On our annual trip to four-wheeling Mecca, BFGoodrich invited us to get a real-world introduction of their next generation mud-terrain tire, the KM3. Officially, the technical specs and list of available tire sizes have not been announced. However, BFGoodrich allowed us to try out the new Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires on Moab’s desert trails. They were also available to answer our dubious questions and photograph the new rubber in all its glory.
KM3 Product Development – A Work in Progress
The BFGoodrich KM3 is the successor to the company’s intrepid KM2. That generation of tire has been around for over eleven years. A lot of good things can be said about the KM2. However, we’ve found that the company is constantly striving to make its tires exactly what off-road enthusiasts want, in both appearance and performance. It’s no secret that BFGoodrich’s product development team set out to improve traction, durability, and sidewall strength in addition to incorporating customer feedback that wanted better treadwear, less road noise, and more tire sizes to choose from. In short, it was a tall list of “it would be nice to have…” to fulfill.
BFGoodrich KM3 Off-Road Performance
After years of development, we think the new compound, tread design and sidewall construction of the BFGoodrich KM3 are a major leap over the current generation KM2.
After spending a couple days exploring the challenging trails surrounding Moab, we were happily impressed with the tire’s performance. Whatever obstacle or terrain we came across, we always felt like we had solid footing whether climbing or descending off-camber knolls. It seems to us that the deep tread depth, sipped lugs and new tread design all work as well as they look.
The soft and sticky compound is about as flexible as an eraser. Which is a good thing because the tread wiggle allows the tire to shake off mud, snow and packed debris quicker. Overall, they grip excellently on the rocks, making some obstacles that we’ve struggled with before a non-issue, and holding many steep or off-camber lines that a harder rubber would slide off.
What Others are Saying About the KM3
We spoke with some lucky off-roaders who have been using the KM3 tires on their personal vehicles for the past month. After thousands of miles of use off-road and on paved roads, anecdoctal feedback is overall positive. High marks were given to traction in various elements and even some snowy conditions. One of the notable compliments is that the KM3s generate a lot less noise on the highway and no longer “sing” at high volumes.
The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires go on sale in June 2018. Before that, we’ll work on getting a set for one of the test trucks and do further testing on more familiar terrain around Boulder, Colorado. Now that BFGoodrich is no longer hiding development of the KM3, stay tuned for the official specs that will be announced soon.
Photo gallery: BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3