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The Biggest Tire on Stock Honda Rancher 420? – Everything You Need To Know

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One of the first things that people do when they buy a new Honda Rancher 420 is put new, bigger, and more aggressive tires.

Bigger tires will increase your Rancher’s ground clearance by ½ inch for every inch of tire you add, increase traction, and make your Rancher 420 look so much better. But what is the biggest tire on a stock Honda Rancher 420 that you can fit without rubbing? 

The biggest tires that you can confidently put on a stock Honda Rancher 420 without rubbing are 27”. However, there are cases where people managed to fit even bigger tires on their Rancher 420 with little to no rubbing.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know in order to help you fit the biggest tires on your stock Honda Rancher 420.

Biggest Tires on Stock Honda Rancher 420

There are a bunch of cases where people managed to put 28” tires on a brand new Rancher 420, but it might not be possible on older Ranchers due to worn shocks which make the body sag down a little bit. 

When it comes to putting really big tires on ATVs, every inch counts. A slight sag in the suspension in combination with tires that aren’t true to size, or high/low tire air pressure can be the difference between rubbing or not. But as long as you don’t go overboard with 28” and bigger tires, then you should be completely fine. 

As for tire width, your best bet is to choose close to the Rancher’s stock width, because it gives a great balance between front-wheel maneuverability and rear-wheel traction and floatation. Most Honda Rancher 420 owners go with 9” front and 11” rear. 

What’s The Best Size Tire for a Honda Rancher 420?

Now, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to tires. Sure, bigger tires will give you more ground clearance and they look great, but they also have some drawbacks.

First of all, bigger tires are heavier, which means that they will put more strain on your Honda Rancher 420’s engine, and they will also make the ATV slower. Not only that, but they will also put more strain on the CV joints, gearbox, and differentials, which can lead to premature wear and tear.

Another thing to keep in mind is that bigger tires will make your Honda Rancher 420 more difficult to maneuver and steer, especially when you’re riding at slow speeds.

So, what is the best size tire for Honda Rancher 420?

In our experience, we found that the best size tire for the Honda Rancher 420 is a 26×9-12 for the front and 26×10-12 for the rear. This combination will give you more ground clearance, without making the ATV too difficult to maneuver, or robbing the engine of too much power.

If you want to go with a bigger tire, then we recommend going with 27×9-12 for the front and 27×11-12 for the rear, but this is the biggest tire that we would recommend without turning your Honda Rancher 420 into a tractor.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the rear wheels on the Rancher 420 are 11″.

The problem with that is, that 11″ wheels are super uncommon and you will have a very tough time finding tires that fit 11″ rims. They’re so uncommon, that most popular ATV tires will simply not be available.

Luckily, you can get a set of used or new Honda Foreman 500 wheels, as both the front and rear are 12″ and will fit the Rancher 420 without any modifications. Furthermore, this is the perfect excuse to buy brand new aftermarket rims if you’re into that.

Otherwise, you can go with the most popular (and maybe even the best) tires for the Rancher 420 overall – Maxxis Zillas, which are available for the 11″ rear rims.

You can easily find them on Amazon and won’t have to buy new 12″ rims. The best part is that they grip really well on all surfaces, while also being pretty comfortable and predictable at higher speeds.

For more recommendations, check out our article on The Best Tires for Honda Rancher 420

Things You Need To Know Before Putting on Bigger Tires on Honda Rancher 420

While the Honda Rancher 420 is a pretty powerful ATV, putting on bigger tires than stock will rob the engine of some low-end torque and power

This happens because bigger tires are heavier and have a larger rotating mass. With bigger tires, your Rancher’s engine will have to work harder to get the wheels rolling. This becomes really apparent when you encounter deep mud and the ATV starts to struggle to spin the tires in thick mud. 

Now, a foot-shift or ES Rancher 420 will easily handle 26” tires due to its lower gearing, but the ATs are geared so high, that I wouldn’t recommend tires bigger than 25”. 

Lastly, bigger tires with really aggressive and large lugs put more strain on your Rancher’s transmission, front differential, and rear differential. Now, it doesn’t matter too much if you’re riding normally and your tires are reasonably sized (up to 27”), but if you go balls to the wall on the trails with really big tires, then you will significantly increase wear on your ATVs angle gear, pinion gear, axles, clutch, etc. These components are simply not designed to withstand such stress long term. 

Okay, but is there a way to prevent all of that? Yes! You need to reduce your Rancher’s gearing. You probably won’t need a gear reduction on a foot shift and ES Rancher with 27” tires, but bigger tires than that require gear reduction if you want to spin your tires on deep mud.

How To Put Even Bigger Tires on Your Honda Rancher 420

Let’s start with the obvious first – clearance. We know that any year Honda Rancher 420 can run 27” tires without rubbing, but for 28” and up, you will very likely end up with clearance issues. 

Now, this depends on the specific tires that you have, but the first parts that start to rub are the lower parts of the fender flares. You can trim the front fender flares, or you can use a heat gun to make the plastic softer and mold it away from the tires. 

The rear fender flares can also be trimmed or molded with a heat gun, but the best way is to use a swingarm stretch. These can be custom-made if you search around ATV forums. The best part about them is that you won’t need to trim your fender flares. 

If that is not enough, you can get a 2” lift kit and/or reduce the tire pressure for extra room. A lift kit higher than 2” is not worth it, since it will put the CV axles at an awkward angle and significantly increase their wear. 

Lastly, if you run 28” tires or 27” with very aggressive lugs on a foot-shift or electric shift, then you need a gear reduction kit. It sucks, but the Honda Rancher 420 is not powerful enough to spin tires that are THAT aggressive. As far as the Rancher 420 AT goes, a gear reduction is necessary for tires 26″ and over.

Final Thoughts 

New, bigger, and more aggressive tires are definitely the best mod that you can do to your Honda Rancher 420, but it has to be done right if you don’t want to face unexpected problems and additional expenses

Honda Rancher 420 should fit 27” tires on stock rims without much trouble spinning them, but the AT version will start to struggle with 26” due to its high gearing. 

With that said, you can always reduce the gearing of your Honda Rancher 420 to recover the lost low-end torque at the cost of top speed. While it’s expensive to do so, it will save your ATVs transmission, clutch, differential, and axles in the long run. 

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4 thoughts on “The Biggest Tire on Stock Honda Rancher 420? – Everything You Need To Know”

  1. Where it says “Lastly, if you run 28” tires or 27” with very aggressive lugs on a foot-shift or electric shift, then you need a gear reduction kit.”, what is like the level of aggressiveness? Would you consider something like the itp cryptids “Very aggressive” on a foot shift? I would love to hear back from you soon!

    1. Hi Weston!

      Yes, ITP Cryptids are what I’d consider very aggressive, and I am pretty sure that you’ll need a gear reduction kit for those. There is a chance that you might not need a gear reduction kit, but the only way to know for sure is to try riding with them and see what happens with the power.

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