Published on June 17th, 2015 | by Joe
GBC Kanati Mongrel UTV Tire Test, WITH VIDEO:
We test GBC Motorsports’ revolutionary performance UTV tire on the RZR XP 1000 and 900.
GBC Motorsports revolutionized the high-performance UTV tire market back in 2013 with the release of the Kanati Mongrel. It was designed to meet the needs of side-by-side drivers that were using off-road truck tires in search of better performance in dry conditions. The Mongrel featured the type of tread design that drivers were looking for from truck tires in a lighter weight design to meet the performance demands of side-by sides.
The tire’s impact was immediately felt in the racing world with the Mongrel sweeping the 2013 King of the Hammers podium, and the only tires to finish the event. They have also captured wins in Baja, the WORCS Series, and numerous short course events. The Mongrel’s success has led to other companies releasing similar designs adding to the tire’s revolutionary status.
Sizes and Construction
The Mongrels feature 8-ply, radial construction. Their tread pattern is very similar to the DOT-approved Kanati, Mud Hog, truck tire. Compared to an intermediate-to-soft terrain UTV tire like GBC’s Dirt Commander, the Mongrel features shorter, more closely spaced knobs putting the maximum amount of rubber on the ground. The angled tread helps promote clean out when needed.
GBC’s Mongrel is currently available in sizes to fit most side-by-sides and ATVs. They are available in sizes between 16×10-12 and 32×10-15, available August 2016.
Over the past year, CT Racing Engine’s owne, Allen Knowles, has put hundreds of miles on Mongrel tires; 30×10-14s on our Buck Racing RZR 1000 Project, and 28×10-14s on our RZR 900 Desert Touring Project. While you might expect an 8-ply tire to have a stiff sidewall, the Mongrel’s sidewalls offer a good amount of flex. This aids in traction and ride quality but requires you to run a higher tire pressure than you might expect. GBC’s Kory Ellis tells us that some desert racers run as much as 25 pounds of pressure. Allen runs between 17 and 18 pounds front and 18 and 20 pounds rear, as he discovered that running less allows too much sidewall flex resulting in the car framing out on big g-outs and jump landings. While it sounds like a lot, remember, these are 100hp, 1,500-pound cars, not 50hp 700-pound ATVs.
Properly pressured up, the Mongrels were put to the test in the hard-packed dirt, mild mud, and lava rocks of the Sierra Mountains, the dunes of Glamis and Dumont, and desert trails all over Southern California. As expected, the Mongrels excel in hard-packed dirt. Their higher operating pressure, smooth rolling, shorter lugged tread, help your machine make the most of its available horsepower on acceleration while providing a smooth, virtually vibration-free ride. Directional control is excellent and the rear tires provide a great balance between traction for cornering hooked up, and a willingness to slide on demand making them a very viable choice for desert drivers and short course racers alike.
At first, Allen was hesitant traversing rocky sections, but has since learned that he can attack them with reckless abandon while traveling in a straight line. It’s possible to cut a sidewall on any tire, so Allen stays away from drifting in rocky sections. Properly inflated, the Mongrels have delivered superb durability.
Surprisingly, the Mongrels are a very capable tire in the sand dunes. If you want one tire that can go from the desert, to the mountains, to the dunes, the Mongrel really delivers. They fall a bit short of a paddle tire when taking off on the face of a steep incline; however, for dune cruising, they will take you virtually anywhere you want to go. While wider-spaced, lugged tires designed to clean out mud tend to bury themselves in the sand, the Mongrel’s sidewall flex and closely-spaced knobs allow them to more easily get on top of the sand and go.
Of course, if you live in one of the growing number of areas that allow UTVs to be legally operated on public streets, the DOT-approved Mongrel is the ultimate dual sport tire that can take you from the garage to the trailhead and beyond.
If wet, clay-based, muddy trails are your thing, then the Mongrels are not for you. The tread depth is too short and too closely spaced for that environment. You’d be better off looking at a tire like GBC’s Dirt Commander for those conditions.
If drier conditions are your thing, then the Mongrel is a superbly capable and durable tire choice. They excel in everything, whether the ground is as hard as rock, or as soft as sand. Their performance and longevity make them an excellent choice for racers and recreational drivers alike.
With such a wide range of sizes and their low rolling resistance, they’re also at home on smaller displacement UTVs. Don’t forget, if you haul your UTV to the trailhead like most of us, there’s a Kanati tire for your truck as well.
Manufacturer: GBC Motorsports
Product: Kanati Mongrel
Price: See Dealer
GBC Kanati Mongrel, Rating
Summary: If drier conditions are your thing, then the Mongrel is a superbly capable and durable tire choice. They excel in everything, whether the ground is as hard as rock, or as soft as sand. Their performance and longevity make them an excellent choice for racers and recreational drivers alike.