30” Comfort and Performance
Story and Photos By: Brandon Bunch
ITP Tires looks to step the game up once again with another new tire release for 2020, this time in the form of the Terra Claw. Available in 27×9/27x11R14 and 30x10R15 fitments, the new 8-ply radial Terra Claw was designed to accel in all terrains including hard pack, rocks, slick surfaces, and soft terrain thanks to the unique alternating angled tread pattern, according to ITP’s website. We bolted up our 30-inch set of Terra Claws to our 2-seat Polaris RZR PRO XP and went to work beating on them in the desert outside of Lake Havasu.
Normally we equip our turbo UTVs with 32+ inch tires to achieve a little extra ground clearance in the rutted and rocky washes, and I was reminded of that as I smashed the chassis into the ground after just a few minutes in the desert. But once I arrived at an old abandoned gravel pit where we have a slippery hard pack short-course style track, the handling benefits of the smaller tires and lower center of gravity made me forget all about the reduced ground clearance. In two or four wheel drive, the PRO XP exhibited consistent and predictable handling as I braked later and later into corners, throwing the car sideways and keeping it there by easily balancing throttle and steering inputs.
Responsive is one of the most fitting descriptions I could give of the Terra Claw’s handling characteristics, as the PRO XP immediately reacted to my requests no matter what terrain type I was on. The tires hooked up super well whether accelerating forward or scrubbing off speed in both soft sandy and rocky gravel, and the tires stuck like glue on the dusty concrete-like hard pack. The unique tread pattern combined with what I’d guess is a very soft rubber compound resulted in one of the most fun driving experiences I’ve had in a long while, but also resulted in very fast tire wear in the brutal rocky terrain we have here in Lake Havasu at least while driving like a crazy hooligan.
Running 15 psi in the Terra Claws gave a very smooth ride on rocky terrain with great bump absorption, and most definitely aided in the great traction. However in hindsight, that may have been a bit low as I tagged an unseen sizable rock with the left rear corner and pinched the sidewall against the rim, leaving two good-sized holes in the tire. We were able to plug the holes and keep running, but it was a reminder that smaller 8-ply tires require a bit more air pressure to survive in sharp rocky terrain.
At the end of the day, the Terra Claw would be one of my first choices in the 30-inch tire category thanks to its extremely impressive performance. The great traction, smooth ride, and predictable handling both made me feel comfortable and gave me great confidence behind the wheel of the PRO XP, making this an awesome tire for short course or WORCS racing, or even for just comfortably cruising the trails. The light weight (35 lbs for the 30-inch) and smaller size won’t bog down underpowered machines, and the compliant ride won’t beat you up over a long day of riding. Check out more information or find a dealer at ITPTires.com!