BFG KM2 Test
BFG’s new mud tire is the tread you want on your truck when rugged terrain and bad roads on a job site turn ugly
by Bruce W. Smith
Let’s get right to the point: When it comes to off-pavement traction in the slop, the more aggressive the tread the easier it is to keep your pickup moving. You want to see mud slinging when you roll into the throttle.
If it’s not, it’s packing between the tread blocks and you’re just spinning wheels going nowhere fast.
The downside is, aggressive mud tires are not very friendly on the pavement, they growl and whine on the highway, and they don’t last long when compared to their slicker-faced street or all-terrain counterparts.
However, mud tires are a necessity for many contractors — and for those the BFGoodrich T/A KM2 is a fine choice.
It’s robust in design and well-suited to get your truck through the nasty places at sub-base road work, pits, site work and big landscaping projects.
The KM2 is a step-up from the earlier gen BFG Mud-Terrains in both tread design and build. It now contains compounds in the tread surface to better deal with dry handling, wet handling and snow handling using BFG’s Multi-Grip Tread Technology.
But my testing on our 2011 Ford Super Duty pickup and a contractor’s 2010 GMC Sierra HD shows it’s still a skittish tire on wet pavement, which is to be expected with big tread blocks.
Dry handling on the other hand, is very good for a mud tire.
Speaking of which, the KM2 tread is quite aggressive. It’s derived from BFG’s Krawler TEK technology, consisting of aggressive sidewall lugs, cut- and chip-resistant sidewall compounds, and sidewall cords that are up to 33 percent stronger than the previous Mud-Terrain T/A KM tire.
These advancements allow more bite and sidewall protection, along with increased strength and resistance to bruising caused by rocks and rough trails. The tire also handles towing duties quite well.
There’s no doubt it slings mud and gravel with ease. The traction aspect off-pavement and off-road is excellent.
On-highway you feel the slight vibration of the aggressive tread. You’ll also be quite aware there’re mud tires under your rig as the KM2s sing a loud tune running down the road.
(They were almost 4dB louder at 70mph than the stock all-terrains on the Super Duty.)
Tread wear is also a traction trade-off of the KM2, which is one of the more expensive tires on the market. We expect the typical contractor will see about 35,000 miles before they’ll need to be replaced.
One other item that might be of concern to some is fuel economy; the KM2 is heavy and has a lot of rolling resistance, so fuel economy is going to take a hit. I expect that to be in the 5- to 10-percent range.
But such tradeoffs for traction are worth it in the worlds of heavy construction, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better off-road performer for that type of work (or those weekend off-pavement adventures) than the BFG T/A KM2.