General Grabber X3 is a Mud-Terrain (M/T) tire that focuses on providing extreme off-road traction while BFGoodrich KO2 is an All-Terrain (A/T) tire that creates a balance between on and off-road performances. X3 has a higher void ratio due to widely spaced tread blocks which provide good traction off-road whereas KO2 has closely packed tread blocks which increases its contact patch, boosting its traction on-road.
Both tires have unique features and designs which makes them one of the top tier tires in their respective categories. To find key distinctions in their design and performance outputs in different conditions, keep reading.
Comparing BFG KO2 with Grabber X3
X3 has an aggressive symmetrical 4 pitch tread design with a higher void ratio which allows minimal contact on the road. Therefore, causes its on-road dry traction to be reduced, making the tire unreliable on paved paths while wider grooves and full depth sipes improve its wet traction as they allow water to be wiped away easily. Its tread design features chamfer blocks and notches which provide enhanced grip on loose surfaces and wide grooves are effective in removing mud and soft snow from the tire tread, boosting its off-road capabilities. Its mud traction abilities are further enhanced by open shoulder design, allowing mud to easily escape through them, helping in cleaning action of the tires. This results in a remarkable off-road capable tire but since its contact patch is lower that’s why it struggles on icy roads. Lower patch doesn’t allow it to maintain decent grip, thus, decreases the dependency of the tire in such conditions. The bold stone ejectors are also provided between its shoulder stud grooves which prevent the stones from getting stuck inside and drilling through, resulting in good rock traction. The tire has extra sidewall protective lugs and ribs beneath them for enhanced protection while traveling through harsh terrain. Its tread is made up of a robust compound that increases the treadwear resistance of the tire and a 3-ply body casing with twin steel belts bolsters its durability off-road. This tire is extremely loud on-road but can be trusted for a smooth off-road ride.
KO2 has a lesser aggressive symmetrical 5 pitch tread design with a significantly lower void ratio, providing a higher contact patch with the road, increasing its grip hence overall on-road dry traction. However, its wet traction is significantly lower compared to its counterpart due to narrow grooves, even its multiple shallow sipes are unable to drastically improve the wet traction. The tires possess mild capabilities for off-roading due to its narrow grooves which are ineffective in throwing mud, soft snow, and gravel backwards. Its shoulders are also not widely open to facilitate the easy passing of mud. The tire features stone ejectors between its shoulder stud grooves but they are not as bold as that of its competitor, making the tire perform comparatively lower on rocks. It is made up of a racing-derived tread compound which is cut and chip-resistant, boosting its treadwear resistance, and 2 steel belts with nylon reinforcements along with 3 ply polyester cord sidewalls, making its durability higher but not as high as that of X3. It’s very quiet on-road but lacks to ensure smoother rides off-road.
On-Road Traction Comparison
X3 has a higher void ratio which allows minimal contact between tread and the road, this decreases the grip of the tire and increases its braking distance, hence allowing poor on-road dry traction. While traveling on wet roads, the tire provides good traction due to wider grooves which allow efficient wiping of water, making it one of the best tires in wet conditions.
KO2 has a lower void ratio, allowing the tire to grip the road effectively due to its maximum contact patch, causing the braking distance to be lowered. This increases the on-road dry traction whereas its wet traction is significantly lower due to the inability of its narrow grooves to allow a decent amount of water pass through them, putting the tire at risk of hydroplaning.
Off-Road Traction Comparison
X3 due to its wider grooves stands out in mud as it could easily navigate through the mud by effectively biting it then throwing it backwards, keeping the tire moving. The open shoulder design allows further improvement in mud traction by passing mud easily through its wide shoulder studs grooves. This allows the tire to boldly move even on heavy mud.
Narrow grooves of KO2 are unable to cope efficiently with muddy conditions due to their inability to throw back mud easily. The closely packed shoulder studs don’t allow mud to easily pass through their narrow voids, further decreasing tire’s mud traction. The tire is most likely to get stuck in heavy mud as its grooves will get filled with mud, causing it to lose grip and turning the tire into a slick.
X3 is the preferred tire on soft snow as it can easily navigate through it due to the effectiveness of its wider grooves to bite soft snow and then evacuate it, allowing the tire to maintain its grip. However, the tire struggles on icy roads due to the absence of a decent contact patch and numerous sipes which causes the tire to lose its grip and slip on the ice.
KO2, just like on mud, is unable to provide the necessary traction on soft snow to boldly move the tire. Its narrow grooves are mostly likely to get stuffed with soft snow and causing the tires to get stuck. But the tire performs much better on ice due to its higher contact patch and several sipes which results in good traction on ice.
Since X3 is an extreme off-roading tire, it is provided with bold stone ejectors between its shoulder grooves that are necessary for traveling on rocks. There main purpose is to avoid the stone and pebbles from getting stuck inside the grooves, if not prevented then these stones could drill through the tire and puncture it. The tire has comparatively better built which allows excellent protection against the trail damages like cuts and chips, making this tire better suited to be used on rocks.
KO2 on other hand is also equipped with stone ejectors but they are not as bold as that of X3’s, causing the tire to perform poor on rocks compared to its counterpart. Its inability to effectively keep stones from getting stuck inside the grooves can prove to be costly, considering that they might drill through the tire, rendering it useless on rocky terrain.
Durability and Treadwear Differences
X3 has greater durability due to its stronger built and lower rolling resistance. Lower rolling resistance is achieved by allowing only a limited patch of tread in contact with the ground, resulting in lower treadwear of the tire. It is made up of robust compound and 3 ply body casing with twin steel belts which increases the treadwear resistance of the tire. These characteristics ensure better durability and higher mileage of X3 compared to other tire.
KO2 is a diverse tire that compromises between flexibility and rigidness, resulting in a tire with lower durability. (Compared to X3). It is caused by a higher contact patch, leading to higher rolling resistance which in turn increases its treadwear. It is made up of racing-derived tread compound which is cut and chip resistant and 2 steel belts with nylon reinforcements along with 3 ply polyester cord sidewall which results in an overall lower build compared to its counterpart. Hence, allowing lower durability and mileage of the tire in comparison.
Which Tire is more Comfortable?
X3 is not a comfortable tire on-road due to its wider grooves which allow a higher number of air particles to get trapped inside its grooves and strike its walls to produce a loud noise. This causes the comfort of this tire to drastically reduce while traveling on paved road, but the same wider grooves act as a shock absorber when traveling through a rough patch off-road, reducing the impact of jerks and improving the reliability of the tire.
Since KO2 is a more balance tire for both on and off-roading, therefore, it is better equipped to produce lesser noise on-road especially when traveling at high speed. The narrow grooves allow a limited amount of air particles to get captured between them, reducing the sound they produce when striking back and forth against its walls. This comparatively results in a much reliable on-road tire, although, its off-road comfort is not that great. This tire is unable to allow smooth navigation through the rough patches since it has narrow grooves which are not effective in dampening the impact of the jerks. This tire is not preferred for off-road journeys comfort-wise.
The X3 is a Mud-terrain tire, therefore, is available at a higher price range compared to the All-Terrain KO2 tire. X3 due to its wider grooves and stronger built is preferred for off-roading enthusiasts whereas KO2 gives you a compromise between on and off-roading performance.
- X3 is a Mud-Terrain tire while KO2 is an All-terrain tire.
- KO2 is better on-road while X3 performs exceptionally off-road.
- X3 is better equipped to handle wet conditions.
- Mud and soft snow are easily navigated by X3 due to its wider grooves
- A larger contact patch with numerous sipes gives an edge to KO2 on ice.
- Bold stone ejectors put X3 ahead of KO2 on rocks.
- Build quality, durability, and mileage of X3 is higher.
- KO2 is a quitter on-road while X3 provides a more comfortable ride off-road.
- X3 due to its extreme off-road capabilities is higher priced compared to KO2.