Testing 31-inch Tires on the Rubicon Trail
2011 Kawasaki Teryx on the Rubicon Trail
I have been on a fast track build for my 2011 Kawasaki
Teryx. Phase One was completed just in time to got to
Moab for Rally on the
Rocks in May. The Teryx performed beyond my expectations and I was
eager to get some more riding in, and continue with the buildup.
on my agenda was bigger tires and wheels. I have been watching
with interest as people have put light truck tires on their UTVs. The
build that pushed me over the top was
Jagged X's Polaris RZR XP
desert race car with 30" BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2s on it. One of the
issues with LT tires, is stepping up to a 15" wheel. 12" and 14"
wheels are much more prevalent and beadlocks are only available as a
custom made item. I have been a huge fan of
Performance Billet Center Beadlock wheels, and decided that I would
see if they could build a set in a 15". After talking with Bones @ OMF,
the answer was yes, but it will take us a few weeks to get the design
With the wheel choice in hand, I set about looking into
tires. I have been using a 26.5" Rocker ATV/UTV tire with great
success, so I decided to talk with Mike at Pit Bull Tires to see
what he thought. Their smallest LT tire is a
This was a little bigger than I wanted, but I decided to give them a
the new tires and wheels all mounted up on my Teryx, I had the itch bad
to try them out in the rocks. I twisted my buddy Dave's arm to head up
to the Rubicon for a quick day trip so I could test some new tires and
wheels on my Teryx. For those of you that have met Dave, you know
the arm twisting is a bit of a stretch. Dave is pretty much up for
anything. He has a 2011 Polaris RZR XP with a set of Pro Armor
doors and a set of 26.5" Pit Bull Rocker tires and loves to play in the
We decided to park at Loon Lake and head in towards
Little Sluice. It was a Sunday, so I knew we would be fighting upstream
against the 4x4's coming out from their weekend, but we weren't on any
strict schedule and knew we could turn around at any point in time if
we hit the trail, it took a little bit to get used to being higher in
the air. The tires are huge, and weigh 10+ lbs. more each than what I
had on there before, but even with the stock engine, I was able to move
along without too much effort. Clutching was off a bit, but I have
a Dalton adjustable clutch and that will be tailored to the big meat
Rocks that I used to have to put a tire on to get by,
were now passing effortlessly under my Factory UTV UHMW skid plate.
My Teryx was transformed into a mini rock buggy!
With the huge amount of rubber under my Teryx, the
Wicked Bilt power steering I had installed was now more important than
ever. Steering was firm, but easy to use. I recommend power
steering in general on any UTV, but with this much tire, it is a
31" tires are a little larger than I had in mind for
overall use, but for the rocks I am a huge fan. I do have a few
clearance issues than I need to work on with tires hitting plastic, and
I am not so sure I would use a 31" tire for desert (especially without
trimming even more plastic).
Phase Two our of buildup is underway as I type.
Big tires and wheels were the first step, and with this trip I know what
to adjust with the Dalton clutch kit. But the even bigger part of
this phase is more power. Just last night, a crate showed up with
a new 916cc
Muzzys engine. The swap will start today, and I hope to have
it ready for a longer trip to the Rubicon next week!