Toyo Open Country AT3 and BF Goodrich KO2 are A/T (all-terrain) tires which provide satisfactory off road performance while still keeping smooth and comfortable on highways. But still comparing both, the Toyo AT3 comes out to be more on-road oriented then BFG KO2, which offers superior traction on rugged terrains.
The BF Goodrich KO2 having 3 ply sidewalls with thicker lugs on top provide better biting abilities off road (during sidewall flexing), and can take on harsher rugged terrains, while the Toyo Open Country AT3 is better suited for pavements, where it provides better wear resistance, fuel economy and overall comfort. Both tires are 3 peak mountain snowflake rated, so they are pretty capable when it comes to winter performance.
Why we like BFG KO2:
- Provides superior rock crawling abilities.
- Shows superior deep snow handling.
- Responsive traction on gravel and roads filled with dirt.
- Offers better resistance to hydroplaning.
Why we like Toyo AT3:
- Better dry traction.
- Less on road noise.
- Better mileage, has 10k more tread wear warranty.
- Provides superior sand traction.
BF Goodrich KO2
Looking at BF Goodrich KO2, you get to see the serrated shoulder design, with one block having a scoop in it and the other just one edge flowing down and meeting the sidewall lug.
Lateral siping and notches are seen on both of its weirdly shaped shoulder blocks which vary in width and length a lot.
Both of these rectilinear siping and cuts go deep all the way to its base.
Similarly, between these shoulder blocks with wider gaps, bigger stone ejectors are also seen.
On the other side, with Toyo AT3, although you see a very similar serrated shoulder design, with a similar scoop on one block and a simple edged side on the other…
But the overall tire sides are less aggressive.
Here you see a very “blocky” design, without any kind of notches. But you still see wave like siping which go deep and are very effective in wet.
The stone ejectors are also not that bold as we saw in BFG KO2. These blocks also have ridges in between them which further restricts the movement of these blocks.
So, with better siping and more compact shoulder blocks, the tire is able to have more contact on the road during cornering.
If we look at the center of both tire, same trend is seen, with BFG KO2 showing relatively wider grooves.
In the center, the BFG KO2 has worm like blocks with rectilinear siping, which go all the way deep. Notches are also added so that these blocks can give more biting to the ground.
With overall interlocking design of these blocks, the tires gives pretty good enough traction on roads.
In case of Toyo AT3, where it features the prominent S shaped block, which to be honest looks like a rip off from a Superman’s logo.
These blocks show sharp edges and are further surrounded by others with incisions in them. These incisions or cuts whichever you prefer, face in all directions allowing this tire to hug the surface firmly.
Watch our video below, and find other related on our YouTube channel’s homepage.
All terrain tires are getting better and better at providing a decent on road traction, where they were already great off road.
Here, a the two most important things to look for include, gripping abilities, and handling stability, and we are going to discuss them both.
The dry grip of the tire directly relates with the overall construction of the tire, it includes, weight, section width and of course tread design.
Now as we have seen in the tread section above, the Toyo Open Country AT3 offers a very joined up central blocks, which are more closed up together compared to BFG KO2.
That’s why the tire offers a more area of it’s tread to be in contact with the road, and this provides it with superior grip. But that’s not all.
The tire’s rubber composition matters here a lot. On dry tarmacs, tread with a stiffer make up show better efficacy, and the Toyo AT3, not only provides that, all it’s blocks also have reinforced foundations, so while braking the blocks stay firm and in place.
On the other side, although the BF Goodrich KO2 also offers a stiffer construction, it’s tread blocks are separated with a larger area, hence it’s not able to meet with the road as much, in comparison.
Dry handling is another part of traction and it although depends on grip, major concern here include tire’s shoulders.
And again Toyo AT3 offers very packed up shoulder blocks.
See how these shoulders have (in the image) have connecting rubber ridges in between.
Also note, that the tire does not have anything on it’s blocks that would take away the rubber space, there aren’t any notches, incision etc.
All these ensure, that the tire makes maximum contact with the road and stay stable while cornering, as when the tire turns, maximum pressure is put on there.
On the other side, if we consider the shoulder blocks of BF Goodrich KO2, it makes sense why this tire is not better here in comparison.
The tire has very wide lateral grooves here, where prominent stone ejectors are seen.
The shoulder blocks also have wider siping in them, along with deep traction notches.
The tire also makes wider longitudinal grooves up front which separates it form the central blocks.
All of these eat away the rubber which would have been in contact with the surface.
So naturally the handling grip becomes limited.
But still the KO2 isnt too far off, as it’s uniformity of blocks and biters everywhere also help in gripping.
So tests show very minimal differeces, as you can see below, we summarized it in a tabular form.
|Tests:||Toyo AT3||BFG KO2|
|Dry Grip||123 ft||133 ft|
|Dry Handling||71 s||72 s|
|Wet Grip||166 ft||182 ft|
|Wet Handling||92 s||94 s|
|Hydroplaning||50 mph||51 mph|
But where the KO2 could not perform well in on road traction, it very much made up for it off road.
The tire showed great off road handling, be it mud, dirt, gravel, snow or even rocks.
On rocks with the tire’s staggered shoulders, and interlocking design the tire showed great combination of lateral and circumferential traction (much needed on rock). It simply feels more comfortable to drive on rocks. (Toyo AT3 with less aggressive sides wasn’t able to have the same levels of lateral traction)
On mud, with the KO2s more aggressive/bulkier sidewall lugs, the tire was able to better get out when aired down deep in mud. The wider grooves also helped it evacuate more mud in comparison. (As the tire is also better in hydroplaning).
And although both tires have serrated shoulders, the scoops on the KO2 sides are more effective.
On snow, both tire with 3pmsf Rating are great. The Ko2 is better with softer snow because it works there just like the way it deals with mud.
On the other side, on hard packed snow, the Toyo AT3 with it’s compact blocks with edges and sipes show better performance.
Durability and Tread wear
If you saw the video we added at the start of this article, you must be very familiar with how strong the BFG KO2 is.
Internally, in case of Toyo AT3, the tire has 2 steel belts with 2 ply casing of polyester which is then wrapped with 2 layers of nylon.
And in case of BFG KO2, it consists of twin steel belts reinforcements with spirally wrapped nylon and 3 plies polyester cord.
So you get an extra layer making KO2 a 3 ply sidewall.
Other than this, the tire also have bigger sidewall lugs in comparison.
These sidewalls further protects the most vulnerable part of the tire against sharp objects.
Side Note: With the help of 3 ply sidewall, the BFG KO2 provides better protection against sharp rocks and from thorns as they easily puncture through 2 ply sidewalls.
In terms of treadwear, the tire again has an upper hand, with its tread lasting for a long time.
The tire features full depth sipes, these sipes go all the way deep to the base.
Usually after a while, a common tire starts to loose it traction values, as with less sipe depth, they are wiped away quickly, but in the case of KO2, even with wear, the tire does not loose its traction.
|Tests:||Toyo AT3||BFG KO2|
|Fuel Consumption||19 mpg||18 mpg|
|Noise||68 dBs||70 dBs|
|Avg. Weight||48.1 lbs||55.3 lbs|
|Avg. Tread Depth||15/32″||15/32″|
What’s the Verdict?
The BF Goodrich KO2 is a much expensive option that offers great off road capabilities.
We think its price is justified, given how durable these tires are combined with their amazing off road performance.
A true all terrain tire is suppose to be great off road while still giving you a comfortable ride on streets.
And this tire does exactly that. Although you do face some traction issues on wet, but that can be compromised seeing what other things the tire is good at.
Though a more on-road oriented option is Toyo AT3, which excels in nearly all the tests there, but can’t offer as much traction on rugged terrains in comparison.
Compare BFG KO2 with other AT tires:
- Nitto Recon Grappler.
- Falken Wildpeak AT3W.
- Cooper Discoverer AT3.
- Nitto Ridge Grappler.
- Yokohama Geolandar X-AT.
- Firestone Destination AT.
- Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus.
- Goodyear DuraTrac.
- BF Goodrich Trail Terrain.
Compare Toyo AT3 with its competitors: