Nitto Ridge Grappler vs BF Goodrich KO2

These tires have enhanced off-road abilities and also offer reliable traction on the paved track. Their rugged patterns not only give them an aggressive look but also account for their lasting performance in tough terrains.

KO2 is an all-terrain tire with an open tread pattern and specialized rubber composition. It has been rated for both M+S and severe snow service (3PMSF). Moreover, it offers better durability, uniform wear and longer warranties due to its enhanced tread polymer.

Nitto Ridge Grappler specifies a deeper tread and accounts for improved hydroplaning resistivity. Its aggressive sidewalls and supreme biting abilities provide enhanced performance over rocky trails.

In comparison, KO2 shows better mud and snow evacuation, optimized winter performance, increased durability, lower tire noise and relatively lesser price, while the Ridge Grappler offers good dry traction, better aquaplaning resistivity and enhanced experience in rock terrain.

 KO2Ridge Grappler
Tire typeAll-terrainHybrid terrain
Three peak mountain snowflake rated (3PMSF)yesNo
Tested sizeLT265/75R16   LT265/75R16   
Tread depth15/32’’16.4/32’’
Tread width8.5’’10.51’’
Maximum inflation pressure80 psi65 psi
Maximum load capacity3415 kg3415/3085 kg
Load/ speed rating126/120R E       123/120R E

Tread pattern

BFG ko2 on the back

KO2 shows an aggressive tread design having C-shaped small blocks arranged in an interlocking manner in the central portion of the tire. Relatively shallow but wide grooves separate these blocks. Moreover, multiple sipes are marked all over them. Its shoulder lugs are irregularly shaped, have wide spacing among them and carry traction notches on their internal sides and scooped edges at their outer margins. Its lateral grooves are embarked with prominent rectilinear stone ejectors, and small, bumpy triangular ejectors are also present in longitudinal grooves. Its sidewall shows a serrated design, but it is less aggressive than the contestant.

Nitto Ridge Grappler on Road
Nitto Ridge

Ridge Grappler also gives an aggressive outlook with its big triangular blocks arranged side-by-side, Z-shaped longitudinal grooves and compactly placed square shoulder lugs. Its grooves are deeper than its competitor but the closer arrangement of blocks makes them less wide and reduces the void ratio of its tread in comparison. Its blocks have reinforced edges and slit-like full-depth sipes. Shoulders lugs lack traction notches but are textured at their outer edges. Its sidewalls are more aggressive and raised than its competitor. Linear stone ejectors are also present in lateral grooves among shoulders but these are not as prominent as its competitor.

On-Road Dry Traction

Nitto Ridge Tread Pattern

Ridge Grappler provides better on-road grip because its closely arranged large-sized blocks make its contact patch comparatively higher. When more of the surface area of tread is connected with the road, its biting ability is enhanced and results in a good grip. Likewise, its shoulder lugs are compactly placed and account for firm traction when your vehicle turns around a corner. Thus, its steer handling on the dry paved surface ranks higher than its contestant.

BF Goodrich KO2 performance

On the other hand, KO2 scores less for dry traction because its smaller blocks and wider grooves lower the contact patch, ultimately leading to decreased grip. Its steering responses are also less efficient than its competitor due to the high void ratio of shoulders as distantly placed shoulder lugs hold on the surface less firmly.

 KO2Ridge Grappler
Dry GripModerateHigh
Dry handlingModerateHigh

On-Road Wet Traction

When analyzed for wet traction, the Nitto tire takes the lead because it has a larger contact patch and its deeper tread allows efficient water removal from the surface, resulting in a firm wet grip. We see the same scenario for handling performance while taking turns, compact shoulders of Ridge show better steer management than its competitor.

Conversely, KO2 scores lesser for on-road traction on the wet pavement because its tread has lesser grip due to minimized contact patch and less deep tread, which accounts for reduced hydroplaning resistance. Similarly, its shoulder lugs have only minimal contact with the road, reducing its handling efficiency in comparison.

 KO2Ridge Grappler
Wet GripModerateHigh
Wet handlingModerateHigh
Hydroplaning resistanceModerateHigh

Off-Road Traction Comparison

               KO2              Ridge Grappler
Mud tractionHighModerate
Snow tractionHighModerate
Ice tractionModerateHigh
Rock tractionModerateHigh

Mud Terrain

In mud terrain, KO2 provides enhanced performance in comparison because its open tread can roll through the muddy puddles more easily. It carries M+S (mud and snow performance) rating as well. C-shaped blocks bite on muddy surfaces very effectively, while wide grooves provide a good mud evacuation. When you turn your vehicle around in the mud, its wide lateral grooves and scooping over the shoulder edges account for mud removal, while irregular lugs with traction notches ensure a firm grip.

Conversely, the deeper tread of Ridge makes its evacuation ability quite trustworthy yet its closely placed blocks show lesser biting ability on a track covered with the loose stuff. Similarly, its handling efficiency is minimized by the compact shoulder design. Moreover, the biting efficacy of its shoulder lugs is comparatively reduced by the absence of traction notches and scooped edges.

Snow Terrain

BFGoodrich KO2 gets more scores for snow traction owing to its multi-edged blocks which efficiently bite over the soft snow and broad channels that provide easy removal of snow from the tread. Moreover, as this tire carries a 3PMSF rating, it is approved for winter usage. On the ice, however, its small blocks face difficulty in maintaining a firm grip as their contact patch is low, making its ice traction lesser than the contestant.

Ridge Grappler also performs well in snow terrain due to its deep tread however, its traction abilities are lesser as compared with the contestant. The reason for this is the lesser width of its channels which makes the snow evacuation process slower and less efficient. It also does not have severe snow service ratings. Nevertheless, when these tires are used on an icy road, they show comparatively enhanced traction owing to the benefit of a higher contact patch for grip and deeper tread for slip resistance.

Rock Terrain

Both tires show optimized performance over rocky trails owing to their sturdy built and efficient stone ejection technologies. However, Ridge seems to take the win because its tread has a larger contact patch to grip over the hard surface of slopes. It has small stone ejectors in its lateral grooves to safeguard the tread from the bombarding effects of gravel particles and stone puncturing. Moreover, its shoulder lugs are compactly arranged and are stepped at the outer edges for enhanced traction on uneven rocky areas. Likewise, aggressive sidewalls provide it with the benefit of improved lateral stability.

KO2 shows good performance over rocks due to its effective stone ejecting technology and traction notches over the shoulder lugs for extra stability while taking turns. It contains rectilinear stone ejectors in lateral grooves and small but prominent triangular ejectors in longitudinal Z-grooves. Hence, its proficiency to bounce off the hard particles is greater. But relatively less surface area of tread touching the ground and less aggressive sidewalls reduce its overall traction. A high void ratio decreases the grip of tread on rigid surfaces, that is why its small blocks have the comparatively less biting ability while climbing rocks. And its sidewalls are also less textured, thus, have a lesser ability to keep bombarding fragments from chipping the tread.


Although it is a hybrid tire, Ridge provides more comfortable highway driving because its tread offers more firm on-road traction. However, this tire ranks lower in noise production due to its deeper tread. Its grooves offer a larger void for free circulation and collisions of air particles, producing louder sound.

KO2 offers relatively decreased driving comfort due to its open tread, whose traction on the paved surface is limited by a lesser contact patch. Nevertheless, it is a quieter tire in comparison because although its grooves are wider, their lesser depth reduces the vacuum available for wind circulation.

Durability and Treadwear

KO2 is a more durable tire than its competitor, and the credit goes to its multi-layered tread composition. Its internal structuring ensures longevity and strength of tread because it is built from twin sturdy steel belts reinforced with spiral nylon wrapping, 3 ply polyester cord and BFGoodrich TriGard compound. Its composition also includes single strand beads to provide uniformity in tread wear. Another factor that contributes towards tread life is its consumption against road friction; BFGoodrich tire has the advantage in this respect too. As it shows broad grooves and lesser surface area of tread touching the road directly. As a result, it faces lesser rolling resistance and wears down slowly. Its long-lasting performance is backed by a mileage warranty from its manufacturer for up to 50,000 miles. Similarly, you get the assurance for even wear up to 2/32’’.

Ridge Grappler is constructed with a Nitto hybrid tread compound reinforced by two belts of high-strength steel, but it does not contain specialized enhancements for enhanced durability or even wear. Furthermore, its big-sized blocks arranged in a compact pattern lead to high rolling resistance. As a result, its tread undergoes faster wear and tear. These factors make treadwear unpredictable, so, the company does not offer any mileage warranty for these tires. Likewise, uniformity and workmanship warranties are shorter.

 KO2Ridge Grappler
Treadwear  mileage warranty50,000 miles/ 6 yearsNo warranty
Uniformity warrantyFirst 2/32’’First 1/32’’
Workmanship warranty6 years5 years (only for Original equipment tires)


Nitto Ridge Grappler is priced comparatively higher because it offers comfortable highway driving in addition to optimized performance in rugged terrains, especially on the rocks. Its buying cost spans from S265 to $320.

On the other side, KO2 puts relatively lesser strain on the wallet for its optimized winter performance and reliable on-road capabilities. It is usually priced from $230 to $270.

Quick Summary

KO2 is an all-terrain while Ridge Grappler is a hybrid terrain tire.

BFGoodrich AT KO2…

  • Shows more aggressive, open tread with lesser contact patch.
  • Has better traction in mud and snow terrains.
  • Produces comparatively lesser noise.
  • Is more durable than its competitor.
  • Is priced below in comparison.

Nitto Ridge Grappler…

  • Has deeper tread but specifies higher contact patch.
  • Provides enhanced performance on the dry road.
  • Shows better traction abilities on ice and rock terrain.
  • Offers more driving comfort.