BF Goodrich KO2 Review

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Being the 4th generation of KO that was introduced back in 1977, the BF Goodrich KO2 now comes being the toughest tire in the category. The tire even survived the drop of 10k feet, and the test showed how its capable of taking on rugged off road challenges. On top of it’s 3 ply sidewalls, it’s slanted shoulder lugs further aid during flexing when it’s pressured down to a lower PSI.

BF Goodrich KO2

The BF Goodrich KO2 now competes with many key players popular in all terrain category, but still stays a head of them in few areas, that you can not miss. Besides having stronger construction, the tire also offers dual compound in it’s rubber composition to enhance wear, the dual stone ejectors provides this tire with better cleaning capability and full depth siping, notches and staggered shoulder all add to it’s biting abilities off road. The tire is also awarded with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating.

But hold on, now that I covered the good, I’m gonna look at some of the bad and even ugly.

Where BF Goodrich KO2 needs improvements?

  • The tire does not impress on wet roads.
  • The interlocking design of the tire provides poor mud traction.
  • Sand traction is very challenging for this tire, especially during an incline.

Let’s see why is that, but in order to understand that well, I’d recommend you understand the structure of this tire first.

Tread Appearance

On the tire’s tread smaller central ribs in the middle get surrounded by outer two, or should I say wrapped with others, as the tire makes interconnected web of grooves.

BFG Ko2 tread

All its central blocks are divided by full depth siping, so these ribs have a chance to flex further, opening and closing off road, according to the terrain the tire is on.

Also note that how the surrounding blocks have notches while the middle focuses more on offs-set edges.

On the outer skirts of the web of grooves, triangular stone ejectors are seen, which now helps fixes one of the problem of it’s predecessor (I’ll talk about it in upcoming sub topics).

Besides these, traditional stone ejectors between all shoulder blocks are seen which is common with most of AT tires out there.

And where the tire makes such a consistent middle pattern, the sides get very wild.

Here, sharp full depth notches are seen, placed at two different angles, along with similar interlocking siping pattern.

BFG KO2 sidewalls
BF Goodrich KO2 is the Baja champ and they put this on their tire as well.

These lugs are staggered and they make sharp edges along with mud scoops for off road traction, enhancing the wild looks of the shoulders further.

The prominent lateral spacing between the lugs can be clearly seen on the Baja Champ in the image.

Shoulder blocks meet on the sidewall and make slanted incision in between.

These angled cuts grab and pull off road with lowered tire pressure.

The tire also features very solid bead cords making strong rim protectors, so even with very low pressure, the tires gonna stay in it’s place.

Although looks are subjective, I am a full on fan of BF Goodrich KO2’s sides lugs their slanted shape and thickness really help out with things off road. They also protect the tires, although the tire does not need any further protection, as you’ll see below.

Compare BF Goodrich KO2 with others


BF Goodrich KO2 can be a synonym for durability. When BF Goodrich marketed with this tire dropping from 10k feet, I thought it was just a gimmick, but after personally testing these tires out, I truly believe they did that and it survived.

I have experienced all types of terrains with these tires including sharp rocks, pointy logs, areas with a lot thorns, high speed gravel, you name it. And not even once they let me down.

It makes sense when you look at the tire’s inner construction. The tire’s inner most layer (which you may think of as a skeleton of a tire), is made out of 3 layers of polyester (a strong organic compound).

These 3 layers are further topped with 2 more layers of steel belts made out of high strength cords (these only cover under the tread area).

And then all these 5 layers are covered with 2 more layers of nylon which are spirally wound.

Most folks say it’s sidewalls are 3 ply but they forget about the reinforced nylon layers on top, as they are spirally wound, they also cover the sides.

So you can say in a way the BF Goodrich KO2 offers 5 ply sidewalls, which gives you a pretty clear idea of how tough these tires are.

For Your Info: Mickey Thompson Baja Boss AT (review), was the close 2nd in the durability test and the weakest tire here has to be Toyo Open Country AT3 (review).

On Road Performance

When it comes to all terrain tires, they are not expected to perform too good here. But BF Goodrich changes that, especially on dry roads. The tire provides very precise steering with good dynamic response.

I like how the tire is able to soak up tiny deformities on the road.

Overall, it’s a nice mixtures of both on road handling combined with refined manners. But the tire does not impress at all on wet pavements.

Wet Traction

The BF Goodrich KO2 has a slightly harder compound where low density of silica is seen in it’s compositions. The stiffness is also aggravated by its multiple inner ply construction and spirally wrapped nylon (which makes its sidewalls brick-like).

Because of this, the ribs on the tire with sipes, don’t have enough flexibility in the wet to clear water from its path.

A high performing tire on wet need a lot of siping (interlocking mostly), and softer rubber to let them easily breath.

The KO2 although provides full depth sipes, they are not as interlocking like you see on Falken Wildpeak AT3w (review) shoulders for example, and the harder compound does not allows these sipes to expand or contract too easily (which pumps water in and out).

For Your Info: On wet conditions, the BF Goodrich KO2 really likes to under-steer more on laps. And although it’s fun for a guy like me, it’s not a good set up for an open world scenario. I’d recommend to always corner carefully with these tires (in rain), and make sure your traction control is ON at all times. Lowering tire pressure also works for this tire, so if you live where there’s a lot of rain, it’s time to lower it down a bit.

If you don’t have any idea, you can contact me with you tire size and I can guide you on that, make sure you also add the vehicle you drive on.

Dry Road Performance:

On dry pavements, the tire provides a good tradeoff between the comfort and traction. The tire gives you a direct steering which is very predictable. The communication gap between the input and feedback of the tires is also very negligible.

I am personally impressed on how much g forces it exhibits while cornering. The tire has very aggressive shoulder blocks with a lot of lateral spacing in between, so it’s pretty amazing how even with less rubber to road contact it does not disappoint on highways.


Hydro or Aquaplaning (same thing), is a very crucial and a part of wet traction. It’s measured by how much speed a tire can move on standing water without floating. That’s why float speeds are measured.

The float speed when it comes to BF Goodrich KO2 are quite impressive. The tire offers wide enough lateral spacing between the outer blocks which channels the water out of the tire.

It also offers decent tread depth of 15/32″ on almost all sizes, and this combined with web of channels it makes, the tire makes a nice map for water to leave without causing it to float.

Road Noise

Subjectively, it feels that the tire makes more noise while turning. By on highways straight ahead, you don’t feel much of a noise when your windows up and radio off.

But after 45 or 50 mph you hear a continuous wobbling sound that becomes a background noise, and is only heard when you focus on it.

One thing I noted, that out of all the tires I reviewed, the BF Goodrich KO2 was the only one where noise get better with the tire’s age.

The tire actually has 2 different layers of rubber, one on top is a little softer and the one underneath is slightly harder. So once the upper layer starts to wear off, the stiffer rubber underneath produces less tread noise levels. But I religiously rotate tires after 3k miles to get better life out of them, so maybe that’s contributing to this.

Also Note: With harder compound underneath, the tire would impact wet traction even more. Although it has full depth sipes, and they don’t go anywhere, the tire’s stiffer compound further resist the movement of these sipes.


Ride comfort is one of the main reasons these tires exist. Otherwise, everyone would be riding on mud tires which have more off road capabilities.

The good thing is a lot of AT tires coming in are comfortable enough. And BF Goodrich is also making that list barely.

The tire’s sidewalls are very stiff. Due to the spirally wrapped nylon coverings, they are stiff as they have 5 layers underneath. So the ride feels a little bumpier, and you would feel it the most on corners.

If comfort is really important to you, then I’d recommend going with Load C tires on KO2, as they have 2 ply polyester construction, instead of 3.

Fuel Efficiency:

Fuel Efficiency is mostly calculated by measuring the rolling resistance of a tire. And some of the contributing factors here include weight, composition of the rubber and tire pressure.

More pressure make a tire stiffer which does not compress on the road too much decreasing rolling resistance.

Now the BF Goodrich KO2 has the advantage of being already a stiffer enough tire, it surprisingly also keeps the weight at bay even with so many plies underneath, how do they do it…

So, this tire is not going to eat up too much of your fuel. Also with P rated tires, things get even better as they are lighter.

One thing to keep in mind, make sure your tire has optimal pressure for the surface its going to be on, so where on dry you can increase PSI a bit, it’s not good for wet as mentioned above.

Tread Depth & Sizes:

Tread Depth is interesting here, because there are only 4 sizes where BF Goodrich does not give same tread depth, where all other sizes get to have 15/32″.

Those 4 sizes are all LT and are 215/65/R16, 225/65/R17, 245/65/R17, 255/55/R18. All 4 of them come with 13/32″ of tread depth.

They recently just added another size, so now there are a total of 90 tire sizes.

The tire comes in 15 to 22 inches rim sizes, where the smallest has weight of 35 lbs and largest is 67 lbs (35X12.5R22 117R).

Tread Life:

The BF Goodrich KO2 offers a good tread life. Its harder compound which is also chip resistant is going to last a while even if you take them off road most of the time.

The tire has initial softer rubber that would be wearing off quickly, the other half of the tire would take some time.

Overall, I’d say that the tire needs frequent rotations, it’s a must if you want to get 50k plus miles out of them.

And although it does not mean anything, they comes with 50k miles tread wear warranty.

Winter Performance:

On snow the tire is remarkable. It does all things right. It’s stiffer compound is very tolerable on snow and does not get too stiffen up with freezing temperatures.

The tire is also very narrow compared to others, and this combined with it’s weight, it puts more pressure on the snow. So, how its good? Well, because on snow, the best traction comes from snow to snow contact rather than rubber to snow.

So BF Goodrich KO2 with it’s already interlocking rib design which is good at trapping dirt/snow in it is a great fit here. With more pressure, the snow is easily lodged in the grooves, while the wider shoulder blocks keeps on cleaning off the snow slightly from sides.

The tire is also made round, so the outer stiffer sidewalls don’t bother this tire too much here.

With deeper snow, the tire’s staggered blocks come in to action, where they act as snow scoopers getting tire out of even deeper snow.

On ice, the interlocking full depth sipes, where they lacked so much on wet, come in handy here a lot. These sipes if you look close enough have teeth shaped design where they seem straight. And they create enough biters to grip on the ice.

In testing, the KO2 with it’s 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating outperformed some of the other well known snowflake rated tires like the Firestone Destination AT2 and the Yokohama Geolandar G015.

Off Road Capabilities:

Off road, the BF Goodrich KO2 is a beast, no doubt about it. So many key players in the AT category where they even have quite similar designs, like General Grabber ATx, are not able to outperform this tire.

KO2 offers a lot of biters everywhere on the tread and has a very powerful inner construction as I talked about in the durability section above.

Rocky Terrain Performance

The BF Goodrich KO2 is a amazing on rocks. With 3 ply sides it gives you all the confidence you need to take them on any kind of rocky terrains, and it’s small central ribs with notches on all of them create a very decent biting power.

The full depth sipes also split open the ribs further, and they bite the ground further adding to the biters.

When you run these tires with lowered PSI, the sidewall slanted lugs which are thick and covering a good real estate, provide additional footprint with the rocks. The deep cut between these lugs provide very strong biting and the tire is able to grab things very efficiently.

On gravel, the tire offers amazing handling and acceleration, the dual stone ejectors provide additional support as less stones get lodged in the tread.

The tire’s predecessor the KO, had this issue of self cleaning off itself from rocks, that’s why the tire introduced triangular shaped ejectors in the tread as well, and although the is not still good at it, its much better.

Traction on Sand

Sand is a very different terrain where you need a perfect combination of digging and the forward momentum.

The BF Goodrich KO2 is a digger. It’s weight and harder compound with sturdier inner construction, combined with sharp lugs on the sides, does not allow it to keep a good forward momentum going even with lowered pressure, I am of course talking about while keeping other AT tires in mind.

During an incline traction test, the tire lacks a little, it has to do with it’s stiff sidewalls, which does not make as much of the contact with the sand, as others do.

But the traction scoops of the tire including sidewall lugs help the tire a little.

Mud Performance

Mud is something, AT tires are not good at. That’s why Mud tires are there, to get the job done.

The BF Goodrich KO2 is no different. The tire as I talked about in snow section, is good at trapping things in it’s grooves, this is not good for mud.

You see, mud on mud, means no friction or traction, a packed tire with mud would just spin on mud without moving forward.

So in order to achieve the forward momentum, a tire’s tread should self clean it self. The BF Goodrich KO2 has a web of tread voids where interlocked ribs don’t let the mud escape too easily. That’s why the tire get packed very easily.

But with lighter mud, the tire is good to go, it’s staggered shoulder blocks with mud scoops throw back the dirt and maintains the forward momentum.

The bulky lugs on the sidewalls also do a similar job.

Take Home Points

The BF Goodrich KO2 still stands one of the toughest tires out there. With a close difference, for your info, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss AT comes in 2nd. But with spirally wound nylon coverings the KO2 offers more protection to sidewalls, which is considered the weakest part of the tire.

The try is overall great on dry and there are no problems over there, its okay in terms on noise and comfort and consumes average fuel, but the tire could really use some wet traction.

That’s why it really surprises on snow, and ice, as it provides pretty decent traction over there. The 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating symbol is really justified on this tire.

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