BF Goodrich Mud Terrains - Really New?

BFG Mud Terrain

Pete TrasborgPhotographer, Writer

OK, we'll level with you. When we got these tires and put them on our Jeep for testing, we thought we were testing the next generation of the venerable BFG Mud Terrain. Experience has taught us that each iteration of the tire was an improvement on the last, with enough change to improve performance, but not enough to screw up the time-honored design.

We got a set of LT255/70R17s and put them on our Dick Cepek DC-1 rims in the 17x9-inch size. These are the tires currently found on the '07 Jeep Rubicon. According to the Jeep propaganda, "(These) tires have more tread blocks with biting edges for foul weather." The idea being, more edges means better wet, slushy, and snow traction. About halfway through testing, we were told that yet another Mud Terrain is in the pipeline for next year.

So at this point, we aren't sure if we are testing a new Mud Terrain that you will be able to go buy from BFG or a tire available exclusively through your Jeep dealer. Maybe these tires are just going to be available on the cheap from new Rubicon owners lifting their Jeeps. In any event, here's what we thought.

How They Work
If you look at the tread, there aren't many obvious changes. The center lugs are about all that jumps out at you.

We strapped them on for about 1,000 miles of street driving. From the driver's seat, they were identical to the current Mud Terrains. Noise levels appeared the same, and tracking on the highway was similar. Once it rained, we were expecting great things. To be fair, they did better than the BFG MTs that came off the test rig, but only marginally. Stopping and starting is improved just enough to notice, if you are looking for it, but hydroplaning characteristics didn't seem to change. Being in Southern California, we didn't get a chance to test them in snow or ice (where the big improvements were supposed to be).

In mud, there was virtually no change from the current BFG MTs. They appeared to clean out with similar wheel speeds, still had trouble with thicker, gummy mud, and dealt with the lighter stuff well.

Ten psi did it for us in the rocks. We did damage our DC-1 rims a bit, but that's just the nature of having a 32-inch-tall tire on a 17-inch rim. Here, the new muds seemed to stick better than their predecessors. Our comparison BFGs had about 20,000 miles on them and, while they had a good amount of tread, weren't treated nicely. Additionally, the new tires seemed to be of a softer durometer than the old ones.

Back in the sand, there was no noticeable difference between these and the current BFG MTs.

Bottom Line
Whether these tires shake out to be the new BFG MT or just a Rubicon specialty tire, they are definitely comparable to the current BFG MT KM. But we feel it is less of an improvement than the last version was. Nonetheless, if you like your BFG MTs, you will like these as well.

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