With vehicles that we use for paved roads, it’s easy to know that you already need replacement tires. However, it’s not as straightforward when it comes to ATVs—we just know that they need a replacement. So the question is: what are the signs that you should look for to know that you need to replace your ATV tires?
The best sign that ATV tires need a replacement is when there are too many cracks or punctures. These can cause a blowout while riding, which can be very dangerous. You may also need to check the tread patterns and ensure that they’re in good condition to give you the grip you need for your rides.
Aside from these, there are more signs that you need to look for, and we’ll discuss all of them in great detail. Stick around because, by the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of ATV tires, which can save you from accidents while riding.
Cracks or Punctures
There’s no way to know when you need a replacement without looking at the tires because there’s no expiration date for them. It’s also not the same with your car, where your tires will need regular replacement.
So, if you’ve been using the same set of tires for at least one year, be sure to check the tires before you take your quad out.
If you see several cracks or punctures on your tires, it’s a tell-tale sign that you already need a replacement. Even if it still looks okay and if they don’t have the normal wear and tear you expect, you have to replace it.
Cracks and punctures are a common cause of blowouts, which can be dangerous when you’re riding.
Here’s a video of a guy fixing up some old dried out cracked ATV tires, it seemed to work for him:
Be careful with this type of stuff though, your rims will get covered with it and it’s a pain to clean up.
Rounded Tread Pattern
Sometimes, you may not have to wait for cracks or punctures to appear. Some riders replace their tires as soon as the tread patterns get rounded.
The more rounded it gets, the less grip your ATV has on the track. Normally, it wouldn’t be a problem, but when you’re racing, you want to get rid of everything that can slow you down.
If you’re looking out for this sign, it’s advisable to replace all tires at the same time to maximize the grip, or at least 1 set (2 at the front or 2 at the back).
Remember, this sign doesn’t have anything to do with safety while you ride, but, rather, to keep you competitive on the track. Some riders even replace their tires after each ride because a slight rounding of the tread patterns can slow them down.
Vibration or Wobbling
Vibration or wobbling while riding is a common issue if you don’t rotate your tires. Your tires may wobble because of the uneven wear on the tire, and sometimes, you can easily fix this by moving the tire to another spot—rotating.
However, if you’ve already moved your tire and you can still feel a vibration while riding, then it’s a good sign that you already need a replacement.
No Longer Has Proper PSI
Checking whether your tires have the proper PSI before you take your quad out is important. However, if you noticed that your tires don’t have the proper PSI every time, you might need a replacement.
Losing pressure is normal, but if it happens often, replacing it is the best action that you can take.
Missing Tread Lugs
Missing tread lugs is a common sign of wear and tear, and it’s hard to determine how long it’d last. Please don’t take your chances when you notice it for the first time because it’s possible to get a blowout while you’re riding it.
Be sure to keep an eye on the tread lugs because ATV tires on tracks don’t work like normal tires on the pavement or highway.
Some would say that balding is when there’s no tread pattern left on the tire, but I’d recommend going for the safer route and say that balding is when there are little patterns left on the tires.
If one of your tires already has a bald spot, then you still need to get a replacement for it. Again, the best practice for ATV tires is to replace all tires or at least one set to give you the grip you want.
It’s normal for ATV tires to get bald spots, but one of the easiest ways to avoid—or at least delay—the balding of tires is by rotating them.
Pressure on tires can create bald spots, and if you’re using your ATV regularly, these spots will be uneven. Uneven tires can make you feel uneasy while riding, and it can cause injuries.
If you hear a humming or thumping sound while you’re riding, and it comes with a drastic decrease in your ATVs speed, it’s a good sign that you already need a replacement.
Both of these sounds mean that there’s something wrong with your tires, and using them on the tracks may be dangerous for you.
If you’d like to try and make your tires still work, you can also try rotating them. Sometimes, it’s enough to fix the problem, but if not, don’t delay the replacement.
If you do need to change your ATV tires, check out our articles:
How to Make ATV Tires Last Longer
In a perfect world, we should replace tires after every ride. But we all know that’s not possible. In fact, we want to make our tires last longer than we should and squeeze every mile possible out of them.
So, to help you with it, here are some things that you can do to make your ATV tires last longer:
- Avoid Spinning Your Tires: wheelies and donuts are some of the things that can wear out your tires faster. You may also want to avoid going from full stop to full throttle because it creates unnecessary friction on your tires. Of course, you’re free to do so, but you should know that all of these things can make your tires wear out faster.
- Prevent Dry Rot: this is one of the biggest factors that can affect the lifespan of your tires. Sure, it’s impossible to avoid direct sunlight, but minimizing your tires’ exposure to it can help you prolong them. You may also want to consider using tire protectants that creates an added layer of protection for your tires.
- Avoid Overloading Your ATV: this is one of the most common mistakes that many people make with their ATVs. Most of us make that mistake, but there’s an easy-to-follow rule for it: don’t ride with more passengers than the number that manufacturers recommend. You can do it from time to time, but the more you do it, the faster your tires wear out.
- Avoid Riding Out Without Proper PSI: uneven wear spots happen because one or more ATV tires don’t have proper PSI. Sure, you can rotate the tires to even it out, but an inspection of the tires before you hit the tracks will help you minimize it. A good rule of thumb is: never ride out without checking your tires’ PSI and ensuring that it’s within range.
Checking the tires is one of the crucial steps you need to take before you ride any vehicle, and it applies to ATVs as well. In fact, it’s even more important for ATVs because their tires don’t have an expiration date or recommended mileage before replacing.
The signs that we shared with you are some of the most important things that every rider should learn because it makes the ride safer. Now that you know all of them, you can hit the tracks and easily spot problems with your tires and determine whether you already need a replacement or not.