The stock OEM tires that came on your machine are a compromise. Manufacturers base their tire decisions on many factors such as ride quality, handling, tread patterns, thickness & overall weight, and finally, price. The problem is, the tires that work well for jobs around the farm in Iowa probably aren’t the best choice for forest riding in Oregon, the mule deer hunter in Montana, Arizona desert riding, or the Louisiana swamp rider. Just like with your boots, one size does not fit all. One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your machine is to find a tire that works for the conditions where you normally ride.
We use our machines for work and casual trail riding, and the conditions can be everything from snow, to mud, and finally trails where we’re sure to find rocky sections and even a little sand. The stock tires on our Polaris RZR 800 are adequate, and they usually find traction but the ride can be a little bouncy, and they are prone to cuts. It was time for an upgrade!
Durotire based in Covington, Georgia has been in business since 1945 and manufactures a full line of tire products including tires for ATVs, Side x Sides, motorcycles, cars, light trucks, and even fork lifts and skid loaders. Many riders liked their original PowerGrip ATV tire but we were ready to try out their new PowerGrip V2 tires that were specially designed for the weight and handling requirements of Side x Sides.
The new Power Grip V2 UTV tire features a slightly more rounded profile and is designed to be more responsive with increased puncture protection. Key features are:
- 6 Ply Rating
- Extended radial belt for puncture resistance
- Rim guard
- Rock deflectors between tread lugs, and extended lugs for protection to outside edge of tire
- Non-directional tread pattern
- Lighter weight
Mount Up – STI HD4 Wheels
Before we could test out our Power Grip V2 tires we had to get a new set of wheels. STI Tire and Wheel makes a great looking wheel called the HD4 Alloy wheel that is highly durable and carries a very high load rating (1000 lbs.) yet it’s still light weight thanks to its one piece aluminum construction. They’re also available in several sizes up to 17 inches! Best of all, like all HD alloy wheels, it comes with a Lifetime Structural Warranty. Rather than the gloss black version, we opted for the HD4 Ltd Ed Matte Black, but either way you can’t go wrong. These wheels look fantastic and we love the machined accents, and polished chrome bolts and center-cap. In fact, we wish they made them for our Jeep!
Mounting the Power Grip V2 tires on the STI wheels was easy enough; insert the valve stems, and carefully work the wheel over the rim. One trick we used though was to mix up a little dish soap and water in a squirt bottle and wet the wheels and valve stems before putting them together. Since the tires are non-directional you can mount them with either side facing out, but you’ll want to work with a soft surface between the wheels and the garage floor. We used a piece of carpet to prevent scratching our shiny new wheels prematurely. Another trick we sometimes do when installing tires that have been bent, compressed, or deformed by shipping is to inflate them to full ride pressure, (or even a little more) then let them sit in the sun for a day to take their new shape.
Ride Time - Mud, Rocks and Snow!
We were excited to test the “Durobility" of the Durotire Power Grip V2s on our Polaris RZR 800. The new tires and wheels definitely gave it a more aggressive look even when sitting still, but it would be on the trail where we could test performance and that would be the factor that mattered most.
We were committed to giving a true test in all weather conditions, and in several different types of terrain. Riding around the farm is pretty easy compared to some of the trails we encounter and the true challenge would be on the trails and riding parks like Hatfield-McCoy, Rush Off-Road, or Windrock. We loaded up the truck and headed to Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area in Shamokin, PA for a ride on the rocky, winding, trail system at one of the countries newest ride parks.
It didn’t take long to notice a huge difference with these tires. Steering felt much more precise, and with a slightly larger tire, top speed was also increased whileour clutch handled the extra size quite well. Still, if you need more performance DALTON CLUTCH can help you out with that. It was easier to conquer deep ruts, tree roots, and rocks with the PowerGrip V2 tires, and we felt a little more secure when climbing through rocks knowing the tires offered increased protection from cuts that could potentially end our day. When the trail got soft or downright muddy, thanks to the aggressive tread pattern the PowerGrip V2 tires dig in and drive forward. We even tried them in the snow and were surprised at how well the tires powered through it. Our RZR will never be a deep snow mountain sled, but with the PowerGrip V2 tires it can tackle snow up to the skid plates without a problem. At high speed we noticed no additional vibration which can sometimes be a problem with larger tires, but if that would have been a concern we would have balanced the tires just like you do with your truck.
The manufacturer’s quest for the perfect tire will never end and it’s unlikely their perfect tire is the perfect tire for you. We’re very happy with our new Durotire PowerGrip V2 tire and HD4 Alloy wheels though. They perform great on the trails we normally encounter – in mud, sand, rocks, and even snow – and they’ve held up great. With 10 months and many miles on them we’ve yet to have a flat and they show little wear. They’re a great tire for the price and we give them very high marks.