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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan on acquiring a 2023 Grizzly SE. It comes with the Maxxis Zilla, which is not an ideal tire for us since we don't do any mudding. We use our ATVs for mostly casual trail riding in the woods and fields upstate NY. We also use them small back roads that are hard pack dirt. The days or riding "hard" are behind us. Yes the EPS model would make more sense but i cant get passed the colors for 2022 and 2023 so that's why i am considering the SE. I have heard mixed reviews on the Zillas as far as an all terrain tire and don't have any first hand experience. I have 2 options:

1- try out the Zillas for a while and see how it goes maybe they are fine and i can live with them. If not then i can explore replacing.

2- replace them at the get-go and sell the Zillas (or maybe the dealer will give me a credit) . If I went down this road, and wanted to use the existing OEM 14 inch rims what are my best value tire options? I have seen alot of recommendations for ITP Terracross, ITP Blackwater EVO, pit bull growlers and Kenda bearclaws HTR. Thoughts?

Also, since all the OEM rims are the same does that mean i need to keep all 4 tires the same width or can i consider staggering with smaller tire upfront? If i need to keep the same then I think i would rather go with a 9 inch or 9.5 inch wide tire instead of 10 all around.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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What percentage of hardpack, soft, and mud (even light mud) do you plan on doing?

As to the BearClaw HTRs that you mention... they do terrific in soft and even into mud, even though they aren't true mudders, I've pulled right out of a mud hole that truly surprised me with how deep and soupy it was, the front of the machine was up almost to the top of the tires, the rear of the machine was in up to the exhaust, but they pulled me right up out. They do give up a little on hardpack. But, they'll get you out of places where a true hardpack tire won't.
 

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Welcome to GC.

You'll probably recoup more money if you sell the Zillas as unused, new take-offs. I've only tried the Zillas on a friend's machine and didn't care for them on trail conditions, and for that short experience, they seemed to wander. But I do know someone who loves the Zillas for trail riding.

The 12" vs. 14" debate? I prefer 12" wheels but depends if your tire choice/size will be available. You might need to "settle" either way without getting exactly as you would want.

I absolutely hated the ITP Terracross tires, traction was poor (mountainous, rocky, rocky over hardpack and snow) unless they were run at very low psi. At the very low psi, I was getting a lot of rim hits on rocks. I got rid of them right away. Of the tires you've mentioned, I would personally choose the Bearclaw HTRs. I'd also run them in a square tire setup. I switched to a square tire setup just over a year ago and will never consider going back to a staggered tire/wheel setup again. I've noticed no real loss of traction trail riding and in fact, the ride seems more confident and tracks a lot better than with staggered. I'm running 26x9x12 on all four corners and feel no need to change anything, makes the backend feel pretty lively with less rotational weight on the rears.
 
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The Zilla's are fine for easy trail riding as long as they are dirt and not gravel. On gravel you and your quad will get pelted all day long by flying rocks. I'm running the A043 Sunf's 26x9x14 all around and they work great for hardpack/pavement. They last and don't cost $200 a tire. As for resale unless you live where mudding is a big thing $200-300 for a full set of Zilla's is what they go for where I live.
 

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I rode the zillas for about 200 miles and then went with htrs in 27x9.5 flavor on all 4 corners. couldnt be happier.


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What percentage of hardpack, soft, and mud (even light mud) do you plan on doing?

As to the BearClaw HTRs that you mention... they do terrific in soft and even into mud, even though they aren't true mudders, I've pulled right out of a mud hole that truly surprised me with how deep and soupy it was, the front of the machine was up almost to the top of the tires, the rear of the machine was in up to the exhaust, but they pulled me right up out. They do give up a little on hardpack. But, they'll get you out of places where a true hardpack tire won't.
70% wooded trails that are wide enough for our side by side but not wide enough for a full size vehicle. 15% riding through fields and 15% riding on old logging roads (I guess that's hardpack). Outside of some minor mud on the trails in the spring we don't do mud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome to GC.

You'll probably recoup more money if you sell the Zillas as unused, new take-offs. I've only tried the Zillas on a friend's machine and didn't care for them on trail conditions, and for that short experience, they seemed to wander. But I do know someone who loves the Zillas for trail riding.

The 12" vs. 14" debate? I prefer 12" wheels but depends if your tire choice/size will be available. You might need to "settle" either way without getting exactly as you would want.

I absolutely hated the ITP Terracross tires, traction was poor (mountainous, rocky, rocky over hardpack and snow) unless they were run at very low psi. At the very low psi, I was getting a lot of rim hits on rocks. I got rid of them right away. Of the tires you've mentioned, I would personally choose the Bearclaw HTRs. I'd also run them in a square tire setup. I switched to a square tire setup just over a year ago and will never consider going back to a staggered tire/wheel setup again. I've noticed no real loss of traction trail riding and in fact, the ride seems more confident and tracks a lot better than with staggered. I'm running 26x9x12 on all four corners and feel no need to change anything, makes the backend feel pretty lively with less rotational weight on the rears.
I dont want to get new rims so I am stuck with the 14" s that come with the SE. As for the bearclaws HTRs, i was surprised that the guys from the youtube channel Dirt Obsexxion (who do very informative reviews in my opinion) absolutely hated the bearclaw HTRs. Their tire recommendation was ITP Terracross.
 

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... As for resale unless you live where mudding is a big thing $200-300 for a full set of Zilla's is what they go for where I live.
Where do you live and what sizes?
I'd buy a set of 4 for that! I love the Zilla's on my XTR, Unbelievable traction in every terrain we've ridden, dirt, mud, sand, trails, some roots and rocks as well..

I need Two 25x8-12 and two 25x10-12 for the 500, two 26x8-12 and two 26x10-12 for the Grizzly.

I think the 500 could even run the 26" tires ok.
 

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The stock 27x10x14's, know when I sold mine there were a few other sets all in that price range. Guess here in Oregon they just aren't big sellers. Had mine up for sale for about 2 months for $350, only got a couple of calls, sold them for $250.
 

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I dont want to get new rims so I am stuck with the 14" s that come with the SE. As for the bearclaws HTRs, i was surprised that the guys from the youtube channel Dirt Obsexxion (who do very informative reviews in my opinion) absolutely hated the bearclaw HTRs. Their tire recommendation was ITP Terracross.
It does suck that you're stuck with a 14" rims, it would be really well worth it to go with the 12", just so much nicer ride. But other than that, I would highly suggest that whatever you decide for a tire, you get a radial not a bias . They will last longer, the better puncture resistance, and they will handle much better. That's the biggest downfall in my opinion to the zillas, they would have been a much better tire if they had of been a radial . As for the review from dirt Obsexxion, I take most of their reviews with a grain of salt. They're okay most of the time, but they're often way off in my opinion, especially when it comes to tires. Those bearclaw HTRs are an awesome tire. You definitely wouldn't go wrong with those. A couple other good options for you would be to get your hands on bighorn OG, or reptile radials, which I personally have and love.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It does suck that you're stuck with a 14" rims, it would be really well worth it to go with the 12", just so much nicer ride. But other than that, I would highly suggest that whatever you decide for a tire, you get a radial not a bias . They will last longer, the better puncture resistance, and they will handle much better. That's the biggest downfall in my opinion to the zillas, they would have been a much better tire if they had of been a radial . As for the review from dirt Obsexxion, I take most of their reviews with a grain of salt. They're okay most of the time, but they're often way off in my opinion, especially when it comes to tires. Those bearclaw HTRs are an awesome tire. You definitely wouldn't go wrong with those. A couple other good options for you would be to get your hands on bighorn OG, or reptile radials, which I personally have and love.
thanks for the input, its greatly appreciated. Would you use a replacement tire that has the same width of the Zilllas (ie 10 inches) or would you go with something less wide? Seems like quite a few people on this board went with 9 inch wide tires all around and were very happy with the performance. I recall that bearclaw comes in 9.5 wide size as well. Again i don't get into the mud and water so perhaps a slightly narrower tire will result in improved steering and driving dynamics. I recall that Yamahas decision to go with the wider and larger tires all around was because they perform better in mud and water. Not sure if the wider tires (especially up front) improve driving dynamics in non mud/water scenarios. maybe they even detract from it.
 

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I plan on acquiring a 2023 Grizzly SE.....
We don't do any mudding, mostly casual trail riding and small back roads that are hard pack dirt. The days or riding "hard" are behind us.
I've heard mixed reviews on the Zillas,
I have 2 options:
1- try out the Zillas for a while,
2- replace them at the get-go and sell the Zillas.
Also, do I need to keep all 4 tires the same width or can I consider staggering with smaller tire upfront?
Thanks in advance for your help.
As you aren't going to hammer your new Griz in tough conditions the best reason to consider better tires is for puncture resistance, the tread design (grip) can't be important unless you want to see different cleat marks in the dirt when looking back.
There are many tire models out there, and as mentioned above I suggest considering only radial design tires with 6-ply construction.
We have many members asking for tire recommendations, with most wanting the 'Best' until comparing the price of different models.
Many members get stuck with the least preferred (wrong) wheel diameter for best over-all performance.
I think Yamaha uses the 14" wheel for the bling factor which works for many members because they don't ride near the max performance capabilities of the Grizzly. If you haven't finished negotiating the 'deal' for the new machine, have the dealer switch the wheels/tires from a base Griz with 12" wheels to your new ride at no charge to you.
As for tires there is only one best all-around tire for a Griz, I use them and know.
I'll bet 90% of my riding miles are at slow speed on moderate trails and these tires work great, are smooth and very puncture resistant. For the remaining 10% of use I hammer the Griz in shit most others don't want to ride going at speeds most other never consider. As I can't change the tires when out on the trail I go with the best all the time even though best isn't always needed.
As for size, some members like what is referred to as a square set-up.
I use the skinny-wide set-up for my trail conditions here. I run a 9" tire up front and what is labeled as a 12" tire out back on stock wheels.
I like this set-up as I don't need more traction up front than the 9" tire provides, while I want the max traction out back with the 12" tire. Most of my riding is in 2 wheel drive as evident by the tire wear. Some run the square set-up to rotate the tires for longer use and less expense which is unimportant to me.
What is important here is to determine what 'you' need, then not settle for less.
In my area I can be over 100 miles from a town or the trailer and without phone service access when out riding and a cheap price for tires doesn't give me a feel good because I saved a few bucks. A few years ago myself and another member spent 7 days in a row out on the trail covering 972 miles over the 7 days, and on one of those days we did 455 miles.
These tires have been from the desert floor at 3000ft. to the top of the mountain above 14,000ft. but I also ride with another member running stock tires over the same trails without fail.
Now having said all this, you must determine the value of tires to your way of thinking. Tires are like beer, pick the one tasting best knowing they all end up in the same place.
 

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I would say it depends on how you ride on which wheel is better. If you want the best driving Grizzly at higher speeds don't do 12 inch. The sidewall will flex a lot more when cornering. The 14's at speed are a much better wheel and less sidewall to puncture. These things dive bad enough when cornering at speed, 12 inch wheels just add to it. If you ride 5-15 mph all day I'd say you'll want the softer ride of the 12 inch. We ride gravel/paved roads only at 20-45 all day, don't need it pushing more in the corners due to sidewall flex, it already dives bad enough. But that's the price you pay for the plush suspension. Set it up for you and your riding style, not what other people want. Traction is not a premium for me and I ride thousands of miles a year, so the square tire setup with the ability to extend the tire life by being able to rotate them is a huge plus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As you aren't going to hammer your new Griz in tough conditions the best reason to consider better tires is for puncture resistance, the tread design (grip) can't be important unless you want to see different cleat marks in the dirt when looking back.
There are many tire models out there, and as mentioned above I suggest considering only radial design tires with 6-ply construction.
We have many members asking for tire recommendations, with most wanting the 'Best' until comparing the price of different models.
Many members get stuck with the least preferred (wrong) wheel diameter for best over-all performance.
I think Yamaha uses the 14" wheel for the bling factor which works for many members because they don't ride near the max performance capabilities of the Grizzly. If you haven't finished negotiating the 'deal' for the new machine, have the dealer switch the wheels/tires from a base Griz with 12" wheels to your new ride at no charge to you.
As for tires there is only one best all-around tire for a Griz, I use them and know.
I'll bet 90% of my riding miles are at slow speed on moderate trails and these tires work great, are smooth and very puncture resistant. For the remaining 10% of use I hammer the Griz in shit most others don't want to ride going at speeds most other never consider. As I can't change the tires when out on the trail I go with the best all the time even though best isn't always needed.
As for size, some members like what is referred to as a square set-up.
I use the skinny-wide set-up for my trail conditions here. I run a 9" tire up front and what is labeled as a 12" tire out back on stock wheels.
I like this set-up as I don't need more traction up front than the 9" tire provides, while I want the max traction out back with the 12" tire. Most of my riding is in 2 wheel drive as evident by the tire wear. Some run the square set-up to rotate the tires for longer use and less expense which is unimportant to me.
What is important here is to determine what 'you' need, then not settle for less.
In my area I can be over 100 miles from a town or the trailer and without phone service access when out riding and a cheap price for tires doesn't give me a feel good because I saved a few bucks. A few years ago myself and another member spent 7 days in a row out on the trail covering 972 miles over the 7 days, and on one of those days we did 455 miles.
These tires have been from the desert floor at 3000ft. to the top of the mountain above 14,000ft. but I also ride with another member running stock tires over the same trails without fail.
Now having said all this, you must determine the value of tires to your way of thinking. Tires are like beer, pick the one tasting best knowing they all end up in the same place.
Well it sound like you have certainly identified a tire that meets your specific needs. I noticed you didn't mention the tire though. Care to enlighten me?
 

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Well it sound like you have certainly identified a tire that meets your specific needs. I noticed you didn't mention the tire though. Care to enlighten me?
Its in my signature, the Maxis Big Horn Original we refer to as the O.G. model.
Maxis makes multiple Big Horn models/designs, this one has the raised white letter sidewall.
There are many tire models to chose from here:
 

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From Jim's, and many other's recommendations of that specific tire on GC, it is also the tire I currently run. The traction I get on the terrain I ride, is far greater than those ITP Terracross tires as the BigHorns were what I went to directly after my experience with the Terracross tires. Granted, the Terracross tires came on the used Grizzly I purchased, only 300 miles on the machine and the tires looked close to new. Those Terracross tires also were 26x8x14 and 26x10x14 so not entirely sure if that had anything to do with why I had to lower the psi so much on those tires and then started getting rim hits as a result. I just was not willing to buy a larger set of the Terracross tires, on 14" wheels, to find out. I went back to a known good tire, the BigHorn OG.

The only problem, right now, with original BigHorn tires is the outrageous increase in price they are at now.
 
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thanks for the input, its greatly appreciated. Would you use a replacement tire that has the same width of the Zilllas (ie 10 inches) or would you go with something less wide? Seems like quite a few people on this board went with 9 inch wide tires all around and were very happy with the performance. I recall that bearclaw comes in 9.5 wide size as well. Again i don't get into the mud and water so perhaps a slightly narrower tire will result in improved steering and driving dynamics. I recall that Yamahas decision to go with the wider and larger tires all around was because they perform better in mud and water. Not sure if the wider tires (especially up front) improve driving dynamics in non mud/water scenarios. maybe they even detract from it.
I personally would stick to a 9" tire for a square setup, if going that way. Easier to steer a narrower tire, less weight, and also the added benefit of it being cheaper price. As for the 12 vs 14" time size, don't let the idea of a 12 being bad and rolling over at high speeds. It's not near as extreme as it sounds. Also, a quality 12 radial tire with a good sidewall will roll less and be more puncture resistant than a shorter 14" sidewall with a bias tire, all while having a smoother ride. You will be fine with either rim size, it's just that less rim with more sidewall will ride smoother. It was a good point mentioned about asking your dealer to put 12s on and they will usually buy the takeoffs. My dealer has a seacan full of new takeoff tires and rims from past purchases. A nice benefit to this if you are financing your bike is the cost of me tires and rims can be combined into purchase price payments, leaving you with more cash now for other accessories and upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It is certainly not surprising to hear the recommendations for the original big horns given their long established track record. I am sure they are are great but the current pricing is ludicrous. I am thinking that the bearclaw HTR may be a better value option for me. Assuming that i am mounting them on the 14inch OEM rims and continuing with a square setup, which sizes would you recommend? It looks like they mae 27x9.5x14 and 26x9x14. I recall reading somewhere on this forum that the the bearclaws run larger than the zillas and are also heavier. I definitely don't want a tire that is a bigger than the stock zillas, not for trail riding and no mud.
 

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I love the idea of getting the dealer to swap wheels/tires for you. You might try to get them to do it from a Kodiak SE to get you the nicer 12" bling wheels from that model. A tire no one has mentioned yet is the GBC Grim Reaper. Better grip than a Bighorn in most situations (yes I have run both on the same machine). Very good handling and cornerning. Good wear characteristics but not as long lasting as a Bighorn. From the small time I've had my HTRs I have found the stiff tread has some issues doing things like clawing over slicker logs but the tire grips better than it appears it should. For whatever my rankings are worth these would be my top 5 tires from my experience: 1. Pitbull Rocker (Braven Hellhound?), if you've never used them it's hard to describe 2. GBC Grim Reaper 3. tie Maxxis Bighorn OG & Kenda Bearclaw HTR (too close to call) 5. GBC Dirt Commander (bias ply but handled well and grip was great). Where and how you ride will determine what you find does best. I live in Hayden, ID and based off the times of year I like to ride (all of them) these are favorites. Any of the tires people have mentioned will be way better than the Zillas, those tires have no business on a trail machine like this. Put them on a mud oriented model, sure, but not this machine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I love the idea of getting the dealer to swap wheels/tires for you. You might try to get them to do it from a Kodiak SE to get you the nicer 12" bling wheels from that model. A tire no one has mentioned yet is the GBC Grim Reaper. Better grip than a Bighorn in most situations (yes I have run both on the same machine). Very good handling and cornerning. Good wear characteristics but not as long lasting as a Bighorn. From the small time I've had my HTRs I have found the stiff tread has some issues doing things like clawing over slicker logs but the tire grips better than it appears it should. For whatever my rankings are worth these would be my top 5 tires from my experience: 1. Pitbull Rocker (Braven Hellhound?), if you've never used them it's hard to describe 2. GBC Grim Reaper 3. tie Maxxis Bighorn OG & Kenda Bearclaw HTR (too close to call) 5. GBC Dirt Commander (bias ply but handled well and grip was great). Where and how you ride will determine what you find does best. I live in Hayden, ID and based off the times of year I like to ride (all of them) these are favorites. Any of the tires people have mentioned will be way better than the Zillas, those tires have no business on a trail machine like this. Put them on a mud oriented model, sure, but not this machine.
thank you for the recommendations.
 
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