How to Tell What Numbers Mean on ATV Tires

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Using the right tire on your ATV, or all terrain vehicle, is very important for safety and operation. Tires are sized specifically to match the engine power, size and operation of your ATV. All ATV tires are clearly labeled with a set of numbers. These numbers represent the size of your ATV tire. Using larger or smaller tires than the assigned ones can adversely affect the operation of your ATV. Deciphering the numbers on your ATV tires isn't too difficult and will ensure that you always have the right tires on your vehicle.

Items you will need

  • ATV tire

Find the numbers that represent the size of your ATV tire on the side of the tire. You should see three numbers, separated by "X's" dashes or a combination of both.

Read the first number. That number represents the diameter of your tire. For example, if the numbers say, "26X10-12," the diameter of the tire is 26 inches. Another way to think of this measurement is the height or how tall a tire measures. ATV tire sizes are normally measured in inches although some are measured in millimeters, depending on the manufacturer.

Notice the second number in the series of three. This number corresponds to the width of the tire or how fat the tire measures. In our example, "26X10-12," the width of the ATV tire is 10 inches.

Find the third number. This tells you the diameter of the rim for the tire on your ATV. In the example, "26X10-12," the rim size is 12.


  • Some numbers on ATV tires will have an "R" between the second and third number. The "R" simply means radial construction.
  • If your ATV has the wrong tires and you cannot find the correct size, you can also find your tire size under specifications in your owner's manual. There are also several ATV sites online that list tire sizes once you find your ATV model.
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