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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. Lots of good info here. I found a good deal on a non current 2016 foot shift Rubicon this weekend and will be heading to the dealership to pick it up next Friday.

I have decided the first modification I'll be doing is new tires. I decided on Bearclaw HTR's. After reading what feels like about 100 posts about these tires on here, I still have some questions. I chose the HTR because it sounds like a great "do it all tire," and that's what I need. In the area I live I hit pavement, loose gravel road, hard pack, and some light mud (but nothing too serious.) My main concern is ground clearance as there are a lot of downed trees and rocks around here. I am coming off of a 2007 Sportsman with 26" tires and I have never had clearance issues (nearly 11.5"). The 2016 Rubicon is advertised to have roughly 7.3" in the front and 8.5" in the rear.

1. Which size HTR is right for me?
I don't do any racing around or much high speed stuff, but I don't want to be bogged down by extra tire weight when pulling a load or getting through mud on occasion. It looks like there's a 15-20 pound increase with the 26" or 27". Is there anyone on here running these tires that wound up wishing they had gone with a smaller size due to power loss?

2. How do the 25",26", and 27" HTR's truly measure vs. the stock tires?

3. How much do the bigger sizes affect handling at high and low speeds?

Basically what I'm trying to get at is: at what point does tire weight overcome the benefits of ground clearance of these larger tires on a small bore machine?

I apologize for the novel.. :grin

Thanks in advance.
 

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Personally I'd opt for 26" all round, that should be fine for terrain descriptions above. I'd say you'd notice the difference in heavy mud and water holes though.
As for clearance, your not going to gain a lot with a 26", have you considered a lift kit at all? This would be your biggest gain for clearance purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Personally I'd opt for 26" all round, that should be fine for terrain descriptions above. I'd say you'd notice the difference in heavy mud and water holes though.
As for clearance, your not going to gain a lot with a 26", have you considered a lift kit at all? This would be your biggest gain for clearance purposes.
Thanks for the swift response. I actually did look briefly at the high lifter 2" lift.. My concern with a lift kit is changing the angles of the suspension/axles and possibly causing premature wear of parts. I guess the reason I chose Honda was for reliability, and I'd like to keep it that way.

I haven't read any long term reports of how these machines are holding up with the lifts, or how they affect stability having a higher center of gravity. A lift definitely isn't out of the question, I just need to hear some first hand reports of reliability first.
 

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Reliability on the newer machines with a lift I can't comment on as I have pre 2000 machines myself. There are a few guys who do have lifts on the more modern ATVs though and I've not heard of any major issues as yet. I beleive OEM axles are built very well and cope with the extra angle well.
I fitted my lift kit with knackered axles and they are still coping well despite the constant clicking when I turn lol.
The higher C of G isn't actually that noticeable (my opinion on a 300), I should imagine it would be at speed on trails though.

I guess you could always fit spacers or get greater offset wheels. It depends how far you want to go regarding mods I suppose. If I were trail riding I'd fit a lift, 2" spacers, 25" or 26" tyres and a winch. That would be my ideal trail ride.
Unfortunately we don't have trails in the UK!
 

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OK first of congrats on the soon to have new to you Honda
next, I don't think your going to find a lot of folks doing lift kits on the newer honda's, as STOCK format, they fit up to about a 30 inch tire, so few folks I think lift based on this alone
every inch of taller tire gains you ONLY 1/2 inch in clearance, your USE of the atv will be the deciding factor on what LOSS in power you are willing to live with or NOT
as soon as you go an inch, you altered gearing and that results in SOME loss in HP to the ground, some guys go to 26's and say they feel NO loss, some go to 27's and some guys run 30's and are happy??
LOTS of personal opinions out there.
MY suggestion is HONESTLY, ride this atv with STOCK tires and see what you encounter , if your banging the bottom on logs and rocks(or maybe before buying tires BUT good skid plate's FIRST??)

and then decide how much power the atv has and your willing to give up, your at about 28 hp in stock form, so??

MANY guys seem OK with up to a 27 inch tire, and even some with LIGHT weight 28's
BUT there will for sure be a loss in power at these sizes, it again comes down to what amount of loss YOU can live with

Larger tire will also increase wear and tear on drive train and front end parts, nature of the beast, FEW worry too much about it, as its again a TOY and Offroad machine, wear and tear is an expected part of things if you think about it .
Like I said, IF it was me, I would run stock tires and see what happens, as from 25 stock to 26's is a 1/2 inch gain in clearance?? is jumping right into a $500.00 NEW tires worth that 1/2 inch out the door??
to some yes, to others??
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You bring up some good points mrbb. I plan to complete the break in period with the stock tires. Who knows, maybe I will end up waiting until the stock tires are worn until I buy new? The one thing I worry about is flats because I live in a remote area and ride alone. That's the main reason why I considered switching to an 8 ply right away. I guess I will find out soon!


Thanks for the input guys! Can't wait to get out and ride.
 

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8 pl is a tuffer tire for sure, but a good plug kit and a small 12 volt compressor will fix MOST leaks if you get any, I also ride alone, so know the feeling

a winch is a good addition to things, in case you ever get High centered or stuck, that comes in very handy at times, as does a good winch kit with a snatch block and so on!
MY old atv has maybe 7 inches of ground clearance IF that, and I seldom have any issue's getting any where I want to go with in reason, sure more would be nice, but, most times its not really needed unless your in deep mud/ruts or deep snow, and even there as more folks ride and make ruts deeper, you will still get stuck, and back to a winch to the rescue IF something is handy to hook onto LOL
 

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BB has good sense in his post. If tire are in good shape why spend 500$ on new tires. maybe to win a mud competition or other special category. Myself, I wear these showroom maxxis down a little be for i buy new. I wont buy just to add 1/2 inch clearance. I want 8 plys for rocky areas. Mud isn't usually a factor here in Arizona.

Welcome to the site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sound advice all around guys. If I decide that clearance isn't an issue after running the stockers for a while, I will probably just go with 25" HTR's considering they measure true to size.

And yes, the Rubicon will be leaving the dealership with a winch installed for sure. But definitely not ridiculously priced $500 Honda 2500 lb winch package. I am leaning towards a Superwinch or Warn 3000 lb. At about $150 cheaper than the Honda brand it seems like a no brainer.

I will probably purchase a nice set of front and rear A-arm guards. I will also be purchasing a rear rack bag for all my hunting gear. Should be a nice little rig to tool around on once I have it all set up. I suppose I could be extremely cliche' and put an led light bar somewhere on the front as well ;) lol.
 

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I'm running 27" Bighorn 2's on mine right now, lots of power no issues there, plenty of clearance as well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I trust this information right here ^^^^
 

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I hear what you are saying bout flats but the extra weight and hard ride of 8 plys may be more than you want. I live in an area w/ thorny locust and osage orange brush out the wazo and honestly you will usually have more issues w/ tearing cv boots if your not careful than knocking a tire off the bead due to flats(even w/ a-arm guards). Like MRBB said plugs and a compressor or C02 cartriges. When looking at tires if you are worried bout flats look at the depth the bead sits around the tire cuz from what I've found if you have a tire that sits deep on the bead you can run it all day long flat. Also a 50-50 solution of elmers glue and anti freeze makes for a great stop leak when in need.
 

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Do you guys in the US not use tyre slime at all? I run it in mine it's wonderful stuff, can run light 4 ply tyres and have no need to worry about flats ever again.
It fills and seals a 1/2 hole no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do you guys in the US not use tyre slime at all? I run it in mine it's wonderful stuff, can run light 4 ply tyres and have no need to worry about flats ever again.
It fills and seals a 1/2 hole no problem.

Yeah I've used it a few times. I've had better luck with tire plugs though. I suppose it depends on what kind of damage you're dealing with. But to be honest, I haven't done any serious riding in a few years, so I haven't even had the opportunity to get a flat.
 
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