A Breakdown Of Polaris Ranger Tires: Finding The Right Fit
Sep 15th 2019
If you’re in the process of researching tires for the Polaris Ranger, you have probably narrowed down your selection a bit. You can find online reviews of Polaris Ranger tire brands like Sedona, Moose, and STI Powersports, but there are numerous companies that make a wide variety of Polaris Ranger tires for an even wider variety of terrain types and driving styles. While some riders may prefer an all-terrain Polaris Ranger tire, others look for specialized tires that are designed and manufactured to handle a specific type of terrain. Add tire size options, wheel size options, and tire / wheel weight differences and you’ve got a lot of variables that can each have a dramatic impact on the performance, handling, and ride-ability of your Polaris Ranger. But fear not, because here at Everything Polaris Ranger, we have decades of experience in the powersports world, and we’ve seen first-hand the interplay between a side-by-side and its tires. So let's dig in and see what separates a mediocre Polaris Ranger tire from an outstanding one.
Terrain-Specific Polaris Ranger Tires
Whether you’re riding the Cheese Trails of Wisconsin or the Turkey Bay OHV routes in the Oak Grove area of Kentucky, if you want your machine to truly excel on its primary terrain domain, you’ve got to tune it accordingly -- which means running the right set of side-by-side tires.
In terms of longevity, Maxxis tires (as well as others like the the Roctane X2s by STI) are known to last the test of both time and the trails. You can easily get a couple thousand miles off some Maxxis tires if all you do is ride asphalt with some intermittent field work and light off-roading every now and then. However, many Polaris Ranger tires are designed with more openly spaced lugs, which diminishes their performance on hard-packed snow and wet pavement. If the lugs on your tires are less spaced out, they would function better. But by designing Polaris Ranger tires with tightly-spaced lugs, UTV tire makers like Maxxis and STI are able to make their tires last longer.
Off-road Polaris Ranger Tires
If you ride mostly hard-pack trails with a bit of road riding thrown in there, tire wear is a partially important factor that you shouldn't neglect. But if your machine’s performance is a higher priority, domain-specific UTV tires are a must. The Warrior tires by SuperATV do especially well in the mud, while still allowing riders to navigate other ground conditions they might encounter on the track or trails; from mud and rock gardens to steep-grade hill climbs. Aggressive mud tires will tend to hum a bit when going down the road, but other than that, they tear it up int the slop… be it silky clay or peanut-butter mud.
Polaris Ranger Tire Size
With UTV tires, size does matter. Not only can large, aftermarket, side-by-side tires affect the handling of a Polaris Ranger, Polaris Ranger Mid-Size, or Polaris Ranger Crew, but they can also rub and scrub at various points on the machine’s chassis should you go too large. If you don’t lift your Ranger or install accessories like wheel spacers and forward a-arms, the biggest you can go with your UTV tires is about thirty inches. Otherwise, you may hit your fenders or wheel well -- especially when turning or when your suspension is fully compressed. A 30x10" Polaris Ranger tire setup should measure a true thirty inches and give you about a quarter inch of clearance when flexing. If that’s too small but you don’t want -- or can’t afford -- to lift your rig, high clearance a-arms will help you clear larger wheels and tires.
In addition to simply fitting large tires onto your Polaris Ranger Mid-Size, Full-Size, or Crew, you also have to spin them. If you go overboard with your Polaris Ranger tires, you will lose power and likely experience some gearing issues vis-à-vis the clutch. But with some clutch weights and an upgraded primary clutch spring, you should be able to handle up to 33" tires without breaking a sweat!
Final Thoughts On Polaris Ranger Tires
Getting the right tires for your Polaris Ranger the first time will save you a great deal of stress and effort in the future. If your UTV tires match both your riding style as well as the terrain over which you ride, you’ll not only be better suited to conquer every obstacle you encounter, but you’ll do it faster, easier, and with greater amounts of fun!