What is the Effect of Tire Size on ATV Performance?

Does anything look more awesome than a powerful quad with gigantic tires? It’s no wonder that lift kits are among the most sold ATV accessories on the market today. Are big wheels the right choice for you? Take a look at their pluses and minuses to get a better understanding of why you might want bigger tires.


Many owners make noises about performance increases or safety improvements, but the main reason riders go big is it looks cool. Being mounted atop a massive quad with aggressive tires is an unmatched thrill. There’s no need to come up with excuses for an aesthetical change. Nobody questions a paint job and that has no benefit outside of looking good.

There are also a few practical arguments for increasing your tire size. You increase your ground clearance, which can help you avoid obstacles and dangerous terrains. Bigger tires also have a larger contact patch, improving your traction on surfaces such as soft sand, mud, and snow.


The bad news is that there’s more than a few concerns for slapping humongous wheels on your ATV. By raising your vehicle’s center of gravity, you increase the danger of rolling over. More rubber also means more weight, creating more stress on all the systems of your quad. This leads to more wear on your clutch, drive belt, axles, and wheel bearings. Expect to replace one or all of these components early.

By increasing the angles of your quad, you might also experience premature failure of your drive line. The larger surface can sometimes cause the tires to rub against your ATV’s body or suspension as well.


Using Larger Tires

Before you drop a mint on suspension systems and lift kits, consider an easy tire enhancement. Many manufacturers actually leave enough clearance for your to go up a size without hitting your fenders. Measure your current space and check a tire chart to see if you can make an increase without extra work.

Save money by looking at ATV tires online so you can shop without leaving your home. Not only is this cheaper, it’s also significantly less work.

Using Lift Kits and Suspension

If the potential pitfalls haven’t scared you off, it’s time to choose how you’re getting bigger tires. Lift kits are the most popular choice, with brackets and hardware used to raise your ATV by several inches. Combined with the existing clearance of your machine, this allows you to increase your tires by several sizes.

One thing to consider is that the higher the lift kit, the more components you need to replace. Most allow for you to keep your OEM shocks, but higher centers of gravity require stronger suspensions.

When you’re getting a bigger setup, don’t forget to spend money on your tires as well. There’s no point in a lot of new hardware if you’re not going to install quality rubber such as a Kenda K587 Bear Claw HTR Front Tire. Smart shopping can let you get superior parts for less money. Find a online ATV store with solid customer service to get your new mods today.