ATV Tire Sizes: How to Read the Numbers, With Examples

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When replacing the tires on your ATV, you must choose from a wide range of tire sizes. In this post, you’ll find information about the most common ATV tire sizes, a few real-life examples, how to read ATV tire sizes, and how you can be confident you choose the right size for your ATV.

How Do You Read ATV Tire Sizes?

ATV tire sizes are indicated on the tire sidewall and are typically given in one of two different sizing formats.

  • Imperial (inches): 27X10R12 or 27X10-12
  • Metric (mm + inches): 215/80R14 or 215/80-14

Out of the two, the imperial format in inches is most common in ATV tires. Metric sizing is more common in car tires, but now and then, you’ll stumble across an ATV tire with metric sizing. 

ATV tire measurements are always with a tire that is inflated to the recommended tire pressure.

The easiest way to tell you’re dealing with a metric tire size is the dash “/” separating the first and second number rather than a hyphen “-“.

Another giveaway is the larger numbers. 100 millimeters equals 25.4 inches, so the numbers on a metric-sized tire are much higher than on a standard-sized tire.

  • To convert from mm to inches, you divide by 25.4.
  • To Convert from inches to mm, you multiply by 25.4

How to Read Standard Imperial ATV Tire Sizes

The three numbers in the standard imperial tire sizing format represent three critical tire dimensions.

  • First number: The overall tire height in inches when inflated.
  • Second number: The overall tire width in inches when inflated.
  • Third number: The wheel or rim diameter in inches.

For example, a 26X11-14 size tire is 26 inches high and 11 inches wide and will mount to a wheel or rim that is 14 inches in diameter.

A Letter “R” between the second and third numbers indicates a radial construction tire, while a hyphen “-” indicates a bias ply tire.

how to read standard ATV tire sizes

How to Read Metric ATV Tire Sizes

The metric tire size format is not as self-explanatory as the standard imperial format. To make matters worse, it doesn’t only use millimeters but also inches, percentages, and letters. 

Luckily you are much less likely to come across a metric-sized ATV tire. If you do, here is how to know what size it is.

  • First number: The overall tire width in millimeters when inflated.
  • Second number: The sidewall height as a percentage of the tire width.
  • Third number: The wheel or rim diameter in inches.

For example, a 215/80-14 size tire is 215mm wide, has a sidewall height of 172mm (80% of 215mm), and will mount to a wheel or rim that is 14 inches in diameter.

A Letter “R” between the second and third numbers indicates a radial construction tire, while a hyphen “-” indicates a bias ply tire.

how to read metric ATV tire sizes 1

What Size Are ATV Tires?

An average ATV tire is 25 to 27 inches tall and 7 to 10 inches wide, with a wheel diameter of 10 to 12 inches. Sport quad tires are usually slightly smaller than average, while mud tires are generally larger than standard tires. 

In everyday speech, ATV tires are often referred to only by the tire’s outer diameter. Typical tires sizes can be categorized by ATV type :

  • Recreation and utility: 24 to 28 inches.
  • Sport and racing: 20 to 25 inches
  • Mudding and rock crawling: 27 to 32 inches or more

Note that the front tires are usually one or two inches narrower than the rear tires. 

Related: Why Do ATVs Have Smaller Front Tires? 9 Good Reasons

ATV Brand and Model
Front Tire Size
Rear Tire Size
Polaris Sportsman 450
Polaris Sportsman 1000
Can-Am Outlander 450 / 570 (base model)
Can-Am Renegade 1000
Can-Am Outlander 1000
Honda Fourtrax Foreman 520
Yamaha Grizzly 700
ATV tire sizes. Examples by model.

What Size Are Youth ATV Tires?

Youth ATVs are smaller in size and power than adult models, so their tires also need to be smaller.

A typical youth-sized ATV tire is between 18 to 21 inches tall and 7 to 10 inches wide, with a wheel diameter of 8 to 10 inches. 

ATV Brand and Model
Front Tire Size
Rear Tire Size
Can-Am Renegade 110
Honda TRX 90
Honda TRX 250
Yamaha YFM 90
Youth ATV tire sizes. Examples by model.

Why Do ATV Tire Sizes Vary So Much?

At a glance, most ATV tires look the same. But when you go to a tire shop in real life or online, you soon realize there are almost endless sizes to choose from. But why does it have to be this way? Why don’t all ATVs use the same size tire?

The wide range of available ATV tire sizes reflects the versatility ATVs are well-known for and the wide range of conditions they go in. 

Different riding applications and riding conditions require different tire sizes for optimal performance.

For instance, when riding in soft and muddy conditions, you need a larger tire so you won’t sink in as much. 

However, bigger tires are generally much heavier than smaller ones, negatively impacting acceleration and handling. That is why race quads typically use smaller tires. 

ATV race tracks usually have medium to firm surfaces of dirt or gravel that don’t require massive tires not to get stuck. Winning the race requires a lightweight tire that spins easily so that as much as possible of the engine power gets converted into speed.

And finally, for most ATV riders, including those that use the bike for utility tasks, trail riding, or hunting, it’s all about finding a happy medium. That is why most ATV tires are from 25 to 27 inches tall.

Related: Will Bigger Tires Make an ATV Faster? (Or Slower?)

How to Know What Size ATV Tire You Need?

You cannot choose any size tire and expect good results. 

Your best bet would be to choose the same size as printed on the sidewall of your old ones. 

Make sure to cross-reference the numbers against those specified in the user manual to ensure nobody has previously changed to a different-size tire.

You can measure and compare to ensure your chosen tire fits the wheel/rim. 

  • The third number on the tire sidewall should always be identical to the diameter of your wheel. 
  • The tire width is typically one or two inches wider than the wheel’s width. The front wheel is usually an inch or two narrower than the rear.

Can You Install Bigger Tires on Your ATV?

Alot of people wonder whether they can install bigger tires on their ATVs. There are several reasons why people want to upgrade to beefier tires:

  • Better flotation in wet and soft conditions.
  • More ground clearance to better steer clear of obstacles.
  • A more aggressive tread pattern for better grip in soft and slippery conditions. 

Generally, you can install one to two inches larger diameter tires without modifying the ATV. Larger tires require various modifications to prevent tire rubbing, gear ratio issues, loss of torque, and premature belt wear.

Please refer to this post if you want to learn more about things to consider when installing bigger tires. 

Related: Are All ATV Tires Directional? How to Tell?

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Haavard Krislok
Haavard Krislok
I'm an ATV and offroad-enthusiast, an engineer, a farmer, and an avid home-mechanic. I'm also the owner and editor of If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article, please feel free to contact me.

Welcome to BoostATV

Hi, I’m Haavard, the guy behind Boost ATV.  I made this site to share what I have learned as an avid ATV owner and enthusiast. I hope it will help boost your ATV experience! Learn More