Maxing out your UTV’s tire size is the first thing any rider wants to do. Every park you go to is full of side-by-sides just like yours, but they’re rocking bigger tires. We’re talking UTVs with 32 to 35-inch tires—and they look awesome.
Now you want to increase your tire size but you’re not sure which route to go. A lift kit is the obvious choice, but it might not be right for you. Maybe offset A-arms would serve you better.
We’ll take a look at both to make sure you get the upgrade that’s right for your ride style and budget.
When you think of modifying your machine for more tire clearance, lift kits are probably the first thing that comes to mind. Lifts come in all shapes and sizes, and the way they work is fairly obvious.
Most lift kits work by repositioning the shocks so that they push the suspension down further. Pushing the suspension down raises the the rest of the machine up. With the UTV’s body pushed higher up, the tire has more room in the wheel well to get bigger.
Pretty straightforward stuff. You can see how it works just by looking at it.
There are a few different kinds of lift kits that make a big difference to your UTV tire size and budget.
Lets look at each a little closer to see which one will get you the tires you want.
Small lift kits are a great entry-level lift that anybody can appreciate. Whether you’re going for looks or functionality, these little lifts won’t disappoint. They usually give you two to four inches of extra ground clearance.
Small lift kits are split into two categories: bracket lifts and spring spacer lifts. Both will help give you more ground clearance and boost tire clearance.
Max tire size varies from vehicle to vehicle, but a small lift can give you enough clearance to get 32 or 33-inch UTV tires. This tire range is the most popular among UTV enthusiasts.
There are two huge advantages of small lift kits over the others:
Most small lifts are less than $300. That’s a small investment that makes a huge difference.
Because they don’t change your suspension that much, you’ll have about the same width so you can use the same trailer to haul and ride on the same trails you did before. They’re good for any rider whether you ride trails and dunes or just stick to chores around the yard.
Big lift kits are a bigger investment with a bigger return. They cost more because they completely replace your stock suspension. That means new A-arms, axles, tie rods, and sometimes, shocks.
All that hardware gets you some awesome benefits:
We’re here to talk about tire clearance, and a big lift kit equates to some massive tires. Some lifts give you room for 36, 38, or even 40-inch UTV tires. Along with tire clearance comes ground clearance and a capable machine ready to tackle any obstacle.
Big lifts also get you a wider machine. Wider suspension makes your whole ride more stable—handy for a machine that’s 8” higher than it used to be.
And you can’t forget that a big lift just looks awesome. All that daylight between the wheels makes for one powerful looking UTV.
If you’re looking for the biggest tires and most imposing look, this is the way to go. But it comes with a couple downsides.
First of all, they’re expensive. A big lift can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 or more.
Second, they drastically change your machine. You’ll be taller, wider, and have a somewhat increased turning radius. You might need to upgrade trailers and stick to wider trails.
Still, nothing beats it for looks and tire size. Well, nothing except portals.
Portals, like GDP Portal Gear Lifts, give you a lift along with extra power from a built-in gear reduction.
You can get 4”, 6” or 8” GDP Portal Gear Lifts from SuperATV.
They do things a little bit different than a traditional lift kit and have several benefits:
Portals lift your machine by replacing your wheel hubs with a gear box that includes a built-in gear reduction. That gear reduction is the real game changer. It boosts torque and makes it easy to turn larger diameter tires.
That’s not all a portal’s gear reduction is good for. Since it’s right at the end of the drivetrain, it actually means your axles, prop shaft, and transmission don’t have to work as hard to output more torque. That equates to less strain and longer lasting parts.
Another side effect of a hub-based lift is suspension that doesn’t change much. In fact, your stock A-arms and axles will maintain their stock angles just like you had no lift at all.
Plus, they can be combined with any other traditional lift to get the biggest tires in the industry. With 8” portals and a big lift kit, some vehicles can fit over 50” tires.
There’s another, less intuitive way to increase your tire size. You can use offset A-arms to give you more tire clearance without a lift.
In fact, offset A-arms can net you a handful of helpful features that you can’t get anywhere else:
Offset A-arms move your hubs forward or backwards (depending on whether they’re front or rear A-arms). You might be surprised to learn that by moving your wheel hubs 1.5” to 2” forward, you get room for bigger tires.
On many UTVs, offset A-arms net you the same max tire size as a small lift. And for many people, bigger tires without a lift is ideal.
For example, the primary appeal of the RZR Turbo S is its wide stance and ability to corner at high speeds. If you want bigger tires on a sporty vehicle like this, forward offset A-arms are the way to go. A 1.5” forward offset gives you room for massive 36” tires.
It’s not just about tire clearance though. With a forward offset, you get a longer wheelbase which results in better stability. And SuperATV’s offset A-arms also give you extra ground clearance thanks to high-clearance bends.
That’s not all. If you don’t mind a lift, you can combine a small lift with forward offset A-arms. On the Turbo S, doing so will let you run 38” UTV tires. That’s huge for very little lift. And the only minor drawback to offset A-arms is a slightly increased turning radius due to the longer wheelbase. Not a bad tradeoff in our book.
Maxing out your tire size can make our break the look and performance of your machine. Whether you’re slapping the biggest tire you can fit on a stock machine or upgrading your suspension for more tire clearance, you’ve got options. Get fashion, get function, and get the suspension upgrade you need to rock the UTV tires you want.