ATV Tires

ATV Tire Size Format

Most all terrain vehicle brands refer to tires for their machines in the traditional inch sizing format. The same tire sizes can also be written in metric format.

The metric size in our example below AT205x80R-11 is the same size as the inch size of 24x8-11.

Metric Tire Size Format

Metric ATV Tire Size Format
AT 205 x 80 R - 11
Width (mm)

The ATV Code means exactly what it says.  Tires made specifically for all terrain vehicles are coded with an AT.

Tire Width is the width of the tire, measured in millimeters, when the tire is mounted and inflated to the recommended pressure.

The Aspect Ratio is the tire section height divided by the section width (not tread width), multiplied by 100.  The section height is measured at the center of the tire crown.  The tread width is usually greater than the section width. The section width is measured from the middle side walls (above the bead, below the tread). It is multiplied by 100 to give you a whole number for the tire.  So instead of .8 the tire is stamped 80.

The Tire Construction is not always included in the size of ATV tires. In our example, R means this is a radial tire.

Rim Size is the outside diameter of the rim, also called the wheel size.

Inch Tire Size Format

Traditional Inch Tire Size Format
24 x 8 - 11

Tire Height is the overall height of the tire, in inches, when mounted on a rim and inflated to the proper air pressure.

Tire Width is the is the width of the tire, measured in inches, when the tire is mounted and inflated to the recommended pressure.

Rim Size is the outside diameter of the rim, also called the wheel size, same as in the metric size.

ATV Rim Sizes

ATVs wheels, or rims, are commonly changed. Riders may want aluminum wheels instead of steel for weight savings or styling reasons. As the name implies, all terrain vehicles are ridden over all types of terrain. From sandy beaches to rocky mountain trails to grassy fields.  Rims may get dented or badly scratched and gouged. ATV owners change their machine's wheel much more often than a street bike owner.

In addition to a rim size, the bolt pattern and offset must also be accounted for when choosing new rims or looking for a replacement for a damaged one.

When shopping for rims you will see the sizes depicted as front or rear, size, bolt pattern, offset and metal composition.  Let's say you have found the rims you want they are described as front, 10x5, 4/144, 4+1, polished aluminum.

The Size of 10x5 means that the diameter of the rim is 10" and the width of the rim is 5".

A Bolt Pattern of 4/144 means that there are 4 bolt  holes is the rim and that the spacing of the bolt holes is 144mm.  Why do they mix inches and millimeters? I do not know. 

People seem to have trouble measuring bolt pattern spacing so often that there are now plastic spacing templates. You hold the template up to the bolt pattern and when the holes in the template match the holes in the rim you note the number on the template.  

Templates are available from tire shops and tool retailers. The bolt pattern spacing can also be measured with a regular tape measure. ATV Rim Bolt Pattern page.

The Offset is the expression of where in the rim the hub bolts on. Its how many inches from the inside + how many inches offset to the outside.  So our rim size of 10x5 is 5" wide and has an offset of 4+1. This means the center part is closer to the outside of the rim. Conversely, if the offset was 1+4 the center would be recessed into the rim. The offset will always equal the rim width. 4+1=5.  

If the rim has no offset, meaning the area that the hub bolts to in the exact center of the rim, the inside and outside offset number would be the same. Like 5+5. In this case, OEM dealers and aftermarket rim manufacturers may leave the offset number out of the description.   

Here is a good graphic that explains it better than I do.

The Metal Composition of a rim can be steel, aluminum, stainless steel, stainless alloy or aluminum alloy.

Many people wrongly assume that alloy always means aluminum.  It does not. Alloy just means that it is a composite or combination of 2 or more metals.  For example brass is an alloy.  It is a combination of metals, primarily zinc and copper.  

The metal composition will determine the rim weight, appearance and price. Steel rims will be the heaviest. Stainless steel and aluminum wheels are usually more expensive. One advantage of mounting your ATV tires on stainless or aluminum rims is that they are easy to clean and do not rust.

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