Testing BFGoodrich's New Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 Tire Off-Road - Capability You Can Feel
This week Torque News had the chance to test out the new BFGoodrich mud-terrain T/A KM3 tire. Our test was done at the incredible Monticello Motor Club in New York State. The club features multiple Land-Rover designed off-roading courses that encompass every type of muddy terrain. Making our testing even more perfect was a hard rain that soaked the course just prior to our runs.
The new KM3 is BFG's new tire for the most hard-core off-road situations. Featuring a new "mud-phobic" tread design, Bars on the tires' shoulders help to fling mud off the tread, rather than retaining it. Along with huge tread blocks, the tire delivers amazing grip from any angle of approach.
“The KM3 tire is essential equipment for serious off-road enthusiasts. We designed this tire for extreme toughness and traction,” said Phil Watson of BFGoodrich. “This tire was made to take drivers anywhere they want to go.”
We ran the hardest level of the course in BFG's modified 2019 Wrangler. But first, we ran that same section in a non-modified Wrangler wearing BFG's legendary KO2s, a tire that is standard on some of the world's best off-roaders. This gave us a sort of baseline to then compare the new tires to. In fairness, these tires are designed with different objectives, so we are not trying to give anyone the impression that one is better than the other.
What is immediately noticeable at the first mud pit is the KM3s don't slip as much. They bite and hold the surface and move the Jeep forward more steadily. We had the Jeep stopped and the tires up to the hubs and beyond in sloppy mud and did a series of starts to get a feel for the difference between the KM3 and the all-purpose all-terrain capable tires. The added traction of the KM3 is noticeable to even novice off-roaders like ourselves. My Land Rover guide concurred. BFG's Traction-Armor Sidewall Sculpture and notched shoulder design seem to help even in situations where the tires were submerged in loose soil and wet mud. In one section a small overflow from a pond washed across the track from side to side. The KM3s seemed to keep the Jeep steady on this section and the comparison Jeep wanted to drift in the direction of the flow and the grade.
In addition to its new traction capabilities, BFG says its CoreGard Max race-proven technology makes the sidewalls 27 percent tougher helping to prevent splitting or puncturing in the critical sidewall failure zone.
The new BFGoodrich KM3 is on sale now in 54 sizes, including 33 additional sizes from the previous generation, for 88 percent coverage of the market. UTV sizes are also available.
Author note: Torque News and the author received no compensation or gifts for the publication of this story. We traveled at our own expense and paid a nominal fee for the event. Our thanks to the Monticello Motor Club for allowing us the use of their facilities.