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53701 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Desy29

Living in an ATV friendly state like West Virginia really has its advantages. We can legally ride on practically any road that does not have a center line. Having this ability translates into an infinite amount of trail access. Riding toall these trails means we ride quite a bit on blacktop. Unfortunately, ATV tires wear out faster than car and truck tires.
Over the past few years I have gone through many different types of tires. My tire of choice is normally one with aggressive lugs that was designed for the mud. This type of tire fit the bill quite nicely. Unfortunately, the tires seemed to wear quickly and required me to replace them before I (or really my wallet) was ready to.
I sought out to conduct my own research or quest so to speak for a tire that was neither a dedicated mud tire or a tame little trail tire.
I based my research on the following criteria:

  1. Aggressive tread design, but not a mud tire
  2. Weight
  3. Wear characteristics
  4. Durability
I wanted a tread design that was more aggressive than stock, but not as aggressive as a mud tire. Another key element of the tread design was the need for the tire to have a center. This design provides a smooth ride on the pavement and hard pack trails. The last thing I wanted to do was add a lot of unsprung weight, this meant my new tires needed to stay under 35 lbs. per tire. Rubber compound was another area I needed to pay close attention too. I wanted a tire that was going to give me more than 1000 miles of tread life. Very few tires can do this in my opinion without showing a lot of wear. Lastly, I needed a tire that was durable. I am very hard on tires and for some reason I’m always the guy in the group who gets a punctured sidewall. Quite frankly, that was starting to get old.
With all of the above criteria in mind I began my research on the web. Searching through forum after forum, I kept coming up with the Maxxis Bighorn. Everyone has always touted this tire as being the “best all around tire” and “tough as nails.” But was it really? I think I just narrowed my quest down to one.
At first glance, the Maxxis Bighorn looked just like an ordinary tire to me. Not extremely aggressive, but aggressive enough to tackle nearly all of my riding needs. My decision was made, I was going to give these tires a try. I decided on the 26” X 9” X 12” for the front and the 26” X 12” X 12” for the rear.
Here are some of the features and benefits of the Maxxis Bighorn Radial.

  • Radial construction offers a significantly smoother ride over rough trails.
  • Extra lugs on the shoulder protect the sidewall and rim.
  • Raised white lettering on one side.
  • Tire is suitable for a variety of terrains such as: desert, dirt, and rocks.
Maxxis Bighorn First Inspection

Upon first inspection I thought, “What have I done?” These tires looked huge! This wasn’t a problem it’s just that I wasn’t expecting the Bighorns to be this big. A word of caution when choosing sizes for this tire would be to choose accordingly. As it turns out, the Maxxis Bighorns tend to run a little larger in size. For instance, the 26” diameter tires we have are really closer to a 27” tire. As stated earlier, this isn’t a problem or a negative for us. What this did was allow us to experiment with air pressures and vary our ride height.
The Maxxis Bighorns also come with raised white lettering on one side. These tires are non-directional which means you can mount them any way you wish. Another thing we noticed on each tires was a yellow dot on the sidewall. Maxxis calls this dot a “Balancing dot”. I was told when mounting these tires on the rim; align the dot with the valve stem for a better tire balance. Although I have nothing to compare this to, I did what Maxxis recommended and it seemed to work just fine. Another thing I thought worth noting was the sidewall. When transporting these tires un-mounted I couldn’t help but notice how little the sidewalls flexed while carrying them. Very few tires hold that quality. For example, the radial tires we swapped out for these flexed quite a bit when carried in the same manner.
One complaint that surfaced over and over during my research was weight. Most owners complained that the bighorns were a heavy tire. Granted these tires are much heavier than the stock tires folks replace them with, but I personally felt the weight of the tire was comparable to most other 6 ply rated radial tires in their class.
Here is a list of the Maxxis M917/M918 Bighorn Radial weights:
Tire Size Tire Weight
AT25x8R12 21.4
AT25X10R12 27.1
AT26x9R12 25.7
AT27x9R12 26.2
AT26X12R12 30.6
AT27X12R12 32.8
AT26X9R14 22.9
AT26X11R14 27.7
Maxxis Bighorn Ride Report

The first ride was really just a test of ride quality and the ability to negotiate certainobstacles. We used a large log to test how easily the Maxxis Bighorn would climb it. I was very impressed with this activity. The Maxxis Bighorns seemed to wrap themselves around objects such as logs and rocks. Most of the tires we have tested would slip on the log or rocks. Traction was very good across the all of the terrain we tested them in.
Handling is where these tires really shine. The radial design soaks up the bumps on the trail and the sidewall flex is minimal during high speed cornering. On pavement, the Bighorns tended to ride a little rough at first. We chocked this up to a “break in” period that most tires require. After approximately a 100 miles I noticed the tires had smoothed out nicely. The best tire pressure we found was 7 PSI for overall trail riding. A few times we took the pressure down to 3 PSI when experimenting with certain trail obstacles and not once had a problem with loosing a bead.
We were really fortunate to get the chance to test these tires when we did, because as luck would have it we had a nice 6 inches of snowfall this year. This rare for my neck of the woods and gave me a perfect chance to hit the track and see how the Bighorns perform in the snow.
To my astonishment I was pleasantly surprised. The aggressive mud tires I was accustomed to would dig into the snow. The Maxxis Bighorns on the other hand allowed the ATV to stay on top of the snow rather than dig down and in. The end result was that they still provided plenty of traction in snowy conditions.
The next test was in a section of wet rocks where the last encounter with different set of tires was nearly disastrous. The Maxxis Bighorns gripped right onto them and crawled up the hill without a single hitch. Once again, I was astonished at the amount of grip these tires provided
The next test left me a bit disappointed. The test was on a slow, off camber, hillside. Four days of rain had managed to saturate the ground and cause the topsoil to become extremely loose. We were crawling at very slow speeds which prevented the tires from cleaning themselves out. This caused a problem as I was beginning to lose traction on this steep hillside. The ATV began sliding sideways down the hill in the mud and it took a bit more throttle than I was comfortable giving to save me. This was the only problem I encountered with these tires. It’s really tough to find fault in these tires and much easier to find fault in the rider during those situations.
Maxxis Bighorn Qualities

One major consideration in choosing the Maxxis Bighorn tires originally was wear. I had read many comments stating they “wear like iron” and are as “tough as nails” all over the web. As of the writing of this review, I can honestly say that there is a negligible amount of wear on them after 700 miles. We will definitely revisit this review after a few thousand miles of Torture and keep you folks updated.


The Maxxis Bighorn tire seemed to really suite my needs for my overall type of riding conditions. The radial design truly provided additional strength as well as sidewall protection. They handle 95% of all trail conditions with ease making short work of whatever you throw in front of them. If you are planning on upgrading the tires on your ATV take a long, hard look at the Maxxis Bighorns. ATVTORTURE gives the Maxxis Brighorn Radial the "Tortured" Stamp of approval.

  • Extremely Durable and long wearing
  • Attention to detail in areas like the “balancing dot”
  • Exceptional multi-purpose tread design that handles most situations with ease
  • Radial design provides exceptional ride and handling characteristics
  • Exceptional performance on dimensional trail objects like logs and large rocks

  • The added durability caused additional weight
  • Tread design will “gum” up with mud in the slow and technical areas
  • Cost
  • Tire companies may no longer like you
Update 7-31-2008
We just hit the 2300 mile mark with the Maxxis Bighorn tires. I must say tread wear is very minimal. To date the Bighorn tires have performed flawlessly without any issues at all. We can't wait to see where the next 2300 miles take us with these tires

Maxxis International - USA
545 Old Peachtree Road
Suwanee, GA 30024
Tel: (800) 4.MAXXIS
Tel: (770) 962-5932
Fax: (770) 962-7705
Maxxis Tires
For purchasing information contact Dick's ATV Toll Free at 1-877-764-8313


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i have the bighorns and love them, about the slow stuff you will not find a tire that will do everything all the time and i second the reveiw i think it is spot on good job
What is the big difference betwen the original big horns and the 2.0 big horns?
1. how much lighter are 2.0's
2. are both of them 6 ply?
We have not had the opportunity to review the Bighorn 2.0. Personally, the tires having a little less tread height and wider spacing to shave only a few pounds off per tire are not enough justification for me to make the switch.

They are both 6 ply rated.
My buddy who just bought an 850 Xp put these on (he really liked the looks of my Dirt Tamers, but wanted a radial tire) and I have to agree with everything you wrote Grizzlywizard, his 26's are as tall as my 27's and he likes 7 psi in each tire over any other air pressure he's tried. :cheer:

They are a good look'in tire .... BTW, a fellow worker bought a set of the 2.0 BigHorns & he says they an excellent tire. Loves'em in the rocks & on the trails. :eek:ccasion14:

So either way, I don't think a guy can go wrong :beer"

Excellent write-up by the way ... do you do this sorta thing often ?? :seesaw:
How do the Bighorns compare to the GBC Commanders?::confused::
How do the Bighorns compare to the GBC Commanders?::confused::
Good question. I've heard that they are more comparable to ITP's Terra Cross tires. Unfortunately, I can't tell you my opinion as I have never ridden the Commanders. On another note, perhaps ATVT needs to start doing some "shootouts" (AKA comparisons) for our viewers. Thanks for sparking my brain cell. :beer"
You guys are great! So much useful information. I am very glad that I joined you!
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