How to Read ATV Tire Dimensions

Your ATV can get you to exciting places that your car can’t reach, but it needs the right set of tires to get around riding in the rough terrain of offroad environments.

How to read ATV tire measurements

Worn tires impair an ATV’s performance, and the wrong set of tires can be downright dangerous. If you’re in the market to replace or upgrade your quad’s tires, here’s how to read ATV tire measurements to make sure you get the right ones. 

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ATV Tire Measurements: Standard vs Metric

ATV tire sizes are generally represented in either standard or metric formats. Here’s how to tell the difference and read the tire specs stamped on ATV tires:

ATV tire sizes how to read

Standard ATV Tire Sizes

Standard tire sizes look something like 26x10-12 or 26x10x12, for example. The way standard sizing is set up is straightforward: three measurements in inches to represent three different dimensions of the tire. 

In the example above: 26x10-12 or 26x10x12

  • 26 = 26 inches: the diameter of the tire. This represents the height of the tire from the ground to the top of the tread up under the fender (if your machine has fenders). 
  • 10 = 10 inches: the width of the tread across the tire. 
  • 12 = 12 inches: the diameter of the rim the tire fits on, across the inside opening of the tire where it mounts to the wheel.

ATV tire specs how to read

Metric ATV Tire Sizes

Metric sizing is trickier, and requires a little math. This sizing might look like 205/80R12, for example. The letter is the giveaway that this is metric, and it’ll always be three numbers and a letter. You might see more numbers after this general format, but those first three numbers are the key. The tread width comes first. 

ATV tire tread width

In the example above: 205/80R12

  • 205 = 205 mm: 205 mm across, which equals 20.5 cm.
  • 80 = 80 percent: The sidewall height, and this is where the math comes in. It’s not a measurement, but a percentage. The 80 tells you that the sidewall height is 80 percent of the width of the tread. Eighty percent of 205 is 164, which equals 16.4 cm. 
  • R = Radial: Symbol that tells you the tire is radial. 
  • 12 = 12 inches: This measurement tells you the tire fits on a 12-inch rim.

ATV tire measurements how to read them

If you need to replace your ATV’s tires, Partzilla carries a wide selection of tires, wheels and accessories, as well as tire and wheel tools to get the job done.

Watch the video below to learn more about ATV and side-by-side standard and metric tire measurements.



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