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Old 07-09-2014, 10:19 AM   #1
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Overland Journal all-terrain tire test

Some members have mentioned the Overland Journal summer 2014 review of all-terrain tires. I thought I’d post a summary for those who don’t have a copy.

They tested 7 tires – BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO, Dick Cepek Fun Country, Falken WildPeak A/T, General Grabber AT2, Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure, Toyo Open Country A/T II, and Cooper Discoverer A/T3 – in size LT265/70R17E on two 10th anniversary Jeep Wrangler Rubicons. For on-road performance, they compared handling limits, braking, slalom, skidpad and wet cornering performance, and conducted a highway test. For on-trail performance, they used a dirt oval, a rut test and a rock climb. The trick was to make everything repeatable, controllable and objective as possible.

They gave all-around summaries of each tire’s performance, and then listed the general pros and cons of each:

Bf Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO -

Pros: Three-ply sidewall
Good damping and deflection on dirt
Classic all-terrain design

Cons: Poor adhesion
Poor wet traction performance
Excessive lug chipping and tearing
Did not complete rock climb

Dick Cepek Fun County –

Pros: Good lateral on-pavement grip
Mechanical keying on rock from large tread lugs
Deep tread

Cons: Did not complete rock climb
Unpredictable at high speeds on dirt and pavement
Poor straight-line braking performance

Falken WildPeak A/T –

Pros: Class-leading dry rock traction
Excellent initial grip on dry pavement
Smooth and quiet on the highway

Cons: Vague on-center feel
Trends toward oversteer on dirt
Fast wearing due to soft compound and lug pattern depth

General Grabber AT2 –

Pros: Good lateral on-pavement grip
Direct and accurate at speed
Excellent grip at speed on dirt
60,000 mile warranty

Cons: Did not complete rock climb
Firm ride quality
Poor straight-line braking performance

Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure –

Pros: Quiet and stable on the road
Fastest slalom average
Highest lateral g on skid pad
Excellent braking characteristics

Cons: Limited grip in all dirt conditions
Did not complete rock climb
Overshoot after countersteer

Toyo Open County A/T II –

Pros: Good line-holding on dirt oval
Excellent carcass and lug deformation
Smooth and quiet on-highway
Excellent on- and off-pavement braking performance

Cons: Lowest overall pavement performance
Poor wet traction performance
Shallow tread depth

Cooper Discoverer A/T3 –

Pros: High-speed control and predictability on dirt
Greatest range of performance
Best wet pavement traction

Cons: Lacks three-ply sidewall

“Editor’s Choice and Value Award: The Cooper Discoverer A/T3 was the overwhelming winner and a genuine value. The cost saving is no doubt a result of the company being one of the world’s largest tire manufacturers. The A/T3 was the second fastest through the slalom and wet corner, third fastest through the skid pad, and had the third shortest braking distance. On the highway the Cooper was direct, quiet, and smooth – a tester favorite for long-distance cruising. One would think that all of this pavement performance would result in a lackluster dirt showing, but the Discoverer was an animal on the dirt oval and provided huge driver confidence. This directly translates to improved safety for an overland traveler. The Cooper was also one of the three tires that climbed the rock face successfully.”

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Old 07-19-2014, 03:10 AM   #2
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They missed some of the best features of the KOs: durability and quite ride. The KOs will outlast two sets of some of those other tires.

I had 2 set of Coops and several of the other contestants. I like the Coops but I would say they are solid but overwhelming in any way on or off road.

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Old 07-19-2014, 03:59 AM   #3

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The TOYO and Falcon AT are two very popular tires.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting the info. My BFG All Terrains are getting pretty worn. I'll be looking to replace them by fall. Before the rain & snow.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:53 AM   #5
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No Duratrac review? I'm surprised the forum hasn't exploded yet.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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I recommended a set of Cooper at3's to a buddy who put them on two weeks ago. The Toyos were apparently backordered and he did not want to wait. last week we wheeled together there were 2 sets of Toyo at2's, one set of Nitto terra grapplers and the Coopers. every condition except sand and deep mud (mud was limited to maybe 3" or 4" on top of a solid base) lots of creek crossings and lots of loose rocky climbs and descents. We were all aired down from 15-20psi.

I was leading and was able to watch everybody as we stayed pretty tight and I was trying to video the trip. All the tires did great. I can say that the AT3's spun the most coming out of muddy holes and out of the creeks but they were also on the lightest rig albeit the one with the best suspension in my opinion. It was not an extremely challenging trip but a few places required 4 lo altho I was mostly in 2 wd. The wrangler with the grapplers was in 4 lo most of the day as his was a 6 speed with 3.21's and the 35's were killing his clutch. The Grapplers are impressive and of course the Toyos still have yet to disappoint.

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Old 08-16-2014, 09:05 PM   #7
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wonder how those AT3's would do in deeper mud on a light rig? i like the idea of the rain performance and quiet ride of the AT's over a MT.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info, CRWrangler. It was very helpful, and I think indicated my next tire selection.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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jadmt, i know what you mean with 6 speed and 3.21 gears. Offroading is horrible with that setup even on 285/70/17. 4lo while everyone is on 4hi is no joke.

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