Lake Louise, Alberta — When a tire manufacturer challenges you to pop their tires on a test event, it’s not a request, but a statement of confidence in product. So the lot of us tried. And failed. The tires wouldn’t pop. So we kept driving!
Inside the comfy cabin of Chevrolet’s Silverado pickup, I’m letting BFGoodrich’s new KO2 tire do all the dirty work. Literally.
We’re traveling through mud, dirt, dried out riverbeds, jagged rocks and logs with notches. Big notches.
We’re encouraged not only to drive over such hazards, but also to actually stop the vehicle on top of them. You can see the strength of the sidewall in action. Whilst under pressure, the KO2 doesn’t falter. It’s most impressive.
What is the KO2?
The KO2 tire is now in its fourth generation and is aimed at those who want to go directly from pavement to off-road without having to swap tires. They’re not OEM-fitted tires, but ones that would be acquired as a replacement.
Its all-terrain classification is apparent in its ability to evacuate mud, dirt, rocks and more through its updated tread pattern, while making sure road noise is subdued and not particularly intrusive into the cabin.
The serrated shoulder on the KO2s improve grip, while BF Goodrich boasts stats like the new KO2 tire lasts twice as long on gravel roads and 15% longer on asphalt in comparison to previous models. Furthermore, they claim the KO2 demonstrates 10% greater traction in mud and a 19% improvement on snow when compared to the original KO tire.
Some more facts that BFG introduces with this tire is that its sidewalls are 20% stronger, while the tread is twice as resistant on gravel and 20% more resistant on the road.
On the road, yes, you can hear road noise, but it wasn’t as harsh as I would have thought. It did help that we were in new Silverados, whose NVH has been greatly improved upon in relation to past generations.
The ride itself was smooth and noteworthy.
The real benefit, in my opinion, is that these tires can go straight from your work parking lot or the street into the wilderness. They’re tough and ready to work when called to task.
I will disclaimer that the off-roading portion wasn’t what most would call “hardcore.” Nor did we have a ton of time play around in the various environments. However, BF Goodrich has a long history with the Baja 1000, which certainly gives it street credit for its durability and reliability.
What’s interesting to note is that if you look on the sidewall of the tire, you’ll see a mountain/snowflake symbol. In places that require designated winter tires, these ones are actually legal for that time of year. The KO2 takes the term “all-season” to a new level.
Overall, the tires did a great job exactly what the manufacturer claimed. And I’m just a little sad that I couldn’t pop a tire! I’ll try harder next time.