As the name suggests, both tires are designed to handle a mix of on and off-road driving. And both are best suited for jeeps, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. They were measured under the same size of 275/70R18, where KO2 has a tread depth of 15/32′ and the other has 10/32′ (lower).
The Rugged Trail has an optimized tread pattern that reduces rolling resistance on roads and increases the fuel economy of the vehicle which a lot of drivers look for in a tire. It provides better on-road performance comparatively because it has independent tread blocks that help in increasing dry traction on roads and provide responsive steering and grip even on high speeds.
KO2 on the other hand, provides better off road performance. It has a high void tread pattern, a serrated shoulder design along with good siping and rock ejection features that combine to increase off-road traction.
This tire also offers a cut and tear-resistant tread compound that promises a long tread life compared to other AT tires.
Overview of BFG KO2 and BFG Rugged Trail
BF Goodrich Rugged Trail
BF Goodrich KO2
The Rugged Trail has an aggressive tread pattern with independent tread blocks that come with biting edges, Which make the steering more responsive while also increasing the stability of the vehicle at high speeds. (It’s tread pattern reminds me of Cooper AT3)
The biting edges of the tire increase traction on wet surfaces. They grip onto the road while the sipes and two large central grooves present effectively eliminate water.
The Rugged trail’s performance on muddy terrains is not good as it is not designed for hardcore off-roading. The two grooves are thin and are not enough to clean large amounts of mud. Mud can settle on the tire and loss of traction can occur.
The KO2 also has an aggressive tread pattern with a high void ratio. A high void ratio means a lesser contact patch hence the dry grip of KO2 on roads is compromised.
However, the KO2 has a large number of sipes present which can evacuate water from the tread and increase wet traction while avoiding hydroplaning.
When it comes to muddy terrains, the KO2 performs very well. It has wide grooves and thus a high void ratio. The wide grooves clean mud efficiently and traction of the tire is not lost even in deep mud. (Goodyear DuraTrac out performs KO2 in mud traction.)
It has a serrated shoulder design that further provides additional handling by gripping onto dirt, sand, or mud.
Comparing On-Road Traction
The Rugged Trail’s dry on-road performance is great. The tread blocks are independent and come with biting edges to provide responsive handling, a strong grip, and a very stable ride even when driving at high speeds.
The tread pattern is optimized to provide a low rolling resistance which accounts for a smooth and comfortable ride while also saving fuel.
Just For Your Info: One of the best fuel saving tires, is Nitto Ridge Grappler.
When it comes to dry on-road traction, the KO2 lacks behind the Rugged Trail. It is because it has wide grooves and a high void ratio which results in less surface area of the tire that comes in contact with the road. Less contact patch means a decreased grip and handling on dry roads.
In terms of wet on-road traction, both tires provide good performance.
The Rugged Trail uses the two central grooves along with its sipes to evacuate water and increase the grip of the tire on wet surfaces.
The biting edges of the tread blocks also increase the overall grip of the tire. However, we did observe some incidents if hydroplane associated with high speed.
KO2 has a large number of sipes and wide grooves present which can expel large amounts of water from the tread. Even when passing through large puddles of water, the vehicle will not hydroplane.
The rubber blocks present on the sidewall also improve traction on wet surfaces, snow, and mud.
Comparing Off-Road Traction
The KO2 performs much better than the Rugged Trail on off-road terrains.
The Rugged trail is mainly designed for people who spend most of their time on-road driving with seldom off-road trips.
Rugged Trail provides decent performance on dirt pavements. The biting edges come in handy. They dig into the dirt and provide decent traction. The grooves are enough to clean any dirt build-up.
The KO2 has widely spaced tread blocks with a lot of void area. The grooves can easily handle large amounts of dirt and maintain the grip of the tire on dirt terrains.
The shoulder design cuts through the dirt easily.
Both tires provide good dirt terrain performance.
Performance In Mud
The KO2 has superior mud terrain performance compared to the Rugged Trail. It is made of a strong compound that is molded into a high void all-terrain tread pattern.
Innovative siping technique with a large number of sipes present clean off the mud. The most important part is played by the grooves of the KO2. They are wide enough to swipe away heaps of mud and increase the tire’s mud traction.
The serrated shoulder edge design provides additional handling, especially when cornering in deep mud.
On the other hand, the mud-terrain performance of the Rugged Trail is disappointing. The two central grooves are enough as long as the mud is not too deep.
But the grooves fail to clean excessive mud thus slipping can occur and the tires can even get stuck in deep mud.
The KO2 is the better choice when it comes to mud terrains.
The KO2 has object ejection features. It can successfully eject any rocks that get stuck within the grooves.
Serrated Shoulder design helps maintain traction by clawing onto rocks when driving on rocky trails with low tire pressure. The upper sidewall is armored using a rubbered compound to protect against sharp rocks and avoid punctures.
Rugged Trail’s aggressive tread pattern with independent tread blocks provide enough void space for rock ejection making its traction quite decent on rocky terrains.
The flexible and shock absorbing two-ply polyester sidewall protects the tire from cuts and punctures.
Performance In Snow
The KO2 has the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) emblem which means it can handle deep snow with ease while providing longitudinal snow tradition.
Its unique-looking three-dimensional sipes along with the lugs on the sidewall provide good traction when driving through deep snow.
The Rugged trail is quite decent on snow thanks to the biting edges of the tread blocks. They can plough through the snow and maintain the tire’s traction.
However, the tire is only M+S rated so it cannot handle severe snow.
Side Note: For Off Road, we had some amazing results with the Toyo Open Country AT3. We compared it with KO2 in this link.
The Rugged Trail has a two-ply polyester carcass which makes driving comfortable and smooth. The tire handling is effortless even on worn-out roads.
It uses an Equal Tension Containment system which absorbs shocks from road bumps and ensures a comfy ride.
The tread pattern is computer optimized to space out the tread elements in a way so that they produce minimum noise when driving on roads.
KO2 lacks a bit when it comes to providing comfort. It provides a better off-road performance so the sacrifice on comfort levels is reasonable.
The wide grooves and the high void ratio can cause problems in handling due to lesser contact patch.
The void area can follow the worn-out tracks on a road and cause incontinence while steering.
The noise levels are decent because it uses the same computer-optimized tread pattern as the Rugged trail to reduce noise levels.
Durability and Treadwear
When it comes to the durability of the tire, the KO2 is manufactured using a cut, chip, and tear-resistant tread compound. It means that the tread will not be easily damaged by sharp rocks or logs.
It also has an armored sidewall with a tougher rubber compound compared to other BF Goodrich tires so sidewall damage will not be an issue. The sidewall also has a 3-ply polyester construction for added durability.
On the other hand, the Rugged Trail features two steel belts inside to make it stronger and durable. Along with that, its Equal Tension Containment System makes the tire more flexible so when it rubs against hard surfaces, it flexes down and avoids punctures.
KO2 provides a tread life warranty of 50000 miles but it can go on as long as 65000 miles. It uses an Interlocking tread design which allows the tread blocks to wear evenly by providing them stability.
The load is evenly distributed so the tread wear occurs evenly and slowly.
The Rugged Trail does not come with an official tread warranty. However, the users have reported it to last as long as 70000 to 100000 miles by using tire rotation.
It uses a dual-compound tread along with an optimized contact patch to keep surface temperatures minimum and avoid the tread from degenerating.
- The Rugged Trail is the better option in terms of on-road performance.
- KO2 is the better choice when it comes to off-road driving.
- KO2 provides better traction in deep snow compared to the Rugged Trail.
- Rugged Trail provides better comfort levels and reduced noise levels compared to the KO2.
Both tires are durable but the Rugged Trail provides a longer tread life.