My stock rims are 2 different widths but most aftermarket rims are all 4 the same width?
Example of 8 & 10 inch wide tires on 14x7 rims
Example of 9 & 11 inch wide tires on 14x6 front and 14x8 rear rims
Example of 10 inch wide tires on 7 inch wide rims
Example of an 11 inch wide tire on a 7 inch wide rim
One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers is about the width of rims on their ATV or UTV. When you buy our aftermarket rims they are almost always the same width on front and rear which causes some confusion because your OEM rims are 2 different widths. Almost any new ATV or UTV will come with skinnier rims on the front vs. the rears. For example, you would expect to see 12x6 or 14x6 wheels on the front and 12x8 or 14x8 rims on the rear of just about any machine from the factory. Which brings up another question we get all the time. When we tell people the stock rim sizes on their machine are 12x6 (or 14x6) fronts and 12x8 (or 14x8) rears they usually disagree with us because they look at their tire sizes and it makes them think their rims are wider than they actually are. When you read the tire sizes on your machine it would read something like this, 25x8-12 for the front and 25x10-12 for the rear. This makes many people think their front rims are 8 inches wide and their rear rims are 10 inches wide but that is not the case! Nowhere in the tire size does it tell you what width your rims are. When you read 25x8-12 on your tire you know that your tire is 25 inches tall and 8 inches wide and it's installed on a rim that is 12 inches in diameter. The width of your rim is still unknown without measuring it or taking our word for it. If your OEM front tires are 25x8-12 they are most likely mounted on 12x6 OEM rims. And the same goes for the rear, if your rear OEM tires say 25x10-12 they are most likely installed on 12x8 OEM rims. Typically your rims will be 1-2 inches skinnier than the width of your tires, sometimes more.
Now back to the original question... if my stock rims are 2 different widths can I buy aftermarket rims that are all 4 the same? And will they work with my current tires? The answer is YES! Just because your machine came stock with 2 different widths of rims does not mean that you have to keep that staggered fitment when you buy new rims. You can buy new rims that are all the same width like a 12x7 or a 14x7 and you can install tires on them that are all 4 the same or they can be different widths. A general rule of thumb is to try and keep your rims about 1-4 inches skinnier than the width of your tires. If you have 26x9-12 front tires and 26x11-12 rear tires you would want to find 12x7 front rims and 12x7 or 12x8 rear rims. Either would work just fine. The same goes for the 14 inch sizes. If you have 26x9-14 front and 26x11-14 rear tire sizes you would want to find 14x7 rims for all 4 or 14x7 fronts and 14x8 rears. As you shop for new rims you will find that most aftermarket rims are only offered in 7 inch widths. It's not as common to find aftermarket rims that are offered in 2 different widths. People get really hung up on this because it seems confusing but it really isn't if you follow the counsel we have given in this article. The bottom line is that if all 4 of your rims are the same, whether they be 12x7, 14x7, 15x7 and so on, you can install 8, 9, 10 or 11 inch wide tires on them. You can install 8 inch wide front tires and 10 inch wide rear tires if you want. You can install 9 inch wide front tires and 11 inch wide rear tires if you want. You could install 10 inch wide tires all the way around if you want. Your rims do not have to be different widths just because your tires may be different widths from front to rear.
Another thing to think about to help you understand this is that your tires must be wider than the rims for them to seat properly. Think about that for a second, if you were to install a tire that is 8 inches wide onto a rim that is also 8 inches wide you would have zero protection for your rim edge. The lip of your rim would be exposed so as you fly down the trail you could easily hit a rock or a stump and mess up your rim. Also, the tire would not seat properly and when you make a hard turn or hit a bump just right your tire could easily pop off the bead of the rim. But if your tire is wider than the rim by at least 1 inch (I prefer 2 when possible) than your tire is seated on the rim properly and has plenty of overhang on either side to help protect the rim edge and keep the tire in position where it belongs on the rim bead. If you are still struggling with this information and you want to discuss further please feel free to call or text us and we'd be happy to help clarify.