Mike's Product Review:

ITP - Mud Lite XTR Radial

April 7, 2008

According to the manufacturer the ITP Mud Lite XTR ATV tire was designed to combine all the good points of their 589 & standard Mud Lite ATV tires while improving performance and adding radial tire technology.

Here is a quick tire history based on my own experience with many different ATV tires:

The stock 25" Dunlop's that came on my 1998 ForemanS were the pits. They wore well but were soft (2ply construction), not very aggressive, punctured way to easy, and provided no rim protection leading to damaged beads.



After two seasons of riding the stock tires I purchased a set of ITP Blackwater XT's (in a 27" height) and they were a great step up from the OEM Dunlops. They were nice and aggressive for the rough stuff but still maintained a decent ride on hard pack. These tires were a 6 ply construction so they were much more puncture resistant, protected the rims flawlessly, and wore well lasting over 6 years.



In 2003 I had a chance to compare them to a set of Maxsys Mudzillas. My buddy installed a set in a 26" height on his 2003 Foreman 450es. These were very aggressive with a 2" lug and they hooked up very well. They did have a rougher ride on hard pack, and were quite heavy (which really sapped power from the 450cc bike in deep mud). In bogs where I could use 2nd gear on my bike with ease the Mudzillas were relegated to 1st gear only. These tires would be (and certainly are) great for the avid mud rider riding a larger displacement bike.



In 2006 my buddy and I upgraded tires on our Honda Foreman's to Mud Lite XTR radials. He picked up a set of 26" XTR's, and I am running 27's on mine.



Having owned them well over a year now and tested them in countless situations, I have to say they are fantastic. The tread is 1-1/8" deep and fairly aggressive so they work very well in mud & bog, provide great hook up for climbing gravel pits, and have sipped tread blocks for traction on bare rock. Hard pack trail handling is like nothing I've experienced on ATV before. The tire has a square profile so they corner very flat making the bike faster in the turns (and much more stable).



I've used them quite a bit in snow (packed trail and moderately frozen stuff) and they were far superior to any other tire I've used previously. Again the square profile seem to give better flotation in loose snow, grip excellently, don't dig and clean out well in hard pack snow. Overall I highly recommend the XTR's you will not be disappointed at all.



2017 Update:

Eleven years and many thousand kilometers later and I'm still running the same set of Mud Lite XTR's! They are holding up well, the once 1-1/8" deep lugs have worn to about 3/4" so traction although not as good as new, they are still quite capable in all conditions.



These tires have performed fantastic on trails, bog and rough country and are surprisingly really good in snow.



French has since sold his Foreman ES replacing it with a 2014 Yamaha Grizzly outfitted with a set of 27" Mud Lite XTR's.


2019 Update:

In February just before our Annual winter cabin trip I decided to pick up ice some studs for the tires on Project Foreman. Although winter 2019 shaped up great in January we presently have no snow, but thanks to very cold weather we have lots of ice. Ice covered steep trails around Sooley's cabin are treacherous so the added traction of studded tires will be a welcome feature for trail riding and hill climbing. Using my Milwaukee Fuel M18 impact driver I quickly installed 700 1/2" studs in the 4 tires.



My 2006 ITP XTR's are now studded and about 1/2 worn out so I decided to relegate them to winter duty and finally purchase a new set of summer tires mounted on a 2nd set of steel wheels. I'm still very pleased with the XTR's I went with them again for project Foreman.



Canadian Loonie tread depth measuring device on new tires...



...and the old tires. The amount of wear for 13 year old rubber is quite respectable as they have been well used, abused and have 1000's of kilometres on them!



Cheers, Mike

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