Industry > Upgrade

BFGoodrich rolls out new all-terrain T/A KO3 tire

Nearly a decade after the T/A KO2’s debut

The BFGoodrich KO3 is the successor to the legendary KO2. PHOTO FROM BFGOODRICH

BFGoodrich, a legend in the automotive off-road and motorsport scene, has finally unveiled a replacement model to its now legendary and ubiquitous T/A KO2 (Traction Advantage Key Off-Road) aggressive all-terrain tire with the T/A KO3 after a decade of service.

The brand was made famous for its off-road tires that it had tested extensively since the 1970s in the Baja 1000 trophy truck races. The same tires it races with can be bought by you and me, and install on our trucks.

So, what improvements have been made from the KO2 to the newer KO3?

These improvements surely improve off-road traction. PHOTOS FROM BFGOODRICH

First, a new tread compound and a new tread design. Tread blocks appear closer together in the KO3. The older KO2 featured triangular stone-ejecting elements in the voids which are absent in the KO3. There are small “KO3” in miniature lettering between alternating shoulder tread lugs.

Second, the KO3 benefits from larger water channels that extend farther across the tread pattern than the KO2. Tread blocks also show more interlocking full-depth sipes. Interestingly, the smallest grooves in the tire are for increased biting edges and tread block stability.

The greater number of full-depth sipes can contribute to the tire’s handling in snowy conditions as well as its grip on rocks, as the tread elements bend and flex over the terrain.

Third, the updated design of the serrated shoulder and the “Mud-Phobic Bars” is claimed to improve mud and snow performance. As with the old tire, the KO3 earns the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake Award for severe snow rating.

Here hoping the tire manufacturer has tamed the predecessor's harsh ride. PHOTO FROM BFGOODRICH

The biggest gripe for many users with the older KO2 is that it rode as hard as nails.

Let’s hope the KO3 addresses that, making everyday driving—the biggest allure of the BFGoodrich KO2—more pleasant with hopefully less tire and wind noise on the highway.

There are 100 sizes planned for release over the next 18 months. No word yet on when these will arrive in the country, but the off-road/overlanding and custom car scene is excited for its arrival.

Botchi Santos

Botchi is your friendly, walking car encyclopedia. He loves helping people choose the right vehicle for themselves as much as he enjoys picking the right one for himself. Expect him to write about car culture, test drives and car-shopping advice. His regular column is called ‘Car Life’.