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Mud Machine 27" Tri/Bi Claw

10779 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Andy Bassham
I bought these tires in June of 2000 for a then 1999 Arctic Cat 500. Do not know the weight, but mounted on stock 6.5" wide rims, they measured at 26.25" front and 26.75" rear with 5psi. I ended up running them on ITP steel chrome on this quad until July 2001 when I swapped them over to a 2002 Grizzly 660 and used the same type of wheel (ITP C-series aluminum wasn't even available at that time yet). Between the two quads, I probably put around 2000 miles on the tires. Mainly trails, a good bit of pavement just going from place to place around town, and I mudded them a couple times with the Arctic Cat, but never with the Grizzly (didn't care to send that quad to an early grave by mud wear). I sold these this past Saturday after nearly 12 years of owning them. I always had stock tires/rims and switched out from time to time over the years, and my tread depth after approximately 2000 miles and this many years was about .5" on the front center, .75" on the front shoulder, 1" on the rear center, and maybe 1&1/8" on the rear shoulder. They wore well for as much pavement as they hit during their life.

Their mud performance was excellent from my standpoint. They went through stuff that amazed me, though I was never a big mudder. They just clawed and plowed through slowly but surely to the other side. I once blew the rear driveshaft bearing on the AC500 in a big mudhole and somehow managed to pull myself out of the hole under the power of the front tires pulling with the Bi-Claws (thus ending the day for me regardless). Never had much to compare to since most others that I rode with at the time had 589's, but the comparison in mud between those two tires was night and day. Another friend swapped to the Mud Machines for a 2001 Rubicon and dominated the others with Rubicons and 450S Hondas running the 589 setup. Not much of a comparison, but really all I had experience with back then. Far more mud tires for one to choose from today than there was 10+ years ago also.

Trail performance was just fine. For what it was, they handled trails great. Steering was not bad at all with the 9.75" fronts, especially on the Grizzly which steers fairly light anyway. They rode well for a mud tire due to the good centerline. When new, they were bumpy on asphalt at low speeds until the center tips wore down and then not so bad. The one thing that I didn't care for was climbing hills in the woods with leaves and loose dirt. They tended to dig down, like a garden tiller. Stock tires performed better than these in such situations.

Puncture resistance was top notch. I had 3 plugs in them over their life, they were all 16 penny nails or screws. Nothing natural ever came close. They held air just fine to this day. A 4 ply tire, but a solid built tire with good rubber. You would have to work to puncture one with rocks and such.

Granted when I bought these from Highlifter in 2000, I think they were around $79 for the fronts and $84 for the rears. Same tires today run between $120-135 from most sites which I find ludicrous. I did weigh one of the fronts before using the bathroom scale technique, and for what thats worth, on an ITP Chrome Delta rim it weighed 39lbs.

Would I buy them again, well for the year 2000 prices yes. I likely wouldn't pay $130 for any atv tire though regardless of what it was and I'm sure I'd shop it around if I was in the market just because there are so many choices to consider. It was a good tire though, and if I were in the market for a Mud Tire in that size, given the weight/performance/ride characteristics, it would still be up in the top of the running.

I sold these to get them out of my garage, and picked up 25" Bear Claw HTR's on STI C7 rims. UPS lost a pair and I'm still waiting on the replacements, but I may try and do a review of these after I've received them and got some miles on them.
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That's a nice write-up Andy. Do you have any pictures of the tires and of them in use?
Not much, but a few old ones, and I mean 2004 and later.

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