When faced with the challenge of conquering rugged and untamed landscapes, the choice of tire can be a game-changer. The BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO2 and BFGoodrich Tires Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires have established themselves as the preferred options for experienced off-road enthusiasts.
The company has compared these two esteemed Baja champion tires to determine which BFGoodrich tire suits your needs. Brandon Sturgis, Global Product Manager at BFGoodrich Tires, aids in elucidating the disparities and the fitting applications for each tire.
BFGoodrich Tires initiated a new category in 1976 with the release of the radial All-Terrain T/A, the precursor to the renowned BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire. In 1980, they introduced the initial radial mud tire, the radial Mud-Terrain T/A, laying the foundation for the BFGoodrich Tires Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tire.
Throughout the years, both tires have undergone evolution, continuously pushing boundaries in off-road tire design and performance. These advancements have been methodical, each geared towards enhancing the off-road experience.
Sturgis clarifies, “We didn’t set out to create a tire solely for aesthetics. There’s a genuine demand from individuals using heavy-duty trucks for off-road and rough terrain.”
Since its launch in 2014, the KO2 has attained global recognition for its versatile capabilities. Sturgis simplifies the tire’s attributes by likening it to a person’s characteristics.
“It boasts resilient sidewalls for off-roading, adaptable for deflation, effective in snowy conditions, and relatively quiet on regular roads,” Sturgis explains. “In essence, it’s an all-in-one tire.”
“The KO2 embodies your father’s role. Like a father, it excels at everything, making things happen without hesitation or complaint.”
The purpose of the Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is readily apparent from its name. However, this specialized tire extends beyond mud performance.
“While it performs well in mud, our focus was not solely on mud; we also emphasized slow-speed rock crawling,” Sturgis affirms. “People engage in various intense off-road activities with this tire, but they also use it on-road to some extent. It had to excel in all scenarios.”
“The KM3 is akin to a professional wrestler—powerful and robust. Just as the KM3 is engineered for mud and rock, it’s evident that it’s built for wrestling.”
The acclaim these tires have earned wasn’t handed to them effortlessly. Over the years, they’ve established themselves as among the hardiest tires on the market.
Their commitment to sidewall durability and toughness led them to develop new technology for testing. Unlike most companies that employ a machine to press a plunger into the tread for testing, BFGoodrich Tires had a different approach, recognizing that sidewalls are often compromised differently.
“We stand apart in the all-terrain arena due to our emphasis on sidewall durability and toughness,” says Strugis. “Sidewalls are prone to damage when tires hit something on the side, unlike the traditional testing method.”
The BFGoodrich Tires team insisted on real-world testing to ensure the tire’s durability matched practical demands.
“Our dedication to enhancing the KO2’s authenticity led us to create our own sidewall durability test,” Sturgis states.
When it came to developing the KM3, they took things up another notch. “While the KO2 was designed with sturdy sidewalls, the KM3’s sidewalls are even more resilient.”
Brandon recounts a moment in Baja when the KM3’s durability faced the ultimate real-world challenge. During testing, a KM3 prototype encountered a massive hole.
“Boom! The impact dislodged the wheel from the car. The force was substantial, and the vehicle was moving at high speed,” Sturgis recalls. “They retrieved the wheel, inspected the tire, and concluded that it was intact. They mounted it on another wheel and continued their journey.”
Following this ordeal, the tire transitioned from prototype to a proven product.
Choosing between the KO2 and KM3 for your truck prompts the question: Do you opt for the versatile all-rounder or the purpose-built powerhouse? According to Sturgis, “The decision boils down to how you intend to use your vehicle day in and day out.”
The KO2 excels in mud, snow, and gravel, offering a composed on-road experience and precise steering compared to its mud-centric counterpart. On the other hand, the KM3 delivers superior traction in mud and rock, but its on-road performance necessitates some compromise for off-road prowess.
In other words, the KO2 serves as the dependable, multi-talented parent, while the KM3 embodies the specialized pro wrestler—exceptional in its domain but potentially less refined for everyday use.
This brings us back to the pivotal question: Which tire prevails in a direct face-off? Ultimately, the answer hinges on your preferences and your specific intentions.
If your endeavors involve frequent mud or low-pressure rock climbing, the KM3 could be your choice. However, if you anticipate snow-covered roads, prioritize on-road behavior, or simply seek a tire that excels in various conditions, the KO2 is likely your winner. For more information on each tire, be sure to check out BFGoodrich Tires’ website.