Published on November 13th, 2019 | by Joe
GBC, Grim Reaper SXS Tire Test Review :WITH VIDEO
GBC, Grim Reaper Tire Rating
Summary: The widely spaced tread makes the Grim Reaper is a capable, all terrain tire that trades in a little forward grip and wear on slick, hard surfaces for enhanced traction in softer, wetter terrain. They’re also a good knobby tire option for the sand. Overall, they’re an ideal, trail tire during wetter Fall months, or for those who typically drive in intermediate to softer terrain.
6 Month Test
GBC, Grim Reaper SXS Tire Test
GBC offers a number of multi-condition SXS and 4×4 ATV tires. The Grim Reaper is claimed to offer good all-around performance, but appears best outfitted for dealing with softer, gnarlier terrain.
To evaluate their performance, we headed to Haspin Acres Off-Road Park, located in Laurel, Indiana one of our favorite places to test due to its incredibly diverse conditions from dry hardpack, to rocks, sand, and mud holes that seem to never dry. We utilized the extremely popular, naturally aspirated Polaris RZR XP 1000, allowing us to evaluate the tires’ performance and weight with a good handling, well-suspended SXS that’s somewhere in the middle of the horsepower range.
Grim Reapers feature a deep skeletal tread design, dimpled for additional bite. The tall tread design wraps around the side of the tires to provide maximum traction from all angles, beneficial in deep ruts. The rounded shoulder knobs are also said to improve stability in tight turns. The Grim Reaper’s 8-ply radial construction is said to offer superior puncture resistance while providing a smoother ride over rough terrain.
Moving up from the 29” stock tires, we opted to test 30×10-14” Grim Reapers all the way around, allowing us to switch the tires front to rear in the case of a flat and to extend tread life. A directional tread pattern prevents you from rotating direction without impacting performance. Running a narrower rear tire than stock helps to loosen up the car a bit for power slides while their reduced weight improves suspension performance. Weighing many different sxs tires on the market, tire retailer planetsxs.com says the tire weighs in at 36lbs, which is reasonably light for their size and construction. Claimed to be 30” tall, the Reapers are actually a couple inches taller than the half worn stock tires, adding a little more than 1” of ground clearance.
The GBC tires were mounted 14×7” No Limit, Deuce wheels. With cast aluminum construction and a modular design, they feature a rather wide offset of 3.5×3.5”, widening the car around 5.2” front and 4” rear. The added width should more than make up for any stability lost from running taller tires. No Limit offers color matching for most popular models and covers their wheels with a lifetime guarantee.
The RZRs electronic power steering systems did a good job of keeping steering effort and bump feedback very low with the wheel’s added offset.
We also installed an EPI Clutch Kit to help maintain acceleration, back shifting performance, and prevent unwanted belt slipping with the taller tires and added rotating mass.
We set tire pressure at 15lbs all-around for our slow to mid paced testing area. GBC recommends 16-18 lbs for aggressive driving at high speeds. We tested the Reapers during the dry, hard-packed summer months and on some rather wet, sloppy Fall trails. In dry, hard-packed conditions, the Grim Reapers provide a pretty smooth vibration free ride. Heading into the first big sweeping turn, the tires provided good directional control with a willingness to slide the back end predictably on command. Due to their aggressive design, the Reapers seem to use a slightly harder compound to extend life. Accelerating from lower speeds in dry hardpack, you can spin the rear tires rather easily in two-wheel drive. Accelerating in all, or four-wheel-drive, the tires provided decent hook up.
We climbed our way up and down some extremely chunky rocky sections of trail where the added ground clearance of the 30” Reapers allowed us to clear some obstacles our SXS would have framed out on with the shorter stock tires. The closer spaced center tread helped put more tire in contact with the rocks for grip, while their open tread did well, grabbing rock edges, propelling the car upward. Carefully picking our way through the rocks, we relied on the tire’s traction more than momentum to propel us forward and upward. While the Reapers worked well in chunky rocks, if you’re looking for a tire for slick rock, like in Moab, we’d recommend looking at GBC’s Terra Mater tires.
Reaching a sandy section, forward traction is abundant and well matched with very predictable cornering. Controlled slides are totally possible in four-wheel-drive. We think the Reapers could be a good, knobby tire option for the sand.
On wet, hard-packed summer trails, traction is available with a little momentum to help you along. As the moisture soaks in and the trail surface softens up, the Reapers really start to shine. They clean out with a blip of the throttle, digging in providing traction. They did well providing a balance of forward traction and good directional control when negotiating slick and highly uneven sections of trail. Side bite was predictable when we needed it.
We were able to tackle some wet, off camber, rutted climbs thanks to the Reaper’s good sidewall traction and a little aggressive driving.
Faced with mud holes, minimal common sense and no winch to bail us out, we’re happy to report that the Grim Reapers got us through without incident, pulling well in the soft mud for a trail tire.
It’s worth noting that while there are directional tires, we did try running the front tires in the opposite direction, which may gave offered a bit more front end bite cornering in hard conditions.
With proper clutch calibration, the XP 1000’s claimed 110hp had no issue dealing with the taller tires, or the combined added rotating mass of the tires and wheels.
With sizes ranging from 25-32” in height, we feel their stable handling, willingness to hook up or get loose, and ability to claw their way through mud, loose, or chunky terrain could make a set of appropriately sized Grim Reapers a viable choice for many smaller displacement side-by-sides as well.
The widely spaced tread makes the Grim Reaper is a capable, all terrain tire that trades in a little forward grip and wear on slick, hard surfaces for enhanced traction in softer, wetter terrain. They’re also a good knobby tire option for the sand. Overall, they’re an ideal, trail tire during wetter Fall months, or for those who typically drive in intermediate to softer terrain.
Learn more about the Grim Reaper tires and GBC’s full line of UTV, ATV, truck, and trailer tires at greenball.com
GBC, Grim Reaper Tires, 30×10-14 $See Dealer
No Limit Wheels, Deuce Wheels, 14″ $165.60 each
EPI Performance, RZR XP 1000 Oversize Tire Sport Utility Kit $339.99