2016 All Terrain and Off Road MT Tyre Test

Test Summary
Best tyre for wet roadsGoodyear Wrangler MT R
Best tyre for snowYokohama Geolander MT
Best tyre offroadGoodyear Wrangler MT R
BFGoodrich Mud Terrain TA KM2
Achilles Desert Hawk XMT
General Grabber MT
Hankook Dynapro MT
Dunlop Grandtrek MT2
Bridgestone Dueler MT
The toughest tyreBFGoodrich Mud Terrain TA KM2
It's not often we see a proper off road tyre test, but this one by the South African Magazine "Drive Out" seems to tick all the boxes.

It takes ten mud terrain (M/T) tyres in 265/75 R16, sticks them on a 4x4 Ford Ranger pickup truck, and puts them through wet, gravel, rock and endurance tests to find out which tyre will be the most useful for hardcore off road use.

Off road MTR tyre test

The Tests

In order to test the tyres in their most common conditions, the magazine chose to focus on off road performance. Instead of testing dry and wet road performance, only wet braking and wet handling were tested, as the variance in dry performance was small.

The off road tests were far more thorough. The Ford Ranger was put through braking tests on gravel, traction on rocky surfaces and traction in mud, and the tyre was even tested on a  rig to see how strong the sidewalls are.

Wet

Braking down from 50 mph on wet roads proved close, with the gap between the best and worst on test just 4.9 meters. The Dunlop narrowly beat the Hankook to first place, with the Goodyear finishing third.

Under wet handling tests the Goodyear moved to the top spot, with Hankook holding second place. The wet braking winning Dunlop, could only manage fifth place, with Bridgestone rounding out the top three.

Gravel

For the gravel braking test, again from 50 mph, the pressure was reduced from 2.4 bar to 1.8 bar. This time the Hankook was the winning tyre, with the BF Goodrich and Goodyear rounding out the top three.

Rock Traction

For rock traction, the tyres had to get the Ford up a solid 30 degree incline. The magazine attempted three runs, one at 1.8 bar, then at 2 bar, then 2.2 bar and finally 2.4 bar. As the tyre pressure increases, the ability on rock decreases, and top marks are awarded for the tyres which can make it up at every pressure.

Seven of the ten tyres made it up at the full 2.4 bar. Yokohama finished eighth, managing the 2.2 bar run but failing at 2.4 bar, Kumho finish ninth and failed at 2.2 bar, and Nankang finished in last place, failing to make it up at 1.8 bar.

Sidewall Strength

With punctures a very real part of offroading, and usually a major inconvenience, the magazine tested each tyre at 2.4 bar with a special machine that measures how much pressure is needed to puncture the shoulder area, between the tread and the sidewall.

The three ply sidewall tyres (BF Goodrich, Achilles, Nankang and Goodyear) tyres generally did better than the 2 layer tyres, though Kumho and Yokohama scored well for a twin ply construction.

Mud Traction

The mud test proved to be a real problem for the magazine, and even though they knew repeatability of the test would be an issue, they didn't realise just how hard it would be!

In the end, even using a specialist mud bath, the testers couldn't get any meaningful data from driving the truck in and out of the mud area, so decided to omit the results from the test.

Results

Goodyear Wrangler MT R1st: Goodyear Wrangler MT R
Total: 234.7 / Wet: 90.5 / Snow: 45.1 / Offroad: 50 / Toughness: 49.1
Overall: Goodyear perfectly coped with all the tests, and thus were considered the best. The driver described the clear leader as a model for all conditions, and although it is an expensive tyre, it's worth it.

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BFGoodrich Mud Terrain TA KM22nd: BFGoodrich Mud Terrain TA KM2
Total: 232.2 / Wet: 86.6 / Snow: 45.6 / Offroad: 50 / Toughness: 50
Overall: Despite its rigid structure and aggressive image, BF Goodrich actually turned out to be quiet on the road. A mediocre braking performance and unstable handling on wet surfaces, but they are perfect for off-road, and the strength of the sidewalls is incredible.

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Achilles Desert Hawk XMT3rd: Achilles Desert Hawk XMT
Total: 221.8 / Wet: 84.4 / Snow: 43.5 / Offroad: 50 / Toughness: 43.9
Overall: Although Achilles - a budget brand, the ability of these tyres on the roads is impressive, especially considering the price. Achilles is not very stable behavior on the roads, but firm sidewall eventually allowed them to enter the top three.

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General Grabber MT4th: General Grabber MT
Total: 227.2 / Wet: 88.3 / Snow: 45 / Offroad: 50 / Toughness: 43.9
Overall: After the General Grabber AT won in the previous Drive Out tyre test, there was a lot expected of the MT version. Even though they were ok in all disciplines, they didn't excel in any one of them. The strength of the sidewalls is also disappointing, given that they have a 3-layer construction.

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Hankook Dynapro MT5th: Hankook Dynapro MT
Total: 215.8 / Wet: 90.3 / Snow: 45.7 / Offroad: 50 / Toughness: 29.8
Overall: The Korean company continues to impress - their tyres performed well in the last two tests, and that says a consistently high quality of their products. This time, Hankook impressed on the asphalt and gravel, and if not for the relatively low strength of the sidewalls, they would have taken a place among the leaders of this test.

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Yokohama Geolander MT6th: Yokohama Geolander MT
Total: 212.5 / Wet: 88.6 / Snow: 46 / Offroad: 37.5 / Toughness: 40.4
Overall: Although Yokohama were relatively good results on asphalt, they had poor grip on the rocky slope.

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Dunlop Grandtrek MT27th: Dunlop Grandtrek MT2
Total: 208.4 / Wet: 90.1 / Snow: 42.9 / Offroad: 50 / Toughness: 25.4
Overall: The Dunlop tyres were the cheapest in the test, yet surprised with a good performance on asphalt. They have a weak strength of the sidewalls and not very good results off road

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Bridgestone Dueler MT8th: Bridgestone Dueler MT
Total: 208.3 / Wet: 88.5 / Snow: 43 / Offroad: 50 / Toughness: 26.8
Overall: On the pavement, it was not too bad, and Bridgestone were well balanced, but on gravel the grip was poor, and the sidewall weak

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Kumho Road Venture MT KL719th: Kumho Road Venture MT KL71
Total: 201.1 / Wet: 86.6 / Snow: 43.9 / Offroad: 25 / Toughness: 45.6
Overall: Kumho still can't compete with market flagship, and had poor dry braking in particular.

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Nankang Mudstar Radial MT10th: Nankang Mudstar Radial MT
Total: 169.7 / Wet: 85.9 / Snow: 41.7 / Toughness: 42.1
Overall: Nankang were not able to perform well in any of the tests, especially the rock traction where the tyre failed completely. Furthermore, according to the driver, the tyre had an unpredictable balance on wet surfaces, poor comfort and poor wet braking

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