I think most car enthusiasts will agree – nothing beats a drive with an open roof. Listening to the noises of the engine and experiencing high G-forces is something that most car enthusiasts crave for. One of the best ways to have this experience is by driving a UTV.
These vehicles are specifically designed to let you enjoy driving on various surfaces. Sure, there are UTV’s designed for commercial purposes, and also ones for military purposes. However, we think that this article mostly applies to enthusiast drivers, who just bought a UTV to enjoy it during the weekend.
However, UTV vehicles are mostly designed for driving over rough terrain. You won’t see many UTV driving around on the streets, especially ones that attack corners like in a sports coupe. That’s a shame because, in our experience, UTVs can be super-fun to drive on pavement.
That is, of course, if you have the right tires attached. From the factory, UTVs usually comes with off-road tires, which will give you outstanding traction on slippery surfaces, but not much grip on the road. Luckily, you can easily change that by installing road-focused UTV tires.
The best UTV tires for pavement should be DOT-approved first. DOT means that the tires are approved by the Department of Transportation for use on public streets. Any tire that’s not DOT-approved can’t be legally used on the street. In other words, it’s designed only for off-road driving.
Then, the best UTV street tires should also give you enough grip and traction to enjoy driving. Tires with aggressive and deep tread patterns are out of the question here, simply because they have less road contact.
Tires with less aggressive tread designs will work much better and provide you with better traction for acceleration, higher grip in the corners, and stronger braking.
To help you find the best UTV tires for pavement in 2021, we will give you our list of the 10 best models. In that list, you will find DOT-approved tires that will elevate the street driving experience of your UTV, but also give you sufficient off-road traction over some lighter terrains.
If you’re new to UTV tires, after the list, you can find a buying guide, where we will explain all of the details. Let’s dig in.
- Top 10 Best UTV Street Tires in 2021
- 1. SunF A021 TT Sport ATV UTV Dirt & Flat Track Tires
- 2. ITP Hard Surface Radial Tires
- 3. Maxxis Liberty
- 4. Carlisle All Trail ATV Tire
- 5. Tusk TERRABITE Heavy-Duty 8-Ply DOT Radial
- 6. Interco LIEF DOT Tires
- 7. Quadboss QBT846 DOT Tire
- 8. GBC Kanati Mongrel
- 9. Fuel Gripper T/R/K Kevlar
- 10. EFX MotoVator 8 Ply
- Best UTV Tires for Pavement: Buyer's Guide
Top 10 Best UTV Street Tires in 2021
If there is one on-road UTV tire to rule them all, that is the SunF A021 TT. A quick look at the tread pattern on this tire immediately tells you that it will perform best on pavement – it looks almost like a high-performance tire!
On top of that, SunF made the tread from a medium rubber compound, which is also similar to high-performance tires.
All of that translates into outstanding handling on pavement. The SunF A021 TT is supremely responsive, providing the driver with direct steering and feeling of control.
The medium tread compound, paired with the large contact patch, elevates the grip and traction to levels that we didn’t know is possible in UTV tires. With a set of these tires on, your UTV will feel almost like a go-kart in the corners!
Another great advantage of the SunF A021 TT is that it works very well in rainy conditions. Yes, we know that you don’t drive your UTV when it rains that often, but in case it happens, you’ll know that you have tires that are completely safe.
With that said, the A021 TT works only on gravel and dirt, and possibly sand. Put it in deep mud, and it will quickly lose traction. On the positive side, though, the price is pretty low, which means that you can have two sets of tires – one for pavement, another for off-roading.
ITP’s entry into the street tire category is one of our favorites right now. The reason is very straightforward – the tread pattern on this tire is 100% designed for on-road use.
This means that you can’t really use the ITP Hard Surface on anything other than the street. The tread should give you enough grip and traction on gravel, but that’s pretty much it. If you want to attack demanding off-road terrains, this is not the tire for you.
Fortunately, this also means that the on-road performance is second to none. ITP’s street tire is supremely comfortable on pavement – the ride quality is smooth and plush. Furthermore, the tire is also very quiet, even at very high speeds.
When it comes to performance, you can expect the same performance as on a passenger tire for cars. The handling is predictable and responsive, and there is a lot of grip and traction on dry and wet surfaces.
This tire also has a very long-lasting tread compound, much like normal passenger tires. Finally, the price is also very low, especially when compared to other UTV tires.
The Maxxis Liberty is one of our favorite UTV tires. When it comes to performance, it is very hard to find any fault with it.
The Liberty is mainly designed for driving over hard terrains, like dirt and gravel, but it is also usable in the desert. On those surfaces, it is one of the most responsive tires, while also performing very well during cornering and braking.
The Maxxis Liberty easily exceeds DOT test standards, which means that it is also usable on the street. More importantly, we found that it performs very well in most test conditions, including dry and wet surfaces.
On dry pavement, the Maxxis Liberty shows excellent responsiveness and steering feel. Grip levels are very good, even during hard cornering. Traction and braking are also excellent, giving you a lot of confidence to push forward.
Thanks to the high number of sipes and tread design with circumferential grooves, the Liberty performs very well over wet surfaces. Sure, it isn’t as good as a passenger tire, but that’s the case with most UTV tires.
Finally, despite the radial construction, the Maxxis Liberty gets an 8-ply rating, which means that you can use it on very large UTVs. That’s great for durability, too – the Liberty is one of the toughest and longest-lasting UTV tires around.
Carlisle is a well-known and reputable manufacturer of ATV, UTV, and lawnmower tires, and their All Trail model is the best of them all. We are big fans of everything this tire does.
Thanks to a large number of grooves on the tread pattern, the Carlisle All Trail will work everywhere. We found that it is especially good over rocks, dirt, gravel, and grass, but you can also use it in shallow mud.
But, you’re here because you want to know how these tires handle the street and the answer is – pretty well! Of course, they won’t offer the same grip as slick high-performance tires, but those aren’t available for UTV tires at all.
With a set of Carlisle All Trail’s attached on your UTV, you will experience a more responsive ride in the corners. The grip will also be higher than some off-road-focused tires, which translates into higher cornering speeds.
Traction is also excellent, even on some high-powered UTVs. Lastly, the Carlisle’s brake very well, both over dry and wet pavement.
One of the disadvantages of the Carlisle All Trail is the higher price, but the company mitigates that with one of the longest-lasting treads in the business. You will be using these tires for a long time – that’s for sure.
Not every UTV driver wants super-responsive handling – some are more concerned about comfort. If you are one of the leisurely types of drivers, we recommend the Tusk TERRABITE tire.
This mean-looking tire is designed to be used on most hard-packed surfaces, including dirt, gravel, and rocks. Naturally, it has fat sidewalls that take care of absorbing the impacts from rocks, and aggressive tread pattern for better traction.
The TERRABITE is also DOT-approved, which means that you can freely use it on the pavement. Well, that is if you aren’t that concerned about performance on the street.
See, while the TERRABITE works outstandingly well on dirt, gravel, and rocks, it isn’t the best choice for pavement when it comes to performance.
Nonetheless, the tire is completely safe if you drive normally or within the speed limits. Even more importantly, for some drivers, the ride quality with the TERRABITE is one of the best out there.
On top of that, this tire lasts for a very long time. The tread compound seems to never wear, which is very important for people that drive on the street often.
Interco’s DOT-approved UTV tires were primarily designed for the U.S. Border Patrol. The main takeaway here is the environmentally-friendly footprint, which doesn’t damage the surfaces and leaves a minimal footprint.
A quick look at the tread pattern of the LIEF immediately tells you that this tire has a large contact patch. This means that it won’t leave a trail when you drive off-road, but even more importantly, that it will give you excellent traction on the road.
In our testing, we found that the Interco LIEF is very responsive during spirited driving. Grip and traction levels are also very high, which translates into very good handling overall. The LIEF tires are also very safe – they brake strongly.
There is one area where we would’ve liked the LIEF is better, and that’s wet handling. It works if you drive carefully but won’t give you the best possible grip and traction.
On the positive side, the Interco is very tough and durable, improves gas mileage, and is not very expensive.
Quadboss designed and excellent intermediate-to-hard-terrain tire with the QBT846. This model is also DOT-approved, which means that you can freely use it on the street every day.
Still, the area where this tire performs the best is dirt and gravel. We are big fans on how the Quadboss handles these surfaces. It is super responsive and bites the surface very well. In other words, the tire immediately responds to driver input and provides high levels of grip and traction.
The QBT846 is also very usable over rocky terrain. The aggressive tread pattern and sidewall take care of smaller and larger rocks, while the built-in rim guard keeps your wheels in check. Overall, the Quadboss QBT846 is a very durable tire – the 8-ply radial casing is very tough.
On the road, the Quadboss isn’t as good as on hard-packed terrain, but still fine for everyday driving. More importantly, the tire is very comfortable – the ride is very smooth.
That said, the price is also higher than we would’ve wanted.
Overall, GBC’s Kanati Mongrel tire is one of the best UTV models on sale right now. It is available in many sizes, which means that drivers of smaller and larger UTV’s will easily find a compatible model.
More importantly, the tire has a 10-ply construction, which is one of the toughest in the industry. This means that the tire can withstand a lot of abuse, especially when driving over hard-packed surfaces.
That is also the area where the Kanati Mongrel performs the best. The rounded profile of the tire works exceptionally well on dirt and gravel, as well as rocky surfaces. The tire is very responsive and provides the driver with high levels of grip and traction.
The Kanati Mongrel also exceeds DOT standards, which means that you can use it on every street. When it comes to handling, the tire is good but not exceptional. Still, if you don’t push too much, the Kanati Mongrel offers a safe and reliable drive on pavement.
Furthermore, GBC designed the Kanati Mongrel for a smooth ride, which can be felt every time you drive on the street.
The tire is also pretty expensive, but the price is somewhat mitigated with the outstanding durability GBC tires are known for.
The Fuel Gripper tire with Kevlar-reinforced sidewalls is easily the toughest tire on this list – no wonder it has a 10-ply rating. Thanks to the synthetic aramid fiber, but also the puncture-resistant technology, the Fuel Gripper T/R/K Kevlar will never be punctured, even if you drive over very demanding surfaces, such as rocky terrain.
Performance on intermediate and hard-packed terrains is also excellent. Thanks to the stiff sidewall, the Gripper is one of the most responsive UTV tires around. The aggressive tread design helps with grip and traction, giving the driver a lot of confidence to push harder in the corners.
The Gripper is also a DOT-approved tire, which means that you can use it on the street without worrying about getting a ticket. Performance-wise, the tire is pretty good – it provides the driver with good grip and traction. The responsiveness, again, is outstanding – you will have a lot of fun driving on these tires.
When it comes to comfort, the Fuel Gripper T/R/K is slightly more audible than we would’ve liked, but still very comfortable over bumps.
That said, the Fuel Gripper T/R/K Kevlar is also one of the most expensive UTV tires, but that’s expected given the use of synthetic aramid fiber.
Much like the Fuel Gripper T/R/K Kevlar, the EFX MotoVator is a very expensive tire. Fortunately, it is also a very durable one – the steel-belted construction makes the MotoVator a highly puncture-resistant tire.
When it comes to performance, the MotoVator is up there with the best hard-packed terrain tires. Responsiveness is simply outstanding when driving on rocks and trails. The tire also provides the driver with a lot of grip and traction for fluid handling.
You can also use the MotoVator on the road – the tire is fully DOT-approved. The responsiveness and steering feel are excellent here as well, giving you that go-kart feeling. Grip and traction are good, but not exceptional. Still, that’s a characteristic of most UTV tires.
The only biggish downside of the EFX MotoVator is that it’s expensive. However, the company defends the price with race-derived technology, which is not something you’d find on most UTV tires.
Best UTV Tires for Pavement: Buyer's Guide
1. Type of UTV Tires That Work on Pavement
Not many UTV tires are specifically designed to be driven on the street. But, that’s only normal – UTVs are also not vehicles designed for use on the street.
That’s why, when looking for tires that will work on the pavement, you first need to look for DOT-approved tires. These tires are legal to be driven on the street, but the DOT approval also means that they are safe to drive on the road.
As you can see from the list above, only two models are designed for use on pavement. If those models aren’t available in your region, we recommend hard-packed terrain tires or intermediate-terrain tires.
These models will give you the best pavement grip and traction, and also very good responsiveness. Most of these tires are also DOT-approved, so you really can’t go wrong.
All-terrain tires are another great option for use on pavement. These tires are designed to tackle any terrain, and that naturally means pavement.
With that said, avoid using mud-terrain and sand UTV tires on the street. Most of them aren’t DOT-approved anyway, but more importantly, they lack proper grip and traction for safe driving.
Mud-terrain and sand tires are also not very comfortable and produce a lot of noise. The rough pavement will also act like sandpaper on the soft tread of these tires, wearing them in no time.
2. Radial or Bias-Ply Tires?
When choosing UTV tires, you will mostly encounter radial tires. That’s fine because radial tires work better on the pavement.
Radial tires are lighter than bias-ply tires, which translates into better performance, more responsive handling, and less fuel consumption. Radial tires also have a more durable tread – you can use them longer on the pavement. Furthermore, radial tires are very quiet and comfortable, especially when compared to bias-ply tires.
The only advantage of bias-ply tires is that their casings are tougher and stiffer. That’s why bias-ply tires make sense for driving over very demanding hard-packed terrains. Also, bias-ply tires can usually withstand more weight – most of them come with at least an 8-ply rating.
Still, modern radial tires are more than strong enough for general UTV usage, while also providing the driver with better performance in almost every other area.
Choosing the best UTV tires for pavement often requires a lot of research and testing, especially given the various categories of products. We hope that with this article, we helped you narrow the search for tires that work on the pavement and that you found the best set for you.