When we asked you what you wanted us to review you said BFG Tires, we heard you. This review came at a great time as we needed a set of tires for our NEW Project JK. (You can see in our ATX wheel review what happened to our last JK.) When we set out to put a set of tires on our new project JK we wanted a few key features: they had to be quiet on the road, offer great traction off road in a variety of terrains, have great tread wear and with living in the Pacific NW offer outstanding wet traction on road!
We reached out to our friends at BFG who recommended their new AT KO2’s which seemed to be loaded with a ton of features, features we were looking for. BFG boasts about this being “the toughest All-Terrain tire. Ever.” We have seen more baja race footage and hardcore off-roading videos to know that just maybe the case… But how would it perform on our Jeep loaded with all of our gear on a run-away adventure? How would it drive for thousands of miles ON ROAD while we used it for our boring day to day routines? Would it stay nice and quiet or would there be a hum to drive us slowly into madness?? We jumped into the deep end of the mud pit to answer these questions for you in the form of a 37×12.50-17 wrapped on out ATX wheels.
Interested in learning more about BFGoodrich Tires?
So, why you might ask did we go with a 37” tire on a daily driver??? A JK Sport none the less with a Dana 30 up front?? Well, we had already reached out to our good friends at Northridge 4×4 who pointed us to the Artec truss kit and some beefy axles to handle the size…. Besides I am a little more careful off road and tend to be a little easier on my gear.. Don’t misunderstand, I hit the tails and don’t shy from a good obstacle…. I just try to avoid the point and shoot, skinny pedal, lot more skinny pedal type of wheeling. Long and the short of it was we had the suspension, we had the upgrades to handle it and wanted the ground clearance.
What features did the 37” KO2 offer that we were interested in and why are they important?
Tread Design: When selecting a tire you have to decide what is most important to you and what type of driving you will be doing. If it is a trailer to trail type rig you might be more inclined to look at an aggressive MT or Mud Terrain tire with an aggressive pattern designed for maximum traction off road. If you are like us and put thousands of road miles on your rig an AT or All-Terrain tire would be the way to go, offering a more street friendly pattern while also offering some traction features. The KO2’s tread design looked to offer great road traction, yet aggressive enough to give us traction when aired down on any surface.
Sidewall Traction: This seems pretty straight forward, right? Add some tread to the side of your tire to help maximize traction off road. This was important feature as we would be seeing all types of terrain, from dirt, rocks, mud and snow! The sidewall also offers something called CoreGard Technology, which is essentially BFG’s version of steroids making them more split and bruise resistant. We dig it.
Tread Life: Tread life or tread wear was another important feature as we would be putting a ton of miles on our rig and is something that you need to take into consideration. This could mean the difference from that new set of tires lasting 15,000 miles or 50,000 miles. There is a number of factors that play into picking the right tread wear for your vehicle, weight of your vehicle, tire size, tread design, etc. Make sure to do your research so you know what you are getting into and don’t get disappointed. BFG boasts extended tire life with the new KO2 and on this one, only time will tell. We will keep you posted.
Fuel Economy: Wait…. We chose a 37” tire…. Yes, even though we went to a 37” tire, fuel economy was still a factor for us. On a lot of our trips we end up very loaded with gear and any savings is very appreciated. Different tires do offer variances in fuel economy and quality plays a big role in that. The BFG KO2 is a high end tire manufactured to extremely high standards and with some of the best compounds available, meaning their tire offers less rolling resistance and thus better mileage. Win.
So.. How did the tire perform for us in the first few thousand miles? When we went to the shop to have the tires mount and balanced, what we noticed was how much weight they DIDN’T take to balance. This made us feel good that we did pick the right tire for Fuel Economy. What it breaks down to is the less weight the tire takes to balance, the truer the tire and the better the mileage. After we got all 5 mounted our first test drive was pretty amazing. The tires were incredibly quiet and handled very well on the dry pavement. We went right from the OE wheels and tires to the BFG’s and could notice no audible difference in the sound. Win. After a few hundred miles of pretty boring city driving we finally had a road trip in some pretty horrible weather that included rain and hail at highway speeds and back road driving which here in the NW is turn and turn and turn and turn. During the drive we didn’t have any white knuckle experiences and avoided hydroplaning at speed which was much appreciated!
Off Road… So far we have only had the opportunity to take them in the snow, it is winter time here in the Pacific NW after all. During our snow wheeling experiences we aired down to 8psi, why air down in snow??? Why this seems very common sense to a seasoned off roader we wanted to explain why because when we were on the trail we ran into a pretty good sized group of rigs on the trail and not a single one was aired down and was having a heck of a time getting anywhere. In snow it’s all about the foot print, when you air down you reduce the air pressure in the tire allowing flex in the tire and providing a bigger foot print. If you have bead locks you should go down to 2-3 psi, snow demands lower pressure than any other terrain for maximum traction, period. So, back to the BFG’s, this is their absolutely best terrain. We have absolutely fantastic traction and really couldn’t be any happier. WOW. If Snow wheeling is your thing this is your tire! On the trail there was a set of the BFG MT’s which the owner said did fantastic on the trail, but was having some issues with the Jeep sliding in off camber situations. Win to the AT’s!
So far the tire has performed as advertised and haven’t had any issues and are very happy with our purchase. Make sure to follow us for this long term test and updates!
BFGoodrich Tires KO2 All Terrain – Long Term Test, Part 1