Tires are one of the most important components of any off-road vehicle. Without a good and tough set of all-terrain or mud-terrain tires under it, a 4x4 will greatly suffer from lack of traction, performance, and dependability.
As you know from the SEMA story on page 58, each year we lucky-dog editors get to check out the new parts and accessories at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We also get to roam the new tire hall. This year we were introduced to many new tires and sizes that would be a performance upgrade and fitting for any capable trail machine.
Cooper Tire Discoverer S/T Maxx
The new Discoverer S/T Maxx features Cooper's proven and reliable three-ply Armor-Tek3 carcass construction, a proprietary cut- and chip-resistant tread compound, and a progressive tread design. The S/T Maxx is designed to provide traction in the toughest terrains and is available in eight sizes for wheel diameters ranging from 16 to 18 inches. Info: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., 419.423.1321, www.coopertire.com.
Cooper Tire Discoverer A/T3
The Discoverer A/T3 is an all-traction, all-terrain tire that will be available in April 2011. It's the latest tire in Cooper's SUV and light truck lines. The A/T3 uses advanced technology, compounding, and design to provide dependable all-terrain performance. Its silica tread compound improves tread wear and wet traction and helps resist cutting and chipping. The modern tread design significantly improves off-road traction without sacrificing highway performance. The A/T3 will be available in 30 SUV and 32 light truck sizes for wheel diameters ranging from 15 to 20 inches. Info: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., 419.423.1321, www.coopertire.com.
General Tire Grabber
General Tire's new Grabber brings exclusive race-winning technology to everyday use in a new extreme-traction tire for the street and off-road. The tough three-ply tires features reinforced body construction and a race-proven, chip- and tear-resistant Duragen tread compound. The Duragen technology consists of high-strength steel belts and a durable microfiber three-ply casing. The Grabber's patented strake and chamfer tread pattern is designed to provide traction in all elements. The strake, or sweeping groove, across the tread allows the chamfering of the tread block corners to make direct contact with off-road terrain. The pattern is said to be very stable and quiet on paved roads and aggressive for off-road traction. The Grabber is available in a range of popular 15- to 20-inch sizes to fit a variety of pickups, sport trucks, and SUVs. Info: General Tire, www.generaltire.com.
Falken Tire WildPeak
Wildpeak A/T 01 is aimed at the all-performance sport/utility and light truck tire market through its aggressive design for maximum traction. The symmetric five-rib pattern and rigid block design allow for exceptional on-road response and exceptional off-road handling and traction. Two stiff, extrawide steel belts enable stability, while four wide, multiangled grooves enable maximum water, mud, and snow separation. Biting block edges provide unparalleled traction and control. Info: Falken Tire Corp., 800.723.2553, www.falkentire.com.
Mickey Thompson 54-Inch Baja Claw TTC
Mickey Thompson introduced the 54-inch Baja Claw TTC tire, an ultra aggressive off-road performance tire with an advanced bias-belted construction specially designed for rugged off-road use including rockcrawling, mud, snow, sand, dirt, and gravel. The huge tire features directional Sidebiters, deep shoulder lugs, and integrated concave blades to disperse mud. Also featured are durable and cut-resistance T5 compound decoupling elements and multiangled sipping for maximum flexibility and traction on smooth rock. Info: Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels, 330.928.9092, www.mickeythompsontires.com.
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC
The Baja Claw TTC Radial is an extreme traction tire that features a 23-degree tread pattern, large directional SideBiters, and tough puncture-resistant sidewalls. The Claw is designed with advanced radial construction, Mud-Scoops for self cleaning traction, tread and sidewall decoupling grooves that allow the tire to flex and conform to any surface, and strategically placed and shaped siping to promote long wear and improve traction on wet or icy surfaces. Info: Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels, 330.928.9092, www.mickeythompsontires.com.
Mickey Thompson Baja STZ
The Baja STZ offers excellent steering response, super grip, and great all-weather traction, making it a great tire for work, play, and sportsman applications. It also has an aggressive tread design, variable-density nylon overwraps, serrated tie bars and shoulder scallops, and strategic siping for improved stability, long wear, and traction in wet or icy conditions. The tire is also designed with serrated tie bars and shoulder scallops for improved tread element stability and off-road traction. Multidraft lug angles improve self-cleaning and reduce stone retention. Info: Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels, 330.928.9092, www.mickeythompsontires.com.
Nitto Tire Trail Grappler
The all-new Trail Grappler M/T combines the off-road traction of the Mud Grappler with the on-road comfort of the Terra Grappler to create a tire that is aggressive on the trail yet quiet on the highway. The sidewall combines a three-ply, high-turn-up construction with a thick rubber compound that cushions the tire and helps prevent punctures. The blocks on the tread surface are configured to provide additional biting edges and lateral stability and enhance forward traction. Advanced sound analysis was used to reduce the noise associated with off-road tires. The internal construction and the tread design prolong tread life. Two wide steel belts provide a stable base for the tire and increase tread strength. Info: Nitto Tire USA Inc., www.nittotire.com.