ATV tires are really expensive. As such, you want them to last as long as possible. So how do you make your ATV tires last longer?
Some ways in which you can extend the lifespan of your ATV tires is by ensuring that the air pressure is just right, that the tires are aligned and balanced well, using tires suitable for the terrain that you’re riding on, and storing your ATV tires appropriately when they aren’t in use.
Not many ATV users pay much heed to ATV tire maintenance and care. They assume that ATVs are meant to be driven on rough and tough terrains, and that’s what they do. Little do they realize that, like everything else, ATV tires have a lifespan, too, beyond which they’ll no longer be safe to use. If you don’t take care of your ATV tires well, they’ll get damaged and hence, useless sooner than later. By taking good care of your ATV tires, you can extend their lifespan,
As someone who has spent tons of money on tires over the years, I know just how much of a wallet burner it is. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of tips I’ve learned that will help you get the most out of your ATV tires.
How Long Do ATV Tires Usually Last?
One of the most commonly asked questions that we get is how long do ATV tires usually last? You can’t expect your ATV tires to last forever. ATVs are quads that are driven on the toughest of terrains, so naturally, the tires will get damaged. But there’s a life expectancy of ATV tires too.
Typically, ATV tires can last for a few hundred miles to up to 5000 miles. How long they last for you depends on how well you take care of your ATV tires, your riding style, what quality tires you use, and of course, the types of terrain you ride your ATV on. However, you can expect your ATV tires to last longer if you take good care of them. If you ride your ATV very frequently, they might last you for about 2 years. However, if you only use your ATVs for off-roading, you can expect them to last you for about 5 to 10 years!
ATV tires feature widely spaced rubber lugs. Lesser rubber is in contact with the ground. Unlike the regular on-road tires, where the rubber lugs are closer together, there’s only very little rubber to serve as a primary line of defense and protection for the deeper threads. As a result, the ATV tires get damaged more quickly as compared to the regular vehicle tires. And this is why ATV tires need more attention and care to last longer.
The secret is simple – with all the factors that affect the lifespan of ATV tires, if you take good care of the ATV tires, you can make them last much longer than the average lifespan.
Make Your ATV Tires Last Longer with These Tips
The better you take care of things, the longer they tend to last. This sits true for everything, even your ATV tires. While you can’t prevent the tires from wear and tear, you can most definitely keep them in good shape and make them last longer than they otherwise would.
We’ve put together a list of some tips that’ll help you keep your ATV tires in good shape for longer. You’ll be surprised to see how basic and practical some of these tips are. Let’s get down to see what they are:
Set the Right Air Pressure
All ATV tires come with the manufacturer’s specifications. The pressure specifications for tires from one manufacturer will be different from what the other manufacturer has specified. The pressure of your ATV tires should be checked according to your manufacturer’s specifications. You shouldn’t run your ATV with tire pressure that’s too low or too high. Both conditions can cause serious damage to the tires and the performance of your ATV.
Most people ride with high pressure when they’re driving on hard surfaces. However, it’s not the right practice. When the pressure is too high, it enables you to drive at a higher speed, but it lowers the rolling resistance. As a result, the overall ride quality gets significantly affected. Not only is the ride quality affected, the level of wear and tear at the center of the tire is also increased. When the center of the tire gets worn out, the tire will get damaged upon the slightest impact. High tire pressure also leads to uneven wear and tear of the tire and difficult handling.
On the other hand, when the tire pressure is too low, the footprint will be increased, which leads to an increase in traction. Another consequence of lower than recommended tire pressure is the early failure of the tire due to excessive flex of the sidewalls and cracking of tread. It can even lead to the bending of rims. Moreover, low PSI can increase the risk of tire beads popping off the wheel. Another consequence of underinflated tires is high susceptibility to pinching at points where the tire isn’t snug to the wheel.
However, you can prevent all of this from happening by setting the tire pressure just right. You should first start with what your tire manufacturer has recommended and then move up or down unit by unit till the PSI is set at a level that suits your riding conditions and style.
The pressure settings for front and rear tires won’t be the same. The pressure of front tires shouldn’t be too low. As for the rear tires, the pressure should be such that it provides the best traction. While riding with two different front and rear tire pressures is okay, you’ve got to make sure that the pressure on the horizontal parallel is the same.
Use the Right Tires at the Right Place
Did you know that not all types of ATV tires are suitable for all types of terrains? Well, that’s true. The tires for diving in the sand are different from the tires that you would use if you’re riding in mud or snow. If you’re planning to participate in ATV racing, the tires you install will be those that are recommended for racing. Then there are tires that are suitable for all terrains and trails, and those are more expensive than others. This is because the driving conditions and challenges of each type of terrain are unique, and the specific tires are designed with all of that in consideration. Riding the ATV with the type of tires that aren’t suitable for the terrain you’re driving your ATV on will lead to premature wear and tear of your ATV tires.
If you’re planning to take your ATV to the trails or dunes, the racing or sand tires would be the best for you. However, if you’re planning to ride your ATV across your farm or large property, you’ll need all-terrain, snow, or mud tires.
You may want to know how these tires are different from each other and what makes them suitable for different terrains. Most importantly, how can using the right tires prolong the lifespan of your ATV tires?
Mud and snow tires feature lugs that are deeper and spaced far apart. These features give these tires a higher level of traction control when the terrains are slippery, making them suitable for snow and mud. On the other hand, all-terrain tires are designed to be suitable to be used on nearly all types of terrains. They have excellent vertical and lateral stability, but they aren’t the best choice for snow and mud.
If you try to drive your ATV in terrains that the tires aren’t well-suited for, it’s going to result in rapid wear and tear and premature tire failure.
Make Sure Your ATV Tires are Well-Balanced
Another important tip that will make your ATV tires last longer is ensuring that your ATV tires are well-balanced. When your ATV tires are balanced correctly, the vibration will be greatly reduced, protecting the tires from extensive wear and tear. The tires are protected from damage, and their smoothness is greatly improved as well. All of this will eventually enhance the quality of your ATV drive. Ideally, you should adjust and rebalance the tires of your ATV after riding every 5,000 miles.
Make Sure the ATV Tires are Aligned Correctly
Another important factor that you need to consider to ensure the longevity of your ATV tires is improved is whether or not the tires are aligned correctly or not. You can evaluate your tires closely to see if the alignment is out. Some common signs that indicate you need to realign your ATV tires are one side of the tire wearing out faster than the other side.
It shows that one side of the tires is more in contact with the terrain than the other when ideally, they should be in similar contact. If the tires of your ATV are aligned correctly, you’ll be able to control your ATV better. You won’t face any problems when you’re riding your ATV at high speeds. All in all, the better the tire alignment, the better your ATV will perform.
Keep the Tires off the Ground When Not in Use
Now, this may sound unreasonable, but keeping the tires off the ground when it’s not in use can actually help you extend the lifespan of your ATV tires. If your ATV is parked, especially hard asphalt, and you aren’t planning to use it for an indefinite period, it’s best to reduce the tire’s contact with the ground. If the ATV is parked in the same place for long and the wheels are in direct contact with the ground, it may cause dry rot of the tires, deeming them useless for use.
What you can do to prevent dry rot is raise the ATV off the ground using a jack so that the tires are not in contact with hot and hard ground. Another way you can prevent tire damage due to dry rot is to move your ATV a bit every few weeks so that the tires don’t stay in the same place all the while.
Protect from Direct Sun Exposure
You might have simply left your ATV parked out in the sun, but trust us, you’re only putting yourself in the face of loss. Excessive exposure to the sun can damage ATV tires and lead to them losing their efficiency sooner than later. The UV rays of the sun can lead to excessive damage to the tires. UV rays cause the breakdown of compounds of the ATV tires. Therefore, if you aren’t using your ATV, don’t leave it parked out in the sun. Either park your ATV in a covered car park or cover the ATV with a UV-protective ATV cover. If you can’t find a cover for your ATV, look if you can find covers for the wheels. They would do the job pretty well too.
If you don’t want to spend money on an ATV cover, you can use planks of plywood to shield the tires from the sun. The wood planks should be big enough that they cover the tires entirely. The better you protect the ATV tires from sun exposure, the longer they’ll last.
Store the ATV Properly
If you think you don’t have to worry about the condition of your ATV tires when it’s not in use, you’re highly mistaken. You need to make sure that the tires are adequately inflated even when not in use. This is important to ensure that they last longer, especially if you’re planning to store your ATV for a long time. You’ve got to make sure you’re checking the pressure of the tires regularly and inflating them just enough if they appear deflated. Deflated tires are more prone to getting damaged.
Another thing that you must avoid during ATV storage is keeping stuff over the ATV. If you place things on your ATV, it’ll increase the pressure on the tires and increase the risk of your ATV tires getting damaged.
Do you know the best way to make sure your ATV tires last longer when you’re putting them away for long-term storage? Remove the tires from the ATV, underinflate them, and store them away in a cool, dark place. Inflate the tires whenever you plan to use your ATV again.
Clean Tires Regularly
ATVs are meant to get dirty, right? Well, yes. But are they meant to stay dirty? No. You can make your ATV tires last longer by cleaning them regularly so that tough dirt doesn’t settle deep into curves and grooves. Wash the tires with a water hose and scrub the tires with a brush to make sure no dirt or debris remains. The better you clean the ATV tires, the longer they’ll stay in great shape.
Get the Tires Inspected by Professionals
You may not be able to identify problems with your ATV tires. They may look good to you. Minor problems don’t usually present themselves till they worsen, at which point, you’re left with no option but to get new tires. However, if you get your ATV tires inspected by a professional every now and then, you can address the problems that you can’t see right now, but they’re there. When you keep this practice, your ATV tires will stay in great shape for longer than you can imagine!
What Causes Damage to ATV Tires?
Knowing what causes damage to the ATV tires can help you protect them from these damaging factors and keep your ATV tires in good condition for longer. Let’s have a look at some of the most common reasons why ATV tires get damaged so soon.
Riding with Inappropriate PSI
As we’ve already discussed in detail, if you ride your ATV with tire pressure that’s too low or too high, your ATV tires will get damaged sooner than later.
Improper Tire Care
Not many ATV owners are mindful about how well they take care of their ATVs because they assume that ATVs are rough and tough vehicles that need little or no care. And that’s why their ATV tires lose their efficiency much sooner. Leaving the ATV parked out in the sun for a long time, not keeping the tires adequately inflated during parking, and overloading the ATV with things when it’s stored in the garage are all some common reasons why ATV tires get damaged, even during storage.
Bad Alignment and Balance
Not getting the ATV tires balanced and aligned by professionals routinely is another reason why ATV tires get damaged. ATVs undergo a lot of impacts, and the tires tend to go out of balance. It’s extremely crucial to have a professional tune your ATV tires as a routine maintenance check.
About THE AUTHOR
25 years old. I'm from PA. I love horseback riding and riding ATV's. My husband and I own a farm and our ATV's help us work and have fun.Read More About Elizabeth