Summary: ATV wheels have the same characteristic: defined threads, durable tear and snag resistant tire material and large balloon like construction.
Definitely the most ingenious aspect of ATV is in its wheels, no arguments. ATV’s defining factor is the ATV wheels, making it possible for ATV’s to travel and work even in the absence of roads.
All ATV wheels have the same characteristic: large defined threads or knobs for better traction in all kinds of terrain, extra durable tear and snag resistant material for the tire bodies to protect it against puncture from sharp objects, and large balloon-like construction to help the wheels avoid small pits and rocks on the trail. It also helps the wheel climb out of any obstacle. And in some cases afford flotation.
When necessity initiated the ATV’s invention in Japan, ATV wheels were the deciding factor in its success. Osamu Takeuchi led the development team that was assigned by Honda Research & Development to develop a vehicle suited for winter travel. The outcome was the development team spawning a prototype vehicle with six ATV wheels. But still the invention didn’t have the cutting edge technology that will enable it to meet the demand.
However, when Osamu Takeuchi got hold of an American invention called the ‘Amphi Cat’, the design process quickly hasten to completion. The Amphi Cat had rolled on six 20 inch low pressure high flotation balloon tires, and Osamu Takeuchi revamped his ATV invention until it can accept the Amphi Cat’s wheel which became the trademark of modern day ATV wheels.
To date, there are various types of ATV wheels that are designed to meet specific terrain conditions. Though most wheel types still work adequately on other terrain, there are such ATV wheels that would perform poorly on a specific terrain. One instance would be the race tires against sand dunes.
Usually developed to create greater traction on different conditions, this wheel type has defined knobs and threads. Also, some of these tires are flatter to afford ample hold on the terrain.
Trail tires are created to be more durable to defend against punctures against sharp objects such as rocks or wood splinters. Some of these tires are large, balloon-like construction to afford flotation (defense against sinking in bogs and sandy parts) in soggy terrain and mud.
These tires are also called Paddle Tires since the threads do exactly just that - to paddle. These tires are usually made balloon-like, with few but enormously large threads. The balloon construction will help avoid sinking even in the softest sand and the enormous threads afford traction.