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BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Tire Test

Posted in Product Reviews on January 7, 2015
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If there’s one tire that has seen the notoriety that Jeeps have seen in the off-road community, it’s the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A. From daily drivers, to work trucks, and even weekend warriors, this tire has long been considered the cream of the crop. When it comes to long-lasting tires that can work hard and play harder on just about any surface or terrain imaginable. The design is a trusted name in the off-road world, and the reason why is fairly obvious: They’re dependable in any situation and offer classic good looks that can’t be rivaled.

While it’s hard to improve on such a tried-and-true design, that’s just what BFGoodrich has done with its latest iteration of the all-terrian. The company hasn’t strayed too much from the original design, which is a testament to its quality and performance. To say they have a religious following would be an understatement. It’s no surprise that the new version of the tire had to be true to its roots while giving all-out off-road performance, as well as civilized road manners in a design that can get the job done under any circumstances or conditions.

The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 has sidewalls that are 20 percent tougher that feature sidewall rubber from the Baja T/A KR2, which is split and bruise resistant. The KO2 also features thicker shoulder rubber that extends down the sidewall for better overall protection. The sidewall tread isn’t just for looks though—it was actually designed with what the company is calling Advanced Deflection Design. This is achieved via computer-predicted object path design that deflects protruding objects away from the tire to prevent it from snagging the sidewall.

We first saw spy shots of this tire on a few race vehicles at the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and were pretty anxious to get a firsthand look at this new tread design. So we went down to Baja to put some serious dirt miles on the new tires.

When it comes to testing the off-road prowess of any tire, there’s just no better place than the gnarly deserts of Baja California, Mexico. Baja is riddled with soft sand, silt beds, sharp rocks, mud, and washed-out dirt roads that can really put a hurt on a set of tires. Our brutal 400-mile test loop throughout Baja consisted of all of the above, and we are pleased to say the new tire lives up to our expectations and is sure to be a winning design like its predecessors before it. Longer-term testing will be needed to really see how it compares to the tire it is replacing, but we like the performance we’ve seen so far.

Silt is one of those things you really don’t want to get stuck in unless you have an unhealthy fascination with breathing in talcum powder-like dust for days after. When we went through this hairpin turn in the dust with our visor up, we were really happy that the tires didn’t kick up any for us to breathe. The serrated shoulder design features staggered shoulder blocks that provide greater maneuverability in soft soil and deep snow conditions. Lucky for us, we were able to power out of it before being fully engulfed in the dust cloud we had just created.

Tire Specifications
Make/Model: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
Country of Origin: USA
Size Tested: LT285/75R16
Type: Radial
Load-range: E
Max Load (lbs): 3,750
Sidewall Construction: 2-ply with 10-ply rating
Tread Construction: 3-ply polyester
Approved Rim Width (in): 9.1
Tread Depth (in): 15⁄32
Tread Width (in): N/A
Section Width (in): 11.3 on 8-inch wheel
Overall Diameter (in): 32.8
Weight (lbs): 59.1

More and More Tires
Here at Jp, we have been putting tires to the test for years now. If you have a question about a certain tire, we may have already answered it in our huge online tire review known as “The Burning Ring of Tire.” If the tire you want to see is not on The Ring, keep your eyes peeled—we are going to review a new tire in every upcoming issue of Jp magazine.

If you look closely, you can see the triangular-shaped features between the tread blocks that serve as stone ejectors. While you might not realize it, picking up rocks between the tread isn’t just a problem for other people’s windshields, it can lead to stone drilling that can severely weaken the cap plies and steel belts underneath the surface. You’ll also notice the little bars in the shoulder area known as the “Mud-Phobic Bars.” They are raised bars that help release compacted mud for enhanced traction in muddy and soft soil conditions.
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