Low-pressure tires are used on ATVs for several reasons:
1. Improved Traction: Low-pressure tires offer better traction and grip on rough, uneven terrain. The larger contact patch between the tire and ground helps to increase the vehicle's stability and prevent slippage.
2. Smoother Ride: Low-pressure tires provide a more comfortable and smoother ride over rough terrain, as they absorb shock and impact better than high-pressure tires. This is especially important for off-road vehicles like ATVs that are designed to traverse rocky, uneven, and bumpy terrain.
3. Reduced Tire Damage: Low-pressure tires are less likely to suffer from punctures and other types of damage when driven off-road. The softer rubber of the tires conforms to the contours of the terrain, reducing the risk of damage from rocks, branches, and other obstacles.
4. Increased Floatation: Low-pressure tires can also help ATVs to float on soft surfaces like sand, mud, and snow. By increasing the surface area in contact with the ground, the tires distribute the weight of the vehicle more evenly, reducing the chances of sinking.
In summary, low pressure in ATV tires is generally recommended for use in soft or loose terrain such as sand, mud, or snow to provide traction and floatation and also on uneven rocky terrain for a smoother ride and to avoid puncture from sharp edges. However, it's important to note that while low pressure can be beneficial in these types of terrain, it may not be appropriate or safe to use in all situations.
When would I want high-pressure in my ATV tires?
In general, high-pressure ATV tires are suitable for hard, smooth, and flat terrains such as pavement, hard-packed dirt, gravel roads, and rocky terrain (this is hard, smooth, flat rocky terrain not to be confused with the uneven sharp rocky terrain referred to in the low-pressure tires section above).
When you ride on these types of surfaces, you need less traction and more stability, which is why high-pressure tires are often preferred. The higher pressure will allow for better handling, responsiveness when cornering or braking, and reduced sidewall flex which you don’t want when driving at the higher speeds that this terrain allows for.
Before adjusting your tire pressure, be sure to do your research and if you’re still unsure of your optimal pressure consult your local ATV tire expert because too high or too low pressure in your tires can be dangerous in different ways.
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