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Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Radial - Tire Review

Posted in How To on September 1, 2007
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Photographers: Kevin McNulty
The Baja Claw performs well in mud and thick, loose dirt due to its self-cleaning, high-void tread blocks. The directional, 23-degree tread pattern also helps funnel debris from the center out.

It fits into the mud-terrain tire category on most listings, but the Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Radial pretty much creates its own category of tire styles. It acts every bit of its name, clawing at and gripping surfaces without issue in a variety of driving conditions. Its self-cleaning, high-void tread enhances traction in mud and snow, and the unique Sidebiters not only promote sidewall-to-obstacle adhesion but also act as an extra puncture-resistant layer for the tire's most vulnerable area.

The Baja Claw Radial features a three-ply sidewall and six-ply tread for strength and puncture resistance. It offers a very flexible, 23-degree, directional tread pattern with an extra-wide footprint and circumferential grooves for hydroplane resistance. The soft tread works well on hard rock surfaces, easily conforming to obstacles - even when not aired down. Muddy and loose/slippery dirt conditions are also tackled with ease. We have heard that some users experience rapid wear under pavement daily-driving situations due to the softer compound, but we've yet to detect signs of advancing wear or even an excessive degree of road noise. Nonetheless, the effects of undue tire wear can typically be lessened through regular tire maintenance practices, including: routinely checking the air pressure; ensuring that the tires and wheels are properly balanced, rotated, and in alignment; and inspecting the suspension system for problems (bent leaf spring or hanger, blown shock, etc.) that could lead to irregular wear.

Additional styles of the Baja Claw are also offered. The nonradial version is available in 33- to 46-inch sizes and is polyester- and fiberglass-belted with a six-ply lower sidewall and cut-resistant compound. Another bias-belted version of the Baja Claw is the Competition Claw, which is offered in a 37x13.00-17LT size and is recommended for tough, off-road racing conditions that require a strong, impact-resistant tire.

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