All-Terrain Vehicles and Utility-Terrain Vehicles serve both as off-road workhorses and recreational play machines. While ATVs first captured the hearts of off-road enthusiasts, in recent years UTVs, commonly referred to as side by side vehicles, have proven their worth —in no small part because their tires and wheels are designed for the task. When your tires have worn or if you need a new configuration for changing conditions, however, you might decide to upgrade. Here is what you need to know about aftermarket wheel packages when purchasing UTV or ATV tires online and how to stay prepared on the trail.
Why You Might Change Wheels for Practicality
ATVs are designed primarily for single riders on a small seat similar to motorcycles. Side by side vehicles sport covered passenger areas with either two or four seats. Generally, both require a tire and wheel built for off-road riding. Many vehicles are sold stock with all-terrain tires that are manufactured to handle a variety of road surfaces. In 2021, however, riders have many package choices for taking on varying surfaces:
You can even change to racing side by side tires and wheels with treads designed for high-performance driving and rims and spokes that are strong but light.
Over time treads wear to the point that they can not provide sufficient traction. When the tires reach that point, they are also less resistant to punctures more prone to blowouts or other failures because you likely negotiate trails dotted with rocks, ruts and various pointed objects. When you have to change your worn tires, you might also consider upgrading your wheels to ones providing a more sporty or rugged look.
How to Replace a Side by Side Wheel
When you are ready to change to new side by side wheels, you should keep a few tips in mind. First, focus on your purpose so that you choose the correct wheel and tire for your needs. Second, consider tire construction as it regarding grip versus ride smoothness, that is radial vs bias. Make sure the tire and wheels are close matches in size to the originals; you can install a smaller rim and larger tire or vice versa if the overall diameter is similar to those that came on your vehicle — play around with the configuration, but check with the manufacturer first.
How to Patch an ATV Tire
Whether adding a new tire or simply fixing a flat on an existing one, follow similar steps to removing the wheel first: Place blocks under all wheels and set the parking brake; loosen the lugs on the wheel you want to remove; jack up the ATV, unscrew the lugs and remove the lugs and pull the wheel. Then you can remove the tire.
Deflate the tire and remove it by breaking the bead along the rim with a prying tool; when you find the hole, rough up the surrounding area on the inside and apply rubber cement; place the patch over the hole and push out air bubbles. After giving the patch time for drying, replace the tire by using the prying tool to slide it back onto the rim.
Where the tire meets the dirt, you want the rubber that fits the terrain and the look you want to achieve. By asking questions of your favorite retailer and researching the newest offerings, you can find side by side wheels and tires that will do the job.