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Mud Tire Shootout Third Place: Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ

Side Shot
Robin Stover | Writer
Posted April 1, 2011
Photographers: Cody Kanuscak

Ten-Tread Battle Royal

Manufactured in the U.S., the MTZ is Mickey Thompson's flagship mud-terrain. Situated between the more aggressive Baja Claw and its milder all-terrain sister, the ATZ, this tread combines elements of a hardcore mud-terrain and a street-friendly all-terrain. Comprised of four distinctive tread block elements, the pattern features gobs of lug overlap to provide smooth and quiet performance around town. The shoulder lugs feature deep, widely spaced voids to improve mud traction, while long central sipes interrupt every lug for improved performance on wet pavement. The tread compound returned an average Shore A durometer reading of 65, which helps contribute to the MTZ's awesome carcass flexibility and supple ride quality. We fell in love with this tread during our 100-mile test loop. The pattern is very stable in corners, and when asked to stop, it does so with little or no drama. However like most of the tires we tested, the MTZ did experience a cease in forward progress on the rutted S-turn trail at Hollister Hills. A quick back-up and shift to Second gear resulted in ample wheel speed to make the tread clean out and pull us to the top. Construction-wise, the MTZ's tread features one ply of nylon, two of steel and three of polyester. The sidewalls are also comprised of polyester, though one of the three plies is positioned at a slightly different angle from the others to improve high-speed stability within the design.

The Bottom Line
The MTZ balances all the essential attributes you would want in a mud-terrain tire for a daily driver.

The Details
Tire: Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ
Size: 37x12.50R17
Type: Radial
Load range: D
Max load rating (lb @ psi): 3,525 @ 50 psi
Sidewall: 3-ply polyester
Tread: 3-ply polyester, 2-ply steel, 1-ply nylon
Approved rim width (in): 10
Tread depth (in): 23/32
Tread width (in): 10
Section width (in): 13.1
Overall diameter (in): 36.9
Static loaded radius (in): N/A
Revolutions per mile: N/A
Claimed weight (lb): 83
Weight as tested (lb): 82, 88, 89.8, 87.4
Biting edges per square inch (in): 1.64
MSRP: $554.85
Info: www.mickeythompsontires.com

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