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Yokohama Geolandar M/T+ Tire Test

Yokohama Geolandar Mt
Jimmy Nylund | Writer
Posted April 1, 2005

A refined version of the popular tire

Unless you see the small "+" behind the M/T designation on the new Yokohama Geolandar, you probably won't notice any difference at all between old and new. That + isn't even white on the raised-white-letters side of the two-ply sidewall, making any outwardly clues hard to detect, so you really need to drive on a set of these new tires to appreciate the changes made by the world's seventh largest tire company to an already good tire.

Primarily, Yokohama went with a cap and base compound to improve stability on the street and to get better wear, but frequent rotation (front to rear only, since it's a directional tire) may still be needed to get the most out of the Geolandar's aggressive tread. Less chunking should also result from the new compound. Other improvements include that every other shoulder lug is cut back, in a taper, for even better self-cleaning in the mud. Mud and snow could well be this tire's forte, as well as driving in the wet, where the circumferential groove and directional tread allows very good water channeling, even at high speed. Tapered tread blocks aid in letting go of both mud and gravel, neither of which should remain in the tread, as well as offering better stability on the street.

You won't forget that there are Geolandar M/Ts on your vehicle-they make a statement just sitting there. Then there's a noticeable vibration from the 19/32-inch-deep tread that goes away at about 20 mph on the 33x12.50R15, only to be replaced by audible effects from about 25 mph and up. Well, that's often the price you pay for running mud tires on pavement, but the Yokohamas deliver a surprisingly civil ride on asphalt. If it wasn't for the noise, you probably wouldn't guess that there was such a large void ratio in the 9.8-inch-wide tread making the connection between the road and vehicle. Very predictable and uneventful would be one way to describe the M/T+'s street traits. This tire simply does its thing, soaking up irregularities quite well, not tracking noticeably, and cornering far better than we'd thought such an aggressive tread would.

Partially, the Geolandar's nice pavement ride was due to the lightweight and true Pro Comp Xtreme 15x10 (model 1059) wheels we used, and largely because of the low 22-pound average in Road Force Variation we saw on the Hunter GSP 9700 balancer. This Yokohama/Xtreme Alloy combo didn't take many ounces of lead, either, and the beads seated with a very resounding "pop," meaning these beads won't break easily on the trail.In the dirt

Yokohama wasn't kidding when it claimed that this 32-degree tread self-cleans well-we never even managed to get gravel to stay wedged in there. It also works quite well laterally (on sidehills). Despite a reasonably rounded tread arch, the M/T+ is not the greatest sand tire, due to the aggressive tread. In loose dirt, we found much better traction, and on harder-packed surfaces the GeolandarM/T+ really exceeded our expectations. Those taper-cut shoulder lugs, perhaps combined with the "hint of a tread" on the lower sidewalls, made getting out of even relatively deep ruts very easy.

For driving in muddy and wet conditions, the Yokohama Geolandar M/T+ could be a very good choice, if you also need the on-highway traits of a radial tire. We especially liked the self-cleaning and moist dirt performance, and if you like the original Geolandar M/T, the + version is really just that-a better one yet.

Tire: Yokohama Geolandar M/T+
Size: 33x12.50R15LT
Type: Radial
Load range: C
Max load (lb. @ psi): 2,205 @ 35
Sidewall: 2-ply polyester
Tread: 2-ply polyester, 2-ply steel
Approved rim width (in.): 8.5-11
Tread depth (in.): 19/32
Tread width (in.): 9.8
Section width (in.): 12.7
Overall diameter (in.): 32.6
Static loaded radius (in.): 15.0
Revs per mile: 638
Weight (lb.): 52


Yokohama Tire Corp.