Back to Articles

A Little Help on Choosing the Right Tires for a Side By Side

The beauty of owning a side by side is that you can get your fill of many different riding styles and terrains using one machine, however your tires have a huge impact on how your SxS performs on the type of terrain you ride.  Using the wrong type of tires on the a particular terrain can sometimes result in disaster, it’s important to know what type of UTV tires are best for optimal performance and wear longevity for the type of riding you’re going to be doing. Choosing the right type of tires can sometimes be overwhelming, there are various tread types designed to perform better according to terrain. You probably have a good idea of what kind of terrain you will be spending most of your time riding on, once educated on the difference in UTV tire types you will be able to choose the tire that best suits your needs.

Soft Terrain

Soft terrain or mud tires, like the EFX MotoMax and the STI Outback, are great for the sloshy, muddy terrain. These types of tires are light weight and designed with wide-spaced, deep tread for better grip and traction. The wide spacing between treads also allows flow between the treads to maximize clean out. The deep tread is designed to help maintain grip even if the surface underneath you is unstable and washed out. There are a few downsides to mud tires,  on dry, hard packed terrain mud tires can slide easily and make the ride uncomfortable and harder to handle as well as being subject to harder wear and damage. If you’re into riding muddy terrains a mud tire is the way to go, there are many choices in this category ranging from light mud tires, like the ITP Mud Lite, medium and all out to heavy boggers like Super ATV’s Terminators.  Furthermore, mud tires look tough and will give your machine a gnarly makeover and deliver when attacking those deep mud holes.

soft terrain


The Intermediate category is sometimes referred as all-terrain, all-purpose or trail tires. Just like it sounds, these types of tires, like the STI Black Diamond, Kenda Bear Claw, Pro Armor Attack and the Maxxis Bighorn, are made to work on most terrain types and are ideal for a mixed type of trail riding. If you purchased your machine off the lot you’re more than likely sitting on intermediate tires, they’re great for anyone who likes to ride many different surfaces without having to switch up their tires. With lots of intermediate tires to choose from, keep in mind that many intermediate tires are designed to favor one category over another so be sure to choose the type of intermediate tire that leans more to the type of riding style you will be doing the most.

intermedate terrain

Hard Terrain

Hard Terrain tires, like the GBC Kanati Mongrel, Maxxis Ceros, Pro Armor Crawler XG, EFX Moto Grip and the EFX MotoHammer, are designed for maximum traction on harder surfaces. These types of tires come in many designs and tread patterns, most of which have a low and tight tread designed to have maximum surface contact making it ideal for rockcrawling, hard pack dirt and gravely surfaces. These types of tires are durable to handle jagged rocks and extreme terrain as well as deliver smooth and responsive handling on pavement, gravel and hardpacked soils. The downside to these tires? They don’t perform as well as soft terrain tires do in the mud and slosh.

hard terrain

There are many brands of tires to choose from and everyone has their own opinion on which one is best, but most of it is personal preference. We suggest doing your research before making a purchase, now that you have an idea on the differences in tire types you are headed in the right direction. Note: we did not mention paddle tires (sand tires) in this article we plan on making another post specific to sand riding.

Start browsing for your new set of tires today, visit our tire selection at

Shop Parts and Accessories for All UTV's

Shop Now

Comment section

5 thoughts on “A Little Help on Choosing the Right Tires for a Side By Side

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Shipping Over $99

We offer free shipping on most orders over $99 and shared shipping programs, awesome pricing, and even better service.