Hankook's Dynapro MT And Raceline Beadlocks
As far back as we can remember, one of the first modifications we wanted to make to our rigs was to bolt on a set of cool wheels and aggressive tires for better performance on and off the highway. We know the dogma has changed much over the years, and our lust for tires and wheels has grown exponentially. Recently, we got our hands on a new set of Hankook mud-terrain tires for testing.
The Dynapro MT is constructed with rubber compound specifically designed for this tire. We found the tire soft and sticky, offering excellent traction, and the tire's softness also damped the ride slightly. The RT03 has two steel, two polyester, and two nylon belts on the tread, and two polyester sidewall belts. The tread has four rows of tread lugs, two center V-shaped tread blocks, and two rows of crooked and scalloped side lugs. The large voids between the lugs have ejectors, which help the tire self-clean in mud, snow, and rocks.
The MT is also pinned for studs for extreme winter conditions. The sidewall has additional rubber ridges for protection against abrasions and sidewall cuts and is available in sizes up to 40 inches.
Raceline wheels have been around for a number of years, and their rugged durability has been proven in competitive rockcrawling and CORR and Baja racing. The wheels may be a little on the high-end side of the pocketbook, but are worth it.
Remember the exhilarating feeling that washed over you as a kid when you laced the newest and hottest pair of sneakers on your feet? We feel the same about wheels and tires. The opportunity to test a new set of Dynapro MT RT03 tires gets us pumped, so we mounted 285/75R16 tires to a custom set of Raceline beadlocks and then bolted the combo to our Suzuki Equator. We then put the wheels and tires through some torturous testing over a few thousand miles.
The two-ply sidewall Dynapro flexes and airs down well, giving it excellent flotation in sandy conditions. Our testing in sand dunes at 15 psi found that the tires provided a large enough footprint for good traction. The tread is aggressive but not so aggressive that the tires dug in and buried themselves.
The tires' performance and traction excelled in deep snow and ice. On a road trip in the high desert, we had to detour off the highway due to road closures after a storm. We traversed a mountain trail that skirted the highway to get to our destination. The tires' traction pulled the truck through 2-3 feet of untracked snow without getting stuck, with a minimal amount of slippage.
We love playing in the mud and found the RT03s to have good self-cleaning attributes. Ejector ribs are designed into the wide voids between the tire's tread lugs. The ejectors help keep the deep grooves clean, and the large lugs keep traction in gooey mud, keeping the tires moving forward.
For an aggressive, dirt-slinging tire, we found the Dynapro MT a well-mannered tire on the highway. We did notice a slight increase in road noise due to the large voids and tread lugs, but it wasn't as noisy as the drone of other mud-terrain tires. In fact, the RT03's level of road noise didn't surpass some of the all-terrain tires we've tested.
The Dynapro's soft rubber compound allows enormous flexibility. This means the tire has the ability to conform easily to uneven and jagged surfaces. The tires' large lugs provided the bite to keep them moving forward. The sidewalls also have additional rubber just below the tread for sidewall protection. We think the RT03 is an awesome all-around tire, but the limited sidewall belting could become an issue on jagged rocks. We would run these tires on any one of our personal rigs, but probably shy away from fitting them to a full-time rockcrawler.
With a suspension lift system, a little hammering, and some fender trimming, we were able to stuff 33-inch Dynapro MTs in the fenderwells. Not only did the tires give us the few extra inches of ground clearance we needed, but they impressed us with their quality and construction, and we were ecstatic about the traction and off-highway performance they gave our project truck. The Dynapro MTs are available for wheels sized 15-22 inches and 28-40 inches in overall diameter.
These custom two-piece Rockcrusher beadlocks are not only functional and cool-looking, but they are designed to endure a beating in harsh conditions. The cast wheel is light, yet almost as strong as a forged wheel due to new casting technologies. In fact, the wheel rating between the cast wheels and forged wheels is just a couple of hundred pounds, but the cast wheel carries a more economical price. We like the 32-bolt steel lock ring, because it's less likely to be gouged and damaged beyond repair by rocks. If it got bent, it would be easier to hammer back into shape than a cast or forged ring would be.
Raceline beadlock wheels are available cast or forged and can be custom-made for specific applications and conditions. The forged wheels are one piece, and the cast ones have a welded center. The bolt flange on both wheels is double-welded for safety and durability. After the flange is welded, a bead of silicone is spread over the weld to ensure leak-free performance. We all hate leaky beadlocks.