When you're a leader in your field, people expect more of you. And when your name is BFG, expectations become dizzying. For the past year or more, rumors have been circulating that BFGoodrich had a new mud-terrain tire waiting in the wings that was going to set a new benchmark for the off-road industry. And similar to four-wheelers everywhere, we've been waiting to take a look at this latest creation and get it out in the rocks and mud to see what it's made of.
Finally, the Mud-Terrain T/AKM has arrived.
When it comes to BFG tires, the first thing people always ask is what, if anything, the mysterious initials on the sidewall stand for. So here's a quick primer: T/A stands for Traction Advantage. KM stands for Key feature Mud. And that, more than anything else, tells you exactly what the engineers at BFG were thinking about when they designed this tire: giving four-wheelers traction in off-road settings that defy lesser rubber.
Featuring the same rubber compound as that which is used in the T/AKO, the advantages of the new KM are largely founded in the physical design of the tire. Compared to the previous-generation Mud-Terrain, the footprint of the KM is larger and more rectangular to provide more surface area, and hence better traction, when the tire is aired down. The interlocking tread elements have also been re-oriented to offer better performance in rockcrawling situations.
Adding to this is a new innovation that BFG has coined DiggerLugz: those large, aggressive-looking shoulder blocks that are designed to provide better grip in mud, rock, and sand.
Many of the elements from current BFG designs have also been incorporated in the new KM, notably the built-in rim protector and the three-ply polyester carcass that has held up so well under hard off-road use.
We recently had the opportunity to join BFGoodrich in the middle of the Nevada desert to take a handful of Jeep TJs, all shod with the new KM, and run them through mud bogs, rocky canyons, and slippery shale hillsides. And we have to say that not once did we have to turn around and go back due to equipment problems. The tires performed exceptionally well on the rocks with virtually no slippage on the steep, off-camber sections.
The Mud-Terrain T/AKM is available in 25 sizes, including 15-, 16-, 17-, and 18-inch wheel sizes. According to Scott Dishman, the marketing manager for BFG Tires, additional sizes that are even taller and wider will be forthcoming within the next year.
Mud-Terrain T/AKM Tires SizesLT215/75R15CLT235/75R15CLT325/60R15CLT225/75R16DLT235/70R16CLT235/85R16ELT245/75R16ELT255/70R16DLT255/85R16DLT265/75R16DLT285/75R16DLT305/70R16DLT315/75R16DLT285/70R17D30x9.50R15LT/C31x10.50R15LT/C32x11.50R15LT/C33x10.50R15LT/C33x12.50R15LT/C35x12.50R15LT/C33x12.50R16.5LT/D35x12.50R16.5LT/D35x12.50R17LT/D37x12.50R17LT/D35x12.50R18LT/D