Hybrid tires (also called rugged terrain) have bulky shoulder blocks with compact blocks arrangement in the middle, so these tires can handle off road in a better way compared to all terrain tires, while still keeping things smooth on road.
And both of these are hybrid tires with a durable design and prominent tread blocks. But things get really interesting when you consider the price tag of Kenda Klever R/T.
So is this budget pick better than the Nitto Ridge Grappler? Let’s find out.
Starting things off with Design:
Kenda Klever R/T
Nitto Ridge Grappler
Both of these tires characterizes a rugged tread pattern comprising large, irregularly shaped blocks.
Let’s start off with Kenda Klever first.
Right off the bat, the tire looks very similar to the Goodyear DuraTrac, especially from the middle.
It’s central area consists or 4 blocks which together make a somewhat rectangular shape.
These are actually 2 unique blocks and others are mirror images of each other. The two on the sides have curved notches in them and the rest are with rectilinear (straight) siping common with all blocks.
The central blocks prominently separates from the shoulder blocks with wide grooves but the tire still does not make a proper circumferential grooves (like the Nitto Ridge Grappler).
You can see on the Nitto Ridge Grappler below, it makes clear zig-zag path which divides the two portions.
But here, the Ridge Grappler shows 4 triangular shaped blocks in a similar fashion.
Again these are just 2 unique blocks and they make mirror images of each other.
The two on sides have deep cuts/notches and the outer two have common features including same siping pattern and off set edges.
The tire also make Z shaped grooves with these blocks.
These Z shaped grooves interconnect the channels, aiding the tire in lateral traction.
Other than this, the tire has reinforced foundations underneath all of it’s blocks.
These foundations support the blocks and allows the tire to have a firm biting off road.
If we move towards the shoulder blocks…
The Kenda Klever R/T features staggered ones with more siping.
The blocks are also stud-able here as each block has a designated stud installer.
Together these shoulder blocks form a semi circle with wider spacing on their outer margins, (where stone ejectors are also embedded).
The sidewall lugs are separated from these blocks and they form block-shaped lugs through out, with a same pattern on both sides.
The Nitto Ridge Grappler on the other hand, has dual sidewall design, where it features, one texture which is more aggressive than the other.
And other than this, things are also a little different on the shoulder blocks as well.
The Nitto Ridge Grappler shows a more minimal design without any notches or sipes on its shoulder blocks.
But the tire still features serrated outer edges with bulkier lugs joining these blocks (on both sides).
But in a similar fashion, compared to Kenda R/T, the tire features stone ejectors between these block groups.
Other than this, both tire’s have a similar inner construction and have rim protectors which further protect the bead area.
Other specs of these tires:
|Kenda Klever R/T||Nitto Ridge|
|Weight Range||38 to 68 lbs||46 to 91 lbs|
|Tread Depth||either 17 or 19″/32||13.5 to 18.3″|
|Available sizes||15 to 24″||16 to 24″|
|Sidewall Construction||3 ply||3 ply|
|Load Rating Range||C to F||C to F|
Note that the Ridge Grappler has lesser tread depth, and tire sizes, compared to Kenda Klever R/T. And although both tires have same inner construction of 3 ply polyester casing with 2 steel belts and nylon wrapping, the Nitto Ridge is heavier out of the two.
Are these tires good on Road?
Well, yes, in a word, considering their aggressive pattern.
Both tires are in the “Rugged Terrain” categories so they both feature wider grooves, stiffer sidewalls with 3 ply construction and less siping. So they have to compromise a little bit of on-road comfort.
But still out of the two, the Nitto Ridge Grappler shows superior performance.
The tire has a more uniform design in the central area, with its clear slanted grooves which join the outer ones.
And as the tire features reinforced foundations underneath its central blocks, this combined with it’s softer material the tire is able to have a firm grip on road.
Both tires however are prone to slippage in wet conditions (with Kenda a little bit better on corners).
Since the tire’s shoulders play a major role while cornering, the Kenda Klever RT with its more sipes here, provides better wet handling efficacy overall.
But other than this, the Ridge Grappler checks off all other on-road boxes.
The tire is quieter out of the two, with its “variable pitch technology” incorporated in its design. It features wild and vigorous angles which cut the sound waves preventing them from amplifying.
So overall, the Nitto Ridge Grappler comes out better here, but considering how small the difference is and the Kenda Klever RT’s price tag, I think one can let it slide as the tires are made with off roading as a priority.
Off Road Performance:
One of the main reasons why these hybrid tires exists, is muddy terrain.
All Terrain tires have no chance on mud and they get packed very easily, and Mud-Tires on the other hand, are great here but then again they suffer badly on road.
These hybrid tires come in the middle and although, you can’t expect a M/T like performance out of them, they are still not going to disappoint you as well.
Having said that, both tires are simply put “great” here. But the Kenda Klever R/T is still slightly better looking things very closely.
It features a slightly more width of grooves and more spacing especially on the inner sides of the shoulders where most of the mud is scooped out from the central area by it’s lateral grooves.
The slanted grooves give a clear path for mud to evacuate, while its 4 sharp central blocks cut through the the surface and breakdown the mud particles.
On the other side, the Nitto Ridge Grappler are still good enough. And they have slanted “Z” shaped grooves in the middle which connect the outer circumferential ones (see in design section above).
And these channels also provide a decent path for mud to pass through while the triangular blocks dig through the soft muddy surface.
And speaking of lugs, since the ones on the Ridge Grappler are bulkier, they are better digger out of the two.
These lugs also aid the tire a lot on flexing sidewalls (when pressure is lowered).
And the bigger lugs on the Ridge Grappler are better able to grab and pull.
The tire also provide more biting edges in comparison as well.
It’s sharp triangular blocks already have edges and then they further make more saw tooth like edges on their sides, and this combined with deep sipes and reinforce foundations, the tire simply provides more grip on rocky terrains.
Other than this, both tires are not suitable for severe snow and both of them do not have the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake ratings. But the option of installing studs on Kenda Klever R/T can come in handy here.
So whats the verdict?
Well let’s keep it short. The Ridge Grappler out of the two provides you with better on-road performance. They grip well, are quieter and have softer material which soak up the bumps in a better way.
But the tire is not too good on wet roads, (in fact, both of them are not so great here).
But off road you can’t go wrong with either of them. But still, the Kenda Klever R/T provides you with better performance over muddy terrains and the Nitto Ridge Grappler provides you superior traction on rocks.