April 14, 2011

A year with the unusual Wrangler MT/Rs

I was by coincidence one of the early adopters in New Zealand of the asymmetric Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar, to use its full name. It was a bit of a gamble in that they looked good on paper but were something of an unknown in practice. The point of difference is its tread pattern that tries to provide the off-road advantages of a good mud tyre yet handle and ride on the road like an all terrain. Having learnt through experience that compromises are almost always, well, compromised, my worry was that the Wranglers wouldn't be much good in either role.

Fortunately, the tyre has lived up to its design brief. It's relatively quiet on road, including on coarse-chip, and rides and handles well. Braking distances and control are more like an all terrain than a mud tyre. They're god in the wet. Off-road, in mud, it's been at least as good as the BFG Mud Terrains I previously favoured. On trips, I've never felt even slightly disadvantaged compared to others using other more conventionally designed rubber. The Wranglers just do it.

Nor have I noticed any disadvantage compared to the extreme mud tyres, notably the Simex Extreme Trekkers (aka the Centipede) that are favoured by many enthusiasts. But there's a reason. Of course a cross-ply with giant lugs is going to be better than the MT/R in severe mud conditions, but I believe the Centipedes are overkill for most club trips – guys are just running too much tyre on tracks where normal mudders perform perfectly well, or well enough.

The MT/Rs are not cheap, but on the basis of the first year they've been money well spent and I'm looking forward to many more interesting trips with them.

Earlier posts:


  1. So how come everyone I know who has them hates them.

  2. Specifics would be helpful, Anonymous.