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Product Road Test: Hankook Dynapro RF10 All-Terrain Tires

Finding the right balance between street and dirt

Melissa Spiering
Oct 24, 2007
Photo 2/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra And Jeep Wrangler
I was invited to see these tires in action on some of California's most challenging trails and twisty highways in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear Lake. We staged up early at the Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn, where we were treated to a wonderful breakfast before we hit the trails and pavement. Our test fleet included a 2006 Nissan Xterra 4x4 and a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited equipped with Hankook RF10 All-Terrain Tires. I was excited to see the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I've taken Truck Trend's long-term Wrangler out on a few adventures on its stock tires, which gave me a base to judge how these new RF10s would handle.
Photo 3/22   |   From Left to Right: Mike Manges, Senior Editor of Modern Tire Dealer; Malcolm Buckeridge, Don Alexander, and Melissa Spiering.
We were in good hands for this trip. Our team was led by Don Alexander, who has quite the history as a respected test driver, writer, and racer. He holds the title for driving the world's fastest pickup truck at Bonneville in 2002, hitting 222.139 mph in the Gale Banks Sidewinder -- a Dodge Dakota with a 5.9-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine. Alexander lives to drive and has hit nearly all the trails in the San Bernardino Mountains and then some. Also on board was Malcolm Buckeridge who works with Don on creating a local off-road TV show and off-roading school.
Photo 4/22   |   hankook Test Drive RF10 Tires
Don and Malcolm started the trip by explaining their thoughts about these new tires. Our first run was a quick jaunt down the back side of the mountain on highway 18. I rode shotgun with Don in the Nissan Xterra as he whipped around the corners to show how the tires had the sticking ability to get around tight turns at average speeds. The RF10s performed as promised, with less noise than other all-terrain tires I've ridden on. I was impressed with the lack of humming on the highway. We switched seats once we reached the base of the mountain, and I worked my way back up the highway feeling the road in much the same way as before; once again the tires stuck to the road as a performance tire should.
Photo 5/22   |   hankook Test Drive RF10 Tires
According to Hankook representatives on our trip, the RF10s were designed to make daily on-road driving and off-roading more comfortable without compromising performance from either platform. I was impressed with the sticky grip of these tires as we ran up and down the highway. I've driven this highway more times than I can count. As an avid driver, my personal vehicle is setup with high-performance tires to handle these same curvy roads. I've also driven here in several different makes of SUVs. I was surprised that the RF10s felt as sporty as they did on the Xterra and Wrangler. I was able to take the corners and curves with ease, which I find harder to do in the other SUVs I've driven on this road.
The Dynapro RF10 ATs feature an all-new tread design with a seven-to-eight-percent-wider footprint over conventional all-terrains. This new tread involves an aggressive tiger-tooth pattern with deep wave kerfs to reduce heat, extend the tread life, and increase performance on wet roads. Another gripping additive is to the tread-block edge that features a zigzag cut that provides more grip in wet, icy, and dry conditions. Between the tread blocks, tiered side grooves provide less movement of the tread block for increase performance and safer cornering. The tiered side grooves also act as stone ejectors. Their step-like shape more easily expels rocks from the grooves to protect the tire and prevent damage without lost of traction. Scallop grooves between the tread blocks increase off-road traction with this new patent-pending design. The outer tread blocks also have angled side grooves on the exposed side just above the sidewall teeth, which enhance wet traction with a self-cleaning ability that easily pushes mud away.
Photo 6/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra
The RF10s sidewalls have a thick, rugged, wraparound tread whose chunky teeth protect against punctures, cuts, and impact brakes while providing better traction on trails and in mud and snow. A larger rim cushion helps protect wheels from curb or rock damage. It also protects the redesigned sidewall from separation that might occur with low tire pressure. The sidewall of the tire is composed of a thicker-gauge rubber. When tire pressures are low, the thicker sidewall helps prevent the tire from folding and retains an almost full shape for even heat distribution and less wear.
Photo 7/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra
We turned off the main road to air-down the tires to 19 psi. I jumped into the Jeep with Malcolm as my copilot. We continued for a few minutes down a tame dirt road on the mountainside, with Malcolm guiding me over our first set of rocky terrain. It wasn't difficult, but I was still wet behind the ears in off-roading. I soaked up anything he told me. The tires' sticky handling was apparent as we crept over the rocks. There was a strong, secure feeling of control that was missing the time I took our long-term Jeep off-roading.
Photo 8/22   |   hankook Test Drive jeep Wrangler
As we dug deeper down the hillside, we came to a gnarly rock climb. I got out of the Jeep to watch as the Nissan Xterra climbed over the sharp rocks down narrow path. It was amazing to see the RF10s grip onto the rock like pouring water, then getting sucked back up as the wheel continued to turn. The rubber flexed and turned over each rock almost effortlessly. Back in the Jeep, I worked my way down the path as Malcolm guided me ahead. Watching his hands for signals, I squeezed the Jeep down the path. We got through the rough part and made our way to a turnoff for lunch.
Photo 9/22   |   hankook Test Drive jeep Wrangler
After the break, I switched vehicles and was once more in the Nissan with Don. We went up the same trail we descended for a different view of the road and for the performance of the RF10s. The trail back looked a lot more dicey, but the tires easily gripped and got us up the mountainside. Back on the narrow path, Don stepped out to guide me through the rock, but this time he had me focus on a new climb. Toward the end of the path lay a huge boulder. I crept up to it slowly and, as my front left tire easily caught the rock, I centered the wheel on the top. I jumped out of the driver's seat once more to check the twisted body and suspension of what I knew was the Nissan -- but with all dramatic turns and the uneven stance of the wheels that made it less recognizable.
Photo 10/22   |   Click above to view chart
With that trail behind us and plenty of time to spare, Don took us on a second path. Little did he and his team realize, but most of that trail was washed out from rains earlier that month. We went ahead anyway and worked our way around and through some sticky conditions. This trail wasn't as rocky as the first one, but it still presented obstacles that really put the RF10s to work.
When we were over the trail, Don told me I have great throttle and braking control for someone who's never climbed rocks before. It was really the great coaching and performance from the RF10s that made me look like a pro. Make that a pro rock climber trapped in a speed-freak's body.

Photo 11/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra
Photo 12/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra

Photo 13/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra
Photo 14/22   |   hankook Test Drive jeep Wrangler

Photo 15/22   |   hankook Test Drive jeep Wrangler
Photo 16/22   |   hankook Test Drive jeep Wrangler

Photo 17/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra
Photo 18/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra

Photo 19/22   |   hankook Test Drive jeep Wrangler
Photo 20/22   |   hankook Test Drive jeep Wrangler

Photo 21/22   |   hankook Test Drive jeep Wrangler
Photo 22/22   |   hankook Test Drive nissan Xterra
Application Chart

Application Chart(LT-Metric)
S-Code Size Ply Rating LI & S/S Application
2001372 LT235/75R15 6 104/101R Most Pickups & SUVs (97-05)
2001373 LT265/70R16 8 117/114R Dodge Dakota Pickup(06), Mitsubishi Raider(06)
2001403 LT305/70R16 10 124/121R Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001375 LT225/75R16 10 115/112S Most Pickups & SUVs(97-07)
2001376 LT245/75R16 10 120/116S Most Pickups & SUVs(97-07)
2001312 LT265/75R16 10 123/120R Chevy Silverado Pickup(05-07), Ford Excursion(00-05) /F250(03-04)/F350(99-04), GMC Sierra Pickup(06-07)
2001378 LT285/75R16 10 126/123R Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001404 LT315/75R16 8 121R Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001380 LT215/85R16 10 115/112R Chevy Silverado Pickup(03-07), Dodge Ram Pickup(97-99), Ford F350(97-03), GMC Sierra Pickup(03-07)
2001381 LT235/85R16 10 120/116R Dodge Ram Pickup(00-02), Ford F250(97-04)/F350(97-04)
2001382 LT245/70R17 10 119/116R Dodge Ram Pickup(03-07), Ford F150(04-07)
2001383 LT265/70R17 10 121/118S Dodge Ram Pickup(03-07), Ford F150(02-03)/ F250(05-07)/F350(06-07)
2001405 LT285/70R17 10 126/123S Dodge Ram Power Wagon(05-07)
TBD LT295/70R17 10 121/118R Lift up : Pickups & SUVs
2001402 LT315/70R17 8 121/118R Hummer H2(03-07)
2001386 LT245/75R17 10 121/118S Ford F250(05-07)/ F350(05-07)
2001387 LT235/80R17 10 120/117R Dodge Ram Pickup(03-07)
2001427 LT325/60R18 10 124/121S Lift up : Pickups & SUVs
2001406 LT275/65R18 10 123/120S Ford F150(04-05)/F250(05-07)/ F350(05-07)
2001418 LT285/65R18 8 121/118S Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001428 LT325/65R18 10 127/124S Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001419 LT275/70R18 10 125/122S Ford F250(05-07)/F350(05-07), Dodge Ram1500(00-01,05)
2001432 LT285/55R20 10 122S Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001433 LT305/55R20 10 121/118S Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001429 LT325/60R20 10 126/123S Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001431 LT275/65R20 10 126/123S Ford F250(05-07)/F350(05-06)
2001430 LT325/50R22 10 122S Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
2001369 30X9.50R15 6 104R Jeep Wrangler(97-06)
2001370 31X10.50R15 6 109R Chevy Blazer(97-03)/S-10(97-03), Dodge Dakota(97-00),Ford Ranger(02-05), GMC Jimmy(97-02)/Sonoma(97-01), Toyota Tacoma(99)
2001371 33x12.50R15 6 108R Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs

Application Chart(P-Metric)
S-Code Size LI & S/S Application
1008665 P255/65R16 106T Dodge Dakota Pickup(01-07), Nissan Frontier Pickup(00-03), Nissan Pathfinder(00-04)
1008666 P225/70R16 101T Jeep Cherokee(00-01), Wrangler Sahara(99-03),Toyota Highlander(01-07)
1008717 P235/70R16 XL 107T Ford Explorer(02-07), Ford F150(98-04), Ford E150(04-06), Mazda Tribute (01-06), Jeep Liberty(02-05)
1008668 P245/70R16 106T Dodge Dakota Pickup(03-07), Dodge Durango(03), Ford Explorer(02), Isuzu Rodeo(99-03), Jeep Grand Cherokee(99-00),Toyota Tundra(01-06)
1008669 P255/70R16 109T Ford Expedition(98-02)/Explorer(98-05)/F150(98-03), Mitsubishi Montero(00-04)
1009326 P265/70R16 111T Chevy SUV&Pickup, Dodge Pickup, Ford F150(02-03), GMC Yukon(98-06), Nissan Pickup & SUV, Toyota Pickup & SUV
1008718 P225/75R16 XL 106T Jeep Grand Cherokee(99-04)/Liberty(05-07)/Wrangler(07), Isuzu Rodeo(00-04), Dodge Pickup(98-01)
1008719 P235/75R16 XL 109T Chevy Express(03-06)/Pickup(99-07)/Savana(03-06), GMC Sierra Pickup(99-07)
1008672 P245/75R16 109T Chevy, Dodge, GMC Pickup, Jeep Wrangler(07), Toyota Tacoma(05-07)
1008708 P265/75R16 114T Chevy Silverado Pickup(04), GMC Sierra (04), Nissan Frontier(05-07)/Pathfinder(05-07)/Xterra(05-07)
1008720 P235/65R17 103T Jeep Grand Cherokee(01-07)
1008673 P245/65R17 105T Ford Explorer(03-07), GMC Envoy(02-07), Honda Ridgeline(06-07), Jeep Grand Cherokee(05-07), Mercury Mountaineer(03-07), Nissan Pathfinder(02-04)
1008674 P255/65R17 108T Ford F150(04-07)
1008675 P265/65R17 110T Dodge Dakota Pickup(05-06)/Durango(04-07), Nissan Frontier(02-07)/Pathfinder(05-07)/Xterra(02-07), Toyota 4Runner(03-07)/Tacoma(05-07)/Tundra(04-06)
1008676 P245/70R17 108T Chevy Silverado Pickup(05-07), Dodge Durango(04-07)/Ram Pickup(02-07), GMC Sierra Pickup(05-07)
1008677 P255/70R17 110T Ford F150(04-07)
1008678 P265/70R17 113T Chevy Avalanche/Silverado/Suburban/Tahoe(01-07), Dodge Ram(02-07), Ford Expedition/F150(01-07), GMC Sierra Pickup/Yukon(01-07), Toyota FJ Cruiser(07)
1009328 P235/75R17 108T Ford F150(04-07)
TBD P245/75R17 110T Nissan Titan(04-07)
TBD P255/75R17 113T Jeep Wrangler(07), Lincoln Navigator 4x4(00-02)
1008681 P265/60R18 109T Dodge Dakota Pickup(07)/Durango(06-07), Ford F150(04-07), Lincoln Mark LT(06-07), Toyota 4Runner(06-07)
TBD P265/65R18 112T GMC Avalanche(07)/Tahoe(07)/Yukon(07)
1009329 P275/65R18 114T Ford F150(04-07), Lincoln Mark LT(06-07)
TBD P255/70R18 112T Ford Expedition(07), Toyota Tundra(07)
1009330 P265/70R18 114T Nissan Pathfinder(04-07)/Titan(04-07)
1009331 305/50R20 XL 120T Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs
1009332 275/55R20 XL 117T Chevy Avalanche/Silverado/Suburban/Tahoe(05-07), Dodge Pickup(02-04), Ford F150(06-07), GMC Sierra(06-07), Toyota Tundra(07), Lincoln Mark LT(06-07)
1009333 P275/60R20 114T Dodge Ram Pickup(02-07)
1009334 305/45R22 XL 118T Lift up : most Pickups & SUVs



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