The BFGoodrich KO2 due to its lower void ratio excels in on-road traction whereas a higher void ratio of Toyo Open Country AT3 allows it to perform better off-roading.
The higher built strength and increased durability certainly gives an advantage to Toyo Open Country AT3 over its counterpart.
The traction of BFGoodrich KO2 is outstanding on rocky terrains and this is because of its special design, further details are shared in Off-Road section.
Here’s The Catch: The On-road dry traction of KO2 is better (the braking distance was lower). The Off-road traction of the Toyo AT3 was better in mud and snow while KO2 performed better in rocky terrain.
The Reason: It’s simple. On Toyo AT3, the grooves have wider voids between them compared to BFG KO2. This allows less contact on the road thus less grip. But at the same time, it evacuates mud/dirt/snow out of the tire in a better way.
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Toyo Open Country AT3 Overview:
Toyo Open Country AT3 has an aggressive symmetrical tread design with a higher void ratio which allows a limited patch of tread blocks in contact with the ground.
Thus, minimal contact decreases the grip of the tire hence resulting in poor on-road traction.
The wide grooves along with deep sipes cause water to easily pass through, leading to great wet traction, hence avoiding hydroplaning.
Wider grooves are also responsible for the efficient removal of mud and soft snow through the tread.
The stone ejectors are embedded to avoid stones/pebbles from getting stuck inside the grooves, but they are not superior to BF Goodrich KO2 stone ejectors.
The built quality and durability of Toyo AT3 is also better compared to other all-terrain tires.
BFG KO2 Overview:
KO2 also has an aggressive interlocking tread blocks design which employs a lower void ratio allowing a generous contact patch with the road, resulting in better grip.
The superior shoulder built, and serrated design combined with narrow grooves allow great dry on-road traction.
The narrow grooves combined with shallow sipes don’t allow satisfactory wet traction. Narrow grooves also hinder the effective removal of mud and snow from tires.
The bold stone ejectors allow confident navigation in rocky terrain as they avoid stones from getting stuck inside the grooves.
The traction of the respective tire is also remarkable on icy roads due to higher contact patch and numerous sipes.
The built of the tire is not as strong as that of Toyo AT3 and it also lacks durability and treadwear resistance.
Toyo Open Country AT3 vs BF Goodrich KO2 Detailed Comparison
On-Road Traction Comparison
Toyo AT3 having a higher void ratio allows lesser contact between the tread blocks and the road which causes lesser grip, leading to decreased traction.
The wide grooves and high number of deep sipes effectively pass water through them, preventing hydroplaning and allowing good wet traction
BF Goodrich KO2 on the other hand due to the lower void ratio allows great traction as there is more contact between tread blocks and ground.
This enhances grip, therefore increases the overall dry traction on the road.
The narrow grooves and shallow sipes are not much effective in wet conditions as they aren’t able to wipe water efficiently, causing hydroplaning.
Traction of Tires on Muddy Terrain:
The higher void ratio of Toyo AT3 allows it to easily navigate through the mud by effectively throwing it backwards with the help of its wide grooves.
The large lugs along the shoulders also help in the effective removal of mud from the grooves.
The overall mud traction of Toyo AT3 is far superior.
BF Goodrich KO2 with narrow grooves and small studs along shoulders cannot effectively throw the mud backward and the tire will be unable to produce good traction.
If used in deep mud, these tires will get stuck due to the filling of grooves with mud.
Traction on Snowy Terrains
The wide grooves of Toyo AT3 allow easy navigation in soft snow as the snow can easily be thrown backward but the traction of respective tires on icy roads is very poor due to the lower contact patch of tread blocks.
The tire has a three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) rating, but it is still not effective in hard snow.
KO2 on other hand with narrow grooves is ineffective in throwing back soft snow therefore unable to maintain traction.
The lower void ratio, however, is effective in maintaining its traction on an icy road as it has a decent contact patch and a high number of sipes.
It is also three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) rated, but still, it is not suitable for hard snow.
Rock Terrain Traction comparison:
Toyo AT3 has a high void ratio which enables better grip for tricky angles of approach on rocky terrain, but the stone ejector design is far lacking compared to its counterpart.
The shoulders are also not strongly built which puts it at a major disadvantage in rocky terrain.
The bold stone ejectors of BFG KO2 along with serrated design and strongly built shoulders allow better traction on rocky grounds even with the lower void ratio.
As stone ejectors don’t allow any stones/pebbles to get stuck in grooves, while high strength shoulders avoid chipping.
Which tire is more Comfortable?
Open Country AT3’s wide grooves trap more air inside while traveling at high speed on-road.
This air after getting trapped inside the grooves strikes its walls back and forth, producing noise.
The noise decreases the overall comfort of the tire.
Due to narrow grooves, the overall comfort level of KO2 is much higher as lesser amount of air it traps inside its narrow grooves and the air particles produce negligible noise.
For people concerned about noise, this tire is preferred.
Durability and Treadwear Differences
The wide grooves of Toyo Open Country AT3 ensure a limited contact patch of tread blocks allowing minimal rolling resistance which is the force required to roll the tire.
The lower rolling resistance leads to decreased treadwear, increasing its mileage as well.
It consists of a two-ply polyester casing with twin high-strength steel belts with extra added nylon reinforcement ply.
Due to its high built strength and lower rolling resistance, the durability of this tire is far superior. (Compared to BF Goodrich KO2)
The lower void ratio of BFG KO2 allows better traction of tire leading to higher rolling resistance which increases the treadwear, hence decreasing its durability.
It consists of twin steel belts reinforcements with spirally wrapped nylon and 3 plies polyester cord sidewall, but it is still not strong enough to counter its competitor.
KO2 is a much expensive option that offers better on-road traction with good rock traction capabilities while AT3 focuses more on mud and snow traction and provides better durability.
The selection of tires depends upon the application and priorities of the consumer.
Both tires are All Terrain (A/T). On-road dry traction of KO2 is better. The off-road performance of the AT3 is better in mud while KO2 performs better in rocky terrain. AT3 performs better in light snow. KO2 is better equipped to counter noise making it more comfortable. The overall durability and treadwear resistance of AT3 is better. KO2 is more expensive compared to AT3.