off-road racing and large tires


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Mar 26, 2008
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lewiston idaho
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been to a fair share of off road races over the past few years, every year more and more events pop up around the nation. over the years the average tire to run has gotten bigger as we all know. my question is, how large is too large?

its not like 44's or even 54's are anything new, they were ran 10+ years ago in many events. now days the norm seems to be a 40"-42" sometimes 43"-44" for a trail truck/ weekend racer build. but ive seen at events where a rig with 42s have lap for lap beat a truck with 54s. some times its in the driver mod, sometimes its in the build quality.

all be it in the above said race, the truggy on 42's had a rear mount 6.2 with bling everything, and sold for like 70k, and the truck on 54's was a 1000 hp ttc blazer thingy, but even then so that ttc truck still got beat out by a toyota on 47s with a 22re, who was a close match for the truggy on 42's.

i know that the majority of radials size stop at 40's i suspect in the near future almost every brand will have a 42" tire.

i also have also seen where the small tire class is 40's and smaller, in my mind 40's are no small tire, but possibly its the day and age where 40's arent "hardcore" any more.

for offroad racing, where would you think the optimal tire size would be at?

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woodhaven mi
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i think the optimal tire is 37 inches....


It's nice to have a street-able driver that runs the fat bastard tires......

I have been built to be on 42-44 in tires since 07 or so for certain trail work. Mostly recovery. for mud and most Michigan terrain its easy to do. steering is not a huge concern in soft environments....flotation is.

I never set up for rock work with the massive tires...or racing...due to the fact my vehicle is still used as transport and all around truck stuff ....

I have most of the stuff needed to beat on rocks, but the weight and complexity of the required steering was not needed till recently because I have not had the need to visit such fun son will use it now that he is beginning to come of i need to drag out the drawing board and see if what was wrote on it is still good enough for today...

when going to hard obstacles, which I have been away from for years....due to time mostly.....I just don't have any time in lengths to allow extended trips these days.....but when i do go to harder stuff, I generally run conservative 35 to 38 in tires.

Since 2006 or so, when going wheelin where I know it's ruthless, I run military 37's as it is easier on my rig for difficult stuff.

now to the big tires taking over....terrain and challenges dictate this for the most part....and of course event rules.

Bigger tires in abusive situation cost huge in parts to support them for serious use....this is an easy correlation to surmise.

but it is not that simple in the competitive realm...

even running 33-35 in tires becomes an issue once you add hydro assist... the hydro assist allows you to exact a level of abuse that would normally be impossible to execute for most people.

you dont realize it until your all of the sudden destroying knuckles, inner c's and spindles which further require more welding and beefing ...or aftermarket solutions..... the fickle whore of incrementalism is what i call is never satiated...

So yeah.....changes are coming to my rig based on this topic. You need them big tires to stay competitive now. i needed them to stay out of trouble extracting others from misfortune. but now adventure is returning to my i need to step up a few increments....

the 2500 dollars for tires is the cheap part....the initial 1000-2000 in parts to use the big tires and countless hours of rebuilding and re-engineering the failure points is where the true cost is....going big is a pain in the ass on the best of days....but fun as hell even on the worst....

obviously the shit we do to pass the time is endlessly nuts...

so go me crazy.
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