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Mud Tire Shootout First Place: Hankook Dynapro MT

Ten-Tread Battle Royal

Robin StoverPhotographer, WriterCody KanuscakPhotographer

We have to admit, going into this shootout, we didn't expect to see the Hankook Dynapro MT emerge on top. The traditional chevron-style tread pattern appears simplistic, even retro by today's standards. But at the end of our testing, it was the clear winner. Not only did it provide smooth on-highway performance, but it absolutely schooled all the other tread patterns in terms of traction during our two-mile test loop at Hollister Hills. Forward momentum never ceased at any point, and wheelspin was minimal at even the steepest off-camber section of the rutted S-turn trail. If you stop and analyze the variables, the Dynapro MT's tread compound is the second softest of the bunch with a Shore A average of 63.5. The aired-down contact patch was 108.62 inches, a middle-of-the-pack measurement. Yet the traction provided by the combined sidewall and tread elements seemed un-matched by the others we tested.

To confirm that our test session wasn't affected by some unknown variable, we mounted up the second-most impressive pure mud performer of the group, the Pit Bull Rockers, and ran the same line back-to-back with the Hankooks. Again, the Hankooks outperformed the Rockers, this time without a doubt. This was perplexing to us as conventional wisdom says that a tire with a higher void ratio will typically outperform tires with lower void ratios. This was not the case with our testing. Upon analyzing the sidewall design of the Dynapro MT and comparing it to that of the other top performers, we came to the conclusion that the repetitive interruption of the tread blocks, combined with their general size, shape, and depth, gave the side biters an advantage for the type of mud and terrain we tested on. The soft compound allowed the tread elements to flex and conform, while the tread pattern did its job freeing mud from between the lugs. With all these attributes working together to make traction, the Hankook Dynapro MT simply had the right combination of variables to be successful everywhere.

The Bottom Line
Hankook's Dynapro MT may not be the sexiest-looking tire of the group, but it did everything we asked of it, and in virtually all cases returned above-average scores. It was the best mud performer of the bunch and offered the highest weight-carrying capacity of those tested. Combine that with the tread's polite street manners, and it's easy to see why it's the champion of Four Wheeler's 2011 mud-terrain shootout.

The Details
Tire: Hankook Dynapro MT
Size: 37x12.50R17
Type: Radial
Load range: E
Max load rating (lb @ psi): 3,420 @ 50 psi
Sidewall: 3-ply polyester
Tread: 3-ply polyester, 2-ply steel, 2-ply nylon
Approved rim width (in): 10
Tread depth (in): 21/32
Tread width (in): 10.9
Section width (in): 13.6
Overall diameter (in): 36.8
Static loaded radius (in): 17.1
Revolutions per mile: 564
Claimed weight (lb): 87.82
Weight as tested (lb): 90.6, 84.2, 84.6, 87.4
Biting edges per square inch (in): 1.44
MSRP: $583.43
Info: www.hankooktireusa.com