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Golf Cart Tire Comparison: Off-Road Tires

Golf Cart Tire Comparison: Off-Road Tires

Modifying a golf cart to suit your off-road adventures is full of exciting upgrades: lift kit, lights, leaf springs, fender flares, and more… but what is all that for if you don’t top it all off with a fierce set of high-performance off-road tires?

Browsing endlessly through off-road golf cart tire options can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking at or what you should be looking for. 

Golf Cart Stuff has the information you need to put the tire buying power in your hands. For this article, we selected five off-road tires to display the range of options available. We’ll cover specific measurements, features, and example applications for each tire, so when you click “add to cart,” you will rest assured that you made the right decision to enhance your adventures. 

off road tire measurement icons

Measured Data 

We gathered all of the essential tire data to help you compare the different types of off-road tires available for your unique golf cart adventures.
Tread Design
Tread Width
Tread Depth
Ply Rating
Tire Max Load
DOT Approval
Ideal Application
This collection of data points will give you a general idea of what kind of performance metrics you can expect from each tire and will help you make better purchasing decisions based on your unique needs.
Mounted Off-Road Golf Cart Wheel and Tire

Before We Begin...

Before we get into the thick of it, we need to cover a few disclaimers:

First– The following tires are a very brief selection of the many available Off-Road Tires from Golf Cart Stuff™. This sampling is intended to illustrate the range of features available within the off-road golf cart tire category.

Second– The harsh reality that golf carts are low-speed vehicles (no matter what kind of mechanical mastery you’ve done to push the performance limits of your buggy)

Simply put, being a low-speed vehicle (LSV) means that you can consider the data points for golf cart tires less critically than you would for an automotive tire.

Next– All of the tires used for this comparison are 23” tall and compatible with 14" wheels.* Measurements were taken without the tires being mounted or inflated.

Last– Most of the tires in this comparison are available in smaller or larger diameters. Taking measurements on those different sizes or when the tires are mounted/inflated may produce slightly different results than those detailed below.

off-road golf cart tire tread detail

Quick Terminology Overview

Let’s start digging in by briefly covering what each of the above topics means and how that will impact your golf cart tire and, subsequently, your ride experience.

Tread Design

Tread design seems pretty straightforward on the surface, but (spoiler alert) it turns out to be one of the most differentiating factors amongst off-road golf cart tires. Not to mention the amount of engineering that goes into the literal nooks and crannies that allow these tires to keep you rolling in the most demanding conditions.

Is the tread pattern wavy and smooth or blocky and fierce? Are the channels between the treads deep set or more shallow? Is the function of the entirety of the tread design intended to increase traction on moderately unpaved surfaces or for extreme performance on the most unforgiving terrain? 

Tread Width and Depth 

To determine the tread width, we measured the distance between the tread blocks (taking the closest average where widths vary). To figure the depth, we measured how tall the tread blocks are from the bottom of the channel to the top, flat part of the tread.

Wide treads (seen on all tires here) permit small debris and water to escape. Narrow tread widths are primarily for use on paved surfaces or turf. 

For a full comparison on Street/Turf or All-Terrain Tires, make sure to check out those posts here! 

Tread Width and Depth are the measurable factors that differ the most when comparing Street/Turf, All-Terrain, and Off-Road tire collections.

Off-Road Tire widths and depths are around 2-3 times larger than All-Terrain Tires and up to 6 times larger than Street/Turf Tires. 

Off Road Club Car DS Golf Cart 6 inch lift kit

Ply Rating 

In short, Ply Rating is an indication of tire strength. Commonly referred to as Load Range or Load Index and classified by letter, golf cart tires typically use the term ‘ply rating,’ which corresponds with a number designation (and sometimes both ratings are listed on the tire itself to avoid confusion).

Clear as mud? Let us help: The higher the ply rating number, the stronger the tire will be. Keep in mind this also increases the tire's stiffness and, by association, the ride experience.

Although one may think off-road tires would have the highest ply rating, they actually require a bit of softness to allow the treads to flex over challenging terrain. 

Except for the Arisun X Trail rated at 6-ply, all of the tires we compared below are rated at 4-ply.  

Tire Max Load

This measurement of strength refers to how much weight can be supported by each tire (keeping in mind proper inflation and healthy tread life). The Off-Road tires below have a max load range from 610 lbs. to 965 lbs. per tire.  

DOT Approval 

Golf Cart Tire DOT Approval is less of an important factor with off-road tires as it may be for Street Legal LSV golf carts, but is still good to know for legal and safety purposes if you plan to use your cart on public roadways to travel to and from your favorite adventure spot.

A DOT approval will always be molded onto the tire itself, followed by a series of numbers indicating the tire’s date and location of manufacture as well as its ratings.

Off-Road Club Car DS Golf Cart

Ideal Application 

Off-Road Golf Cart Tires are, as named, tires designed to perform in the most demanding conditions. From driving surfaces like sand and rocks to weather conditions like rain and snow (yes, snow) these tires can provide endless possibilities for all the extremes in your life.

If you want a deeper look at the benefits of off-road golf cart tires, check out our post on what off-road golf cart tires can do for your cart.

It's Time... Let's Look at the Tires

Off-Road Golf Cart Tire Tread

Excel Sahara Classic
Arisun X-Trail
MJFX Raptor
GTW Nomad
Deli Tire Sierra Rover

    Excel Sahara Classic

    Excel Sahara Classic Off-Road Golf Cart Tire

    • Tread Design:  Our most popular off-road tire features a closely-grouped directional chevron tread design running along the center of the tire's face, with larger, widely-spaced, angled treads to allow water and dirt to escape towards the sidewalls. 
    • Tread Width: 11.3mm
    • Tread Depth: 16.4mm
    • Ply Rating: 4 ply
    • Max Load: 610 lbs. at 20 psi (each)
    • DOT Approved?: Yes. DOT Approved.
    • Ideal Application: Off-road, campground trails, gravel. Handles moderately difficult terrain with ease. 
    • *Bonus Info: The Sahara Classic by Excel Tire boasts the largest size range, including an 18" tire for 8" wheels, making this setup compatible with any golf cart without adding a lift kit. 

     

    Arisun X-Trail 

    Arisun X Trail Off Road Golf Cart Tire

    • Tread Design: Tight-knit zig-zag, non-directional tread pattern around the face of the tire, with large, recessed triangular treads angling water out towards the sidewalls. 
    • Tread Width: 10.2mm
    • Tread Depth: 13mm
    • Ply Rating: 6 ply
    • Max Load: 965 lbs. at 30 psi (each)
    • DOT Approved?: Yes. DOT Approved. 
    • Ideal Application: Off-road, campground trails, gravel. Handles moderately difficult terrain with ease.

     

    MJFX Raptor

    MJFX Raptor Off Road Golf Cart Tire
    • Tread Design: Deep, widely-spaced, directional tread with recessed areas to provide ultimate traction on the most extreme terrain. 
    • Tread Width: 22mm - 43.7mm 
    • Tread Depth: 18.5mm
    • Ply Rating: 4 ply
    • Max Load: 909 lbs. at 12 psi (each)
    • DOT Approved?: Yes. DOT Approved.
    • Ideal Application: Trails? Check. Mud? Check. Rocks? Check. Snow? Check. The check mark shapes covering the face of this tire serve as a symbol of the many environments and conditions you will be able to roam around in our most extreme tires yet. 

    GTW Nomad

    GTW Nomad Of Road Golf Cart Tire

    • Tread Design: Widely-spaced, blocky tread design with siping for increased flexibility and traction. Uniformly angled sidewall tread directs water and dirt outward and provides increased traction and turning strength.
    • Tread Width: 9mm - 22mm 
    • Tread Depth: 15.5mm
    • Ply Rating: 4 ply 
    • Max Load: 760 lbs. at 20 psi (each)
    • DOT Approved?: Yes. DOT Approved.
    • Ideal Application: Off-Road, Rocks, Sand, Snow, and more! Similarly capable to the Raptor tires but with superior on-road performance. 

     

    Deli Tire Sierra Rover

    Deli Tire Sierra Rover Off Road Golf Cart Tire

    • Tread Design: Chunky, heavily siped tread design with coordinating sidewall treads for a uniform off-road tire with a wide range of abilities. 
    • Tread Width: 13.6mm
    • Tread Depth: 14.7mm
    • Ply Rating: 4 ply 
    • Max Load: 615 lbs. at 20 psi (each)
    • DOT Approved?: Yes. DOT Approved.
    • Ideal Application:  Off-Road, Rocks, Sand, Snow, and more! Similar to the Nomad tires but with superior on-road performance. 

    * But Wait... There's [one] more *  

    Kenda Terra Trac K502 (25x10-12)

    Kenda Terra Trac Off-Road Golf Cart Tire
    • Tread & Tire Design: Kenda changed everything with the K502 tire design. Alternating directions with each row, tall, blocky treads encompass the face of the tire, providing traction and control on any terrain in any condition. Wide-spaced, recessed sidewall treads direct water, dirt, and other debris out to keep you rolling.

    • Why we had to include it here: These elite off-road tires are now available for those who want to take their cart all the way to the extreme. We're talking the biggest and the baddest. Coming in at a jaw-dropping 25 inches tall, Kenda Terra Trac golf cart tires outfit your ride with a brand new attitude and altitude. 

    • Tread Width: 12.9mm - 30.2mm 
    • Tread Depth: 15mm
    • Ply Rating: 4 ply 
    • Max Load: 1675 lbs. at 24 psi each (that is not a typo) 
    • DOT Approved?: Not DOT approved. (they should be above the law) 
    • PLEASE NOTE - These tires come with a small caveat: as far as our calculations have shown, these tires will ONLY safely fit on EZGO Golf Carts with a 6" suspension lift kit or Yamaha Drive Golf Carts with a 6" lift kit.

    Kenda Terra Trac Off-Road Golf Cart Tire

    Final Thoughts

    After reviewing this brief selection of off-road tires, a few things are for sure:

    1. Off-Road tires dramatically increase the ability of your golf cart to travel from mud bogs to the backwoods to the beach--wherever your next adventure beckons from.
    2. The tire with both the deepest and widest tread depth is the MJFX Raptor.
    3. The Arisun X Trail boasts the largest max load capacity at 965 lbs per tire

    off-road tire tread detail

    While it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of data when looking into off-road tires, we’ve examined what we deem to be the most applicable to the golf cart owner. From all that, it can be said that tread design is the most significant differentiating factor among off-road golf tires

    How the tire tread is designed and positioned on the face of the tire has everything to do with how it grips and performs on the driving surface.

    The wider/deeper the treads, the more able they will be in demanding off-road environments. The more narrow/shallow the treads, the better (and quieter) the tire will perform on less challenging or paved surfaces. 

    Need something that can handle some rough terrain but isn't as aggressive? Check out our all-terrain golf cart tire tread comparison!

    Golf Cart Driving

    Until Next Time...

    Friends, we hope this has been helpful and allows you to evaluate your golf cart tire needs better and to make an informed decision when it's time to upgrade your wheel and tire combo.

    Leave us a comment below with any questions, let us know what other topics you'd like to see us cover, and don’t forget to share this article with all your Golf Cart friends! 

     

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    Here for the Ride
    Next article Golf Cart Tire Comparison: All-Terrain Tires

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