Redesigned Geolandar: On- and Off-Road With the All-New Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on November 30, 2017
Completely redesigning a tire like the Yokohama Geolandar M/T can produce polarizing reactions from off-road enthusiasts. On the one hand, you’ll always receive unappreciative groaning from the die-hards that loved the old tread design. But, on the other hand you have to acknowledge that there had to be room for improvement with new advancements in tire technology. The Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 is a completely redesigned tire from the air cavity out. It looks nothing like the previous generation M/T, piquing our interest further and requiring a closer long-term look.
The Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 is available in 34 sizes up to 37 inches in diameter. Most available tire sizes come with an E load range rating. These E-rated tires have a three-ply Geo-Shield sidewall, while the lighter-duty D- and C-rated tires come with a two-ply sidewall. The new Geolandar M/T features a much more knobby sidewall tread than the old Geolandar and a squarish profile. These two elements make the tire look very aggressive, especially on a newer 4x4 with subtle, smoothed bodylines.
Our 31x10.50R15 Yokohama Geolandar M/T tires were mounted on 15x8 aluminum wheels. We were pleasantly surprised to find that most of our tires only took 3 ounces to balance true. Although, one tire needed 5.25 ounces to balance out. The 4x4 we fitted the tires to was originally shod with 31x10.50R15 tires, so we used the door-sticker recommended tire air pressures of 26 psi (front) and 29 psi (rear).
The initial on-road ride felt firm, despite using the OE vehicle manufacturer recommended tire air pressures. However, after a few hundred miles, the Yokohama Geolandar M/T tires began to ride much smoother. We attribute this to tire break-in, something that is not at all uncommon, even with modern radial tires. On-road tire noise varied depending on the road surface. Smooth paved surfaces seemed to create significantly less tire noise than rough well-worn and abused surfaces. The Geolandar M/T is generally quiet below 30 to 35 mph. Tire noise starts to ramp up after 40 mph and kind of peaks out around 55 mph. At speeds beyond that, the new Geolandar M/T tire noise seems comparable to an aggressive all-terrain or “tweener” tire. Twisty mountain roads can be aggressively attacked thanks to the stable and predictable grip of the newest Yokohama M/T. The tires track crisply and not at all twitchy or squirmy until you push the sideways G forces beyond the vehicle’s capability. Our tires will need to be rotated at about 4,000 miles, but we should be able to get 25,000 to 30,000 miles from them in our application.
Off-road, the Yokohama Geolandar M/T would take us farther up the trail with more air pressure than what some other mud-terrain tires can do at lower pressures. In conditions where we would normally air down to 15 psi, we found that 20 psi would do the same job or better. This can be a huge advantage in soft, loamy, or muddy conditions where a tire bead could be peeled off of the wheel from too much side-loading. On harder surfaces, the aggressive mud-terrain tread and knobby sidewalls envelop and grip well on uneven surfaces and rocks. We noticed no tread chunking. Despite having only two sidewall plies in our load range C test tires, we never suffered a sidewall puncture. We suspect a sidewall puncture would be even less likely with the three-ply load range E tire sizes.
Overall, the Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 is a great tire for a 4x4 that requires an aggressive tread for regular off-road use, yet it’s civilized enough to be installed on a daily driver that handles regular commuting duties. Thanks to the siped tread blocks, wet and icy performance will be better than with most traditional mud tires. The vast number of available E load range tire sizes would make the Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 a great aggressive tow rig tire too.
Specifications (as tested)Tire: Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003
Type: Radial mud terrain
Load range: C
Max load (lb): 2,270
Sidewall construction: 2-ply polyester
Tread construction: 2-ply polyester, 2-ply steel, 1-ply nylon
Approved rim width (in): 7.0-9.0
Tread depth (in): 19/32
Section width (in): 10.9
Tread width (in): 8.6
Overall diameter (in): 30.6
Maximum psi: 50
Weight (lb): 47.6
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