Thanks all. The pics were taken at Barnwell Mountain in East Texas (http://www.barnwellmountainra.com/
). I've never been off-roading in an OHV, but a couple guys we ran into there helped spot us through the trails so it couldn't have been a nicer way to get introduced to it.
I traded in a Volvo C70 because I wanted something more convenient for hauling my 2 year old son around. I saw the commercials for the JGC and I was sold. I don't generally think I'm a sucker for marketing, but the whole patriotic/make-stuff angle hooked me. ;-)
I guess I should probably steer clear of lifts. It's probably more appropriate to think about getting a Mule like ATV for the real toy someday.
The 265/60R18 tire size is a bit hard to find the popular tires for. I'm guessing I could go for something like 265/70R18 on steel and get the modest lift (or at least maintain height if I air down a bit) without much issue? That way I can clear the brake rotors, and have a set of trail only tires (so I'm not messing with the speedo).
That seem like a good idea to you guys? Or should I really be looking at 17"?
As far as tire choice, I've been looking at the BFGoodrich AT KO, General Grabber AT2, and Firestone Destination AT. I'm pretty sure I want an AT and not a MT. I'll probably drive the tires to the trails, so decent/livable highway ride for a few hours would be a plus. Also the most mud I hit is really not much more than overgrown puddles, 20 or 30' across generally. True "muddin'" out in some farmer's field isn't really my cup o' tea.
The Grabbers look great, but they seem to get the lowest marks for durability/quality.
The BFG seem very popular. The tread seems a bit narrow. Looks a bit odd in pictures. It gets high marks though. Maybe it's one of those things that doesn't look right until you see it in person.
The Firestones look a bit better than the BFG (maybe not as good as the Grabbers), and seem to get high overall marks. The only real negatives on most reviews appear to be price, but all these tires are in the $120/140 range, so not enough to sway me.
I don't want to sound like it's all about the looks, but wow some of the pictures on this forum make you realize what a mean looking upgrade a set of purposeful tires can be. :-)
Guess bottom line I'd really like the Grabbers, but the stories about tread separation, bulging beads, bubbles in the sidewalls, etc just seem a lot more common than on the other brands. Enough to worry me a bit. Anyone got any advice?