As some of you may know in December I bought some ITP rims and AMS Sand Snake paddle tires to go with them. I bought them from Rocky Mountain ATV as a set which included mounting as part of the deal. When they were delivered I received two different boxes, one with tires and one with rims.
After a call to customer service the following morning the RMATV customer service rep said that I could take them somewhere, get them mounted on the rims and they would reimburse me. At first it sounded fair until I though that it would be at LEAST 1/2 of a day for me to make the 60 mile round trip to an ATV shop to get them mounted, plus gas and all that...so I decided that I was going to mount them myself.
The process was pretty painless except that I mounted the 1st one and then mounted the 2nd one the wrong way (paddle tires are directional). No big deal, The bead wasn't set yet so I just slipped it off and then put it back on.
Fast forward to this past Friday and Saturday (March 19th and 20th)
The place I went riding was near my inlaws in Mississippi, at Sand Hill ATV
it's one of my all time favorite riding spot because of it being a working sand pit that's been working for decades. This makes the terrain always changing and challenging. It's great for climbs, walls and sand drags. My buddies and I are constantly looking for new (and even more difficult places to climb). I digress though.
Turning, or lack therof
So after unloading I warmed up the quad and we headed out. I nearly instantly noticed the extreem pushing of the wider rear that was only compounded by the straight paddles. It turned like an aircraft carrier in the sand and bumping the throttle only made the front lighter which in turn made it push even further. It tried everything, leaning on the bars, leaning to the inside/outside of the turns, adjusting the pressure - nothing helped. Don't get me wrong, at very slow speeds it was bearable on trails but if you were going any faster than a crawl you were going to need a harbor master to get get where you want to go. Wider rear end in the sand is great for stability, but even more awesome for pushing in turns and high speed understeer.
Shorter tires, shorter gearing
Now, the size of the tires I bought were 20x10x10 which means that they are 2" shorter than the stock tires. They also look like they are at least 3" less wide than the stock tires. I knew that it would effect my gearing and making it shorter and that I could now take off easily in 2nd gear. (more on that later) The by-product of a shorter tire is that on the 700XX you are limited to 12 mph in reverse. Why is that a big deal? Well to go ANYWHERE in the sand you need to spin a little, and in reverse the amount of tire spin before it hit the rev limiter was quite annoying. (Hey you, 13 tooth front sprocket guys should recognize this as an issue.)
700xx Ditch Witch
At the end of my first day my buddy and I decided to do a little drag race. We had the park to ourselves so the track was nice and smooth. We lined up. He gave me 1 quad and let me leave 1st. I figured I would launch in 2nd because 1st was now a parking lot gear due to the shorter tires. When I launched it was wheel spin on a the HNL (Hole....nutha....level). The race was over before I made it to the 60 foot mark. Spin. Spin. Spin. Only my stock tires launched worse than that, and we're talking by a slim margin. You should have seen the two parallel ruts that I left. I was not happy. To be fair (with myself) I tried adjusting the pressure down to see if they hooked and it only helped out a little, but not much.
On day two, we split
On day two we created a few more climbs that would start out with 5-10 feet of room at the bottom with a good 60' of a technical climb through the trees. The tires had a lot of spin but it was predicatable much in the way the stock ones were. Knowing how they would recact meant I never got stock. Well after loading up I brought it to the car wash and got a good look at the tires. The paddles were already starting to split away from the tire carcass! WTF? Two rides in ONLY sand and they start to come apart??? I was miffed and aggravated that not only did they perform "ok" at best they were also now falling apart. I would not buy these again.
(pics to come soon)
In truth the pushing could be the result of the straight paddles where angle paddles might have helped. I also would not get 20" paddles tires for the 700XX next time. Also, the tires didn't hook up at all. The ITP rims help up great with no bends or failures, but I was not happy with the wider offset. Before I buy another set I'll be waiting for an 11" offering. 10" rims will only make the rear wider and make this quad push even further.
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