Kenda Bounty Hunter tires on a Polaris Ranger

Tires/Wheels — on October 13, 2006 at 12:00 pm

1156987_huntWe took a set of Kenda Bounty Hunter tires and put them on a Polaris Ranger Browning Edition, then ran the machine through terrain most hunters would likely find on the way to their stand. Despite the bruising, the tires came up smiling.

First, the details. The Kendas are radial tires. The ones we used were 26 x 10-14 on the front, 26 x 12-14 on the rear. They were mounted on Vision Wheel’s Type 161 Bruiser wheels.

First we mounted the tires on the Ranger. Then we scoped out the trail. It was a rough trail with lots of knee-sized rocks and many roots that came out at unexpected angles. The path was narrow and there were several gaps between trees through which no utility vehicle should be asked to thread. The weather was dry so there was little mud or water to test the tires, and there was very little sand. The path was rutted and the vehicle was often asked to travel at odd angles. The inclines and declines were not particularly steep, but they were long and contained many boulders and roots to dodge.

In short, like a trip to the deer or duck hunting stand.

The tires also had several hundred pounds of extra weight on them. We have a hard top affixed on the Ranger that adds several hundred pounds to the rig. In the bed we put a spare tire and a jack (you can never be too careful) that added more weight. Just for fun we tossed in about 150 pounds of salt bags as well.

Thus loaded, we hit the trail. We were traveling downhill through some curves when we hit a large rock and bounced hard to the left. While recovering, we hit another big rock and bounced hard to the right. We stopped the machine and looked for damage to the front sidewalls. We found none. We listened for a hiss along the wheels. None.

A little farther we hit a straightaway with a little sand. We slammed on the brakes to test the tire’s grip. The Ranger’s brakes didn’t lock up, instead coming to a speedy but rolling stop. We saw little skid. Then we punched it and the tires grabbed into the sand nicely.

We came to an area with large rocks spread over 100 feet, with clusters of larger rocks one foot to one-and-a-half feet in diameter. We slowed down and poked our way through the trail. The tires didn’t slip on any rocks and handled the sideways slippage as the rocks shifted with ease.

We came to a 50-degree incline of perhaps 50 feet. The bottom half was just sand and a few rocks, but the top half had big rocks and tree roots, along with a deep rut that cut a jagged path through the incline.
We switched into four-wheel drive and began our way up the hill. The first half went well with the Kendas handling the sand nicely. We slowed down to take on the boulders in the second half. We jogged to the right side to avoid the rut, but that put us in contact with boulders and roots. We slowed even more, but could feel the Ranger moving back down the hill. We applied the brakes, thought about the situation for a minute, then goosed the gas and worked our way up top. We hit some roots and some rocks, banging us around a bit. At one point we edged into the rut, left front and then left back sliding down, so that when the left side was traveling through loamy dirt, the right side was bouncing over boulders. No problems, though. We made it to the top just fine.

Later we took a bermed curve at speed. The Kendas offered satisfactory grip and little tire wall flex.
The final result? The Kendas took everything the trail could dish out and handled it well. The tires would make any hunter happy.

Contact: Kenda USA
www.kendausa.com

Contact: Vision Wheel
(800) 633-3936
www.visionwheel.com

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