Why Do ATV Tires Wear Down So Fast? | Hunt or Shred

Are you tired of ATV tires that wear out too quickly? Read on as I explain why ATV tires get worn out and what you can do about it.

One of the most common reasons ATV tires get worn out is because people drive these vehicles on roads even though they’re not built for these surfaces. However, you can avoid this issue by checking the tires before you start riding your ATV.

It’s also essential to understand that your ATV’s tires aren’t going to last forever. Even the most durable and specialized tire has a lifespan, and once it’s up, you’ll have no option but to replace the tire. That said, tires are a big investment, and most of us don’t have access to a limitless budget.

Moreover, there’s no set time limit on how long the tires of your ATV are going to last. The period depends on the terrain you’re riding your ATV on, how you ride your ATV, and how often you ride it. Depending on these factors, different ATV tires can last up to 5 years or even longer if you take care of them. How does one do that, you wonder? Read on as I introduce you to a few ways you can elongate the lifespan of your ATV’s tires.

Table of contents


Why Do ATV Tires Wear Out Quickly?

First and foremost, you must know that ATV tires wear out a lot faster when compared to the tires of a car or any other vehicle. A tire that is supposed to be on the road is designed for perfect grip on packed gravel and asphalt surfaces. This gives them long life, produces low tire noise, and makes the ride highly comfortable.

To achieve this, these tires have a continuous thread pattern which allows the rubber to have an optimal grip with the surface it’s on. There are also threads on tires that help them deal with grooves on the road, improve the tire’s heat dissipation and handle water on the road. On the other hand, the tires of an ATV are designed for off-road traction, and the manufacturers are thinking of rough trails when they design these tires. Sometimes, rubber lugs are used, which are spaced inches apart.

As a result, much less rubber comes in contact when you’re riding the ATV on hard surfaces like asphalt. Your tire then starts losing its depth because of the surface. The space between the lugs also caused more friction noise and increased tire wear compared to an on-road tire. It’s also important to remember that tires meant for off-roading are built from a softer rubber compound. The sticky and soft rubber makes these tires perfect for snowy, muddy, icy, gravel, and hard trails.

The downside is obvious: they wear down a lot faster on asphalt. One common misconception amongst people is that as long as they buy a high-performance tire, they’ll also get a tire that lasts long. Instead, it’s usually the opposite.

The Type of Tire You Have Matters, Too

The frequency with which you change your tire is affected by the kind of tire you have, the terrain you ride it on, and the tire’s quality. Let’s consider the different kinds of tires you can have on your ATV.


If you want an all-around option that can perform well in almost every situation, you’ll need to get an all-terrain tire. The best all-terrain tires will perform well on every surface. These tires will shine if you’re riding a trail on gravel or grass. You can also take these tires on to dune, and they’ll perform just well.

Since these tires have the universal factor, they wear out a lot quicker than other options meant for specific terrains. These tires don’t handle paved roads well, so I wouldn’t recommend using these for anything related to asphalt rather than when you have to cross a paved road.

Sand and Snow Tires

Most snow tires have a tread pattern that looks like a paddle. This ensures that your vehicle maintains its traction as you move forward. If you’re looking for a tire that is going to propel you through snow, whether packed or loose, then you’ll want to opt for a mud-styled snow tire. However, make sure that you don’t use tires daily or ride these on hard surfaces, particularly not any pavements.

Using these tires on hard surfaces will make them wear down faster, and you may also start to see cracks and divots on the paddle sections of the tire. As long as you stick to snow and dunes, these tires won’t wear down too quickly, and they may even be the longest-lasting tires that you can buy.

Street Tires

These tires are for those riders who want to make their ATVs suitable for the streets. In most states around America, these dotted approved tires are mandatory even before you drive your ATV on the street. Like the tire of a regular vehicle, these tires require periodic rotation so that your front tires don’t wear out excessively.

It’s also worth remembering that street tires are going to wear out the fastest since asphalt is rough for the tire no matter which vehicle you’re riding.

Mudding Tires

There are several good options that you can buy when you’re looking for great mudding tires for your ATV. If you’re looking for a good set of tires, you’ll want to get a set of tires with aggressive treads spaced out appropriately. This will keep mud from packing into the gaps to form a slick surface with no grip. These kinds of tires will give you the absolute best grip in any riding situation.

If you’re using these tires on a non-mudding surface then (perhaps asphalt), you can expect a rough ride that fairly quickly wears out your tires. A mudding tire is usually built from several layers of rubber that can prevent punctures from spiky obstacles. They are also generally heavier and are a lot more durable than the other options I’ve listed. You can also use these tires on snowy surfaces since they can grip snow well and improve traction.

How Would You Know If Your ATV Tires Have Worn Out?

Since there is no set expiration date on a new set of ATV tires, it’s essential you know what to look for when you’re trying to find signs of wear and tear on your ATV tires. Here’s a rundown of the most common signs of wear and tear on your ATV. These usually become visible when your tire is nearing its last few rides.

Punctures of Cracks

You can see signs of wear and tear are some of the obvious signs of an ATV tire that you won’t be able to use for too long. To save yourself from this problem, I recommend inspecting your tires thoroughly before taking your ATV out for a ride. Here are a few signs that you can look for:

  • Worn out or missing lugs
  • Punctured rubber
  • Bald spots on the tire
  • Cracks between the treads or on the sidewall

Wobbling or Vibration

If you notice any unusual wobbling or vibration in your tire while riding your bike, this could also be a sign of a bad tire. Sometimes, you can fix this by rotating your bike’s tire. However, if you rotate your tire and the wobbling persists, the one issue you may be facing can be uneven tire wear. This could also be possible because your tire’s internal plies have separated.

This can, in turn, push up pressurized air into your tire’s rubber wall, which causes excess wobbling.

Weird Noise

If you hear a constant humming noise frequently changing with your ATV’s speed, then it may also mean a chopped tread on your ATV. Another weird noise you should be listening for is a thumping noise. This can indicate that your ATV’s tire has a flat region.

Regardless of the kind of noise you hear, it’s possibly time to get new tires for your ATV.


Your ATV’s tires are considered balding where there is no or little tread pattern left on them. Driving your ATV with a bald tire can be dangerous since this tire will potentially have no traction. The grooves on your tire are placed on the tire so that water and debris can escape from it if they get stuck on the tire.

When there is no tread on your ATV’s tire, the water can’t escape, which may cause your ATV to spin out of control, or it may hydroplane as well.

How You Can Make Your ATV’s Tires Last Longer

Mounting and buying new tires for your ATV can be a tiresome process, and it can hurt your wallet, too, but it’s inevitable, right? Here are a few steps that you can take to ease the pain that comes with the process and extend the life of your ATV’s tires.

Your Tires Must Have Good Clearance

If you’re like most ATV riders, I’m sure that you like placing big tires on your ATV so that you can head out in the snowstorm to enjoy a wild session or that you could ride your ATV in the mud. However, before you do this, it’s essential to remember that larger tires for your ATV aren’t as good as the stock tires that your ATV came with.

If the tires you get are too big and don’t do the essential modifications, you may experience tire rub. This happens when the tires rub on the fairings, the frame, or the floor. We all know that when two objects rub against each other, they get damaged. The longer this happens, the more damage your ATV will sustain.

This is a detrimental problem because this way, not only will you have to replace your ATV’s tires, but you’ll also have to replace other components of your ATV that have been damaged.

Don’t Overload Your ATV

First of all, you should never be riding your ATV with more passengers than the ideal amount, as suggested by the manufacturer. That’s because putting too much weight on your ATV’s tires and forcing it to carry the excess load can put too much strain on your tires which can cause serious wear and tear. If you upgrade to heavier tires, make sure you check the tire’s maximum capacity before you go all out and start hauling those additional pounds and people onto your ATV.

This will flex your ATV’s tires which will make them uneven. With enough weight on your ATV, getting a flat tire can become easy, even those things that wouldn’t usually cause a flat tire. However, it would help if you still were careful when you’re hauling that extra weight onto your ATV since it can also affect your handling and it may cause an accident as well.

Rotate Tires Often

Just like a vehicle that can be ridden on the highway, you need to keep rotating your ATV’s tires to ensure the wear is even on all sides. In a front-wheel turning ATV, the frontal tires of the vehicle may tend to see additional damage since you’re putting them through more stress by making them turn and grip the terrain more often.

Avoid Spinning Tires

If the tread pattern of your ATV has worn out, it may be hard to stop your tires from spinning when they’re rocketing out of control in those tricky turns. It may also be harder to accelerate with worn-out tires since they will skid whenever you try to speed up. Doing donuts or wheelies can cause them to wear out faster than they should. If you’re one of those riders that like to take off from a stop by going full throttle or if you like drag racing, then you may have noticed premature wear and tear on your ATV’s tires, too.

Going to full throttle from a stop position will spin your ATV’s tires. I know that several riders can have different wheelsets for different kinds of riding but if you’re not one of those riders, avoid drag racing or sudden full throttles if you want to ensure your tires last for a long time.

Maintain the Appropriate PSI Level

Maintaining the essential PSI level is vital for ATV tire tread. It can help you avoid several issues we’ve listed above, be it a bald tire or an uneven tire. If your ATV tires have bald spots in their middle, you may be inflating them, and the increased pressure is causing the spots in the middle of the tire to bald out.

This can also happen because you’re riding your ATV on the tire’s center position rather than the tread area. If you have an uneven tread or odd patterns of wear on your bike, your tires may not be on the right PSI level. This can affect the overall handling of your ATV and reduce its traction as well.

Not only are you going to have a hard time turning your bike, but you’re going to miss out on some valuable acceleration as well. If your tires are unable to grip properly, it’s possible  they don’t have enough traction to bite down and grip the terrain properly. This will limit your ability to go forward, and it will only spin your wheels and waste valuable force.





45 years old. I'm in business marketing. I write for Hunt or Shred on the side. I love hiking, camping, and everything outdoors with my family. I have 6 years of experience working at an ATV shop selling, fixing, and test driving all brands and models.

Read More About Gary