For any UTV enthusiast who loves to tackle extreme rocky terrain, nothing beats specialized rock crawlers when it comes to tire selection. Rock crawler UTV tires provide the ultimate traction riders need. But since most UTV applications rarely involve just rocky terrain, performance varies across brands, choosing the right tire can get complicated pretty fast.
Depending on the application, the best UTV tires for rocks may range from specialized rock crawlers such as the Maxxis Roxilla and SuperATV RT Warrior to All-terrain options that perform particularly well on rocks such as the GBC Kanati Mongrel and the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R.
In the rest of this article, we’ll review the 16 best UTV tires for rocks on the market. We’ve included a mix of specialized rock crawlers for those seeking ultimate traction, as well as some solid all-terrain options that can cut in on rocky surfaces to help you find the best fit for your specific UTV applications. Let’s get started, shall we?
With 8-ply construction, stepped shoulder lugs, a multilayered sidewall, and a soft tread construction, the Maxxis Roxilla is arguably the best UTV tire on today’s market in terms of providing absolute traction on rocks.
The ultra-soft tread compound heats up as the tire spins, making it easier for the tire to grip onto dry surfaces for ultimate traction. As for the alternating shoulder lugs, they not only contribute to the tire’s superior traction but also cushion the sidewall against cuts. Meanwhile, the multilayered sidewall combines with the deep tread pattern to make a mean-looking rock crawler.
And while the Roxxilla is mainly known for its superior rock crawling ability, it’s no slacker in the mud either. The deep treads make it fairly easy to clean out the mud with a bit of wheel spin to maintain traction on wet surfaces.
The Roxxilla comes in manageable weight as well. The 32″ version weighs only 42lbs, while its 35″ cousin clocks in at 48lbs. That said, you’ll want to upgrade your UTV before using these tires because the superior traction they provide will quickly find your drivetrain’s weak link if you like to get rowdy (and who doesn’t?).
SuperATV RT Warrior
SuperATV doesn’t just design great rock-crawler tires; the tire manufacturer is deeply passionate about UTV rock crawling, and their products reflect that. With little inspection, you can tell that the RT Warrior was designed by a team that understands the unique needs of driving a UTV on rocky surfaces.
It provides great traction on rocky, sand, dirt, and gravel terrains, and comes with a multitude of features to support that.
First on that list are the 1″-deep treads. These combine with a unique tapered pyramid tread pattern to form a traction mechanism that grabs and compresses rocky surfaces. This allows the RT Warrior to grip harder on rocky terrain than other similar tires with deeper lugs, which translates to better overall traction.
The manufacturer even went the extra mile by siping the lugs to ensure that every bit of the RT Warrior contributes to providing traction. In a conventional highway tire, siping helps disperse water rapidly at high speeds to minimize slipping on wet roads. But when done on an off-road tire, it allows the lugs to bend more to conform to uneven surfaces, which improves grip and traction.
Second are the unique Ejector Ribs, which help prevent mud and dirt from sticking to the RT Warrior between the lugs. This makes it easy to keep the tire mud-and-dirt free with a bit of wheel spin for continuous, uncompromised traction.
Finally, the combination of Kevlar belt and 8-ply construction helps the tire maintain its stability even at low pressure or when tackling off-camber corners.
Perhaps the one issue you might have with the RT Warrior is that it doesn’t perform as well as the Roxxilla in muddy conditions. Nonetheless, it’s a solid tire for any technical rock crawler and is available in sizes 30″ to 34″ for 14″ wheels in both “sticky” and standard compounds.
ARISUN Gear Buster
ARISUN swears by the Gear Buster’s complete off-road performance, and it’s easy to see why.
The Aramid-reinforced sidewall provides extra protection against flats, while the K4D Armor safeguards against cuts, punctures, and abrasion. Meanwhile, the non-directional tread pattern combines with siped pocketed lugs to deliver the extra traction you need for rock crawling.
To cap off this complete offroad performance—the cross tread comes specially designed with an emphasis on durability, while the advanced radial design delivers balanced dynamics for a smooth ride.
The UTV industry hadn’t seen a side-by-side rock crawler until the Lobo RC came by.
First of its kind, the RC sports the super sticky compound we’ve come to expect from all rock crawling UTV tires and raised sidewall protection. This combination gives it great traction on rocky surfaces and is complemented by stepped shoulder knobs paired with fast-rolling center treads to give you the ultimate control of your vehicle in challenging terrains.
Last but not least, the 8-ply radial construction means you can expect a great combination of durability, heavier loads, and driving comfort from this DOT-approved tire.
STI Roctane XD
With an 8-ply radial carcass, the STI Roctane XD was designed to confidently handle the speed and aggression of modern ATVs and UTVs. Its construction features a heavy denier nylon cord for a nice balance of toughness and flexibility, as well as uniquely designed non-directional treads and a wide footprint profile for quiet operation and effortless control.
Such a tread size and design mean you can expect exceptional grip on even the slickest of rocks and substantial traction in muddy terrain. And since it comes in up to 10 different sizes, you can be sure to find a Roctane XD for your vehicle no matter how large.
In terms of durability, STI’s Roctane XD doesn’t disappoint, either. This is largely down to the proprietary Rockwall Sidewall, whose construction features super-wide tread belts and reinforced bottom sidewalls for stability and extra shoulder protection. The deep rim guards also chip in by cushioning the wheel lips against trail damage to add longevity to a reasonably priced tire.
The BFGoodrich Krawler TA KX comes specially designed for professional rock crawling. One of the few specialized rock crawlers on the market, this line of tires has won more rock-crawling championships than any other brand. It bagged several of these championships between 2004 and 2008, and most recently, the 2016-17 Ultra4 King of Hammers Everyman Challenge.
Superior traction on rocky surfaces is the highlight feature of the Krawler TA KX. This is largely down to a combination of a deep-lug tread pattern, a tough carcass, and soft compound construction that allows the tire to conform to uneven surfaces for ultimate grip and traction.
What’s more, the tire design allows UTV drivers to carve the tread to suit specific off-road needs. The construction is also puncture-resistant and can bear the brunt of abuse associated with UTV off-roading. The 6-year warranty will cover workmanship and/or material defects provided all the terms and conditions are met.
But while the Krawler TA KX is great off-road, it doesn’t provide the best grip and stability on conventional roads despite being highway-legal in the 37″ version. It’s also fairly expensive as you’d expect for a competition-grade rock crawler, meaning it might not be the best fit for those on a budget.
Mickey Thompson Baja Pro X
Whether you’re into rock bouncing, mud bogging, rock crawling, or simply showing off, Mickey Thompson’s Baja Pro X product line has got you covered. Built to excel in the harshest off-road terrain, this line of tires features a sticky compound construction to give you a great grip on rocks and hard surfaces.
It also sports Mickey Thompson’s unique Pro-tech construction for long-lasting durability on a variety of UTV applications, as well as dual decoupling grooves for extra flexibility on uneven surfaces. Elsewhere, the Treadbitter cleats combine with angled shoulder scallops to provide the grip and traction you need for rock crawling and bouncing.
And while it might seem that most of the Pro X’s features are geared towards rocky surfaces, the tire is no slouch in the mud. The symmetrical directional tread pattern ensures you get adequate traction, while the mud scoops provide extra cleaning power to maintain grip in such situations.
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R With Kevlar
If you’re looking for an all-terrain tire that performs particularly well on rocks, the Wrangler MT/R is certainly worth a look. Thanks to the tough Kevlar construction and large tread blocks, you can expect exceptional puncture resistance and adequate traction as you battle your way over large rocks.
And since it’s an all-terrain option, you can also expect great performance on a variety of surfaces and a fairly comfortable ride on a conventional road. This kind of versatility comes in handy if you like to test yourself against multiple types of terrains because it means you won’t have to change your tires with every new challenge.
That said, you might not want to use the Wrangler MT/R on snow or mud because it struggles a bit on these surfaces.
EFX Moto MTC
The 6-ply EFX Moto MTC comes with 1.25-inch tread lugs that provide great traction on virtually all types of terrains. While it performs particularly well on rocky and hard packed terrains, it can also bite and claw its way through mud, snow, and roots thanks to the non-directional tread pattern and deep lugs.
To complement this great traction on several terrains, the Moto MTC is easy to steer even in off-camber situations and sharp corners. Better yet, the non-directional tread pattern means you’ll get enough traction both going forward and reversing, which comes in handy when trying to back out of a tight spot.
And since you can instantly convert it into a mountain climber by simply lowering the air pressure, this versatile tire would be a solid option if you like to challenge yourself across different terrains and landscapes.
The only downside to the EFX Moto MTC, if it qualifies as one, is that its exceptional traction makes it very hard to perform a doughnut in the snow. Otherwise, it’s a solid all-round performer.
GBC Kanati Mongrel
BC Motorsports has plenty of options in its ATV/UTV tire collection, but the Kanati Mongrel perhaps the most popular due to its longevity and superb overall performance.
It’s one of the few UTV tires on the market with a 10-ply construction, meaning it has extra protection against punctures compared to tires with 6 or 8-ply carcasses. The tread pattern is compact and 16mm deep to provide traction and further enhance puncture protection by ensuring that there isn’t much space for rocks and other sharp objects to pierce the surface of the tire.
Also, part of the Mongrel’s protection package is the deep rim guard. In simpler terms, this means that the tire’s exterior sidewall protrudes over the rim to protect its top lips from rocks, roots, and anything else that might snag and bend/break them. Add to this the excellent tread life, and you’ve got a solid companion for any extreme UTV application on for thousands of miles to come.
In terms of off-road performance, the Kanati Mongrel does particularly well on rocks and hard pack terrain. On the latter surface, it’s incredibly stable in corners and doesn’t over-rotate like many of the flat-top profile tires on the market. It’s also predictable, meaning it won’t bite when you need it to slide.
This great combination of predictability and stability extends to rocky surfaces too and is paired with a “sticky” grip despite the closely spaced lugs. With 4 Wheel Drive engaged, in particular, you can expect adequate traction and braking even on rocky up inclines.
But while the Kanati Mongrel is often touted as an all-terrain tire, it isn’t the best option for sandy/washy or muddy roads. That’s because the closely spaced lugs don’t allow the tire to dig into these terrains, which translates to less forward-bite. They also make it difficult to clean mud off the tire, meaning the little initial traction the Kanati Mongrel may provide on mud won’t last.
Another offering from the Maxxis ATV/UTV tire product line, the Bighorn, comes with a radial construction to provide a smooth ride over several rough terrains.
It works great on rocks, desert, and dirt applications thanks to the great combination of traction and shock absorption provided by the wide footprint and deep tread blocks. The deep tread blocks also allow the tire to self-clean, which helps maintain traction and handling if you run into muddy trails.
Elsewhere, the large shoulder lugs protect the tire’s rim and sidewall from damage, while the 6-ply construction enhances puncture resistance. With such emphasis on toughness, you can expect better than average longevity to go with the Bighorn’s all-round performance.
In addition to protecting the rim and sidewall, the shoulder lugs also add to the tire’s outstanding traction on uneven surfaces (such as rocks) with their staggered design. They also chip in in terms of aesthetics by combining with the solid white lettering to make a sporty, mean-looking tire that both recreational and professional UTV racers will appreciate.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Maxxis Bighorn that you can also use on an ATV, go-kart, lawnmower, or even a golf cart, you might want to take a closer look at the SunF. It can fit on any 14-inch rim (which doesn’t come included) and comes with a thick 8-ply construction to resist abrasions and punctures.
Speaking of the construction, it also features hard compound premium rubber to bear the brunt of abuse associated with UTV racing in harsh conditions, meaning you can expect longevity. And since the sidewall and rims are often the first parts to wear out or break in UTV tires, aggressive shoulder knobs are included to offer protection and ensure durability.
In terms of performance, the SunF is one of the few tires that truly live up to the “all-terrain” title. It can cut it on rocky surfaces, mud, desert, and dirt trails.
Regardless of the terrain, the directional angled knobby tread helps deliver a good balance of traction and handling. It’s complemented by deep lugs with a specially designed pattern that adds traction and skid control on deserts, as well as aggressive shoulder knobs that deliver side bite on rocky surfaces. No matter the surface, the versatile SunF will claw through.
The Carnivore entered the market back in 2016 and quickly established itself as one of the most popular UTV tires for extreme conditions. But while it does look at home in any extreme environment thanks to the aggressive-looking design, it’s one of the lightest tires with an 8-ply carcass.
The lightweight design makes the Carnivore a bit easier on stock clutching, particularly for UTVs that run CVT belt-driven machines. However, that comes at the expense of puncture resistance as you would expect for a light tire, meaning sidewall cuts may be frequent on sharp rocks.
But besides somewhat subpar puncture resistance, there isn’t much to dislike about the Maxxis Carnivore.
Its soft specialized rubber compound means the tire doesn’t disappoint when it comes to rock crawling, while the unique tread pattern allows it to bite and claw its way through deserts and roots.
What’s more, the Carnivore is predictable in terms of when it might break traction on hardpack surfaces, meaning you won’t experience too many “oh crap” moments even when you push it out of its preferred terrain.
And with a range of sizes available from 28″ to 32″, chances are you’ll find a Carnivore for your UTV no matter how large. The tires are meant for both 14-inch and 15-inch wheels. There isn’t much variation from the stipulated tire size except in the 32-inch version, which runs about half-an-inch small.
BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3
Don’t let the name fool you; the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 can cut it in rock crawling. Engineered with steel-infused radial construction—this tire strikes a unique balance between toughness and minimal weight. The highlight feature is the extra tough sidewall, which you’d normally only find in heavier tires.
In terms of off-road performance, it’s equally at home in multipurpose and sport UTVs and can ply its trade in muddy and rocky terrains.
When tackling mud, the KM3 relies on the “mud phobic” bars fitted on its shoulders to eliminate compacted mud for continuous, uncompromised traction. This is complemented by a Terrain-Attack tread design, which allows the massive tread blocks to dig into the ground for incredible grip on mud or loose soil from all angles of approach.
On rocks and other similarly slick and uneven surfaces, the KM3 summons its Krawl-TEK tread compound to offer grip on arguably the toughest terrain UTV drivers face. The Linear Flex Zone also comes in handy in such situations, as it allows the tire to flex and engulf objects at lower inflation for extra grip when climbing slippery, uneven rocks.
Paired with this balanced performance is race-proven technology that will allow you to conquer extreme offroad challenges that most riders only dream of.
One part of that package is the CoreGard Max Technology, which leverages a combination of a specialized compound and a super thick sidewall shield to protect the tire against sharp objects. The other part is the Traction-Armor Sidewall Sculpture, which prevents the tire’s sidewall from splitting.
As for compatibility, the US-made KM3 comes in sizes 28″ to 32″ and can fit in 14″ and 15″ UTV wheels. All the tires in this product line run true to size, but they’re not immune to slight upward variations in this regard.
The Maxxis Ceros is a radial UTV-specific tire designed to confidently handle the rigors of short-course racing and high-speed desert cruising. The radial construction means a smooth ride and great shock absorption and is complemented by directional, smooth-rolling tread design that adds predictable braking as well as aggressive traction.
With such a combination, it’s easy to see why the Ceros is known for effortless steering precision with reliable straight-line stability when riders speed up.
A true versatile option like many of the Maxxis tires we previously looked at, the Ceros does well on varying terrains that include desert, rocks, and hardpack trails. And with a 6-ply carcass, you can rest assured of substantial longevity, particularly if you use it at high pressures.
The Maxxis Coronado shares many of the features of the Ceros, except it comes with a tougher 8-ply carcass. Such a construction gives it better puncture resistance than the Ceros and any other 6-ply tire and also helps the tire provide better shock absorption for a smooth ride. It also adds to the tire’s longevity, making the Coronado an ideal option for UTV riders who often cruise at high speeds and in extreme temperatures.
While on the subject of toughness, it’s worth mentioning that the Maxxis Coronado also comes with an aggressive tread pattern that protrudes over its shoulders to protect the sidewall against punctures and abrasion.
The tread pattern also helps with traction and is aided in this regard by the stepped lugs that enhance side bite. The latter comes in handy when battling uneven surfaces such as rocks because it can be tough to propel your vehicle forward when some parts of the tire barely touch the ground.
Like many of the Maxxis UTV tire product line options, the Coronado also comes with radial construction, which further enhances shock absorption and adds steering precision. The steering performance is further enhanced by the round front tire profile, which helps the Coronado hook up on flat turns and stay grounded when you need it to.
Lastly, the lugs are tall and generously spaced to provide grip on not just rocks, but also a desert, hardpack, and intermediate terrains. Naturally, widely spaced lugs mean a rough ride, but the radial construction counteracts this by providing exceptional shock absorption.
Additionally, the tread blocks in the middle of the tire’s surface are slightly packed closer to ensure a smooth ride.
That does it for today’s review of UTV tires for rocks. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find an ideal option for your specific UTV needs from this great mix of specialized rock crawlers and versatile all-terrain tires that perform particularly well on rocks. As you narrow down your options, remember to keep factors such as tire size, weight, and tread pattern in mind.
You’ll want something that can fit your UTV rim, with a fairly manageable weight for its engine. As for the tread pattern, the variations among the options reviewed in this post may be minimal, but critical to performance. Ideally, you’ll want to choose this based on the kind of trails you often ride on (i.e., whether they’re strictly rocky or involve other terrain types). Best of luck!
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- UTVdriver: Maxxis Coronado Tire Review