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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know what the ramification would be so I figured I'd ask those more knowledgeable than me.
I've got a Kawasaki Bayou 220 with basically slicks (bald, like me
) tires and I'm looking for new ones. Looking around I can find some decent deals on slightly used ones, But so far not finding the exact size I currently have.
My question is what's it gonna hurt if I change sizes slightly on this quad? Current OEM tires are 21x8x9 front, 22x10x10 back. This quad is used for basic foolin around, few trails here and there, I'd say general use nothing serious.

And also could someone explain the numbering system for tires. I think I got it but want to make sure.
Thanks
Rick
 

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First # is how tall tire is, second # is tire width, third # is wheel diameter. The last # can't change, you can't put an 8 or 9 inch tire on a 10 inch wheel. The others can vary.
 

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just make sure you keep the same stagger on em like it was from stock front to rear. I know the old quads had a one inch difference between the front and rear tire size. they were designed like that. but I wouldn't be afraid of jumping up a tire size both front and rear. shouldn't hurt performance too bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK great. Thanks for the info guys!
 

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yeah thats true but the quad he has is a 4x4 all the time and could make it wear out if he goes to extreme of a difference from front to rear. I am pretty sure most of em were 1 inch difference between front and rears. I wouldn't have a problem stickin 22 front and 23 in the rear or even 23 in front and 24 in the rears. you might be able to stick a 25 in the rear and a 24 in the front as long as you keep the tires light but I think your pushing it then.
 

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I think the old Kawasaki Bayous were 2 wheel drive, if so tire size (as long as you keep the right stagger from front to back) won't matter as much. But as mentioned the bigger the tires the less power you will have.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yeah my bayou is a 2x4. Ben, I think your thinkin of the Hawkeye I had that time on graves ridge.

right now they have a 1" stagger, 21 front, 22 back. as long as I keep that (1" stagger) in tack all should be well. and if I go bigger on the back than OEM say a 23 or 24, it will slow the machine down a little, (which aint a bad thing with teenage boys, wonder why the tires are bald)

Thanks again guys.
 

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if it is 2wd it doesn't matter what the stagger is between front and back. I thought it was a 4x4. you could get 22s on the front and back or 23s on the front and back or whatever you want.
 

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Yeah what they said!
 

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bigben said:
if it is 2wd it doesn't matter what the stagger is between front and back...you could get 22s on the front and back or 23s on the front and back or whatever you want.
This is 100% correct. I haven't been on an atv for a long time but back in the days of 3 wheelers, I used to run all different sizes depending on what I was doing. I had tires ranging from 18" up to 22". On 2x4's, it won't matter.
 

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thats pretty much what I meant.
 

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Careful to those who have 4x4's and are reading this because you're getting incorrect information. If you notice "most" 4x4's come with the same size tires front and back. If they are different then you CAN'T just keep the "stagger". EXAMPLE......A 335 polaris sportsman has 23's in the front and 25's in the back. You CAN't just keep a 2" stagger because the ratio of rotation will be off. Think about it (I know I'm using an extreme example) but it's accurate. If I put 2" tires on the front and 4" tires on the back (keeping the 2" "stagger" like a couple people said) then my front tire "would need" to rotate twice as fast to match the rear wheels. We all know that is not how the 4x4 works on a quad. IT IS A RATIO (or percentage) not a "fixed stagger". If you put 25's on the front and 27's in the rear it WILL put a huge strain on the 4x4 system and either break something or wear the heck out of your tires.

To the original poster........if it's 2wd then you can do whatever you want with the tire size (except the last number which is the rim diameter) as long as the tires don't rub. BTW "bigger" back tires will make the top speed higher but it will take longer to get there (less power).
 

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actually if ya want to get technical.

the circumfrance of a 27" tire is 84.78
the circumfrance of a 25" tire is 78.5
the circumfrance of a 23" tire is 72.22

so if you have a polaris 335 sportsman that has 23" tires in front and a 25" tire in the back stock the difference in circumfrance is 6.28" if you wanted to up the size tire on both front and back by 2" and go with a 25" tire up front and a 27" tire in the back the difference bewteen the front and rear tires is still 6.28" so technically it doesnt matter how big the tires are. if you keep that 6.28" of difference in circumfrance then it wont do a thing to the quad. that is assuming that both tires are what the manufacture states as a "25" tire or a 23" tire. let a few psi out of one and you can have a 25" tire measure 23" then what? never mind on that last part. LOL So in the current case of the scenario you explained above going to a 2" bigger tire front and rear wont make a difference as long as they keep the same stagger. sorry I just dont see how a front tire will need to turn twice as fast as the rear to keep up. in this instance. on todays newer quads they keep the same size tires dia wise front to rear. old days quads were much different.
 

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The front tire doesn't need to turn "twice" as fast and IT'S A RATIO and NO if you "just keep a 6.28" circumference difference you WILL have Problems. I can see you are no where near to understanding how a 4x4 with different size tires works so I'll just leave it at that. Have a good day.
 

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Oh.......I guess I'll try. With 23's and 25's the machine would have a rotation ratio of .92:1. That means that the rear axle turns .92 times to the front axles 1 rotation. If you go to 25's and 27's the ratio changes to .93:1. Now stick with me hear this is going to get good. The .92:1 ratio WILL NOT CHANGE IN YOUR QUAD. It is set where it is the front will go around 1 full rotation while the rear axle will rotate .92 times. Now if you put 25's and 27's on then when the the front goes around once the front of the machine will move 78.5" (25x3.14) (that's the easy part to understand) the back end however will move just UNDER 78" (27x3.14) then multiply that by .92 (the axle ratio) and you get that the 27" tire moved 77.9976". The means if you put 25's and 27' on a quad that originally had 23's and 25' then either the front or back is either going to slide or push OVER 1/2" on EVERY ROTATION of the front tire.

Long story short.........if your 4x4 quad has the same size tires front and back...........go nuts. If they are different then KEEP THE SAME SIZE TIRES. I'm really not trying to be a jerk but some people listen to any advise they get and it WILL cost them money.
 

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devonb said:
Oh.......I guess I'll try. With 23's and 25's the machine would have a rotation ratio of .92:1. That means that the rear axle turns .92 times to the front axles 1 rotation. If you go to 25's and 27's the ratio changes to .93:1. Now stick with me hear this is going to get good. The .92:1 ratio WILL NOT CHANGE IN YOUR QUAD. It is set where it is the front will go around 1 full rotation while the rear axle will rotate .92 times. Now if you put 25's and 27's on then when the the front goes around once the front of the machine will move 78.5" (25x3.14) (that's the easy part to understand) the back end however will move just UNDER 78" (27x3.14) then multiply that by .92 (the axle ratio) and you get that the 27" tire moved 77.9976". The means if you put 25's and 27' on a quad that originally had 23's and 25' then either the front or back is either going to slide or push OVER 1/2" on EVERY ROTATION of the front tire.

Long story short.........if your 4x4 quad has the same size tires front and back...........go nuts. If they are different then KEEP THE SAME SIZE TIRES. I'm really not trying to be a jerk but some people listen to any advise they get and it WILL cost them money.
IDk man. I have rode with a few guys that had different sized tires then stock and included a few honda 300's and the kawi bayous and they never had a problem. many beat the living crap out of em and NEVER had a problem. in your example you are dealing with exact numbers. anyone that has been riding long enough understands that tires are never exactly what the manufacture specifys. my mudwolfs on my machine are the same size on the sidewall. 25"s but they measured 25" in the front and 24 and some change in the rear when they were NEW from the same manufacture. after a year of riding on shale/hardpack my rears are worn down twice as much as my front. it has a half inch of difference. I bet if I went home and checked the sizes would more then an inch in difference dia wise. even just running my air pressure from 5lbs to 10lbs make a big difference in the ride height of my quad. am I gonna fret any problems with it? no. when I am running 4wd it has slip with the ground. weather it be hard pack or mud it will slip enough to make up for that .5 of difference your saying about. and there are too many what ifs in this situation. what if the tire manufactures listed size does not match the actual size? what happens if the fronts are worn out more then the rears? what happens if ya have less pressure in the rear tires compared to the fronts? a tire can change easily a inch in diameter if not more with alot of different variables present when you ride.

in reality the only time you will ever have to worry about that half inch is gonna be when you ride hard asphalt. and like I said before that just a tire pressure change can make a difference. I doubt many will ever ever measure their tires to make sure that they are exactly even.

i will admit ya got me on the ratio part. at this point on a friday I am not worried about going and trying to figure it out all the way. but from seeing your posts in the past I am gonna bow out now. have fun and have a good weekend.
 

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and if ya dont believe me go on over to highlifter and check out some of them quads that were in the same predicament as the OP. two different sized tires front and rear and they keep their stagger and they are fine.
 

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I have an old three wheel thing that is like a small truck with a bench seat and a front endd like the old Honda 3 wheel ATV's. I needed new tires for it, they turned out to be odd sizes, much wider than most ATV's. 22x11x? (don't recall) I got the best deal on line, even with shipping. Had them in three days to my door. cost me ten bucks to have them mounted locally.
 

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Bigben - I think what DevonB was trying to point out is that your circumference difference theory is the wrong way to think when trying to figure out tire selection.

A half inch per tire rotation is a HUGE difference whether you think so or not. How many rotations do your tires make in a 50 mile ride. I can't even fathom a guess. Yes there is slippage and yes it may not be a big deal to some. However, tires wearing out prematurely is the least of the worries. There will always be backlash and stress transferred somewhere. To the axles, CV joints, differentials, U joints, transfer assembly, etc. Not very cheap and easy things to fix. Prolonged stress and reverse torque does wear things out much faster than normal wear and tear. I see it a lot with people I ride with. One of the guys learned about tire size discrepancies with a torn up differential.

Which brings me back to DevonB's point. Wrong advice that is typed on this board can and will cost someone, that takes that advice, money. You may not care but others do.
 
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