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BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM

Posted in How To on November 1, 2001
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Contributors: Trent RiddleBFGoodrich
Photographers: BFGoodrich
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Here you can see the new BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM (left) compared with the old reliable BFGoodrich Radial Mud-Terrain T/A. While the tread pattern looks the same, close inspection will reveal that the orientation and sequencing of the treads’ interlocking elements have been changed. This change is said to provide superior traction in the rocks and a quieter highway ride. Here you can see the new BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM (left) compared with the old reliable BFGoodrich Radial Mud-Terrain T/A. While the tread pattern looks the same, close inspection will reveal that the orientation and sequencing of the treads’ interlocking elements have been changed. This change is said to provide superior traction in the rocks and a quieter highway ride.
From the side, the new Mud-Terrain KM looks much more aggressive than the old Radial Mud-Terrain T/A. But this tire is about more than looks. The traction and performance in most areas are greatly improved over the old tire. From the side, the new Mud-Terrain KM looks much more aggressive than the old Radial Mud-Terrain T/A. But this tire is about more than looks. The traction and performance in most areas are greatly improved over the old tire.
This photo of the tire on a tread plate shows the improved size and shape of the footprint of the new Mud-Terrain T/A KM over the old Radial Mud-Terrain T/A. The bottom line is more rubber on the rock means more traction. This photo of the tire on a tread plate shows the improved size and shape of the footprint of the new Mud-Terrain T/A KM over the old Radial Mud-Terrain T/A. The bottom line is more rubber on the rock means more traction.
We found that the “DiggerLugz” on the shoulder of the new Mud-Terrain T/A KM provided improved traction when walking the sidewall up and over the rocks. We found that the “DiggerLugz” on the shoulder of the new Mud-Terrain T/A KM provided improved traction when walking the sidewall up and over the rocks.

At long last BFGoodrich has updated its venerable Mud-Terrain T/A tire. It’s not surprising that the company took 21 years to replace the reliable Radial Mud-Terrain T/A, a heck of a tire introduced to the market in 1976. Shoot, it took them two years more than that to introduce an updated All-Terrain, the All-Terrain KO. (The Radial All-Terrain was introduced in 1976 and replaced by the All-Terrain KO in 1999.)

As with the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO, the Mud-Terrain KM was worth the wait. The Mud-Terrain KM features new lugs, called “DiggerLugz,” on the shoulder. These large aggressive blocks are said to provide exceptional traction for powering through deep gumbo mud, loose dirt, and deep sand. We found that they also offer improved traction when walking the sidewall up and over rocks. Also, compared to the old BFGoodrich Radial Mud-Terrain T/A, the new BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM offers a larger and more rectangular footprint. The engineers at BFGoodrich say that both of these features contribute to the tire’s improved traction and performance on the trail and the street. In our testing, we found the Mud-Terrain KM provided great traction on the trail, especially in the rockcrawling department. However, we didn’t get a chance to drive them on the street, so we can’t comment on the pavement behavior of this tire.

BFG’s engineers told us that the new Mud-Terrain T/A KM offers the same, or better, traction in the rocks when compared to the now defunct Radial Mud-Terrain T/A Moab Edition tire. We drool over the traction possibilities of a Mud-Terrain T/A KM Moab Edition, but alas, we were informed that this idea isn’t in the works at this time.

The Mud-Terrain KM tire also has a rim-saver bead, as does the All-Terrain T/A KO. This ring of rubber helps to protect your rim edge from damage in the rocks. It also helps keep rocks and twigs from between the tire and rim, and it reduces the pinch shock on the sidewall when you hit a rock while aired down for the trail. This rim-saver bead also adds to the rigidity of the tire sidewall. When combined with the added rubber of the new “DiggerLugz” on the shoulder, one gets the impression that the sidewall is thicker than in the past, but it’s not. The Mud-Terrain T/A KM has the same Tri-Gard construction as the old tire. The three-ply polyester carcass offers excellent bruise resistance in the sidewall and tread sections while the two additional steel belts add puncture resistance to the tread section. When you consider that even before being offered to the public this tire was maintaining the race tradition of the BFGoodrich tire line, the folks at BFG must be right. (The KO won its first victory in the 2001 Baja 500 earlier this year.)

So just what does the KM stand for? It was explained to us like this: The tire’s key element is mud traction. But don’t fret, this baby is great in the sand and rocks, too.

Editor’s note: We didn’t get to drive the new BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM on the pavement for this round of testing. But, you can rest assured that we will bring you a test in the future that will include an on-pavement evaluation as well as more in-depth trail testing.

More to Choose From

The old Mud-Terrain lineup had 19 sizes to choose from. While these sizes remain mostly unchanged, a few were dropped. BFGoodrich has added nine new sizes for the Mud-Terrain T/A KM, for a total of 25 sizes overall. Here’s a rundown on the newest sizes. PLT235/70R16 (29.2x9.5)
PLT255/70R16 (30.3x10.2)
PLT305/70R16 (33.1x12.2)
PLT315/75R16 (34.8x12.3)
PLT285/70R17
P33x10.50R15
P35x12.50R17
P37x12.50R17
P35x12.50R18
PLT255/70R16 (30.3x10.2)
PLT305/70R16 (33.1x12.2)
PLT315/75R16 (34.8x12.3)
PLT285/70R17
P33x10.50R15
P35x12.50R17
P37x12.50R17
P35x12.50R18

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