MAXXIS Bighorn Tire Review: Best for ATV?

 Follow along as I show why the rugged MAXXIS Bighorn tire is so popular among serious ATV enthusiasts. This radial 6-ply ATV tire is tough as nails, smooth riding and built to last.

After purchasing my new Grizzly 450, I immediately went shopping for a new set of 6-ply tires to compliment my demanding riding style.

I was leaning towards the new ITP MudLite XTR Radials because of the good service the MudLites on my former ATV had given me.

Before making the final decision I studied tire reviews, ATV tire forums and surfed various tire manufacturer sites

During my search for tires, the name Bighorn Radials kept coming up, mostly with rave reviews and testimonials by satisfied owners.

I spent a couple weeks finding out everything I could about the Bighorn tires and decided that these heaver, large footprint tires with shoulder lugs were the ones for me.

What Size Bighorn Tire?

There are a lot of wheel-tire combos and tire sizes to choose from, depending upon your needs. A lot of riders go a size or two larger. I stuck with my stock wheels and went with the same size AT25X8X12 tires on the front and AT25X10X12’s for the rear. The stock size still adds about an inch more clearance.

Time to Buy

Now that I decided upon the MAXXIS Bighorn, it was time to shop for the best deal. For my situation, Rocky Mountain ATV with their low prices and free shipping got my order. A few days later the shipment arrived with the toughest looking, heavy, thick walled, deep treaded tires I’d ever seen.


During my research, Walmart was mentioned several times for their reasonable ATV tire mounting fees. Sure enough, a trip to Walmart and $20 later (yes, $5 each) I had my stock tires removed and new Bighorn tires mounted. Apparently Walmart has now stopped mounting ATV tires.

White Letters... In or Out?

There is some controversy about how to mount these tires properly. White letters out... or inside? It doesn’t really matter according to the MAXXIS tech rep.

Of course, you can’t go wrong if you leave the white letters out and align the little yellow circles located on the sidewalls with the valve stems for proper balance. No balancing is necessary for these tires.

MAXXIS Bighorn Tire Review

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is a personal matter and you should experiment to find the right combination for your needs. For the Bighorn tires, somewhere in between 3 psi and 9 psi should work fine. I tried many different combinations and finally ended up with 6 psi all around. % psi gives a slightly smoother ride.

Break in Period

Yes, the MAXXIS Bighorn Radials need a little breaking in before they smooth out. Don’t be alarmed by the rough clunky ride at first. At about 60 miles, my Bighorn tires smoothed out nicely and have since become even smoother. Even at 6 psi they ride like a Cadillac.

High-Speed Performance

The Bighorn tires ride smoothly with absolutely no bad tendencies at my top speed of 45 mph. They should handle higher speeds well too. I can detect no radial tire leaning during high-speed turns either. I rate them as very good for high-speed handling.

Rock Climbing Performance

These Bighorn tires are rock-climbing fools, they stick to rocks like an Octopus. I don’t see how another tire could do any better.

I chicken out well before the Bighorns lose traction. The shoulder lugs provide excellent protection while enhancing traction. I would rate them as excellent in rocks.

Mud Performance

Not bad for a tire designed for dirt and rocks. I would have to say that mud is probably the Bighorn tire’s weakest point. Don’t get me wrong, these tires do very well under muddy conditions. I like them even better in mud than my old MudLites. I would rate them as fair to good in the mud.

Snow Performance

These tires are amazing in snow, the Bighorns seem to float through snow rather than dig their way through, as do other tires. You can actually feel the float action, sort of like driving on ball bearings, but with good control.

I’ve driven uphill in well over a foot of fresh snow just by keeping my speed up. The deeper snow builds up under the bike and causes problems before the tires loose traction. I would rate them as very good in snow.

Sand Performance

The Bighorn tires perform well in sand and they feel much the same as driving through the snow. I would rate them as good in the sand.

General Performance

For normal everyday riding, the MAXXIS Bighorn is hard to beat. It transitions from one surface condition to another with grace. I’ve taken them from dry, dusty conditions through sand and rocks, to mud and then snow and back again, all in the same ride.

Tire wear and Puncture Resistance

I’ve ridden on my MAXXIS Bighorn tires well over 1000 miles so far, with no sign of any wear. Some users report in excess of 5000 miles and more in tire life.

As for puncture resistance, these tires seem almost bullet proof. The thick sidewalls have been poked by many knife edged rocks under considerable force, without even producing a scratch.


The MAXXIS Bighorn is ideal for my western style riding, which consists mostly of dirt and rocks, a fair amount of sand and snow, with a little mud thrown in for good measure.

The price isn’t bad either, at about $85 per tire. If you ride in any type of varied conditions, it’s hard to go wrong with the versatile MAXXIS Bighorn tire


I now have well over 2,000 miles on my Bighorns and they still continue to perform beautifully. They seem to be indestructible in off road conditions, but beware of nails! I've had two flats due to construction nail punctures and these tires are so tough, it's very difficult to push tire plugs into the rubber.

We now have a Polaris 500, a Yamaha Grizzly 450, a Honda Rancher and my old Honda 300 4X4 parked together in the garage, all sporting MAXXIS Bighorns! Everyone loves them.

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