What are the Top Winter Dirt Biking Tires & Studs for Snow
Dirt biking is an exhilarating sport because of the adrenaline rush riders get. Naturally, dirt bike riders want to conquer terrain of all kinds, and that includes winter riding. At the beginning of winter, the bikes may still perform well.
As the snow thickens, it becomes increasingly difficult to ride. Some modifications are necessary to prepare the riders and their bikes for winter riding. The key areas to modify include the tires, motor, and the riders’ protective wear.
Riding in the winter is challenging, but it is not uncommon. Therefore, riders can have a community to enjoy the sport. However, there are dangers associated with winter riding that do not present themselves in any other seasons.
Riders can slip on the ice and fall, hurting themselves and possibly others. The ground becomes very slippery during winter, and it may be hard to determine whether your dirt bike can remain stable in some sections of the road.
Winter weather is cold and may cause serious damage to the motors. Damage to the carburetor will cause the engine to starve from fuel and cause it to stop or, worse, to cause irreparable damage.
Riders also need to take care of themselves when they are out riding in winter. Their protective gear has to protect them from impacts during falls and accidents and from the freezing temperatures.
The cold can be disastrous for their health and can be the cause of accidents. If the cold compromises the riders’ hands, controlling the bikes may become impossible. In an accident, hypothermia may set in and immobilize the rider and result in death.
Top Snow Tires and Studs List
① Mitas Tires
Mitas tires are specially designed for winter sport. They are only to be used in the winter to minimize wear and tread damage. They have pre-installed carbide-tipped studs. Normal tools do not work with the installed studs, so they are installed using a pneumatic machine.
They are high quality off-road only tires and do not have a warranty. The tires are studded using the pro method, where all the knob dimples are studded and have approximately two hundred and fifty tires.
They are not street legal and are restricted for use in snow and ice environments only. They are manufactures in the Czech Republic and shipped from Europe. They are sold without any guarantee because of their specific use.
Its dimensions are thirty by six by twenty-eight inches. It has a rim diameter of twenty-one inches and a section width of a hundred and ten millimeters. It has a speed rating of P and a load index rating of sixty.
It is ranked at one thousand nine hundred and sixty in street motorcycle tires, but that is due to its unique function.
② Marrkey Tires Studs
They are available in two packages of quantities of a hundred and five hundred. They are made of hard tungsten carbide for durability and high function. They have low ground pressure and have minimum impact on the environment, making them safe and environment friendly.
They are easy to install with a drill. Equipment for installation comes with the purchase saving you the trouble. Riders choose the size of studs depending on the tires they have and the tread depth in those tires.
They are multipurpose and can be used with other vehicle tires to improve their off-road capacity. After winter has passed, they can be removed and stored for later use. The body of the studs are made with carbon steel, and the surface is galvanized.
They each weigh approximately five and a half ounces.
③ Kold Kutter Traction Screws
They are made by Kold Kutter and sold in a pack of two hundred and fifty screws. They are size eight screws and are approximately four inches long. The height of the head is about o.19 inches. They are legal for use in America.
It is ranked seventh in the power sport toolsets category. It comes with a warranty and is returnable before one month.
④ ATV Screws
They are eight and a half inches in length and are useable with ATVs to increase grip. Titan Performance makes them. They are marginally heavier than average screws for optimal traction. They are sold in a pack of two hundred and fifty screws.
⑤ Marrkey 12mm Studs
They are available in two sizes of four by nine millimeters and four by twelve millimeters. They are made of carbide material for toughness. They are manufactured by Marrkey, a professional manufacturer of studs.
They are versatile and can be used on automobiles and shoes. They are easily installed and disassembled for storage. Their tip is made of tungsten carbide, and the body is made of carbon steel, which is also galvanized to make the surface.
Riders should know the depth of the tread pattern of their tires before selecting the size of studs they need. The depth has to be more than twelve millimeters for these screws to be installed without causing a puncture.
It is sold as a pack of a hundred tire studs and comes with one installation tool. It has low ground pressure and is easy to install. It works with many types of tires and is mostly preferred by riders looking to increase their off-road capacity.
⑥ Dunlop Geomax
It is designed for off-road driving. It has large knob treads to increase traction in snow. It is excellent at cornering because of its pattern. It is shock-absorbing and can be used in other terrains as well. However, they are noisy when you ride them on the road.
How do riders make the required modifications to turn the dangerous winter weather into a fun riding experience?
The motorcycle riding community has grown over the years, and with it, the industry for manufacturing bikes, parts, and gadgets for enhancing their performance. It is possible to buy new parts to switch out from the dirt bikes to transform readying them for winter riding.
Buying new parts may be expensive, and not many riders are interested in breaking the bank for a little fun in the snow. Therefore, there is an option for making snow tires. It is easy, cheap, and requires easily available items to make.
Snow tires look like regular dirt bike tires with one key difference. They have studs that increase their grip on the snow and icy terrain. It is advisable to switch to these tires well into the season when the path is no longer safe to ride on with standard tires.
Studs and screws are easily available in case riders would like to modify the tires themselves. The studs protrude from the tires at about seven or eight millimeters to provide the extra grip needed to move in dense snow.
Snow can get packed in the tires and render them frictionless. However, screws are rounded and metallic and remain free of snow for the whole journey. The primary concern is how long they can last without being worn down.
The ideal length for a screw ranges from one and a half to three-point eight inches. Any longer than this recommended length could result in a puncture. Slow puncture in the tire’s tube could leave a rider stranded and open them to other effects of the prolonged cold.
The studs and screws may fall off or get worn out with prolonged use. It is advisable to check each one to determine their state before every outing. The only danger it poses is a puncture, and that can be avoided by using screws of the recommended length.
Adjustments to the motor are mainly to protect it against the devastating effect of the winter cold. A dirt bike is a machine, and if the motor mechanism is compromised, the bike is useless and will affect solo riders and get them stranded.
There is the option of getting a replacement motor system, but that is expensive. The alternative is to use protective components to shield your motor. The former is preferred because all the protection necessary is built into specialized motor systems.
The latter is popular because it is easily doable by the riders themselves or in repair shops. It is also a cheaper option, making it ideal for riders looking to have fun and spend little. However, remember that the cost incurred to protect the bike is always money well spent.
One of the parts that require protection is the carburetor. It can be shielded by covering the sides to prevent freezing. If the carburetor freezes, the throttle may be compromised, and that could lead to a fall.
The bike could be fuel-starved as well should the carburetor freeze. If the dirt bike uses a two-stroke engine, the riders could use a more concentrated fuel mixture that may improve the engine’s working in cold weather.
- Protective Wear
Apart from the usual dangers associated with bike riding, winter presents additional problems. The weather is cold and could affect the riders’ health. Therefore, winter protective gear is recommended when going out in the snow.
Riders should wear gloves to keep their hands warm. Gloves also help to ensure riders do not lose grip when the levers are freezing. Riders need their hands to function properly to be able to steer and avoid accidents.
The gloves should be light on the palm and thick at the back for the hands’ easier movement. For additional protection, riders may opt to cover the grips and levers to minimize contact with cold metal.
Riders will need insulated jackets. The jackets used by riders during the warm weather prioritize ventilation for air circulation and reduction of perspiration. In the winter, however, that may be harmful to the health of riders.
Some jackets are made to be waterproof to keep the wetness of snow from getting inside. Others are made flexible at the joints because the other areas are padded and waterproof and hence rigid. The jersey also needs to protect the chest because riders often ride at full speeds.
Extra protection can be worn underneath to increase safety. Chest protectors are often worn below the jacket, and protective pants are worn under normal riding pants for extra protection. They also protect the skin from cuts and bruises without restricting movement.
Feet need protection while still allowing the riders’ legs to perspire freely, so thick pairs of socks are recommended. They give extra padding and room to breathe. Riders need winter boots that usually have studs like in the winter tires.
Riders should always have helmets on at all times. Underneath the helmet, riders can put on coverings to give them extra warmth. They are normally full-face coverings with holes for the eyes.
Dressing up in layers regulates the body temperature and reduces the likelihood of the goggles fogging up. Some goggles are made with anti-fogging features guaranteeing clear vision and improves safety.
Ideal Riding Conditions
Riding in the winter can be challenging, especially if the conditions are not right. If the snow is fluffy, it will be difficult to get good traction, whereas if the snow is too deep, the snow will have several layers that could make riding difficult.
Ideally, the depth of the snow should range from eight to nine inches for perfect winter riding. When the top layer forms a thick crust riding above, it is easier, and because of the depth of the snow, small obstacles are covered up entirely, making it a smooth ride.
After making modifications to the bikes, it is possible to ride in all seasons. This way, any risks involved do not pertain to the dirt bike working, but they are due to the weather conditions. Exposure to cold weather for long periods causes health problems.
Hypothermia is triggered when you are exposed to the cold for long. Your body fails to produce enough heat and reacts by redirecting blood from the surface to minimize heat lost. However, the body’s organs cannot withstand this reaction and may begin to shut down.
When vital organs are compromised, the person can become disoriented. So, it causes a cascade of issues that could, unfortunately, result in death. To avoid hypothermia, you can limit the time you spend in the cold.
Frostbite is also another condition that riding in winter can bring. It occurs on exposed skin and causes the skin to change color. It can result in the death of cells and require amputation before sepsis kicks in.
Recommendations for Winter Dirt Biking
- Riders should wear gloves made for cold weather. It has to be thick outside and thin at the palms for flexibility.
- Riders should get thermal underwear. They are important in preventing frostbite and hypothermia. They are also designed to allow for free perspiration for better comfort.
- Riders’ jerseys have to be made specifically for winter conditions. They need to have better insulation for warmth. They also need to be flexible even with the padding to allow easier movement.
- Before riding, riders should not put on many layers of clothes. Layering will limit their movement. This will make reacting difficult and the riding experience uncomfortable.
- The bike should always be covered to avoid freezing of the engine. You can keep it in the garage or basement.
- Riders should stick to a schedule to minimize the effects of the cold. Ideally, it should be less than three hours. It would be best if you also went on trails you know well always.
- The boots should be treated with water repellant to keep the feet dry at all times.
- Riders should install grip heaters to allow them to operate the levers and grips with much ease.
Dirt biking during winter is as extreme as dirt biking during any of the other seasons. The key notable difference is the cold and slippery terrain that comes with winter. Riders have to make modifications to their bikes and clothing to be able to enjoy the sport.
Winter tires can be bought and switched out to get better traction on snow and ice. The motor on the bike has to be padded to prevent it from freezing and breaking down. The protective clothing worn by riders has to be warm and free to move in.
Snow tires can also be made by installing screws to the regular tires. Some conditions have to be met to be able to do this. The tires have to be thick enough, and the installation has to be easy so that riders can do it themselves.
Alternatively, riders can choose the size of the studs depending on the thickness of their tires. Riders can also purchase tires with pre-installed screws. The studded tires can only be used in the snow and ice terrains, but some special studs can be used in off-road riding.
It can seem unusual to participate in dirt biking at a time of the year when everyone is huddled indoors, but winter riding is not impossible. Thanks to the modifications available, riders can have their fun in the snow too.