X-Terrain Delivers Exceptional Performance
Story By: Brandon Bunch
Photos By: Elizabeth Leal
In my time at UTV Sports Magazine, I’ve tested many different sets of tires and I’d have to say it is getting much more difficult to find a bad tire. Some tire models have different feature sets that excel in specific areas (think paddle tires or tall skinny mud tires), and some are built to function as a true all-terrain capable tire that performs well everywhere you take it—like the System 3 Off-Road XTR370 X-Terrain tire that we have here. We replaced the System 3 XCR350s on our Honda Talon 1000R, a tire that performed unbelievably well in the rocks but left a little to be desired in high-speed stability, and to be honest I was a bit nervous of how the XTR370s would perform in the rocky, gravely, high-speed, hard packed desert terrain of Lake Havasu.
The 30x10R-14 XTR370 X-Terrain is an 8-ply radial tire that features large multi-angled open tread blocks that range from three-quarters to a full inch in depth, and the tire looks very much like a cross between a mud terrain and a desert tire, with a heavier focus on the mud. The tire looks wider than most that are sized at 10 inches wide, and the flat profile with large aggressive shoulder tread blocks led me to believe that these tires could send a lot of negative feedback through the steering wheel in the deep-rutted choppy gravel washes… but I was pleasantly surprised that wasn’t the case.
As I became more comfortable with the performance of the XTR370s, it was clear that much focus was put on the tire delivering a compliant ride. The nasty choppy bumps that plague the washes of our desert were barely noticeable which is unique for a chunky tire like this, and even though the tires seemed to be very soft, they delivered very precise handling at high speeds. With the sun setting I dipped off into some of the lesser-traveled wash trails that feature lots of scattered boulders on top of the slippery sand/gravel base, where setting up the car just wrong can easily lead to touching something sharp, and subsequently, a flat tire.
Either I was in my zone driving with complete control, or the XTR370 is a pretty tough tire as I pushed harder than I normally would through these tight sections and did not end up with a flat. Running in 4WD I had no issues at all with forward bite, and both braking and turn-in performance was very responsive and precise in the loose and slippery terrain. At the end of the wash we reached some small sand dunes, and even there these tires performed much better than expected. Obviously you could feel a loss in power thanks to the soft sand, but the Talon still felt responsive and well under control.
With just under a hundred miles on our XTR370s, I can’t really comment on how long they will last, but the hard miles through the rough and rocky terrain here hasn’t done much to tear away at the big chunky tread blocks. For us in the desert, comfort is one of the biggest determining factors in whether or not we love a tire, and so far this new tire from System 3 Off-Road is performing admirably. Add in the fact that it delivers precise and predictable handling when pushed to the limit on various terrains, and the XTR370 is shaping up to be a good option for just about anyone. Check out more information at system3offroad.com!