Goodyear DuraTrac vs BFGoodrich KO2

Both of these aggressive tires are specified for usage during all seasons and in all types of terrains. Their optimized design will provide you with stable driving experiences on the paved road as well as the rugged terrain.

The Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac shows an open design with deep grooves and raised blocks. Its tread is specialized for mud and snow performance. Plus, it has significant hydroplaning resistance. It also carries a three-peak mountain snowflake rating, ensuring an enhanced winter performance.

On the other side, the famous KO2 from BF Goodrich tires comes with the benefit of good on road traction and driving comfort. They are great rock climbers. They provide good enough traction on snow and mud.

So, can this tire beat the expensive DuraTrac? (Well, the answer lies in their design).

Design Comparison of These Tires:

Both tires clearly have a very different design.

The Goodyear DuraTrac although quite old now (launched in 2009) still considered an amazingly designed tire.

The tire is marketed as an all terrain but looks more like a hybrid.

Nitto Ridge Grappler is a hybrid tire example, where you see larger shoulder blocks and voids like the Mud tire and compact central design of the AT tire.

If we look at the sidewall/shoulder of this tire. Tire gives a pretty combative looks.

Sidewalls of DuraTrac
DuraTrac’s Shoulder/Sidewalls

2 shoulder blocks can be seen, making a distorted semi-circle with sharp edges to them.

The shoulders are also staggered with one of them having a small scoop like step to it.

The sidewalls have shoulder lugs which are comparatively smaller but widely spaced. They are also bulkier with better ability to grab and pull more.

The gaps between the shoulder block are prominent and they vary in length and width, one after another, forming stone ejectors (which are larger in comparison).

Other than this, siping is seen on these blocks like the rest. This wave like pattern allows the tire to grip the surface on a smaller scale.

In comparison, the BF Goodrich KO2 is less aggressive in it’s sidewall design.

Here, the shoulder blocks are irregularly shaped, elongated, and have traction notches on their inner edges.

These deep notches/cuts along with straight (slightly angular) siping gives this tire a great biting power.

Shoulder of BFG Ko2
KO2’s Shoulders/Sidewalls

These blocks are also serrated here and they are joined forming a shoulder-sidewall Armor for enhanced steering performance.

These sidewall lugs are less bulkier in comparison but pasted on a larger area with less gaps in between. Their outer margins are also alternatively scooped for enhanced evacuation.

The gaps between the shoulder blocks are also very prominent as there are bold rectilinear stone ejectors present in its lateral channels (small but prominent triangle-shaped ejectors are also present in the longitudinal voids).

And the sipes here on tread blocks are linear and slightly angular (they are straight line’s, different, compared to DuraTrac’s wave like pattern).

If we move on to the central area of these tires.

The Goodyear DuraTrac characterizes an open tread design as its small, squared central blocks are arranged at an angle (forming broad marginal longitudinal groove rings on sides).

The central design basically offers 3 different shapes. The ones colored with blue are the mirror images of each other.

Complicated pattern of DuraTrac

And the green and pink blocks (around blue one) exchange their positions with each other throughout the pattern.

Together they form a complicated pattern forming a tough bite (from every side) to the ground, as these blocks have teeth to them.

The base of grooves is made further efficient with what they call the “Tractive-Groove technology”.

These are simply a miniature version of the tread blocks as shown below.

Miniature Tread blocks of DuraTrac

These mini blocks come in handy when deep in snow and mud. Allowing the tire to maintain more friction with the mud and snow stuck in the grooves.

The tire also features 16 stud installers (on LT sizes) for enhanced traction in winter conditions.

On the flip side, the central area of BFG KO2 is not that complicated.

It has a relatively compact tread, its C-shaped blocks form three central ribs in an interlocked arrangement having narrow spacing among them.

Central Part of BFG KO2

All tread blocks are marked with zig-zag sipes and many of them have saw-toothed edges for biting over the rigid surface.

These sipes also go deep down to the base giving these blocks more room to wiggle and squirm, especially on uneven rocks.

Overall, it’s very clear why DuraTrac has a more aggressive design.

Other info about these tires:

BFG KO2DuraTrac
Weight Range34.3 to 67.4 lbs35 to 60 lbs.
Average Tread Depth15/32″17/32″
Available sizes15 to 22″15 to 20″
Sidewall Construction3 ply2 ply

All sizes of BFG KO2 have the same tread depth of 15/32″. And the most common tread depth for DuraTrac is 18/32″ (the average tread depth was calculated by summing up all tire sizes).

Performance on Rocky Terrain:

Both tires are great on rocks, with DuraTrac providing little bit more lateral traction especially on wet rocks.

The tire’s shoulders are no match for the KO2s. They simply have more clawing power to them as they are wider and create very jagged grooves.

Duratrac Off Road

These serrated shoulder blocks combined with wave like siping and sidewall lugs create more lateral traction for this tire in comparison.

“Lateral Traction” is basically the side-way traction of the tires, which allows them not to slip towards their sides (with weaker traction, vehicles tend to slip sideways during climbing causing damage, and sometimes overturning them).

On the other side, the BFG KO2 is also not too far off.

With uniform interlocking blocks having notches, the tire is also able to produce significant grip and can climb rocks with minimal effort.

BF Goodrich KO2 off road

The deep siping split the hook shaped blocks further so they can move and squirm according to the grip needs of the tire, increasing overall friction with the rocks.

The serrated shoulder blocks with uneven shapes just like the DuraTrac also gives this tire efficient lateral traction. The deep notches and sipes in these shoulder blocks further aids this process.

Other than all this, both tires have silica compound rubber which resists chip and scratch damages from sharp rocks. So both tires perform great on high speeds on gravel.

From the sidewall perspective however, things get a little different where you get 3 plys sidewalls for BFG KO2 protecting the tire from sharper rocks.

And 2 ply DuraTrac sidewalls still have bulky lugs which push those sharp rocks away again protecting this them from punctures, but in a different manner.

How These tires performed in Mud?

Mud Traction of tires

In mud, DuraTrac takes the lead over the contestant offering the benefit of its open tread.

As its good ratio is higher and its channels are very deep as well, mud gets much room to evacuate out from the tread.

Besides that, the miniature tread pattern employed in its construction further adds to its mud traction abilities.

Stepping of shoulder edges accounts for a stronger biting action while turning about in muddy areas.

Conversely, KO2 shows lesser capability while rolling through the mud because its compact and shallow tread. It simply permits relatively minor mud evacuation in comparison.

Hence, self-cleaning of its grooves takes longer.

Although its shoulders have alternate scooping to provide enhanced evacuation ability while turning, yet lower contact patch renders its mud traction lower.

Performance of Tires in Snow:

Although both tires are rated with 3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake, the Goodyear DuraTrac gets the upper hand here, especially with soft snowy terrains.

The tire simply has more grip to it.

The alternating length and width of both shoulder blocks make a zig-zag shaped circumferential grooves. These 2 grooves contain similar uneven shaped central blocks which produce further zig-zag lateral grooves.

The tire also has more wave like siping and the mini tread design in those grooves which gives this tire the extra bite and better friction in comparison.

In case of BF Goodrich KO2, the tire is also proficient enough and gives almost equal performance when it comes to on road snow.

The tire’s uniform hook design gives the tire grip from all directions. In this tire there isn’t any prominent lateral or circumferential groove pattern. It’s just a web, allowing this tire to grab the surface from all sides.

The deep siping further aids the tire and they chew away the snow in its pathway.

On-Road Traction & Comfort:

In terms of comfort, with softer material the DuraTrac would feel less bumpy off road, but they are very loud on road.

And they tend to get louder with age, unlike the KO2 which is less noisy in comparison.

The BFG KO2 also shows better performance on the dry roads because its contact with the road is relatively larger. Its tread has a strong grip on the paved surface as C-shaped blocks specify many biting edges.

Similarly, its handling efficiency is higher as it has big shoulder lugs with narrow lateral grooves among them.

Better on road clawing ability of its shoulders is credited to Irregular shape and traction notches on inner block edges. Hence, it maintains stable traction as you turn your vehicle about a corner.

(The DuraTrac feel very stiff on the steering wheel while turning).

On wet traction, however same performance is seen from both tires.

Durability and Treadwear

The BFG KO2 are tough. In fact it’s the toughest tire ever made by the BF Goodrich.

They even dropped it from 10k feet to prove it.

KO2 gets a better score for durability owing to its multi-layered composition.

It has a steel-alloy structure made of two high-strength belts which are reinforced by 3 plys of polyester with spirally wrapped nylon. (DuraTrac has 2 ply polyester instead of 3)

So here you get 3 ply sidewall construction, compared to DuraTrac’s 2 ply.

The tire also specifies a strong tread built with steel and polymer structure. It also has a rim lock to ensure proper fitting and a rim protective layer to safeguard the wheel from damage.

Tread design (and more tread depth) predicts that it will wear slowly in comparison because it encounters lesser friction while rolling over the road. But relatively less robust composition lowers its durability score.

In terms of wear, the BF Goodrich gives a warranty for 50,000 miles and also ensures even wear due to it’s uniform design.

Goodyear Duratrac provides a tread-wear warranty for 50,000 miles on all normal-sized tires, however, LT and flotation sizes do not carry a mileage warranty.

And the uniformity of tread wear is ensured up to 2/32’’.

 DuraTracKO2
DurabilityModerateHigh
Tread wear warrantyNot available for LT sizes6 years/50,000 miles
Uniformity warranty1-year warranty, First 2/32’’1-year warranty, First 2/32’’
Workmanship warranty6 years6 years

Is their cost justified?

DuraTrac is an expensive tire in comparison because it offers superior abilities in tough mud and snow terrains and also ensures safety from hydroplaning when you drive on iced or wet pavement.

In contrast, BF Goodrich KO2 carries lower price tags even yet you can enjoy optimized on-road traction combined with satisfactory off road experience and of course lesser noise.

So, what’s the Verdict?

If you are confused and stuck between a mud terrain tire and an all terrain tire, or in other words, you need the aggressive design of a mud terrain tire without compromising too much on road comfort, then the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac is made for you.

On the other hand, if you mind a little noise coming out of your tires and you go off road maybe 2 or 3 times a year, or you don’t require extreme off road performance, then you should go with the BF Goodrich KO2 and save a few bucks as well.

Following were the specs of the tires we compared here.

 DuraTracKO2
Three-peak mountain snowflake rated (3PMSF)yesyes
Tested sizeLT265/75R16   LT265/75R16   
Tread depth18/32’’15/32’’
Tread width9’’8.5’’
Load/ speed rating123/120Q E123/120R E

Compare BFG KO2 with other AT tires:

Compare Goodyear DuraTrac with others:

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