BFGoodrich KO2 Vs KM3

Both flagships from BFG bring unique things to the table. Both are from a very different categories and are made to tackle harsh terrains.

The BFG KO2 is an All Terrain Tire that doesn’t compromise on road comfort but still performs great off road.

On the other hand, the BFG KM3, is made for off road, it might be a little uncomfortable to drive on road, but the sheer power it brings on rugged terrain makes up for it.

Design of these tires:

Starting with the KM3, the tire is made out of softer compound where you see huge tread blocks with a lot of spacing in between.

The shoulder blocks are staggered with one having a scoop and a notch/deep cut in it and the other with sharp edges. With this tire is able to bite and throw the mud around quite efficiently.

Between these blocks, stone ejectors are seen which reduce the mud/stone/dirt build up in the grooves.

BFG KM3 Shoulders

Both block together make an aggressive sidewall design, which also allows this tire to get out when aired down deep in mud.

On the other side, if we look at the shoulder blocks of BFG KO2, they are overall less combative.

Here you again have one scoop in one block and sharp edges in the other making this tire serrated. Both blocks have sharp cuts in them (one lateral and the other one at an angle).

Shoulder of BFG Ko2

Lateral siping is also seen on these blocks and together they paste a lug on the sidewalls which are less bulkier in comparison.

If we look at the middle part of this tire. You get to see a uniform design with worm like blocks everywhere. These 3 highlighted blocks below keep on repeating and make the whole middle tread.

Central Part of BFG KO2

All of these blocks have the same trend of siping (which go deep to the base, allowing this tire to have a great tread life and great wet traction).

On the other hand, the BFG KM3 central part again is very bulky with chunkier blocks.

Here 2 group of blocks are seen which repeat throughout the tread.

These blocks have deep and prominent siping on these blocks, which allows this tire to further grip and bite the surface its on.

On-Road Traction:

While driving with KO2, you will get a seamless experience with complete control on steering, the joy of smooth acceleration, and, most importantly, negotiating corners.

By collecting a lot of data we were able to calculate the traction of both tires:

Dry brakingDry handling
KM398.5 ft.104 s
KO2103.7 ft.100 s
Disclaimer: The data may vary in another test, as there are a lot of different factors. The G forces tell us how much impact of the force acted during cornering. And the braking distance was measured by stopping from 50mph.

As one would expect that the KO2 would perform better due to their more surface area with the road. But there’s more to it.

KO2 on the left and KM3 on the right

In the test results above, we saw that the breaking distance of KM3 is better, but at the same time the cornering ability is better on KO2.

Which may seem odd, as with more block voids it would make less contact with the road, so it should make more grip.

But BFG KM3 has a softer material, so the deeper tread of these blocks combined with larger gaps easily allow the blocks to squirm and wiggle easily causing a sticky effect with the rocks.

So they “stick” better on road.

But then why are they not suitable on road, well, because grip is just one part of the overall traction, and handling with M/T tires are poor on road.

They also wear very faster on road due to their softer compound.

If we talk about the wet performance for both tires, than the KM3 would be better in hydroplaning but with very minimal sipes, they would not be able to outperform the KO2. But still, one of the biggest cons of KM3 (on road) is that it makes too much noise on the roads due to its aggressive block treads.

Still the tire is quieter than its previous version, the KM2.

Off-Road Traction:

The KM3 gets the lead in this category due to its unique feature. The tire demonstrates almost perfect traction on all types of terrain, which should come as no wonder since it is custom-designed for this purpose. And with more aggressive overall design, KO2 is no match here.

In mud and snow, Traction-Armor Sidewall Sculpture elevates traction capabilities through a notched shoulder design. It comes with Krawl-Tek Compound to enhance motility on rocks and smooth surfaces.

One of the most prominent KM3 features include its dense groove construction with its Mud phobic bars to evacuate compacted mud constructing for continued traction.

On the other hand, KO2 tires have a small scale of dense grooves, a minus for mud-evacuation and eliminating any other material that could get trapped in between and consequently minimize traction.

However, these tires fulfill the industry’s intense snow service demand, to the extent that it appears with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol, making it suitable for snow and ice.

Basically the hard packed road snow is better handled with KO2, while the KM3 deals better with soft snow (just like mud).

Treadwear and Durability

Both tires are very durable and both use the same Cord Gard technology and have 3 ply polyester sidewall inner construction.

The KM3 tire has been composed of thick material, especially the sidewalls, as rough terrains can damage the tires earlier.

A stiff and dynamic sidewall and shoulder also prevent the tire from being punctured easily.

Its trims are made softer and tend to wear off quickly, limiting the use of the tire in wet areas if you plan to keep them for a long while.

So, overall the KO2 would last longer than these tires.

After using KO2 for thousands of miles, you will notice that the tread life remains, and they haven’t gotten much older and worn up.

These tires also have very deep siping (which go all the way deep down to the tread’s base) so even with wearing the tire doesn’t lose sipes and its wet traction.

Overall Thoughts

Both tires are built for different types of terrain. The All Terrain KO2, is the best of both worlds, providing you with a great off road experience while still making sure you get a comfortable ride.

On the other hand, the true off-roader, BFG KM3 is made for a more aggressive use.

So in the end, it all comes down to your choice.

If you are mostly staying on road than you should go with an AT tire over MT. Otherwise MT as the name tells would provide you with enhanced off road traction especially in mud.

Compare BFG KO2 with other AT tires:

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