lite 25×8-12. Expectedly, these design and size considerations make this model more expensive than Mud Lite 25×8-12.
Even so, its lug height and size make the tire safe for riding in areas with short (less than 20 millimeters tall) plant spikes. On the downside, this tire cannot be driven on tarmacked highways.
These lugs are also widely spaced so as to create large voids and grooves. The center lugs are V-shaped, and each lug has 2 sipes.
The side lugs are claw-shaped, and each has 2 cleanly-cut sipes. It, therefore, has 3 lug columns. Like in the Mud Lite model, this gives this Mud Lite XL 26×10-12 model a sporty, yet aggressive tread pattern that gives it a good grip and optimal traction in muddy roads. Moreover, its steering control is optimized.
The elastomer in ITP Mud Lite XL 26×10-12 is made from extended-wear processed rubber which gives a relatively long lifespan.
Moreover, its ply rating indicates it has been built to provide optimal toughness and resistance to punctures.
4. Maxxis M961 27×10-12
This is a high-performance, tubeless ATV mud tire that has a ply rating of 6. It has an angled tread pattern with the lugs shaped as angled, sweeping bars which allow them to easily throw off the mud in the voids and its zig-zag groove.
Its tread depth is 33mm and this gives it an extra-ordinary puncture resistance, especially when riding across muddy swamps.
On the downside, the relatively tall profile of the lugs makes this tire unsuitable for highway use, as well as makes navigating sharp corners at high speeds a challenge.
Moreover, the side lugs feature a dual-stage pattern, that is two separate lugs are connected together at an angle on the tire shoulder so as to form one continuous side lug.
Its lugs are shaped as angled bars, and there are only two lug columns, each made of side lugs.
The angling of the tread lugs allows for two lugs on opposite sides of the tread to incline towards each other at the tread centerline.
These lugs are also widely spaced so as to create large voids and grooves that allow for mud and water to be channeled easily.
Its side lugs cross over the tire shoulder onto the upper edges of the sidewall. This serves to ensure that the tire does not sink in deep mud as the lugs on the sidewall can still provide grip when the center and side lugs have sunk into the mud.
The shape and pattern of the angled lug bars give the tire an aggressive tread pattern that endows it with a good grip and optimal traction on muddy roads.
Moreover, each lug has a long longitudinally-oriented, and cleanly-cut sipe that improves tread traction.
One upside relates to its construction design which allows for biasing of the orientation of the belted radial plies.
Likewise, the overall tire frame (the carcass) is reinforced using the novel reinforced carcass ridge (RCR) tire technology so as increase strength while minimizing weight.
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ATV Tire Set Reviews
5. Best Mud Tire Set: Set of SunF A033 Power.I 25×8-12 Front and 25×10-12 Rear
This is a complete set of high-performance and well-designed ATV mud tires with a 6 ply rating. This set is made up of 2 front tires that are less wide than the 2 rear tires.
The tread pattern in all 4 tires is the same. The lugs in the treads are symmetrically organized at the tread centerline into a series of angled lug bars, while the side lugs are V-shaped knobs.
The side lugs are siped, while the center lug bars feature a slit on their surface. Each of the tires is a tubeless, high-performance, and high-quality mud tire whose carcass is designed for optimal toughness and resistance to punctures.
The lugs in their treads are widely spaced so as to create large voids that allow for mud and water to be channeled easily. The grooves in these tires are ill-defined.
The tread depth is 21mm, and this gives each tire high puncture resistance, and the bias orientation of the plies allows for the load to be well-distributed across the tire carcass. Nonetheless, the relatively tall profile of the lugs makes these tires unsuitable for highway use.
The reason they are sold as a set is to ensure that one acquires 4 tires that are compatible with each other, and whose operation benefits from the synergy created when the 4 tires are used together.
The elastomer of these tires is made of extended-wear processed rubber.
As mentioned earlier, the rear tires are wider than the front tires, and this allows the rear tires to throw off more mud than the front wheel, and this is important when the front wheels get stuck in the mud as the rear wheel can provide enough traction to dislodge the front tires from the mud.
This well-designed, well-built set is designed and manufactured by SunF Corporation, and the collective model number is A033 Power.I, while the part number is 64-6A3U-AHB3. Like the models reviewed above, this model is sold as a set of tubeless tires without rims.
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6. Set of ITP Mud Lite 25×8-12 (Front) and 25×10-12 (Rear)
This is a full set of 4 tubeless, high-performance, and high-quality ITP Mud Lite tires, each with with a 6-ply rating and a tread that features large, uniformly-spaced lugs.
The height of each lug is 19 millimeters which gives it high puncture resistance, though it makes the tire unsuitable for use on tarmacked highways.
Their lugs are the same and are those found in the ITP Mud Lite 25×8-12 tire.
These lugs are also widely spaced so as to create large voids and grooves that allow for mud and water to be channeled easily. The lugs and void give this set an aggressive tread pattern which provides for good grip and optimal traction in muddy roads. It also allows for good steering control for bias-ply tires.
The plies in these 4 tires are placed in a bias orientation.
As expected, this set comprises of 2 pairs of tires of equal height; the front ITP Mud Lite 25×8-12 tire (which has been reviewed above), and the rear ITP Mud Lite 25×10-12 tire.
The rear tire is wider than the front tire so that it can generate more traction which can provide enough propulsion in case the front tire is stuck in the mud.
These 4 tires are made of extended-wear processed rubber which gives a relatively long lifespan, while their tire carcasses are designed to provide optimal toughness.
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7. Set of Wanda ATV25S4P350 25×8-12 (Front) and 25×10-12 (Rear) Tires
This is a full set of premium-grade, high-performance and well-designed tubeless ATV mud tires with a 6 ply rating. In this set, the rear tires are wider than the front tires by a margin of 2 inches.
Even so, the tread pattern in all 4 tires is the same.
The lugs in the treads are symmetrically arranged in the tread centerline into a series of alternating angled lug bars and angled knobs, while the side lugs are V-shaped bars that extend onto the sidewall.
The portion of the side lugs that are on the sidewall are siped, while the centerline lug bars only feature a slit on their surface, while the centered knobs are unsiped.
Each of the tires has a carcass that is designed for optimal toughness and resistance to punctures. The tread depth is 20mm, which endows each tire a high puncture resistance.
Even though the wide spacing of the lugs allows for the creation of large voids, the grooves in these tires are ill-defined. Their elastomer is made of extended-wear processed rubber.
An expected demerit of using these tires is that their tread depth makes them unsuitable for driving on tarmacked highways or any other smoothened and hardened road surface.
Likewise, the plies in the tires feature a bias orientation. This well-designed, well-built set is designed and manufactured by Tianjin-based Wanda Tyre Group Ltd.
The collective model number for this set is ATV25S4P350, which is also the same as the collective part number. These tires are sold without rims.
8. Set of Maxxis Zilla 27×9-12 (Front) and 27×11-12 (Rear) Tires
This is a set of 4 high-performance, well-built tubeless ATV mud tires that have a ply rating of 6. These tires have the same angled tread pattern composed of symmetrically distributed lugs shaped as angled, sweeping bars.
This lug shape allows the tread to easily throw off the mud in the voids and its zig-zag groove. The tread depth is 30mm and this gives it an extra-ordinary puncture resistance.
Even so, this tread depth makes these tires unsuitable for highway use, as well as makes navigating sharp corners at high speeds a challenge.
Each tire features two lug columns, each made of side lugs.
The angling of the tread lugs allows for two lugs on opposite sides of the tread to incline towards each other at the tread centerline.
The wide spacing of these lugs creates large voids and a zig-zag groove that allow for easy channeling of mud and water. Likewise, the dual-stage design of these side lugs ensures that the tire does not sink in deep mud as the lugs on the sidewall can still provide grip when the tread centerline has to suck into the mud.
Moreover, the shape and pattern of the angled lug bars give the tires in this set an aggressive tread pattern, which also improves their grip and optimizes their traction on muddy roads.
Furthermore, each lug has a long longitudinally-oriented, and cleanly-cut sipe that improves tread traction. Additionally, the elastomer in these tires are made from extended-wear rubber increases its lifespan.
These tires feature the same construction design which allows for biasing of the orientation of their belted radial plies.
Likewise, each tire carcass is reinforced using RCR technology to increase its strength while minimizing weight. Moreover, the side lugs feature a dual-stage pattern just as that found on the Maxxis M961 tire.
9. Set of Sedona Mud Rebel 25×8-12 MR25812 (Front) and 25×10-12 MR251110 (Rear) Tires
This is a set of 4 well-built, high-performance ATV mud tires with a 6 ply rating and a tread depth of 17mm.
This set is made up of 2 front tires that are 2inches less wide than the 2 rear tires. The tread pattern in all 4 tires is the same.
These tires belong to the Mud Rebel series of ATV tires designed and produced by the US-based company, Sedona Tire, and Wheel.
The collective manufacturer part number of this set is SMR25x810-12FS. On the other hand, there is no collective model number which means that the front and rear tires have different model numbers.
The model number for the front tire is MR251110, while that for the rear tire is MR25812. These tires are sold without rims.
The lugs in the treads of these tires are symmetrically organized at the tread centerline into a series of V-shaped lug bars, each with 2 sipes; while the side lugs are symmetrically organized into a series of sweeping angled bar with dual-stage construction which means that each bar crosses over onto the sidewall and it has 2 sipes.
Each of the tires is a tubeless, high-quality mud tire whose carcass is designed for toughness and resistance to punctures.
Likewise, its tread depth gives it a high puncture resistance, and the bias orientation of the plies allows for the load to be well-distributed across the tire carcass.
Moreover, the lugs are widely spaced so as to create large voids that allow for mud and water to be channeled easily. Even so, these tires lack grooves.
Another demerit of this tread pattern is that it makes this tire set unsuitable for riding on tarmacked highways where it can easily slide, especially when navigating corners as very high pressure is applied on the road by the contact patch which is usually a section of the tread centerline.
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10. Terache Aztex Premium 30×9-14 Tire Set
This is a premium tire set of 4 large ATV mud tires with a ply rating of 8, which also feature aggressive tread patterns. The most prominent feature in this tread pattern is the lug design which gives the tires an extra-deep tread depth.
Each lug is 39mm tall, and the lugs are widely spaced apart of the tire whose relatively narrow width makes the side lugs, especially the portion of the sidewalls, to stick out as thick rubber blades that can dig into muddy surfaces and throw the mud away from the tread so that ATV gains a firm grip and good traction on the muddy road.
The lugs are designed as paddle-style knobs that are uniformly distributed across the tread. Likewise, there is a large inter-lug space between two adjacent lugs which gives this tire very large voids and 2 ill-defined side grooves.
The lugs on the tread centerline lack sipes, while the side lugs feature narrow sipes. Even so, the large tire size of 30inches, as well as its large blade-like lugs makes aggressive siping unnecessary as the unsiped lugs are sufficient for providing traction, as well as a firm grip when traveling.
Even so, these lugs make this tire unsuitable for use in grasslands as it would deform the ground and cause the grass to be uprooted. Another demerit of this tread pattern is that it makes this tire set unsuitable for riding on tarmacked highways where it can easily slide.
These tubeless tires have tough carcasses that are resistant to punctures. Moreover, their tread depth gives them a high puncture resistance, while the bias orientation of their plies allows for the load to be evenly distributed across the tire carcasses. Additionally, their elastomer is made of extended-wear processed rubber.
ATV Tire Ratings
Each tire is required to have consumer information embedded on its sidewall.
How to Choose the Right ATV Mud Tires
The most important consideration is that one chooses the right ATV tires, and as mentioned earlier, ATV mud tires are designed for off-road driving in a muddy environment.
After one has ensured that the right ATV tire has been selected, there is a need to consider the tire size, tread pattern, tread lugs, and the other tire ratings described above.
Next, one considers the price of the tire. Also, one must check the tire ply rating (also called the load range), which indicates its carrying capacity at different air inflation pressures.
Usually, high-quality ATV mud tires have a considerable range of ply ratings, usually 2 to 6 ply ratings. Normally, one is advised to pick on models with 6 ply ratings as it can handle different loads properly when one changes the cruising speed or makes sharp corners when driving.
Other considerations are the make, brand, model, color, and design quality of the tire. These aforementioned considerations can be used to rate ATV mud tires in the market today and helped us select the top 10 tires reviewed here today.
Parts of an ATV Mud Tire
This tire has 5 main parts; the bead, sidewall, shoulder, ply, and tread.
This is the tire part that contacts the road surface. At any point in time, the portion of the tread that contacts the surface is called the contact patch. As expected, the tread is made of a wear-resistant elastomer as it provides traction.
In ATV mud tire, this tread features a prominent pattern made up of large lugs, circumferential grooves, sipes, and voids. It is this pattern, especially the shape and size of each lug, that sets the ATV mud tires apart from normal ATV tires.
As mentioned, lug design plays a key role in the functionalization of the tire as it determines where it can be used, and where it cannot be used.
Moreover, the lugs in the tread can be arranged in a symmetrical or a non-symmetrical pattern; and the lugs can be of uniform sizes or of non-uniform sizes. Even so, what is a lug?
The lug is the raised portion of the tread that contacts the surface and provides a grip for traction. In ATV mud tires, each lug is raised prominently over the tread, and its shape and pattern define the overall appearance of the tire.
Moreover, the lugs in the contact patch define the footprint of the tire as they match the vehicle load to the road surface.
As expected, different mud tires have different numbers of lugs, with this number and concentration (whether uniform or non-uniform) on the tread determining how effectively the tire can move on muddy surfaces.
This is because it is the lugs of the contact patch that are compressed and deformed circumferentially as the tire rotates, and they then recover their shape when the tire exits the footprint. This defines the grip and traction of the tire.
Therefore, the large, prominent lugs determine which road is appropriate for the tire.
For instance, driving ATV mud tires on grasslands would cause the tread lugs on the tires to deform the surface by digging through the grass surface, while driving them on the hard tarmacked surface can result in slippage as the lugs are deformed inappropriately, or not deformed at all, as their hysteresis is customized for muddy surfaces.
When traveling on muddy surfaces, the footprint of the tire must be sufficient to allow the vehicle to dig into the mud so as to gain a grip, but not so much as to cause the vehicle to sink into the mud and get stuck.
For this reason, high-quality ATV mud tires have a hemispherical (cross-sectional) tread profile that allows the lugs at the center of the tread to apply high pressure on the mud surface and cause the tire to dig in, while the off-center lugs apply less pressure that creates buoyancy that prevents the tire from sinking into the mud.
Another important concept to understand is that the lug height is equivalent to the tread depth.
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A void is a space between two adjacent lugs that allows the lugs to flex, as well as evacuate mud and water held in the void.
As expected, tire performance can be determines based on its void ratio (void area divided by tread area) with a low ratio showing that more rubber contacts the surface (that is, a large footprint), while a high ratio indicating a small footprint.
Mud tires have a medium ratio as the void area needs to be sufficiently large so that mud can be channeled away from the footprint, at almost the same rate that it (mud) enters the tread.
This also ensures that the tire carries less mud after a long cruise on the muddy surface, and this makes tire cleaning easy.
This is a continuous circumferential channel that channels water and mud away from the contact patch or footprint.
In most ATV mud tires, voids that form a contiguous channel around the tire circumference form the groove.
This groove can be straight or zig-zag which also impacts the rate at which water and mud are channeled through the tread.
In some mud tires, there are raised features – usually 1.6 millimeters tall – called wear bars on groove channels that show that the lug has reached its wear limit, and the tire needs to be replaced.
These are slits on the surface of lugs, and they serve to improve their elastic flexibility so as to maximize the grip that the footprint attains in the mud.
Sipes also heat build-up in the lugs by reducing the amount of shear stress that they are subjected to.
Mud tires have prominent sipes, and some off-road hobbyists can further sipe the tire to increase its grip. Siping also improves the ride experience in muddy swamps.
The bead is the part of the tire that contacts the rim of the wheel. It is usually made from low flexibility rubber (usually achieved by having a higher concentration of low hysteresis butadiene) that is reinforced with steel wire(s).
This bead must be tightly pressed against the 2 rims of the ATV wheel so that they can reliably hold air in tubeless pneumatic tires, as well as prevent them from shifting circumferentially – that is, rotate at a different speed than the wheel (rotation).
As expected, the inter-bead distance of the tire must be slightly longer than the rim width for it to achieve this tight fit. This also means that the rim width determines the tire size needed.
Sidewall and Shoulder
This is the tire portion that bridges the bead to the thread. It is made of low flexibility rubber that is reinforced by steel or fabric cords so as achieve a high tensile strength that allows it to transmit the torque on the wheel rim to the tread.
It also serves to give the tire its shape and tread profile, usually by containing the air pressure in pneumatic tires within an enclosed space of the fixed volume.
This is evident when the tire punctures and the sidewalls collapse which makes the tire to lose its shape by flattening.
Also, the large relatively flat surface area of the sidewalls provides enough space for manufacturers to emboss tire details, warning labels, and consumer information; as well as mold some decorative ornamentation on the tires (usually lacking in mud ATV tires).
The part of the tread that provides for a transition from the tread to the sidewall is called the shoulder.
This is a layer made up of inextensible cords, and it is integrated/embedded in the elastomer so as to give the tire its shape, as well as prevent the tire from over-stretching when the internal air pressure builds up.
The ply orientation and a number of (ply) layers determine the strength and durability of the tire. Usually, there are 3 main ply orientations; bias, belted bias, and radial. Most ATV mud tires feature a radial ply.
In bias orientation, the cords of the ply extend diagonally (usually at an angle of 30-40 degrees) from bead to bead. The next ply (layer) is then laid in the opposite (diagonal) angle.
This successive layering of plies at opposing angles creates a criss-cross ply pattern onto which the tread rests on, and this pattern allows the tire to flex easily.
Nonetheless, it is associated with a high rolling resistance as the tread is not very stiff, and poor traction and control at high speeds.
To improve on these designs, stabilizer belts are bonded to the outermost ply and the tread rests on this belt; and this orientation is called belted bias.
This design is used in Polyglas tires that use fiberglass belts. These stabilizer belts improve tread stiffness which in turn reduces the rolling resistance.
In radial orientation, ply cords extend across the tread from bead to bead. This means that the cords are oriented perpendicularly to the tread centerline, while individual cords are orientated parallel to each other, regardless of where they are located on the ply layers.
Most ATV mud tires use the radial orientation as it is associated with low rolling resistance, few blowouts, good steering control, and long tread life.
Another advantage of radial orientation is that it can achieve the same strength as a multi-ply belted-bias tire by having fewer plies that are reinforced by steel cords.
Even so, driving such tires at low speeds on rough roads reduces their grip.
Likewise, they have a low self-cleaning capability as the tread is stiff to allow mud stuck in the grooves to easily slide off. Therefore, they need to be driven at high speeds so that the mud in the groove can be thrown off the tire.