The BFGoodrich KO2 Is Over. Here’s How the KO3 Compares

The BFGoodrich KO2 Is Over. Here’s How the KO3 Compares photo
The BFGoodrich KO2 Is Over. Here’s How the KO3 Compares photo

The BFGoodrich KO2 is the most popular all-terrain tire on the market and for good reason: it's capable, durable, readily available, and relatively affordable. Good reader, even I—the man who would never willingly own any sort of off-roading vehicle—have owned a set of KO2s, for my wife's old WK2 Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, there's now a successor to the beloved KO2 which is said to be improved in every single way: the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO3.

Improving the KO2 is a tall task, as there weren't too many complaints about it to begin with. However, that doesn't mean it can't be done.

"We’ve done a lot of racing and research in the 10 years since we launched the KO2 tire, so a decade of data, feedback, technology, and experience went into the development of the KO3 tire," said Harold Phillips, BFGoodrich Global General Manager.


There are three areas where BFGoodrich aimed to improve on the KO2 for the new KO3: treadwear, durability, and snow traction.

To improve wear and increase longevity, BFGoodrich created a new tread pattern and new all-terrain tread compound for the KO3. It now features newly designed 3D-locking sipes that are designed to wear more evenly than before. However, the KO3 has the same mileage warranty as the KO2, at 50,000 miles.

As for its durability, the KO3's focus was sidewall protection. To prevent pointy things from damaging the sidewall while off-roading, BFGoodrich redesigned the side sipes at the edges of the tread. They're now wider and deeper, which is said to help objects deflect off the tire, rather than stick into the side of it, damaging the sidewall.

As for snow grip, the KO2 already had a Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake severe snow rating, but a newly designed serrated shoulder and "Mud-Phobic" bars improve its traction in both mud and snow.

I noticed that BFGoodrich didn't mention any noise improvement, which was my only complaint about the KO2s—they were loud. However, aggressive all-terrain tires are never quiet, so that's a minor complaint. Off-road enthusiasts will be happy to know that BFGoodrich isn't rewriting the playbook for the new KO3, just making minor improvements in key areas, making their favorite tire even better.

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