This exclusive report is coming to you straight from the Oregon wilderness as we are about halfway through a weeklong test of a set of Nexen Roadian MTX tires mounted to a 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Sport. Why a Sport instead of a Rubicon model? Good question.
The Jeep JL is one of the most capable off-road vehicles ever made, but the Rubicon model with its electrically actuated lockers in both axles would not provide as thorough a test of the Nexen Roadian MTX tires as the Sport model with no lockers. The simpler Sport model Jeep JL will rely more on the traction qualities and capabilities of the tire to get it through tough trails and difficult terrain.
So far we’ve spent a day in the Tillamook State Forest slogging through clay-like mud and slick goo-covered rocks. Romping in the Oregon Dunes filled our second day of testing. We have two more days to go, but we have some initial impressions of the Nexen Roadian MTX tire we wanted to share with you.
The Nexen Roadian MTX is in fact a mud traction tire, thus the MTX designation, so we expected it to perform well in muddy terrain. The tire features large lateral lugs that are angled and staggered to create a biting edge. Large voids between the angled lateral lugs allow mud to be momentarily captured and then easily released once the tire has spun and presented the next lug in line to dig deep into the mud.
So far, we have been impressed with its mud performance, but it’s a mud-terrain tire, and that was to be expected. What we did not expect was the tire to work so well on mud-soaked rocks. We set the inflation at 15psi, and even though these were F load rated tires, the sidewalls were amazingly flexible, wrapping around and taking a firm grip on the stores in the muddy and rocky sluice known as Fire Break 5 Trail.
We also did not expect the Nexen Roadian MTX tire’s favorable performance in the sand. We ran dozens of lines up and down the dunes, across the faces of dunes, in the bowls in between the dunes, and just about everywhere on the tidal wave-like mountains of Oregon sand. Of course, we were still running the tires at about 15psi (no beadlocks) and that certainly helped the aggressive tire to act more like a flotation tire than a mud digger on the sand. Not one tire rolled off a wheel during the day of dune romping.
As of this report, we have two more days of testing in the wilds of Oregon before we can get into much more detail and more conclusive results, but at this point we are very happy with what we have experienced wheelin’ with the Nexen Roadian MTX.