With cheaper price and competitive on road performance, the Firestone AT makes a lot of sense for a person who goes off road casually. But for off road enthusiasts, the tire can’t outperform the famous BFG KO2.
But still, both tires have their pros and cons and in order to truly understand them, their construction and design should be considered.
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Design Overview of both tires:
The Firestone AT has a slica based tread compound molded into an asymmetric all-terrain tread pattern.
It shows a classic design of 3 circumferential grooves with very little going on in the central rib gives this tire amazing grip on road, like summer tires which have more contact with the road.
The lower void ratio as compared to KO2 enhances its traction while on-road, and also faceted tread blocks and sipes improve wet and soft snow traction, giving good grip and handling.
Narrow grooves with a decent look give this tire a great advantage over on-road, producing less noise making the tire more comfortable.
On the other side, the BFG KO2 has a cut and chip-resistant compound molded in its aggressive tread pattern.
This all-terrain tire has interlocking tread blocks with a higher void ratio.
And there is no proper circumferential grooves on this tire either. This tire simply creates a mixture of grooves running around everywhere, creating a combination of great lateral and longitudinal traction.
And this is where it gets its grip from, on rocks/mud or even snow. (its been rated with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol as well).
On sides, the serrated shoulder design delivers additional traction by providing the claw action necessary for the grip during dirt, sand, and soft snow
While the sidewall armor protects from cuts from unwanted rocks.
But the higher void ratio gives this tire a little disadvantage over on-road comfort because it produces more noise.
And that’s the problem with AT tires. Make a tire more aggressive and compromise on road. Both of them are directly proportional.
Other specs of these tires:
|Average Weight||55.3 lbs||41 lbs|
|Average Tread Depth||15/32″||13.3/32″|
|Diameter Range||27.5 to 34.5″||26.5 to 34″|
|Sidewall Construction||3 ply||2 ply|
Side Note: With heavier construction and grip KO2 sizes would consume more fuel (on average).
AT has a lower void ratio as compared to KO2, making the tire lesser effective in muddy conditions.
The lower void ratio and center rib design between tires cause hurdles in navigation through the mud because of the lower space available between its tread blocks and shallow sipes.
The mud gets stuck inside its grooves, making it inefficient by decreasing its gripping capability.
The shoulder design of AT is lesser optimized compared to that of KO2 further decreasing its mud traction capabilities.
The higher void ratio of KO2 allows easy navigation through the mud by effectively throwing it backward with the help of wide grooves, providing a fine grip.
The aggressive symmetric tread pattern with interlocking tread blocks and serrated shoulder design help slide and clear the mud from the tires easily.
The higher void ratio and multiple deeper sipes not only help to throw mud easily from its spaces but also serrated shoulder design increase the biting strength necessary to develop traction and steering control in dirt and mud.
Snow Terrain Traction:
Firestone AT has a lower void ratio and tread design give this tire little disadvantage over snow terrain making it inefficient compared to KO2.
The decent standard grooves do throw soft snow backward which is necessary for the grip, but they are not as effective as KO2.
Plus, the KO2 tire is also certified with 3PMSF.
This tire on other hand outperforms its competitor on ice due to the higher contact patch, providing the necessary grip required.
The higher void ratio and multiple deeper sipes present in KO2, give benefit to the tire to navigate through the soft snow easily.
Just like mud, the grooves throw snow backward and improve the traction of the vehicle.
The tread pattern design with interlocking tread blocks gives a great advantage over soft snow.
The serrated shoulder design delivers additional traction and provides the necessary grip force needed in snowy conditions.
The tire, however, struggles on ice due to a lower contact patch, unable to grasp the icy roads properly.
Traction on Rock Terrain:
The Firestone AT has a lower void ratio making it unable to properly grip rocks especially on tricky angles of approach.
Stone ejector technology is not quite efficient as that of KO2, which makes it less effective against avoiding the stones from getting stuck into its grooves.
The built quality and protection against pebbles and sharp rocks is also not comparable to KO2. That makes KO2 a preferable tire than AT for rocks traction.
BF Goodrich KO2 has a higher void ratio and serrated shoulder lugs with decent shape and size which enables better biting grip for tricky angles on rocky terrain.
Stone ejector technology used in this tire is also way better at efficiently avoiding the stones and pebble from getting stuck inside the grooves.
The thick sidewall armor shoulder guards and protect the tire against impacts and provide protection from cuts.
Firestone AT has a lower void ratio and the continuous center rib which causes fewer air particles to get trapped, producing lower noise.
But during off-road travel, the comfort level is compromised because of the lower void ratio and tread shoulder design unable to cope with the shocks experienced while traveling over an unbalanced path.
The comfort level of KO2 is not satisfactory during on-road traveling, because of the higher void ratio as compared to Firestone AT which causes a higher amount of air to get trapped between the grooves producing noise during traveling at a high speed on the road, hence, compromising the comfort level.
But the comfort level of off-road traction is better due to the higher void ratio as it can easily absorb the shocks, soothing the travel experience.
Durability and treadwear:
In Firestone AT, the contact patch is higher, increasing the tire’s rolling resistance.
Due to higher rolling resistance, the tread wear is high which is inversely proportional to durability and mileage.
The body of Firestone AT consists two-ply polyester cord casing supporting two high-tensile steel belts.
A nylon reinforcement ply provides durability and higher speed capability.
Due to the higher void ratio, the contact patch between the road and the tire is high, making the tire’s rolling resistance minimum.
Due to low rolling resistance, the tread wear is also low, making its durability and mileage higher.
The body of BFG KO2 consists of 3-ply polyester sidewall ply construction for strength and durability, single strand beads that enhance its overall durability and make it a good choice for tough conditions.
Compare BFG KO2 with other AT tires:
- Nitto Recon Grappler.
- Toyo Open Country AT3.
- Falken Wildpeak AT3W.
- Cooper Discoverer AT3.
- Nitto Terra Grappler.
- Nitto Ridge Grappler.
- General Grabber AT3.
- General Grabber AT2.
- Yokohama Geolandar X-AT.
- Hankook Dynapro ATM.
- Hankook Dynapro AT2.
- Michelin LTX A/T2.
- Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo 3.
- Kumho Road Venture AT51.
- Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus.
- Goodyear DuraTrac.
- BFGoodrich Trail Terrain.