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Oversize Tire Testing - BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

Reinventing A Legend

Jan 22, 2015
Photographers: Jason Gonderman
Choosing The Right Off-Road Rubber
 If there were one thing that connects all of us together, other than our love of pickups, it would be tires. It doesn’t matter what emblem is on the grille, every vehicle on the road is rolling down it on a set of round black rubber. Purchasing a new set can be a completely overwhelming experience for many, since the market is full of a seemingly never-ending abundance of choices. So with that in mind, we picked up six of the newest and most popular off-road tires available right now, in different types and sizes, and bolted them on to a fleet of different trucks in an effort to help you make a more informed decision.
Why off-road tires you ask? Simple: Big meaty tires are the “in” thing right now. Trucks are being built bigger and are coming with seemingly larger tires from the factory than ever before. Add in the fact that most ½-ton and larger trucks can fit a 35-inch diameter tire with as little as a leveling kit and you’ve got the perfect storm brewing. Whether a truck owner waits until their tires are worn out to replace them or does it right away, odds are good that slightly larger and more aggressive rolling stock will be taking their place.
With the slew of new tires delivered, we loaded up the trucks and headed to the America’s Tire (known as Discount Tire to all of you outside of California) on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California. The crew always does a fantastic, quick, and professional job whenever we have tires that need mounting.
For our testing, we used a blend of all-terrain, mud-terrain, and hybrid tires. Each brand is represented one time, but it’s worth noting that most carry a complete line up of styles and sizes. So if you like what a brand offers in their mud-terrain but would prefer an all-terrain version in a different size, odds are in your favor that they have a model just for you. And while this list is nowhere near comprehensive, it should serve as a primer to get the thoughts flowing when the time for new tires arises.
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
The all-terrain tire category is filled with many excellent choices, but there’s always been one option that has stood out from the rest of the crowd. Introduced nearly 40 years ago, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A was the first of its kind, and over the years it has become a living legend of sorts. So it should come as no surprise that when the good folks at BFG embarked upon the monumental undertaking of redesigning this iconic off-road tire, it wasn’t a chore that was taken lightly.
When the engineers began work on the fourth-generation all-terrain, only one thing was certain: Their new creation needed to improve on every aspect that the outgoing tire already excelled in. They started with the sidewalls, utilizing the company’s CoreGard technology that was developed in the Baja T/A KR2 race tire. The new split- and bruise-resistant sidewall rubber was paired with thicker extended shoulder lugs in an effort to prevent sidewall failures. As a result, the KO2’s sidewall is 20 percent stronger than the previous generation.
Photo 5/7   |   Bfg Allterrain Ko2 Tire
They didn’t stop at just improving the sidewall. The KO2 has a new tread design and rubber formulation that helps the tire last twice as long on gravel and 15 percent longer on asphalt than the outgoing model. The new footprint shape and interlocking tread design helps to provide more even wear patterns, while special stone ejectors push objects out of the tread to prevent them from drilling into the tire.
All of the advancements would mean nothing if the tire didn’t perform, and perform it does. In BFG’s testing, they found that the new KO2 improves on the outgoing tire’s legendary performance by providing 10 percent greater traction in mud and 19 percent more in snow. The KO2 will also carry the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol across the entire lineup, indicating that it exceeds the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s severe snow traction requirements.
Photo 6/7   |   Bfg Allterrain Ko2 Tire Tread
We recently had a chance to give the new BFG A-T a go across some of the toughest terrain the Baja peninsula had offer. Saddled to a fleet of Ford F-150 Raptors, we pushed the tires through rocks, sand, silt, mud, and every combination thereof. Not once did they leave us wishing for more traction. In fact, they kind of took the fun out of power slides by providing almost too much bite. Over the course of two days, we traversed over 200 miles of desert (with not one flat tire), and at the end of the trip, the tires still looked brand new.
Overall, we feel that BFGoodrich has hit it out of the park once again, and we can’t wait to get back out on a set of KO2s.
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
Size Tested: 35x12.5R17
Type: Radial
Load Range: E
Maximum Load (Lb @ Psi): 3,195 @ 65
Sidewall Plies: 2-ply polyester with CoreGard technology
Tread Plies: 3 polyester, 2 steel, 1 nylon
Approved Rim Width (In): 8.5-11
Tread Depth (In): 15/32
Section Width (In): 12.5
Overall Diameter (In): 34.5
Revolutions Per Mile: 602
Weight (Lb): 68
Test Vehicle: ’14 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Photo 7/7   |   Ford Raptor Power Slide


Discount Tire



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