New riders won’t always know which tire pressure will be suitable for their ATV or UTV. Riding off-road vehicles like All Terrain Vehicles requires you to check the tire pressure every time before you set off on an adventure. The common notion which often new riders have is that the tire should look inflated and that will be enough for any kind of terrain.
But it is important to know that there is an ideal tire pressure to have in the ATV for the kind of trail you will be going to ride through. Like for coastal sand dunes or deserts, the tire pressure should be different from normal muddy trail rides. Having the ideal tire pressure fixed after checking it will make your ride much smoother and safer. The average ideal tire pressure to have your ATV for any ride would be five to six psi.
Not only the right tire pressure would improve the ATV’s performance but also it will keep your tires in good condition for an extended amount of time. It has been studied and proven that inappropriate tire pressure has some contribution to tire slips and small-scale accidents. So checking on your ATV or UTV tire pressure is essential just like checking the fuel amount.
Knowledge of proper maintenance
When you are inflating your ATV tires for the first time you need to at least know the maximum value of pressure you can put in. On the exposed surface facing towards you, the tires will have the exact tire pressure suited and also the maximum amount of psi which the tire will be able to handle.
Sometimes just by touching the surface of the tire, everyone is not able to guess how much more air the tire can handle.So using a metered air pump and checking the printed markings on your tire will be very helpful. To know further details about the question of- How to Check and Fix the Tire Pressure of Your ATV or UTV you need to read further.
Checking the tire pressure
When thinking about checking any kind of tire pressure people often use the bare hand technique for conventional vehicles like their personal cars or bikes. But when it comes to balloon tires of robust and sturdy nature like those present in the ATV, then the bare hand technique becomes very much trivial.
The other gadget which then comes in handy is the low-pressure tire gauge. The tire pressure is normally always measured in terms of PSI which elaborately stands as pounds per square inch. The psi if you check on your ATV or UTV at a random time it would show somewhere between four to eight psi. When you buy an ATV they supply you with one or multiple guides. In there you will also find essential facts about your tire and maintaining its pressure.
In case the markings on your tire sides get wiped off these guides would be easy to look through for finding the tire details. But the device which is called a low-pressure tire gauge is absolutely vital. The low-pressure type will be slightly different in build-up from the ones available for bikes and cars. So for obtaining perfect pressure readings of your ATV or UTV you need to first get the right gauge.
The types of pressure gauge
Some ATV riding communities have praised the Jaco Elite brand tire pressure gauge that you can easily find on amazon. The Jaco Elite gauge is able to display the psi to the tenth of a pound which in other words means more accuracy in the tire pressure value.
There are analog and digital variants of tire pressure gauges available today. Be sure that the one you buy is best suited for ATVs and UTVs and if you get one from the top brands like Jaco, rhino, tiretek, and tekton then you have nothing else to check. The best ones in the market would cost somewhere around twenty dollars. Although you should also check the pressure range, the wider the better. The tires have a type of valve cap on the air valve.
You need to remove the valve cap and then insert the pressure gauge in the valve carefully. You will then be able to read the tire pressure. You should check all four tires before you drive the ATV for a thrilling ride. It might sometimes seem unnecessary but experienced riders know that it’s absolutely worth it. While you insert the gauge if you hear the leaking air sound you should try to adjust the gauge to a proper angle because the leaking sound would suggest so.
A special need of having a higher ATV tire pressure
As already mentioned your tire pressure should be in balance with the type of trail you are planning to ride at.Mostly the low pressure will be needed by your ATV but occasionally the requirement of higher pressure might arise as well. One of the most common reasons is having extra load on your ATV for some utility purpose.
If you are going on a long trail ride where you will be planning to camp for the night then obviously you will be carrying a lot of extra stuff. Other common scenarios are for hunting equipment and forest department’s purposes for transferring a small animal or any other object.
Higher tire pressure allows more traction in the tires which might be very essential for hardened trails.
So you need to know How to Check and Fix the Tire Pressure of Your ATV or UTV. If you prepare your ATV for the conditions it’s going to face then the probability of any kind of road trouble gets extremely low.
Best trail types for higher pressure
If you are planning on riding in a hilly region and on extremely mud-ridden trails then the higher pressure tires would benefit in grabbing traction at the lower contact points of the tires making the vehicle easily pass through without getting stuck. But if it’s not a specific mud pit where the tire pressure can easily touch the bottom, then lower pressure tires are better.
Recommended tire pressure
For these kinds of conditions, the tire pressure in between seven to eight psi is recommended for improved ATV performance and less risk of being stuck somewhere. The speed of the vehicle or the acceleration factor would also get increased due to high-pressure tires. The tires also protect themselves and the rims by being appropriately inflated for road handling.
The need of having lower pressure in ATV tires
The tires with a lower pressure of ATVs will let you have better grip and control. If you are not yet an experienced ATV rider and cannot control your ATV or UTV very well on tough tracks then sticking to lower pressure is the right choice. The speed that high-pressure tires will be able to offer you won’t get it in lower pressure tires.
This is why you will notice the sports ATVs do not have lower pressure tires. For some riders who mostly travel on flat terrains which are maintained and are monitored they prefer speed overgrip. So if speed is a big priority to you then the lower pressure tires won’t be perfect for you.
Availability of special tires
Special tires are also available in the market if you travel on a specific kind of trail most of the time and do not prefer to experiment with tracks of different kinds. Generally, all-purpose tires are the most common ones fitted at the time of manufacturing by most brands by keeping in mind all the types of tracks like sand, mud, gravel, forest soil, and even rocks. But you can get special tires if you think only one type of track is best suited for you and that category is the one you will explore most of the time.
Lands which are really not hardened like gravel placed or sand then the low-pressure tires will be more suited. If compared between low-pressure tires and high-pressure tires then ATV experts do recommend having the low-pressure ones as speed isn’t really an ATV major area of build-up. This needs to be kept in mind that by lower pressure what value of psi is being actually meant.
The recommended tire pressure would be somewhere around 4 to 5 psi. But this type of lower pressure where it goes around 3 or 4 psi makes the tire more vulnerable. This means you should mainly choose cleared and monitored trails when riding with such pressure, whereas 5 psi can be considered as a safe and neutral number that will keep your ATV balanced from all features.
Fixing your ATV tires
After you have decided the type of trail you will be riding and hence having the value of the psi in mind that you will be willing to set in the ATV it’s time to actually make the tires in the desired pressure.
If after checking with the gauge you find that the tires already have a very high-value pressure but you need low pressure then it will be required to release some air. You can achieve this with the help of a flat screwdriver then you need to carefully force down on the stem. If explained in steps then it will be as follows:
- First, remove the cap of the tire valve.
- By using the tip end of the cap you can release some air by pushing down a flat screwdriver inside the valve.
- You can also do this at the time of checking with a gauge by ill-adjusting it.
- But measuring will be easier if you are using the tire gauge.
- Once the ideal value has been reached on the gauge then stop the procedure.
- Properly put back the valve cap and also carefully release the flat screwdriver.
Inflating for the need for higher pressure
But if the need arises to inflate the tires then you need an ATV tire inflator gadget to increase the pressure of the tire. Find the stem of the tire and remove the cap of the valve. Then you have to insert the pump pipe into the exposed valve.
If the pump is a manual one then you don’t have to separately start the device, unlike an electrical kind. Slowly pump air into the tire and be careful to not inflate excessively. After the inflation is complete bring off the pump pipe without releasing air from the tires again and put back the valve cap.
It is essential to take care of your ATV tires and always have a check on them before taking the vehicle out for a spin. But for that, you need to gain knowledge on How to Check and Fix the Tire Pressure of Your ATV or UTV. If you follow the detailed process for checking and adjusting the psi according to the type of trail you will be riding then your ATV will be much better in performance. The information on high and low-pressure tires will give you an edge over other riders and that will shine through your ATVs trail moves.