To do this we mounted the 30X9.5-14 Enduro XT/S tire on STI’s new HD9 Comp Lock beadlock wheel and ran them at 15 PSI. With this wheel, you can mount it using standard lug nuts instead of the “keyed” type nuts that required you to use an adapter socket. The wheel has 10mm recessed channel for the bead and 5/16-inch Grade 8 beadlock hardware. A variety of color ring choices are available and each wheel has a 1200 pound rating, and they retail for $157.90.
The Enduro XT/S tire is a multi directional, DOT radial with a pair of steel belts running under the tread to provide increased puncture resistance. It has a flat profile in the middle of the contact patch like a truck tire yet has rounded edges like a true offroad race tire. Sizes range from 28X9.5-14 all the way up to 32X10-14. We installed the 30X9.5-14 which weighs just a tick under 43 pounds each. Suggested retail prices start at $188.13 and top out at $232.33.
One word came to mind when we first started driving the YXZ with the Enduro XT/S tires installed: smooth! Around our test loop, the tire performed very well. We have a mix of hard-packed dirt, sand and rocky loose trails. In the sandy sections, the tire tracked straight in and out of the ruts. It slid through the corners without sticking to the berms and causing the car to want to two wheel. It didn’t bog at slow speeds like some truck-type tires do when you use them on a UTV. On the hard-packed, the tire worked even better. It slides very predictably but actually gripped much better than other all-terrain tires we have been running lately. Traction was excellent, yet the tire wasn’t grabby or twitchy at all.
What impressed us even more was when we encountered rocks in the trail. The deflection from rocks as big as soccer balls was amazing. No matter if the rocks we hit were sharp, square edged or round, the tire rolled right over them without any harsh feed back through the wheel. We aimed at a couple larger rocks that we normally avoid just to see how the tires would take them and you could barely feel them. Of course, that could be because of the tire construction including the strong steel belt, or the fact the tire is two inches taller than what we have run on a YXZ around this track. Also, if we wanted to avoid the rocks, the extra two inches of ground clearance over stock was very nice. The car looks taller but didn’t feel taller in the driver’s seat. To say the least, we were very impressed with the predictable handling of this tire and how extremely tough it is. Furthermore, on the pavement, the tire is super quiet and steers like a street tire. There is zero vibration like you feel with the stock Maxxis Big Horns. That fact will make the guys in Arizona, Utah and other states that allow UTVs on the road very happy.
We did get the 30-inch tire to rub once but were not able to replicate the rub and get it on film. With the YXZ’s suspension set toward the softer side, we hammered the car like we do every other UTV we take on our test loop. The only time the right front tire rubbed was when we had the steering wheel cranked to the right and jumped off a ledge fairly slow at approximately 15 MPH. In this case, all the weight was over that corner of the car and the shock became fully compressed when we landed on that tire first. In normal abusive driving, it’s very had to get the YXZ to bottom out like that. So, for 99.9 percent of your riding, a 30-inch tire will not rub when mounted on the YXZ1000R. Like we said, we couldn’t make it rub twice. In fact, we had to remove the right front shock and let the A-arms and tire move up in the fender just to see how far it had to be collapsed and turned to rub like it did. The tire will not rub unless the steering wheel is almost at full lock. So if you are bottoming the frontend and at full lock, you are probably driving over your head. Plus, if a 30-inch tire was mounted on a stock offset wheel, you would gain slightly more clearance too.
What a heavier 30-inch tire will do is cause a little more strain on the clutch. In our SS (Paddle Shift) model, the only way we really noticed the extra strain is that you could see the “half clutch” light come on a little more when starting and stopping or riding in a very slow speed situation. The steering was a tad heavier too but not concerning. For the high-speed, fairly flat trail riding we typically do in the YXZ, a 30-inch tire is actually a great improvement in handling, and overall power is not hindered. Sure, if you ride in tight terrain, rocks, or mud, you would want to consider the Yamaha GYTR Torque Assist Gear-reduction kit and use taller tires. We like the TAG kit a lot for slow and medium speed riding. You can read the test of that feature [on UTVDriver.com.]
So, now we know, it is possible to make a 30-inch tire rub on a YXZ1000 but it will rarely ever happen. For us, the 30-inch STI Enduro XT/S smoothed out the rocks, made the machine stick better on slippery hard-pack, was predictable and didn’t bog down in the sand. After an initial 100-mile test, wear is hardly noticeable and thanks to the two steel belts, we think punctures will be a thing of the past.