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BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2 - Mud, Snow, Rocks, Pavement! No Problem

Posted in How To on October 1, 2009 Comment (0)
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Photographers: 4WD&SU Staff
The size tested is a 42x14.50R20.

We've driven on a lot of BFGoodrich tires over the years, sampling just about every model and new size that comes available. The latest to come our way is the 42x14.50R20 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2. There are 32 sizes available in a broad range of wheel fitments and load ranges.

The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 is the successor of the popular Mud-Terrain KM, one of the first and best mud-terrain type tires offered. We have run the KM on everything from Baja Bugs to 1-ton trucks and have always been pleased with the results, making the release of additional sizes of the KM2 that much more exciting. While somewhat of a look-a-like to the BFG Krawler, the KM2 is not a Krawler - though it did inherit much of the Krawler's technology and design features, such as the Krawler TEK system, which is said to offer up to 33 percent stronger sidewall cords from the previous Mud-Terrain, and improved sidewall durability.

While the KM2 was a great asset on the trail and in snow and mud, this tire also proved to be an awesome street performer. The KM2s ran quiet and smooth on the pavement without the vibration of a typical mud-terrain style tire. They also didn't track along varied road levels or road imperfections, instead tracking straight to help the vehicle run more smoothly down the road. This is said to be due to the KM2's single strand bead, which runs continuously around the circumference of the tire to create better tire uniformity. Overall, the KM2s handled and performed on the pavement like no other mud-terrain tire we've ever tested.

One thing that should be noted about the KM2 is that we found we didn't need to air down on the trail as much as we were used to, only dropping to 15 psi rather than the usual 8 to 10 psi, or sometimes less. Less time airing down is more time on the trail. Actually, when dropped below 15 psi the tires behaved somewhat awkwardly, seeming to over-shape themselves to obstacles and creating a sloppy ride as if rolling on balloon tires. Maintaining higher psi corrected this issue and wasn't a problem since the sidewalls and tread lugs were soft enough to shape and adhere to rocks and such at 15 psi and higher (thanks to what BFG calls linear flex zones). However, we worry that sharper obstacles might cut or gouge the sidewalls if not approached carefully. We did experience a couple gouges while attempting more difficult slate-rock-type obstacles but none that kept us from completing a climb.

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We really like this tire for larger SUVs and trucks or other daily driver 4x4s that see mud and snow on a regular basis, or even weekender 4x4s that see monthly trips to the trails (the tow rig can stay at home). However, if you are looking for a hardcore rock-crawling tire that will see regular use and abuse we'd suggest stepping up the BFG Krawler. We have had great experiences on the trail using the Krawler and have found its road manners acceptable, as well.

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Sources

BF Goodrich Tires
877-788-8899
www.bfgoodrichtires.com

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