When driving an ATV, you might have wondered why the width of the front and back tires are not the same. After you have enquired about this, you might want to decide to upgrade your tires to all be the same size, in order to take advantage of the potential benefits that come with it. The question is, however, can you put same size tires on an ATV?
You can put same size tires on an ATV. If you purchase an ATV stock, they come with different sized tires regarding their width. There are advantages to different-width tires. But, if you want to, you can change this and make all tires the same size and utilize the advantages that come with it.
So, ATVs come with different sized tires if you buy them stock. There are various reasons why they come with staggered tires, and there are different reasons why you would want to change that. To do that, you must first know the advantages and disadvantages of these different types of tire sets. All of this we explore below!
Can You Put Same Size Tires On An ATV?
When buying an ATV, the tires you are going to want on it will depend on what exactly you want to get out of your ATV.
When it comes to ATVs, not all, but most stock ATVs that are available on the market have front wheels that are usually smaller and back wheels that are usually larger. Interestingly enough, when we say that the wheels of the ATV are smaller or larger, we do not refer to the diameter of the wheels. Instead, we actually refer to the width of the wheels.
It has been noted, however, that nearly over the past two decades, the ATV industry has undergone a lot of change. Same-sized tires on the front and on the back of an ATV are becoming more acceptable.
Thus, you can definitely put on same-size tires on your ATV; but you should ask yourself whether or not it is worth it, first, based on the advantages and disadvantages of same-sized tires on ATVs.
Staggered Tires Vs. Same-Size Tires
It is quite easy to understand that you can either have same-sized tires or staggered (different-sized) tires on your ATV. The question now remains why one would choose either staggered or same-sized tires for your ATV. To determine which tires to put on your ATV, let us look at some advantages of each type of tire set.
Staggered Tires: Advantages
1. The first advantage of having smaller tires at the front of your ATV is that it becomes incredibly easier to steer the vehicle. If you, for example, take a small object and place it on a flat surface and try to rotate it, you realize it requires a certain amount of power; take a smaller object and place it on the same surface and try to rotate it and realize it requires less power.
Accordingly, different-sized tires, where the front tires are smaller, are easier- and require less power to steer.
2. The second advantage is that smaller tires mean that less tire rub against the body of the ATV occurs. If you look at the front tires of an ATV (or any vehicle for that matter), you can see that they are the tires that turn. Tires that turn require more space. Accordingly, if you have larger tires at the front, you might have those tires rubbing against suspension components or the body of the ATV as you turn.
Thus, smaller front tires mean that there is less body rub and wear and tear on your tires and the body (or suspension components) of your ATV.
Staggered Tires: Disadvantages
1. The first disadvantage of running staggered tires is that having a spare tire is not that easy anymore. If you have a puncture on either a front or back tire, you will require different sized spare tires to either replace a front or back tire. It is not the end of the world because you can carry a front-wheel tire as the spare and use it to replace the front or back tire, but it is not a long-term solution for the back tire.
Thus, having staggered tires means that you will not have the right spare tire to replace front and back tires for long-term purposes.
2. Another very small disadvantage is that having staggered tires can sometimes mean that the tires are not only different widths but also different heights. This is not a big concern since it is usually only fanatics that would care about tiny details such as this. A person that just wants to jump on the ATV and drive will not even notice it.
So, staggered tires can mean that the tires are different heights, which can annoy the enthusiasts out there.
3. The last disadvantage to point out is that if you wish to rotate the tires of your ATV to increase and balance out their tread life, you will not be able to do so. You can use the front tires as spare tires on the back, but you cannot put the large back tires on the front since turning will be impossible.
Thus, if you have staggered tires, you cannot rotate your tires all the time to increase the tread life of the tires. Wheel rotation is not possible.
Same-Sized Tires: Advantages
The advantages for same-sized tires on your ATV can be summarized as the two main disadvantages of running staggered tires.
1. When running staggered tires, you do not run into the spare tire conundrum. Because all four tires on your ATV are the same, you can carry one spare tire that can replace any one of your four tires if one of them malfunctions. You cannot do this when running staggered tires because wider tires won’t fit on the front, and smaller tires cannot replace tires at the back for long periods of time.
Thus, same-sized tires allow for convenient spare tire replacement of any of the four tires on your ATV.
2. The other advantage is that you can do tire rotations. Because same-sized tires all have equally wide (or thin) tires, you can continuously rotate tires wherever you wish, and that way you ensure that the tread life of your tires is extended. You cannot do this for staggered tires because larger tires will not be able to fit on the front.
Thus, same-sized towers allow for convenient wheel rotation without running into compatibility issues of the tires.
Same-Sized Tires: Disadvantages
1. One disadvantage of running same-sized tires is that you will struggle to steer your ATV if all four tires are wider tires. This is because wider tires are a bit harder to turn than lighter thin tires. Accordingly, if your ATV does not come with power steering, you will battle a bit with the steering handle. It is not a common problem because most ATVs nowadays do come with power steering.
Thus, same-sized tires are more difficult to control without power steering.
2. The other disadvantage is that you probably have to replace the rims on your tires. If you want all tires the same size, you must ensure they all have aftermarket rims of the same width. Factory rims are usually different widths (to accommodate different width tires), but if you make your front tires as wide as the back ones, you need to replace the stock rims with wider aftermarket rims as well.
In short, you are going to have to get new aftermarket rims for your front tires as well so that they are as wide as the back tires’ rims.
In conclusion, it is definitely possible to have all the tires on your ATV be the same size! If you want to give up the advantages that come with staggered tires, such as easier steering, that is your choice. If you like the look of same-sized larger tires everywhere on your ATV and don’t mind the increased steering difficulty, then go for it!
Just make sure that when you make this decision that all the advantages and disadvantages are considered.