ONTARIO, Calif. - Wheel and tire manufacturer ITP is entering the sand tire market for the first time ever.
An established player in the dirt and mud, the company is now interested in a little beach blanket banzai for the ATV business.
"We've wanted to be in this market for a couple years, but we wanted to be unique and different," says ITP sales manager Craig Peterson. "These tires are our unique-and-different entry."
Here's The Scoop
You don't need to look hard to see why these tires are unlike others of their kind. The bright yellow Sand Star logo on the tires' sidewall is a beacon among black rubber, while the ITP brand name molded into the tires' surface is cool for the sake of being cool, says Peterson.
The innovation becomes apparent when noticing that the eight 30mm-tall main paddles on the rear tire are accompanied by eight smaller 25mm-tall "mini scoops."
"We added a lot of bite and traction without increasing the weight," explains Peterson.
"The key to making a better sand tire than our competition," he continues, "was keeping the carcass lightweight and flexible." The combination of flex and staggered scoops is said to provide more effective hookup and acceleration than competing tires.
The front tire is unique because it is encircled by a pair of ribs instead of the industry standard's single rib. Increased steering control is the claimed result.
Front Sand Stars are available in 21X7/10 and 22X8-10, while rears come in sizes 20X11-8, 20X11-10 and 22X11-10, the first open-class 22-inch molded tire available. Both designs are patent pending, notes Peterson about the intention of keeping these tires unique.
Being a tire and wheel manufacturer also allows ITP to offer something no one else can - a Sand Star tire pre-mounted to either a T-9 Pro Series or C-Series wheel. "All the dealer has to do is bolt them on the ATV," says Peterson.
The wheel/tire combo also provides dealers with a low-cost, low-effort advertising gimmick. "The best way to market ATV tires is to put them on a showroom model and keep them there during the sand season. It's a silent salesman. One machine sitting on the showroom floor will sell more product than two or three parts guys put together. Resourceful dealers may even mount a C-Series combo on one side and a Pro Series on the other," says Peterson.
With Parts Unlimited dedicating two and a half pages to ITP tires and Tucker Rocky reps already writing orders by the hundreds for the tire/wheel combos after seeing them at the QuadBoss Retreat, it seems as if ITP may be ready to kick sand back at the beach bullies.