Buying tires for quad and ATV: what matters

There are a number of things to consider when buying tires for quads and ATVs. When it comes to the right tires, there are not only regulations, but also some myths that have their origins in legislation that is not entirely clear. There are a few points that owners of a quad really have to pay attention to when they have new tires.

Buying tires for quads and ATVs: find the right tires

Buying tires for quads and ATVs: note the dimension indexWith a quad, the right tire profile is even more important than with a car, the reason for this is the high center of gravity of the vehicle. A wrong profile can easily lead to a loss of control, especially in steep curves, since the profile grips the asphalt too sharply.
Basically, quad tires are divided into different categories based on their off-road capability. So riders should think carefully about how they use their ATV. Off-road tires and sand tires are ideal for driving through nature and on finely powdered sand, mixed tires offer good off-road performance in general, and road tires offer comfortable driving on asphalt. Finally, there are all-round tires, which are very popular because they behave well on any surface, but never really stand out.
Buying tires for quads and ATVs: what you need to know to make sure that your tires are legalFirst of all, the same principle applies to quads and ATVs as to tires on cars: the tires must fit. The dimension index for ATV tires is still given in inches, the notation for this is total height x width x rim diameter (e.g. 22x11x8). There are rarely metric specifications, these can then theoretically be found in brackets after the customs specification, or inches in English. Additional markings denote the tube type (TT for tube type) or tubeless tires (TL for tubeless).
Orientation based on the vehicle’s speed index is a must; the manufacturer provides more precise information on this. The speed index is not only decisive for the driving characteristics, the safety of the ATV can also be significantly influenced. The manufacturer’s specifications are binding for this on European roads and a tire should always be exchanged for a tire of the same speed index. A more detailed overview of the speed index and why it should be strictly adhered to is available on
So that the tires are also approved on European roads, there is the so-called E-ID. Since this identifier has been mandatory since 1998, this is particularly important for imported tires. The E-mark certifies the type approval of the respective component for ATV, quad or car and is marked with a country code. E1 parts were certified in Germany, E4 in the Netherlands, for example, and a total of 62 countries are allowed to issue the E identifier.

Compulsory winter tires: also on the quad?

On the other hand, it gets a bit chaotic and contradictory when it comes to winter tires. Winter tires have been compulsory in Germany since 2010, apart from the fact that it was advisable to put on winter tires even before that when it was snowy and icy. Quads and ATVs with rims over 14 inches do not have any problems with the authorities, they can simply mount tires intended for cars. Other quads have serious problems finding the right tires in winter. And there is a reason for that: The ATV is an all-terrain vehicle, i.e. a vehicle that can handle any terrain. As a rule, tires with a coarse or coarse-tread profile are on the rims anyway. And these work better than winter tires for cars, after all, a light ATV does not bring enough weight with it for the sipes of the winter tires to really grip.
If you want to be on the safe side, you have to look for M+S tires – these tires grip particularly well on mud and thawing snow. The police must (theoretically) also recognize tires that are not specially marked if the profile obviously meets the properties of an M+S tire. Some manufacturers offer their own winter releases to print out. M+S certified tires, on the other hand, save you long arguments in the office and with the officials on duty in case of doubt. Only ATVs that are on the road in summer with low-profile summer tires really need to be converted.

Off-road vehicle: With off-road tires

Quads and ATVs are very special vehicles that show their strengths especially off-road. Accordingly, ATVs also need special tires, car tires are only suitable to a limited extent for quads with large rims. After all, ATV pilots don’t want the cleanliness and neatness of a road tire, otherwise they could just take a seat in the car. An ATV is something very special and you can see that in the tires. chk

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