Nicholas Fluhart

February 28, 2010

Tire Change: Dirt Devil XT on the Foreman

Filed under: Project: 475 Foreman — Nicholas Fluhart @ 10:27 pm

A few years back, I acquired an old Yamaha Big Bear 350 4×4 that had a nice set of GBC Dirt Devil XT’s on it. The XT is basically a more aggressive version of the standard Dirt Devil, but unfortunately GBC no longer has them listed in their product lineup. They caught my eye because they were very aggressive, yet the tread pattern was arranged in such a way that would offer a fairly smooth ride. I bought the bike to part out, but I set aside the tires in hopes of one day trying them out on whatever ATV I happen to have.

Fast forward four years…

I finally got around to trying out the 26″ Dirt Devil XT’s. As seen in my Foreman post, I’ve been running 25″ tires on my ATV, Gators on the rear and standard Dirt Devils on the front. This was an excellent performing combination as I discussed in the Foreman post. However, the ATV is geared so low I think a taller tire would help the performance while also providing additional ground clearance. So when my dad needed a set of good tires for 12″ rims I volunteered the tires on my Foreman and decided to install the Dirt Devil XT’s. Since I recently rigged up my tire changer, we were able to do the tire work at my shop.

While I had it down, I took the opportunity to clean and paint the rear axle housing, hubs, and repaint the rims.

Pros:

So far I’m pleased with the performance of these tires. Having the extra height has improved the driveablity by slightly raising the gear ratio. As for traction, they are absolutely awesome in the mud. I have gone through some unbelievable stuff with these. The added ground clearance has also proved to be helpful when climbing over large logs.

Cons:

They don’t seem to do that great in wet sand such as that found in creek bottoms, but no aggressive tires do. I’ve found that factory type tires tend to do the best in the wet sand of creek banks. Another thing is the ride quality is not quite as good as with the other setup. Also the machine is not as nimble with these big tires, but that’s to be expected since these tires are heavy and mounted on steel rims. Overall, these issues are relatively minor.

I think my next tire/wheel experiment will be a set of factory type tires on aluminum rims. It should offer a very smooth ride and make for good driving performance as a result of the lighter weight. However, I’ll be giving up some in the mud, but maybe I’ll get a gain in the sandy creeks. That’s if I ever get around to it…

UDATE: See the next tire experiment here>

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