atv tires closeup

ATV Tire Size Explained

ATV tires are known for their aggressive tread patterns and getting traction in dirt, mud, sand and snow. They’re designed to take a beating on the trail, but ATV tires generally last five years. Tires that run over sharp rocks and other rugged edges may need to be replaced sooner. 

You’ll need to replace your tires if you puncture the sidewall or wear down the treads, but how do you find the right size for your ride? Should you replace them with the same set or upgrade them to a bigger size? Use our ATV tire size guide to choose the proper set based on your make/model and where you ride.

Understanding ATV Tire Sizes

ATV tire sizes include three numbers, listed in standard or metric, located on the tire's sidewall. Some have letters between the numbers, but that doesn’t affect the size. 

Standard ATV Tire Sizes

Standard tire sizes appear as follows:

Tire Diameter (inches) x Tire Width (inches) — Wheel Diameter (inches)

For example, a rating may be listed as 25x10-14. They apply to most off-road tires sold in the U.S. 

The tire diameter measures from the top of the tire to the bottom when it’s inflated to the recommended psi. The width is different for the front and the back. The rear wheels are usually two inches wider than the front. The wheel diameter measures from the top of the wheel to the bottom. Most ATVs have 10- to 12-inch wheels.

offroad atv closeup

Source: sevenke/

Metric ATV Tire Sizes

The metric version is used internationally. It appears as:

Tire Width (millimeters) / Sidewall Height as a percentage of tire width R Wheel Diameter (inches)

For example, you may see a rating of 203/80R10.

The tire width is calculated the same way as the standard system, only in millimeters. The sidewall is also taken in millimeters. Divide the sidewall height by the tire width to get the percentage. If the sidewall measures 162.4 mm and the tire width is 203 mm, the percentage rate would be 80. The “R” stands for radial. 

Multiply or divide by 25.4 to convert inches to millimeters or millimeters to inches, respectively. 

Choosing the Right Tire Size for Your ATV

Consider these factors when buying ATV tires:

Tire Height 

ATV tire sizes vary based on make and model. Your vehicle can only fit specific sizes before needing additional modifications. Check the owner’s manual to find the recommended range. You can only go up two inches in diameter before the rubber rubs against the fenders. If your ATV is rated for 25-inch tires, you can go as big as 27 inches. Any larger and you’ll need a lift kit to raise the vehicle’s suspension. 

Tire Width

Your tires must match your wheels for the tire to fit. Check the wheel diameter on the tire to ensure it matches the actual diameter of your wheels. 

The rear tires should be two inches wider than the front. 

If you get a lift kit, you’ll need wider wheels to accommodate larger tires.


Choose a tire based on where you’re riding. Standard tires are best for ATVs that haul or work the land. Sand and dune tires are slightly wider and have a flatter tread pattern to maximize surface contact with the ground. Mud tires have deeper tread patterns for penetrating wet earth. Find the best ATV mud riding gear to prepare for messy terrain. Consider upgrading to a larger size when driving over rock gardens.

atv wheels in mud

Source: Axtem/

ATV Tire Maintenance 

Keep the psi level within the recommended range regardless of which tires you choose. Reduce air pressure when riding over sand. 

Clean off mud, dirt and debris after each trip. Avoiding sharp debris will extend the life of your tires. Find off-road communication to chart your course instead of using hand signals or looking away from the path. Your companion will watch your back to help you stick to the trail, minimizing your contact with obstacles that can damage your tires. 

Use the Packtalk Edge ORV to spend more time navigating and less time fussing with your tech. It pairs automatically when in range, so you don’t have to physically interact with the device. Check each other’s tires for damage often when traversing rugged ground. 

Wrapping Up

ATV tires come in different sizes and styles, depending on how they’re used. Your ride needs tires with specific measurements to get where it’s going. Remember these tips when upgrading or swapping out your usual set to get over or around anything that comes your way. 

Use the Packtalk Edge ORV to Coordinate Hands-Free