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  • Writer's pictureCasey Reedus

Size Does Matter: How To Read ATV Tire Sizes

Updated: Dec 8, 2023



If you're an ATV enthusiast, understanding your ATV's tire size is essential. It impacts your vehicle's performance, handling, and overall riding experience. In this guide, we'll decipher the code behind ATV tire sizes and explore how to choose the right ones for your off-road adventures.

Deciphering ATV Tire Sizes

ATV tire sizes consist of a series of numbers, which may seem confusing at first. However, breaking down these numbers makes it easier to understand:

1. Tire Width (First Number) The first number in an ATV tire size represents its width in millimeters (mm). For example, in the size "25x10-12," the "25" indicates that the tire is 25 millimeters wide from sidewall to sidewall when mounted on an appropriately sized wheel.

2. Aspect Ratio (Second Number) The second number is the tire's aspect ratio, which is the ratio of its height to its width. In our example "25x10-12," the "10" means the tire's height is 10 times less than its width. This number helps you determine how tall the tire is.

3. Rim Diameter (Third Number) The third number specifies the diameter of the wheel (rim) in inches that the tire is designed to fit. In our example, "25x10-12," the "12" indicates that the tire fits a 12-inch rim.

Choosing the Right ATV Tire Size

1. Consider Your Riding Terrain Your choice of tire size should align with the type of terrain you'll be tackling. Wider tires provide better flotation in soft terrains like mud or sand, while narrower tires offer more precision and control on hard-packed trails.

2. Balance Width and Height The aspect ratio, represented by the second number, plays a crucial role. A lower aspect ratio (e.g., 25x8-12) indicates a wider and shorter tire, offering stability and better cornering on hard surfaces. Higher aspect ratios (e.g., 25x10-12) result in taller, narrower tires, enhancing traction in soft terrains.

3. Fitment and Compatibility Ensure that the tire size you choose fits your ATV's wheels and doesn't interfere with other components. Check your ATV's owner's manual or consult a professional if you're uncertain about compatibility.

4. Weight Considerations Consider your ATV's weight, including any additional cargo or passengers you might carry. Properly sized tires can help distribute weight more evenly and maintain stability.

5. Riding Style Your riding style matters. If you prefer aggressive riding and tackling challenging terrains, consider tires designed for maximum traction and durability. For more recreational riding, all-terrain or trail tires may be suitable.

6. Brand and Model Different tire brands and models offer varying performance characteristics. Research customer reviews and seek recommendations from fellow riders to find the right tire for your needs.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right ATV tire size is a crucial decision for any off-road enthusiast. Understanding the numbers and factors involved can help you make an informed choice that enhances your ATV's performance and your overall riding experience. Whether you're conquering mud, sand, rocks, or trails, having the right tire size can make all the difference in your ATV adventures.

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