Super Swamper M16 Off Road Tires On BTR Racing Wheels - Tire & Wheel SpecialPosted in How To on September 1, 2008
When Interco designed the SS-M16, it did so to meet the needs of the contemporary off-roader. Nowadays, off-roaders don't want to just crawl, just hit mud, or just go fast. They want do-all trucks and 4x4s that can handle a variety of situations.
But with a name like Swamper on the sides of the tires, you wouldn't expect to see them in the desert, nor would you expect for them to ever see 30,000 miles. Well, this new Swamper might just redefine all of that. It's Interco's new SS-M16 tire - a tire that Interco says will bridge the gap between its all-terrain and extreme mud-terrain tires. And after getting some use out of them for a couple weeks, we have to agree that Interco is right on the money. Interco's new SS-M16 features some tread lugs very reminiscent of a Bogger but with more filling tread and a lower void ratio that makes the tire home in other terrains besides deep mud. And yes, this does have a trendy sidewall tread pattern (which more than one tire seems to suffer from nowadays), but if we had to have a gimmicky tread lug, at least it's a bullet for an M16 machine gun.
The SS-M16's tread design somewhat resembles a toned-down and nondirectional version of a TSL/Bogger. But the SS-M16 has a couple more decades' worth of technology and experience incorporated into its design. First of all, the SS-M16 is a radial tire offering clearly superior on-road ability. And from the looks of things, this tire will offer you much more lateral traction than a Bogger - a tire known for walking sideways on off-camber trails. There are little siping lines in the tread blocks, but Interco was not generous with the siping gun, and we think wet-road traction could be improved by putting a few more cuts in those treads.
We mounted our SS-M16s on some BTR Racing wheels. But instead of using BTR's full-race beadlock, we went with its DOT-approved simulated beadlock wheel. Why? It's really just a matter of preference, but we prefer not having to constantly check beadlock bolts on a truck that gets driven every day. Besides the bead ring, the race or street BTR wheels are built identically in 15- or 17-inch versions with a counter-pressure aluminum casting. You can get the BTR wheels in polished, black, or satin finishes. Should you choose to go full race, BTR wheels come standard with forged aluminum beadlock rings and offer custom offsets to put that wheel and tire right where you need it to be under the body.
Make/Model: Interco Super Swamper M16
Size On Sidewall: 37x13.50R17
Load Range: E
Max Load: 4,050 lbs per tire
Tire Hardness: 56 on tire durometer
Tread Depth (In): 21/32
Number Of Plies In Sidewall: Three
Number Of Plies In Tread: 10
Weight Of Tire (Lbs): 78
Measured Diameter Unloaded (In): 36-3/4
Measured Width Unloaded (In): 13-1/2
Measured Tread Width (In): 11
Mounted On: 17x8 BTR Racing DOT-approved simulated beadlock wheels
Available Tire Heights (In): 33-37
Available Wheel Fitments: 15- to 24-inch-diameter wheels
During basic trail riding and blasting through washes, this tire holds its own with very little damage to any of the tread lugs. The SS-M16s also kept the truck in control, even at speeds that some tires would not let us feel comfortable going.
We had to double-check the sidewall to make sure that it read "Super Swamper." Talk about an improvement over some of Interco's older tire designs! There was no overnight flat-spotting with this tire, and it rolled more quietly than some popular all-terrains we've driven on. On top of that, the smaller tread blocks and more constant rolling surface adhered to the road and caused very little rolling resistance.
This tire really grabbed onto the granite blocks we were playing on. The smaller void spaces make us question how it would do in more extreme rocks. Based on the little experience we have, we'd guess that the SS-M16s will not perform as well in the rocks as some of its highway-awkward predecessors. We wish we could tell you how they worked in harsher rocks like those out in Arizona, but we just didn't have time to make it anywhere like that before story deadlines.
The SS-M16 performs well in a variety of conditions, including mud. These tires do feature a staggered shoulder lug design - a signature Swamper tread attribute that helps the Swamper-series tires get through a variety of muddy situations.
Don't think for a second that the SS-M16 will perform like a Bogger in the mud. Depending on whom you ask, there is no tire on Earth that can touch the Bogger in the mud. But take comfort in the fact that the Bogger is an extreme concentrated-purpose tire.
The SS-M16 performed better than we expected it to in the sand. Almost any tire can work in the sand if you air it down enough, so we always like to start with full air pressure to see how a tire will do. We actually never ended up airing them down because we never ended up getting stuck. It floated well and seemed to almost have a paddle effect when we really got on the gas.
What a tire! Looking from a high-speed (on-highway and off-road) point of view, this tire blows its predecessors away. It worked well for us in all conditions and didn't cause too much rolling resistance when coasting down the freeway. Don't expect it to churn through mud like a Bogger, but the SS-M16 will still hang with the best of them when the ground gets goopy. As far as lateral stability goes, this tire must have something extra in it that other Swampers don't get, because we felt very little sidewall roll, even with 7 inches of sidewall. This also leads us to believe that this would be a good tire choice for the heavier fullsize trucks on the roads.
So far, we can tell you that the SS-M16s are exhibiting very good wear characteristics, but we'll know better in 10,000 miles.