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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Why NOT to let your tires get too low even in the snow

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3 replies to this topic

#1 FlyB0y


    Apprentice to Subie Gurus

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  • Oregon City

Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:45 PM

As many of you know, I have been testing out using ATV tires for off-road applications on my brat.

When we had the major snow storm in the Portland area this past winter, I put on my tires and went for a few trips to play! :burnout:

I have had some trouble though with the JY rims rusting and leaking at the bead. (next time I will just pay the extra $20 ea for the rims and buy new white spokes :rolleyes:)

I don't drive faster than 25 mph on these tires, and I was using the back-roads but I checked on one at a gas station after someone was pointing to it and getting my attention.

I discovered the tire was down to 1.5 PSI and was rolling back on it's rim a bit :eek:.

Fortunately it didn't get driven more than a mile or so this way and I was able to fill it up although it continued to leak slowly. (around the bead)

I took my ATV tires in for the annual bead cleaning and have them checked for leaks at Schwab.

And this is what they found:
Posted Image

This damage on the inside of the sidewall on only one side of the tire really got my attention! The belts are Kevlar, so no sharp jagged steel belts, but this patch is about 1 1/2" long by 1/2" or so high, and I have about 10 spots around the diameter.

Here is the damage on the outside:
Posted Image

(Kinda hard to see, but just below the lettering you can see where the rubber got hot on the side wall rubbing against the rim)

The damage isn't impossible to repair, but if this was a road tire that I would use at any speed, I would NOT use it on the street and would replace it. I had talked to a local ATV shop in OR City, Apex Motorsports and he agreed since it's only into the first layer of the 6-ply, he wouldn't be too concerned about putting a tube inside and using it. He also told me about a Yamaha product for beading and sealing the bead of ATV tires, gonna get some from him soon! :banana:

This product is in an aerosol can, sprays on in a slippery goo to help lubricate to slip the bead over the rim, but then drys to a glue, and he swears by it's ability to seal even the roughest rim! :Flame:

I'm going to spray some of this stuff on the damaged areas of my sidewall and then use it to bead-up the tire myself since Schwab can't due to liability concerns. But I will most likely put a tube in there too if it still has trouble.

I also wanted to note since I use the narrower "front tire" side ATV tires, it's really not that hard to do yourself, nothing like the monster 12" wide ones that can be a real bear to bead up. That being said, unless your used to using tire irons to mount up a wheel, be extra careful not to scratch your rims and if your really having a hard time getting the bead over the rim, your probably trying to move too much or it at once. If you put a bad gouge in the bead surface of the rim (real easy to do on aluminum) you might prevent it sealing, and if your too hard on the tire's bead, it might cut or stretch too much also causing a leak. I like to use 3 tire irons at once and use dish soap & water to get them on. NEVER use any kind of grease/tire lube meant for ATV's to mount a street tire, you run the risk of the tire coming off the rim on the road. :dead:
I use a little dish soap in water just to make it slippery enough to ease it on but it doesn't stay slippery after the water evaporates. A spray bottle works great. :burnout:

*** DISCLAIMER *** I don't recommend ATV tires for any use at speed, and I don't want this to turn into a "to use ATV tires or not to use ATV tires please" :). This information is use at your own risk, just sharing my experiences for you to make your own decision.

Edited by FlyB0y, 14 July 2009 - 03:48 PM.

#2 Sweet82


    Elite Master of the Subaru

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:43 AM

I've been running ATV tires for about 5 years now.

I haven't had a problem yet. They do limit your speed!

If I'm going on a longer trip I use a set of Pugs with truck tires.

#3 FlyB0y


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Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:50 PM

Yeah, I think I will be more like you and bump my pressure to more like 15 - 20lb's instead of the 3 - 5lbs the manufacturer recommended, just to keep on the safe side and give me more leeway if they get low. :burnout:

Do you use yours on the pavement?

#4 bigo1966


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Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:42 AM

I aired down too much for sand and with in one hour the tread seperated from the tire. So yeah, save your tires and dont air down too much!

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