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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ride the southwest deserts during the cool months. It is a mixed bag of terrain types: hardpack, softpack, hardpack with soft on top, rocky trails, but also lots of sandy washes and occasional dunes. Running BFG KM3's, 30X10-15" all the way around, and they do very well on a variety of terrain, but even aired way down they are a terrible sand tire!

On the other hand, in the hot months (when the deserts are 120 degrees!) we ride at high altitude in the mountains to beat the heat. We particularly like to explore old mines, so there are lots of rocky trails to negotiate. There, the KM3's are perfect, so I will keep them for that application.

So, I am looking for a tire that handles all-around conditions, but is also good at handling sand. (Note-Not at all looking for dune paddle tires here.) I was thinking maybe Dirt Commanders or Motoclaws? I would sure like to stick with a squared up 30X10-15" format for the extra ground clearance and spare tire issues, but I do still have the stock rims and maybe running 28" Motoclaws on those rims, would be the most economical route to go. Plus, running 28X11-15" in the rear (28X9-15" front), would give me better floatation out back.
 

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Assuming sand is similar to the talcum powder silt we get in the high tundra in the summer, you want a fairly aggressive tire. Something like an ITP Blackwater ITP Blackwater Evolution Radial Tire

Would work great in the sand, but you'll give up some handling, and some slick rock performance.

No such thing as a tire that would be great in everything, as you found with the KM3's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We too have silt beds here and there, but overall the sand is considerably more coarse than that. While the wind sorts dunes quite fine, the sand washers have everything from fine sand to a great variety of different rock sizes. And in some areas, the sand washes are the only trails, so you better have a tire that will cut it!

I am considering the Dirt Commanders, because they have an aggressive almost paddle like tread. I had them on a previous Yamaha Wolverine and they did well, but are probably more aggressive than I need the rest of the time. They do come in a 30X10-15" size though, so I can keep things squared up. Motoclaw's are also fairly aggressive and can be had in 31X10-15" (vs the 28" I mentioned above).
 

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I have absolutely 0 experience in sand. With that being said, I had 30" Sedona Ripsaws that were awesome in every way on every other type of terrain I encountered. They have crazy deep aggressive lugs and wear very well to boot. I would still have Ripsaws if they were available in a 32". They don't have the square profile though. I have a feeling maybe a sand tire shouldn't have a square profile? I don't know, I'm just a dumb ******* from western PA. Here we have 2 seasons, mud and snow.
 

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I run the GBC Terra Masters and they are great in all terrains for me. I don't run much sand at all but the guy (ScottyMac?) on here, that I took a recommendation for them, rides mostly in Utah and that is a mix of all the stuff you are talking about. He specifically talked about how he liked the way they handled in the sand. He has some videos on here and YouTube. The Terra Masters are a phenomenal handling tire and light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Terra Masters look promising! In this review, they specifically mention sand performance with side A out:

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In this review, they mounted the rear side A out for traction in soft stuff, and the front B side out for steering in the hard stuff:


Lots to think about....
 

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I put 32” Coyote tires which are DOT approved on 15” Dimension 3 wheels on my 2020 Talon R for trail, street and mountain riding with great clearance on rocks. I also have 30” sand stripper tires i usually run on the dunes. I’m spending quite a bit of time in Yuma Az this winter and mostly run the mountains and of course are street legal in Az.
This past weekend I went to Glamis and thought I would try the Coyotes in the sand before putting on the paddles and was shocked how well they did! Ran about 7 psi in the tires and had no problem getting up Oldsmobile hill! I do have the Jackson Racing Turbo which makes a total different car! Hope this is helpful!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After spending the weekend at Rasor BLM Open Area/Afton Canyon, which has lots of absolutely beautiful sand trails and some medium size dunes, I ordered a set of Terra Masters this morning! The KM3's just aren't going to work.

 

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After spending the weekend at Rasor BLM Open Area/Afton Canyon, which has lots of absolutely beautiful sand trails and some medium size dunes, I ordered a set of Terra Masters this morning! The KM3's just aren't going to work.

I think you will be really happy with the Terra Masters. I have liked mine in all the different terrain I've had it in. I have two other machines that I am planning on converting over to the Terra Masters when those tires need changed. They are lightweight and grip and corner like mad for me! I have run mine at 10PSI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For an experiment, I put the stock tires back on this last weekend. They were an improvement in the SAND over the BFG's (but not anywhere else!). The 11" wide rear tires certainly give better floatation, but the skinny 9" front tires tend to dig in and burry themselves in hard corners. Strangely, they handled worse when aired down, but improved when I aired them back up to 14psi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The RAZR XT looks a bit like a BFG knockoff. It does have a little more open tread pattern, so might work in the soft stuff as well as hardpack. Depends on what rubber compound they used, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Spent the day riding the Terra Masters (mounted side A out), and they are a SUPERB sand tire! Ran them at 12 psi. Was easily climbing dunes that I could not make with either the stock tires or the BFG KM3's.

When I have time, I will write a full review of my tire selection experience.
 
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