AT Tyre Test

What AT tyres do you rate, through experience?

BFG
41
38%
Mickey Thompson
4
4%
Michelin
4
4%
Bridgestone Dueler
19
17%
Cooper
19
17%
Kumho
7
6%
Dunlop Grandtrek
1
1%
Goodyear Wrangler
3
3%
Pirelli Scorpion
6
6%
Other
5
5%
 
Total votes: 109

User avatar
JohnBoyZA
Site Admin
Posts: 1134
Joined: 02 Apr 2009 14:34
Full Name: John Murray
Nickname: John Boy
Home Town: Bloubergstrand
Current 4x4: Patrol GRX 4.8
Home Language: Afrikaans/English
Location: Big Bay, Cape Town
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 57 times

AT Tyre Test

Post by JohnBoyZA » 20 Apr 2009 13:59

This is the most comprehensive AT test I've seen.

Gripping Stuff

Words by Glenn Wright, photography by Robb Cox and studio photography by Karl Dietrich

Image

Glenn Wright mixes hi-tech gadgetry with years of motorsport testing experience to bring you the latest no-bull 4WD Action tyre comparo. Over four gruelling days, all 14 major players in the A/T market went tread to tread on every surface down-under. Are they really the jack-of-all-trades, or can A/Ts be the master of some? Don’t even try to anticipate the results

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN?
These results don’t appear by magic. Over the three months it took to organise this test, I spent many hours on the end of the phone explaining that I wanted to do a tyre test in more detail than any ever attempted in the 4WD industry. Some people said it couldn’t be done, but those whose names appear in this story jumped at the chance to be involved.

When I needed wheels, the first name that came to mind was ROH. Testing the tyres on each road surface one after another was important. With 56 tyres to be tested, 56 wheels were needed to mount them all to before we left Sydney.
ROH Wheels supplied us with pallet loads of its latest RTX alloys that transformed the mild-looking HiLux into a real head-turner.
Without the hassle of mounting and demounting tyres during the test, I could get through all the bitumen testing, for example, in one day.
This was necessary to ensure the road conditions were the same for every tyre and, more importantly, kept my impression of the preceding tyres fresh in my mind so as to make accurate comparisons between their performances.

Thanks to Sam at Overkill Engineering for his handy air jack and to Kangaroo Creek Imports for supplying these handy rattle guns. They do a great job in getting wheels off quickly and are easy to carry on long trips.
What can I say about the HiLux that the pictures don’t? It stood up to a week of punishment, including merciless braking tests and countless dousing in mud. The Toyota handled the high-speed gravel testing with ease, and its predictable handling and sharp steering allowed me to tell how each tyre went in those sections.

The 4L petrol goes like a scalded cat, and it is the first 4WD I have ever emerged from after a week of driving without a hint of back pain. In hindsight, I couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate vehicle to test all 14 sets of tyres on.
We had the perfect place to test the tyres, the vehicle to test them on and wheels to mount them to. I now needed someone to fit and balance all 56 tyres and get them up to the test ground.
Enter Beaurepaires. From the senior management down, Beaurepaires staff share our love of off-roading.
Beaurepaires was my first choice because of its huge network of country branches and bush support. It knows what we 4WDers put our tyres through and can offer an additional four-year Road Hazard Warranty. This covers you for all unrepairable tyre damage for four years.
It was keen to be heavily involved in the logistical side and supplied three experienced tyre fitters to whip tyres on and off the HiLux all week. (I said it was ‘kind’ of a holiday, didn’t I, guys?)
Surrounded by such professionals, I could just concentrate on evaluating the tyres, which allowed me to complete the test without knowing which tyres were on the HiLux until the very end.
This approach eliminated any of my preconceptions regarding the brands, and after the test my notes were married up with a list of the tyres in the order in which they were tested.

TERMINOLOGY
A/T: Stands for all-terrain and refers to a 4WD tyre that can be used on most surfaces.
M/T: Stands for mud-terrain tyre or ‘muddie’ for use in muddy conditions.
H/T: Denotes a highway-terrain tyre designed for on-road use.
TYRE PATTERN: Refers to the tread pattern and is unique to each variant within a certain brand of tyre (For example, Scorpion, Dueler 694 and so on).
SPEED RATING: In this test, the speed ratings range from N to T. This specifies the maximum speed that you can travel at with this tyre inflated to its maximum labelled pressure. N=140km/h, P=150km/h, Q=160km/h, R=170km/h, S=180km/h, T=180km/h.
LOAD RATING/INDEX: The load index represents a figure in kilograms being the maximum weight that tyre can carry at its maximum recommended inflation pressure.

LET THE TESTING BEGIN
Do you salivate over sand driving? Drooling over dirt? Maybe mud’s on your menu?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3536/345 ... f6.jpg?v=0

Whatever your taste in terrain, here’s the recipe for the ultimate A/T tyre test I prepared earlier.
Preparation time: we allowed three months to source all ingredients.
Grab four of the latest A/T tyres from each of the 14 biggest tyre companies on the planet. Wrap them around 56 new ROH alloy wheels. Stick them under a new HiLux Ute and throw in equal parts sand, asphalt, gravel and wet clay.
Shred tyres across every road surface, turning often, until the tread becomes hot and sticky. Pierce each tyre under controlled conditions with a steel plunger to measure its puncture resistance, and record the noise it makes when rotated on the bitumen at 80km/h.
Hand-pick the finest team of tyre fitters from Beaurepaires and throw them into the mix along with all the gear you’d need to set up a tyre shop in the middle of nowhere.

Whet a final-year mechanical engineering student’s appetite with all the latest data-logging equipment he can sink his teeth into, and you’ve literally got yourself the most in-depth A/T tyre comparo ever attempted in 4WDing history.
I invite you to gorge yourself on the smorgasbord of information that follows. After digesting the results, you’ll be hungry to get out there and purchase the A/T tyre that’s best for you.
We 4WDers are a hard bunch to please when it comes to tyres. We want a 4WD tyre that is well behaved on the black stuff, right at home on the sand and is happier than a pig in the slop. (Unlike muddies or highway tyres, an A/T tyre doesn’t have the luxury of specialising on any one surface.) Oh, and can they do it quietly, not get punctures and last forever?
Okay, we might be asking a bit much, but huge demand for the versatile A/T has seen every major rubber company invest heaps of time and money to come up with a compromise between the M/T and the H/T. Let me explain.

A/T TYRE CONSTRUCTION

Don’t assume too much from looking at the tread. The secret to an A/T’s performance lies deep beneath its tread pattern.
The unique tread designs play a big role in each tyre’s performance, and the more open patterns usually fare better in the mud and worse on the bitumen, but a quick look at how tyres are made sheds more light on what’s really going on.
Every tyre on the test started life as white rubber sap that was collected from rubber trees or was partly synthetically produced.
Each manufacturer has a different way of transforming that raw product into a tyre it hopes will outperform its competitors in as many conditions as possible. Due to the multitude of ways engineers can achieve this, every brand of A/T tyre varies significantly in its construction.
Each tyre’s overall construction uses a different combination of steel, nylon and or polyester belts encased in rubber of varying compounds. This construction is critical in providing strength and allowing the tread to get maximum purchase on the ground.
We’ve all seen how useless an H/T is in mud and vice versa, so you can appreciate how hard it is to reach a compromise in construction that allows an A/T to cope with so many different surfaces. As a result, some tyre manufacturers sacrifice one aspect of off-road performance in return for better performance in another.

TEST METHOD
What made you choose your current A/Ts? Brand loyalty from the past, have you been seduced by convincing ad campaigns or did some bloke at the bar give you the good oil on what tyre to settle on?
Plenty of us have been fortunate enough to try out many different brands over the years, but it’s difficult to draw a comparison between them unless you’re using the same vehicle on the same roads, testing the tyres in quick succession.
Hopefully the 12 years I spent engineering race cars and waving spanners for Ralliart while Tommi Makinen won his four World Rally Championships have counted for something. The test procedures followed here are a combination of those used by tyre manufacturers testing their own products and those used in top-level motorsport to determine the most competitive tyre to use.
Subjective testing is necessary to be able to put into words how each tyre felt through the seat of my pants and the steering wheel. But nothing beats the numerical feedback recorded by the data logger.
The HiLux resembled a coma patient with all the data loggers and cables hanging out of it, but the data we gathered from them validated the results and confirmed my opinions on each tyre.

Having said that, a bunch of numbers means nothing unless you know how to interpret them. Drew is graduating from Sydney Uni as we speak and has been rallying with me for years. He is familiar with vehicle testing and took charge of our hi-tech accessories while ensuring all testing was consistent.
We chose the most commonly sold A/T tyre size in Australia, the 265/75R16. In order to compare apples with apples, all 265/75R16s (except the Silverstone, which only offers a 275/70R16 LT) were happily supplied by the manufacturers in light-truck (LT) construction (as opposed to passenger-vehicle construction, which is not as strong).
Several manufacturers had more than one type of A/T tyre, so I requested they send the most suitable latest release.
With all the tyres on our doorstep and everything taking shape, I needed to find the perfect venue. The testing grounds had to reflect every possible condition that A/Ts would be subjected to in real life.
After much searching, we found a private property that had the lot - bitumen roads, gravel roads, both well formed and un-kept, and a wide, open gravel area that we graded constantly to maintain a level playing field.
All these areas were a stone’s throw from a flooded clay boghole, which led up to a 30 degree inclined gravel hill designed to stop 4WDs from making it to the top.

In testing these tyres, I wanted to provide answers to all the questions buyers ask about all-terrains. These include noise, performance in sand, mud, gravel, bitumen and puncture resistance.

TYRE NOISE
Generally, A/Ts are quieter on-road than muddies, but it’s too late once you’ve forked out for a set of A/Ts only to realise that the tyre noise drives you nuts. To bring out the worst in each tyre, a section of coarse bitumen was chosen on which to perform a coast-down noise test.
‘Pattern’ noise caused by the tread is most noticeable at higher speeds, so at 80km/h I depressed the clutch to eliminate driveline and engine noise. We used a sound meter to record what you would hear from inside the vehicle over a 10sec period.
To give some relevance to the results, the standard OE tyres on the HiLux recorded 59.1dB under the same conditions. For every 3dB increase, you approximately double the noise volume.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. MANUFACTURER: MICKEY THOMPSON
MADE IN USA
PATTERN NAME: FC2
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 210mm
SPEED RATING: N
LOAD RATING: E 123
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 1 nylon, 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $275
COMMENT
MICKEY THOMPSON FC2
The FC2 turned in well on the gravel. It responded pretty well to steering changes and was predictable. 7/10
On the bitumen slalom, things changed; the steering was unresponsive and vague. The chunky tread blocks that excelled in the mud squirmed around under the load. Not the worst tyre on the blacktop but not the pick either. 6/10
The FC2 was like a pig, in that it loved the mud. This was the second-best tyre in the sloppy clay and responded to the throttle, making light work of the slippery conditions. 9.5/10
The chunky blocks in the tread bit into the gravel incline and walked up it with ease. 8.5/10
On sand, the FC2s found it hard to get going from rest. Once moving, they had good bite and gained momentum quickly. 6.5/10
After the test, the tread showed no signs of chipping and only minor cutting.

Image

2. MANUFACTURER: MICHELIN
MADE IN JAPAN
PATTERN NAME: LTX A/T
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 200mm
SPEED RATING: R
LOAD RATING: C 112
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $332
COMMENT
The Michelin carried higher speeds than most through the bitumen slalom and remained composed. It offered great response to turn-in and gave a great feel for what was happening. 9.5/10
On the gravel, the Michelin had plenty of grip, even giving off a loud whining noise as it bit into the gravel circle. It was hard to make them wheelspin, and they carried higher speeds around the circle than any other tyre.
As far as balance was concerned, they understeered on turn-in but were very difficult to make oversteer. Their best feature was sideways grip on gravel, and no other tyre could repeat their performance. 10/10
They handled the clay pit well, biting in and responding to the accelerator. 8/10
The gravel incline saw the clogged-up Michelins struggle for grip, not making much of an impression on the hill. 6
Really good bulge in the sidewalls at 20psi allowed them to sit on top of the sand. They lacked a little bite to gain momentum quickly. 9/10

Image

3. MANUFACTURER: YOKOHAMA MADE IN JAPAN
PATTERN NAME: GEOLANDER G011
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 210mm
SPEED RATING: S
LOAD RATING: D 119
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $239
COMMENT
While the G011s’ response to turn-in wasn’t as sharp as I had expected, on the bitumen slalom they were predictable, letting you know their intentions. They were slow to react to a change in direction, as the tread blocks rolled under the tyre during hard cornering. 7.5/10
They lacked grip on the gravel section relative to the better gravel tyres, and they understeered readily. 6.5/10
I was pleasantly surprised by their traction in the clay pit. They dug in and pulled the HiLux through easily. They were only a whisker less capable than the Cooper and BFG, and were one of the best options for a good mud tyre that’s quiet on-road. 8.5/10
On the gravel hill, the Yokies spun too easily and gave up the fight. 6.5/10
The Geolanders were just reasonable on sand. They didn’t float as well as some others and made it hard to get going from a standing start. Reasonable bite allowed them to gain momentum up the dune. 6/10
They showed very minor signs of tread chipping after the test.

Image

4. MANUFACTURER: SILVERSTONE
MADE IN MALAYSIA
PATTERN NAME: AT-117-SPECIAL
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 225mm
SPEED RATING: S
LOAD RATING: 114
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 1 nylon, 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $198 inc fitting
COMMENT
This tyre was not a good performer on the slalom. It was vague and unresponsive on turn-in and didn’t change direction well. 6.5/10
The Silverstone had good general grip in the gravel and was reluctant to hang the tail out because it was very prone to understeering. 7/10
The Silverstone, which shares a similar tread pattern to the BFG, was good in the clay. 8/10
The Silverstone climbed a long way up the hill but had its fair share of wheelspin in getting up. 8/10
For a tyre that resembles the BFG in many ways, the Silverstone was nowhere near as good on sand. It lacked flotation and bite. 6.5/10
No cutting or chipping was noticed on the tread. They are a bit average on bitumen but will keep you moving forwards on the slippery stuff.

Image

5. MANUFACTURER: BRIDGESTONE
MADE IN JAPAN
PATTERN NAME: DUELER D694
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 210
SPEED RATING: S
LOAD RATING: 112
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 1 nylon, 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $267
COMMENT
This tyre performed well on tarmac. It was a little slow to respond to steering, but once the tread blocks had rolled under the tyre a little, it grips and changes direction well. It carried a higher speed through the slalom than many and was predictable. They just lacked the direct steering response of the top three. 8.5/10
The Bridgestone fought well for grip on the gravel. The HiLux was better balanced on the Duelers than most and gave the best feedback as to when you had overstepped the mark. They had plenty of grip in a straight line and were one of the best for stopping on gravel. They provided good response to steering but just didn’t have the outright grip of the leaders. 8.5/10
The Dueler put up a good fight in the clay pit. 7.5/10
They were okay on the hill but had to work pretty hard to get up with lots of wheelspin. 7/10
The 694 bellied out well and showed great flotation on sand. They displayed very impressive bite, and response to throttle saw them climb the dune easily. 9.5/10
No cutting or chipping was noticed on the tread.

Image

6. MANUFACTURER: SUMITOMO
PATTERN NAME: SL850 SERENGETI RADIAL A/T
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 200mm
MADE IN JAPAN
SPEED RATING: Q
LOAD RATING: 112
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $225

COMMENT
We had slight difficulty in mounting some of the Sumitomo A/Ts on the wheels due to what appeared to be extra-tight clearances in the bead diameters. While they weren’t as sharp in the steering department as the top few on-road, they weren’t too bad. 7/10
In the sloppy clay, the Sumitomos bit in well with no hint of getting bogged. 7.5/10
Lateral grip exceeded my expectations on gravel, allowing a bit of understeer, while the rear end never stepped out. 8/10
The gravel hill didn’t suit the Serengetis, which struggled for grip almost from the word go. 6/10
The Serengetis aren’t a good sand tyre. I needed low-range to get moving. Poor flotation made them struggle, and I had to keep the revs and momentum up to keep moving. 4/10
Very minor cutting was noticed in the tread after testing.

Image

7. MANUFACTURER: COOPER
MADE IN USA
PATTERN NAME: DISCOVERER ST-C
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 220mm
SPEED RATING: N
LOAD RATING: E 123
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 1 nylon, 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $308
COMMENT
The Coopers were the most off-road-oriented tyres in the field. As a result, they aren’t well suited to the blacktop. On the bitumen slalom, the chunky tread blocks squirmed around, making the steering feel vague. The Coopers slid at all four corners of the HiLux as I tried to maintain a similar speed through the slalom to the better bitumen brands. 6/10
On the gravel circle, the Coopers broke into understeer. They offered good fore/aft traction on gravel roads, were good for braking and were quite predictable, recovering well from high-speed slides. They had a tendency to tramline on long, straight stretches. On hard-packed gravel, the Cooper’s aggressive tread feels harder than the others and doesn’t get the chance to bite in. It therefore doesn’t grip as well on this surface as some of the less aggressive softer-compound tyres but performs well considering. 7.5/10
The Coopers were the best tyres in the sloppy clay. Their ability to bite in and grab handfuls of the stuff as they churned their way across was second to none, even though the Mickey Thompsons weren’t far behind. 10/10
The steep gravel hill also suited the Coopers. Once again they outperformed the rest of the field here as they bit into the slightly chopped-up gravel and climbed to the top. Even after momentary losses of grip, the Coopers were quick to regain traction and keep climbing. 10/10
The ST-Cs’ sidewalls bellied out well at 20psi and provided good flotation on the sand. Good bite helped them gain momentum quickly. 8/10
The ST-Cs are the new cut and chip-resistant compound, but the tread still showed signs of cutting and chipping after four days of abuse.

Image

8. MANUFACTURER: BF GOODRICH MADE IN USA
PATTERN NAME: ALL-TERRAIN T/A KO
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 220mm
SPEED RATING: S
LOAD RATING: D 120
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 3 polyester, Tread plies - 1 nylon, 2 steel, 3 polyester
PRICE: $269
COMMENT
There was too much tread movement when cornering hard on the bitumen slalom. This resulted in slow and vague steering response. The lack of general lateral grip saw the rear tyres slide sideways, leaving impressive :blackies’ on the road that resembled those on a :slippery when wet’ sign. 6.5/10
In a similar way on gravel, the BFGs showed good bite but switched between understeer and letting go at the rear at moderate speeds. Like the Coopers, the BFGs tramlined on the same long gravel straight. Overall good general gravel bite. 7.5/10
The BFGs seemed at home in the clay pit. They were only a whisker less impressive than the Coopers and responded instantly to more throttle by ploughing through the slippery quagmire. 9/10
On the climb up the gravel incline, the BFGs bit in and travelled a good distance up, but then they just stopped biting and spun. 8.5/10
At 20psi, the sidewalls bulged out well. They had a good combination of flotation and bite on the sand. They steered out of existing ruts well and responded to acceleration. 8.5/10
The tread showed signs of cutting after the test.

Image

9. MANUFACTURER: SIMEX
MADE IN MALAYSIA
PATTERN NAME: CENTIPEDE AT300i
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 205mm
SPEED RATING: T
LOAD RATING: 116
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 2 nylon, 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $195

COMMENT
The Centipede AT300is were good on the gravel. They provided good front-end grip for steering and let out a howl when spinning as they fought and gripped on the dirt. They lacked a little braking and straight-line traction but showed good sideways grip on the gravel circle. 8.5/10
On bitumen, they showed a good response to steering and changed direction well. 7/10
The Simexes did a good job in the clay boghole, showing good bite. 7.5/10
When their turn came to scale the gravel hill, they gave surprisingly good traction. 8 The sidewalls seemed to belly out well, but the Simex lacked flotation and bite on sand. 5.5/10
After the test, the tread showed very minor signs of cutting.

Image

10. MANUFACTURER: TOYO
MADE IN JAPAN
PATTERN NAME: OPEN COUNTRY A/T (OPAT)
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 210mm
SPEED RATING: Q
LOAD RATING: D 119
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 1 nylon, 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $285
COMMENT
The OPATs provided good grip on bitumen. They responded quickly to changes in direction and went where I pointed them. 7.5/10
On gravel, they lacked straight-line traction but gave good sideways grip. 6.5/10
Their performance in clay was respectable. 6.5/10
When climbing the steep hill, the Toyos were unspectacular but got on with the job. 7/10
At 20psi, they showed very little sidewall bulge. They sat low in the sand and lacked grip, causing them to wheelspin easily and dig in. 5/10
After testing, the tread showed no signs of cutting or chipping.

Image

11. MANUFACTURER: KUMHO
MADE IN KOREA
PATTERN NAME: ROAD VENTURE KL 41 (8-ply rating)
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 200mm
SPEED RATING: S
LOAD RATING: D 119
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $270
Comments
The Kumho’s soft tread blocks squirmed around on the bitumen and left some decent skid-marks to show the way through the slalom. Despite this, they turned in and gripped well. 7/10
On gravel roads, the Kumhos bit into the surface, and the HiLux went where you pointed it. It showed no signs of tramlining. 8/10
The Venture was very capable in the clay, where it hardly struggled for traction. 8/10
Good bite on the steep gravel hill and their never-say-die attitude saw them slip then regain traction and climb some more. 8/10
The Kumhos were the last to get a run on the sand. Their superior flotation and excellent traction shocked me. They didn’t quite have the bite of the Coopers, but they were by far the best overall. They climbed the dune easily with no run-up and were the only tyres to exit the beach in second-gear high-range. 10/10
Image

12. MANUFACTURER: DUNLOP
MADE IN JAPAN
PATTERN NAME: GRANDTREK AT2
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 210mm
SPEED RATING: Q
LOAD RATING: C 112
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $284
Comments
The Dunlop was very predictable and put in a good fight on the gravel surface. It made a high-pitched hum as it gripped the constant-radius turn and showed early signs of wear on the outer shoulder. 8.5/10
As soon as you turned the steering wheel on bitumen, the Dunlops responded. They carried good speed through the slalom and felt very stable. 9/10
Wet clay didn’t suit the Dunlops much. 5.5/10
They climbed the steep hill well but couldn’t do quite as well as the Kumhos. 7/10
The Dunlops floated over the sand beautifully. Slightly less bite than the top few but still good overall. 9.5/10
After the test, the tread showed no signs of cutting or chipping damage.

Image

13. MANUFACTURER: GOODYEAR
MADE IN USA
PATTERN NAME: WRANGLER
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 210mm
SPEED RATING: R
LOAD RATING: E 123
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 2 aramid (Kevlar), 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE:
COMMENT
If four-wheel slides are your thing, then the Goodyears will suit your needs on the blacktop. They cried out for grip but couldn’t find any. At least they lost traction gradually and didn’t try to surprise with a sudden loss of control. 5.5/10
The Goodyears weren’t all bad on the gravel. While they offered no grip to steer into corners, were slow to recover from sliding and occasionally snapped sideways in faster corners, they did have good traction for braking and accelerating. 5/10
Their best performance was in the clay. 7/10
Grip on the steep gravel climb was lacking. 5.5/10
The Wranglers had good flotation on sand but not a lot of bite. 6.5/10

Image

14. MANUFACTURER: PIRELLI
MADE IN BRAZIL
PATTERN NAME: SCORPION A/T
ACTUAL TREAD WIDTH: 200mm
SPEED RATING: R
LOAD RATING: E 123
CONSTRUCTION: Sidewall plies - 2 polyester, Tread plies - 2 nylon, 2 steel, 2 polyester
PRICE: $272

COMMENT
The Scorpions put on a good show in the bitumen slalom. They were responsive and predictable. They held their line and went where you told them. 10/10
Gravel roads posed no problem for the Pirellis. Good grip at both ends of the HiLux meant corners could be taken at higher speeds than with many other brands. Even when you did get the Scorpions sideways, they responded by regaining grip quickly. 9.5/10
They drove through the clay pit easily and never showed signs of getting stuck. 8.5/10
They made the gravel hill climb look easy, with very little wheelspin. 9/10
The Pirelli’s worst performance was on the sand. By that, I mean it didn’t score 10 from 10. The sidewalls didn’t belly out as well as some others, but it still floated on the sand and had just enough bite to accelerate up the sand dune. They weren’t the best of the bunch in sand, but they were still pretty good. 8/10
After the test, the tread showed minor signs of cut and chipping damage.

Image

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusion

So how did they stack up and who came out on top? While no A/T available can hold a candle to a muddie in the mud or a highway-terrain on the highway, several of the A/Ts we tested will do most things pretty well, eliminating the need for owning two sets of tyres. Each tyre’s performance in each test section is scored out of 10 and then given an overall average out of 10. This way you can see the tyre that did best overall and scan the chart to see which tyres scored best in the sections that interest you.
Some tyres that were strong in most areas only needed to perform poorly in a couple of tests to drop down the overall list. For this reason, I have added one chart showing each tyre’s off-road performance separately from each tyre’s overall performance, which paints a different picture. I won’t beat around the bush. The Pirelli Scorpion was the best A/T by a country mile. It was just as good off-road as it was on it and excelled everywhere. While it didn’t win every section, to our surprise, it came bloody close. The BFGs and Pirellis performed well in the tougher conditions, but the Cooper showed the most bite, just edging out the Pirelli in the off-road section of the test.

Image
Nissan Patrol, GRX, 4.8 (GU Y61)
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhemurray/sets/

User avatar
SCUBA Patrol
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 390
Joined: 08 Apr 2009 11:15
Full Name: Phillip Jacobs
Nickname: Phillip
Home Town: Cape Town (Stellenbosch)
Current 4x4: Patrol 2006 3l diesel(die eerste Voetspore een)
Home Language: Afrikaans
Location: Cape Town, Stellenbosch (Paradyskloof)
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 21 times

Re: AT Tyre Test

Post by SCUBA Patrol » 24 Apr 2009 07:33

A very interesting test.

I would say the test might be bias as no measurement was taken, so it seems, but only the expertiese of the driver/reporter. Interesing to note that the Bridgstone AT's out performed the BFG's. Was toled by the tyre dealer when I changed tyres on my Patrol not to go for the BFG's but the deulers as the BFG's side wall was to stiff and climb off the rim when doing 4x4'ing. Experienced it on my Sani. So now I have Bridgestone Deulers on and very happy.

Phillip
Phillip
2006 3l with MADMAN

User avatar
Engel
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 132
Joined: 07 Apr 2009 20:07
Full Name: Herman Engelbrecht
Nickname: Engel
Home Town: Kempton park
Current 4x4: MQ patrol
Gu Patrol
Triton
Home Language: maakiesaakie
Location: Kempton Park
Been thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: AT Tyre Test

Post by Engel » 27 May 2009 19:40

Quite a nice test, and agree with it!! I use a 4x4 for the purpose of being a 4x4 so I ONLY look at MT tyres. I yet have to find anything to beat Maxxis bighorns!
Herman 0824453301
GU & MQ Patrol, Triton, Mog, Subaru ens.
herman@angeloffroad.co.za
Recovery gear manufacturer, 4x4 equipment supplier.
Full time 4x4 Trainer for Corporate, mines and Private Clients. [All countries]

User avatar
SRXy
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 208
Joined: 09 Jun 2009 12:39
Full Name: Wes
Nickname: the Knob...
Home Town: Slaapstad
Current 4x4: TD42T Patrol "The Wee Beasty", 373,000km's

Umm....this is a Patrol forum isn't it?
Home Language: engles

Re: AT Tyre Test

Post by SRXy » 15 Jun 2009 21:24

I've done 15,000km's on a set of Hercules A/T and they are still in great nick. They have been used a lot offroad and haven't let me down (that being said I don't drive in mud much). They're cheap as chips and I reckon i'll get 50,000km+ off of them...so not in the same range as Coopers or BFG but they cost less than half the price. That's my experience....
In regione caecorum rex est luscus.

Desiderius Erasmus: circa 1510

User avatar
JohnBoyZA
Site Admin
Posts: 1134
Joined: 02 Apr 2009 14:34
Full Name: John Murray
Nickname: John Boy
Home Town: Bloubergstrand
Current 4x4: Patrol GRX 4.8
Home Language: Afrikaans/English
Location: Big Bay, Cape Town
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 57 times

Re: AT Tyre Test

Post by JohnBoyZA » 16 Jun 2009 11:12

Yup, I'm in the same boat - Time will tell whether the Hercules make it to 50K. I recon they will though.

Bob the knob, are you still on 17in?
Nissan Patrol, GRX, 4.8 (GU Y61)
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhemurray/sets/

User avatar
G-MAN
Patrolman 1000+
Patrolman 1000+
Posts: 1347
Joined: 02 May 2009 19:50
Full Name: A.G.HOLMES
Nickname: G-MAN
Home Town: Cape Town, Noordhoek
Current 4x4: PATROL 4.8 GRX 2008, PATROL 4.8 GRX 2007, PATROL 4.8 GRX 2006, Defender 90 2.8i...
Home Language: Engels
Location: Cape Town, Noordhoek.
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: AT Tyre Test

Post by G-MAN » 16 Jun 2009 18:01

Who's Bob the :knob:
Sucks Gas and Hauls Ass!

User avatar
Ian Abrahamson
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: 02 May 2009 19:33

Re: AT Tyre Test

Post by Ian Abrahamson » 16 Jun 2009 19:57

I have to agree with the last few posts the Hercules A/T tyre lasted me 700000 klm and i ride hard.
They cost me at Hi Q Tokai R950-00 per tyre ...Bfg R1800-00 then three yrs ago. Side wall is a bit thin and does puncture easier
than the BFG..
OFFROAD ADDICT
dedicated to offroad lifestyle

NOTHINGS IMPOSSIBLE, IT JUST COSTS MORE

User avatar
Ian Abrahamson
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: 02 May 2009 19:33

Re: AT Tyre Test 2 ply or 3ply !!!!!!

Post by Ian Abrahamson » 16 Jun 2009 20:03

I think i prefer a softer side wall to a harder one. I have the khumo 834 (discon) and i prefer the flex it gives me.
The harder 3ply doesnt give much flex. I know this is a thorny issue , and yes side wall puncture, You have to watch out for sharp rocks :surprised: .
This works for me , but not for everyone....I would like to hear of any other opinions on this.
OFFROAD ADDICT
dedicated to offroad lifestyle

NOTHINGS IMPOSSIBLE, IT JUST COSTS MORE

User avatar
JohnBoyZA
Site Admin
Posts: 1134
Joined: 02 Apr 2009 14:34
Full Name: John Murray
Nickname: John Boy
Home Town: Bloubergstrand
Current 4x4: Patrol GRX 4.8
Home Language: Afrikaans/English
Location: Big Bay, Cape Town
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 57 times

Re: AT Tyre Test

Post by JohnBoyZA » 16 Jun 2009 20:05

G-MAN
Who's Bob the
See SRXy profile - wish people would enter correct info into profiles.

Ian: Good to hear!
Nissan Patrol, GRX, 4.8 (GU Y61)
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhemurray/sets/

User avatar
Herrie
Moderator
Posts: 3752
Joined: 08 Apr 2009 07:17
Full Name: Kobus Pienaar
Nickname: Herrie
Home Town: Kempton Park
Current 4x4: 1999 Patrol 4500e GRX
1983 Datsun Safari
Home Language: Afrikaans
Location: Kempton Park
Has thanked: 70 times
Been thanked: 98 times

Re: AT Tyre Test

Post by Herrie » 06 Jul 2009 08:00

We went to DeWildt's Charity run on Saturday with SWAMBO's Pajero because Ungili is still with the panelbeater.

What I found was on the open road - tar - the BF's A/T's on the Pajero give you a very bumpy ride even with the pressure at 1,7 bar. The Patrol with the Bridgestone Dueler A/T's has a much smoother ride - even at 2,4 bar!

So, in my opinion, the Bridgestone is still the better option.
Herrie op Safari/Patrollie
1983 Safari
1999 Patrol 4500 GRX

Post Reply

Return to “14. Rims & Tyres”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest