The BF Goodrich Trail Terrain T/A and BF Goodrich KO2 are both all-terrain tires, designed to handle a variety of surfaces. And despite their similarities, each tire has its strengths.
The BFG Trail Terrain excels on roadways, offering precise steering control thanks to its narrow grooves and specially designed sipes.
On the flip side, the BFG KO2 shines when faced with rougher terrains. Its robust design featuring 3 ply polyester sidewalls allows it to tackle any path confidently. Even though it holds its own on wet roads, the Trail Terrain surpasses it in terms of comfort and fuel efficiency.
Let’s check out these boys in more details, starting with their desings.
BF Goodrich Trail Terrain
BF Goodrich KO2
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the BFG Trail Terrain comes with a continuous shoulder ribs with a lot of siping and deep notches, in between.
These siping marked with red below, go all the way deep down to the tread base (just like the BFG KO2), and they resemble the ones in the middle.
In the center of the tire, you’ll see an optimized footprint design (blue-colored), with 3 blocks split in half and further divided by sipes making the smaller ones wiggle a lot (which can cause wear).
Other than this, the triangular shaped stone ejectors can be seen in the middle but the ones in the shoulders are missing due to the tires continuous sides.
On the other side, with combative design of BFG KO2, the tire offers three rib blocks in the middle with similar depth but bolder siping with a lot of notches on them.
These notches get even more aggressive on the shoulders (marked with green) where one is lateral and the other one is at an angle.
Both shoulder blocks (although serrated like the Trail Terrain) join together to form a tougher looking sides and combine with 3 ply sidewalls, the tire comes out more durable out of the two.
Looking at the Ko2’s aggressive design, it would would make more sense, if the Trail Terrain T/A performs better on road. But things are a little different.
The overall ride quality a tire supplies depends on two important things, one has to do with noise and the other measures how well a tire absorbs the bumps, both on and off road.
Noise is just flow of air through the grooves, and when it flows in and out, and hits the walls, various sound waves are generated.
Now most of that air comes in through the shoulder gaps, so it makes sense why the BF Goodrich Trail Terrain is so much better at providing a quieter ride.
The air has can not get in as much and the little bit that does, is dampened down with pitch sequencing (where all blocks are made slightly different in terms of geometry, and air hitting them create different tones which cancel out each other).
The BF Goodrich Ko2 although also offers this technology as well, it’s highly balded shoulders can not stop air coming in and striking the tread walls (as much).
Ride comfort is another part of overall ride quality and here the BF Goodrich Trail Terrain again yields better results with it’s softer rubber composition and less rigid internal construction.
The tire has less number of cap plies and a soaking rubber on top with high silica (in it’s composition), so it’s able to absorb the vibrations of the road in a much better way.
The BF Goodrich KO2 is stiff, especially on sides, it’s spirally wound nylon cap plies does not offer good enough comfort performance, where you feel them the most while cornering.
On smooth pavements, the tire’s performance is judged by looking at how well it responds to steering changes, its overall traction (both lateral and directional).
Let’s check them all out one after another.
Dry traction is again two parts, dry grip and handling.
Dry grip depends on overall contact of the tread’s rubber with the surface the tire’s on. So it makes sense why BF Goodrich Trial Terrain with it’s packed up central blocks produces better results here overall.
Whereas dry handling has to do with shoulders and sidewalls, as on corners, the tire’s sides come in to action, so the BF Goodrich Trail Terrain with continuous running rib over there produces better results. This can be properly explained, discussing it’s steering response.
The BF Goodrich Trail Terrain provides a very smooth communication with a very small lag. The tire’s quick response has to do with it’s rounded contact patch and sides.
With rounded contact patch, the tire distributes the load out towards its shoulders very smoothly, so any steering input yields faster feedback results, and here aiding it are it’s continuous side ribs which don’t break apart the tire’s contact with the surface even slightly.
The BF Goodrich KO2 All Terrain on the other hand offers a very aggressive shoulder design, and it’s larger weight causes it to over-steer whilst turning.
Wet surfaces are a bit of a challenge for all terrain tires, as it has to do with water removal.
Water basically gets escaped form the tread with the help of grooves (where hydroplaning resistance comes in), and wet grip (where water wiping is done on a micro level).
Let’s discuss both.
On wet roads, you need two things in a tire to make them effective.
You need sipes (the slits you see every where on the tread), and you need a flexible tread so these slit/sipes can flex and soak water in to clear away the path, and both of these are provided in BF Goodrich Trail Terrain.
The tire is flexible as we have already discussed in the comfort section above, and it has numerous sipes everywhere, which are more efficient in wiping water away compared to BF Goodrich KO2, where sipes aren’t able to flex as much.
But still the difference in wet traction overall is very low, which is surprising, as KO2 does not offer as good a wet performance to begin with, but why is that?
Well, this is answered by another crucial wet performance factor, hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning is when a tire floats on water, that’s where there are grooves, so water can evacuate fast.
The faster the water gets out, the less water there is for sipes to clean off, so it makes sense how BF Goodrich KO2 being a balder tire with a web of grooves provides faster water evacuation capabilities.
That’s why although the tire lacks slightly overall, it’s not too far off (in wet traction).
Looking at the BFG Trail Terrain’s on road performance, you might wonder what’s so different about these tires then?
Well, the thing is BFG tired to make this an on-road oriented tire but I would personally use this tire off road more.
BF Goodrich for some reason ends up making great off road tires.
Since Trail Terrain features narrower grooves, you can’t expect the same performance out of this tire when on mud lets say, compared to KO2. But other than that, these tires performed equally as good on gravel and dirt.
We were a little skeptical when we first analyzed its tread as it seemed pretty soft but it provides excellent cut resistance combined with great dirt and gravel traction even with high speeds.
But still overall, the tire can’t outperform the BF Goodrich KO2 (and of course you saw this coming). KO2s are simply more aggressive.
With multiple variations of cuts on shoulders and notched central blocks with interlocking design the tire is able to shed more dirt and mud out of its way.
The bold stone ejectors on the shoulders (missing in the Trail Terrain) expel more mud out of the tire that would otherwise lodge in the tire tread.
And the 3 ply sidewalls of KO2 provides better safety against sharp rocks and thorns that can pierce the 2 ply sidewalls of the other tire here.
But on snow, Trail Terrain does not disappoint at all and really makes up for the wet traction. The 3D sipes here are very effective and work in a similar manner like the KO2. Both of these tires are branded with 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating.
FYI: Still a better pick for mud traction is Goodyear DuraTrac, (compared with KO2).
To Sum Up
BF Goodrich Trail Terrain does things better on roads, where its much quieter, and one of the most fuel efficient tire you can get in the all-terrain category.
The tire also offers very good grip and a good enough tread life as well, where on snow it offers better performance on packed snow, despite both of them branded with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating.
But the tire can not compete the BF Goodrich KO2 when it comes to rugged off road challenges as it offers better durability with 3 ply polyester casing wrapped with powerful steel belts and spirally wound nylon, and it provides grip in all direction.
It’s interconnected grooves is also better at self cleaning as well where those grooves meet up with wild shoulder gaps.