General Grabber ATX vs BF Goodrich KO2

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General Grabber ATX and the BF Goodrich KO2 are both very closely related, where even their tread design look very much a like. But there are a lot of different things about them that makes them good in different terrains so in the end it’s going to be dependent on your needs. The good thing is that both tires are USA made.

BF Goodrich KO2 sidewall
The sidewalls of BF Goodrich KO2 are very powerful.

Being a tire engineer, from my perspective, the General Grabber ATx is slightly more responsive on roads, so you can expect nice handling out of them in dry conditions, they communicate with steering really well. On wet roads its a different story (talked about it below). The BF Goodrich KO2 is also not going to disappoint on dry, and the tire provides better lateral traction. It’s like the tire is sleeping and on corners they come alive. This tire is also just okay on wet, but off road they are beasts. Both tires also perform really well on snow and earn 3PMSF rating symbol.

Durability Differences

BF Goodrich KO2 can be a synonym for durability. The tire offers simply the toughest tires out there.

It provides you with a very strong 3 ply polyester casing on which high strength cords make dual steel belts layers.

All of these are then wrapped with 2 layers of another polymer compound, nylon. This layer is actually spirally wound so they also cover the sidewalls, providing more strength to 3 ply sidewalls.

Mostly folks believe it has 3 ply side construction where they forget about the 2 extra layers of nylon further adding to it’s strength. (In a similar manner, compared to BFG KO2, Falken Wildpeak AT3w has 4 ply sides)

The General Grabber ATX doesn’t stand a chance here, as the tire has typical inner construction of 2 ply sidewalls, without any reinforcing nylon covering here, as they are only on top of 2 steel belts and polyamide layer.

But the tire is good enough, as some tires out there are even weaker, like if you look at Toyo AT3 comparing with KO2, you’ll see that there I discussed how it’s the least durable tire out there.

Tread Appearance

General Grabber Atx 1

The General Grabber ATX (review) has 3 ribs in the middle and all of them have full depth interlocking sipes, and biters / notches enhancing off road capability.

The two wrapping around ribs are also studable and they separate from shoulder blocks with wavy longitudinal channel.

On shoulder blocks, they are staggered and have slightly different siping pattern but same kind of notches.

And these shoulder lugs make nice sidewall design (tire also comes with white letters outside on sidewalls with “General Grabber A/Tx” written on it).

On the other hand, the BF Goodrich KO2 looks very much alike. In fact some thing that the Grabber is rip off of the KO2, that’s not true.

BFG Ko2 tread

It also has 3 ribs in the middle with notches and full depth interlocking sipes, but the tire does not make clear longitudinal channels like the Grabber ATx.

It’s blocks are more haphazardly placed in comparison and this make a slightly more wild web of tread voids.

The BF Goodrich KO2 is also equipped with more powerful shoulder blocks with bigger traction scoops and very killer sidewall lugs with edged biters installed.

Also see if you can find triangular shaped stone ejectors, besides between all shoulder blocks.

Wear Resistance

Tread wear resistance is unbeatable on General Grabber ATX. That’s why I’ve put this tire on my list of all terrain tires as the best for wear.

The tire does all things right to fight wear. It provides you with deep enough tread and it’s compound has polymers embedded which keep it stiffer and elastic.

The kevlar compound in the tire also adds resistance and make it chip and cut resistance, although that is also seen with BF Goodrich KO2.

Both tires also provide a very even wear, and with full depth siping, they both keep their traction values as they age.

But General Grabber ATX is a clear winner here.

The BF Goodrich KO2 although is more durable and has 3 ply sidewall which adds to life, it’s also becomes heavier and with more weight comes more pressure on tread and that sets off more wear in comparison.

On Road Performance

Where usually all terrain tires are notorious for the poor on road performance, both of these tires bust that myth with their appreciable performance.

Both provide pretty decent grip and handling which is confidence inspiring, but digging a little deep, we still find some differences in both that you should not miss.

Dry Traction

The General Grabber ATX communicates with the steering wheel a little better. The tire is very responsive during handling and provides better grip compared to it’s bigger brother.

It provides more rubber to pavement contact compared to BF Goodrich KO2 so the traction times are seen better.

But the BF Goodrich KO2 still provides better lateral traction on roads, where the cornering seems very powerful, as you experience more G forces in comparison.

This credit goes to it’s killer shoulder blocks where a lot is going on (talked about it in appearance section above).

Wet Traction

Let me start off here by this. Both of these tires are not going to impress here, if not disappoint. And with these tires on, I always advice to keep your traction control on.

But still you are going to get better performance out of BF Goodrich KO2. The tire offers slightly more flexibility to it’s sipes where on shoulders it offers more interlocking where notches help as well.

On the other hand, the General Grabber ATX has a low silica composition in it’s rubber so the sipes don’t get to flex as much.

It’s shoulder blocks (which play a huge roll during handling), lack a lot in the lateral traction. The sipes on it’s blocks, only aid circumferentially, and side-way grip is compromised.

To give you an idea, even it’s Mud-Terrain variant, the General Grabber X3 performs better on wet roads compared to it.

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning is calculated by measuring how fast a tire can move on standing water.

And this is highly dependent on the tread’s ability to evacuate water out of it.

Both tires being so similar provide you with a web of grooves with interconnected channels, and they both provide nice pathway for water to pass through without any hurdle.

But still out of the two, with some sizes, you are going see better hydroplaning resistance on General Grabber ATX, as it goes up to 16/32″.

Where on BF Goodrich KO2, almost all sizes have 15/32″ (with the exception of 4, which have less).

So with slightly more tread depth the Grabber ATX is able to offer better values here.

Noise Reduction

Tread noise is very common with off road tires, where the wide gaps between the blocks allow air to strike (block sides) producing sound.

The nice things about both these tires is that they offer variable pitch tread which cancels the noise levels.

So you are not going to hear too much of a noise with them.

Though, the Grabber ATX do get more vocal after 10k miles, where BF Goodrich KO2 keeps it’s noise at bay for a long time.

Fuel Efficiency

Both tire are not impressive here, as they are both going to provide a lot of rolling resistance.

But still the Genreal Grabber ATX has an advantage of being slightly lighter in weight. So with that, rolling resistance lowers down on this tire.

The BF Goodrich KO2 provides 3 ply sides and with more layers comes more weight, and moving around more weight needs more energy.

For Your Info: If you are mostly staying on highways, I’d recommend going with P rated tires, as they would provide less rolling resistance. Also make sure that your tire’s have optimal air pressure in them, this also improves fuel economy.

Winter Performance

Winter performance is a very challenging terrain and the good thing about both of these tires is that they have the severe snow rating with 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol.

But still, the General Grabber ATX again outperform its older brother in all key areas.

It provides better acceleration, better braking distances, and superior handling times.

The tire also deals with heavier snow with slightly more tread depth.

The BF Goodrich KO2 lacks here with it’s stiffer sidewalls, but the difference is only marginal.

Also keep in mind, these tires despite their snowflake rating are not an alternative to dedicated winter tires.

Off Road Performance

Off road things get pretty aggressive and both these tires can handle it.

The BF Goodrich impresses with it’s durability that shines on rocks and the Grabber ATX provides you with a very decent dirt and gravel handling.

Sand Driving

Sandy terrains needs a lot of rubber contact to bring traction.

The General Grabber ATX does that by providing more rubber to sand contact. The tire is also less edgy on the shoulder blocks, so its not going to dig here as much as the BF Goodrich KO2.

This is a very important factor as you don’t want your tires to dig here, you need a momentum.

The BF Goodrich KO2 provides very aggressive shoulder blocks which dig more in comparison. The tire with stiffer sidewalls also lacks in incline traction test.

Traction on Rocks

The General Grabber ATX lacks in the lateral traction department but other than that its great on rocks.

The tire is also very performing on gravel and emits stones with ejectors between all its shoulder blocks.

The BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side provides you with similar stone ejectors, as well as triangular ones embedded within grooves, so gravel performance is great here too.

It also provides more protection to the sidewalls, with the 3 ply polyester with nylon wrapping, so they are going to be less prone to damage, and this really inspires confidence off road.

Mud Driving

Mud terrains require tires to have self cleaning abilities. And both these tires are not up to the mark.

Their interconnected central rib are not good at clearing out the mud.

But still both tires have staggered shoulder blocks which help them, but let me add that it’s wise not to take them in deeper muddy terrains as they would get packed very quickly.

Still out of them, I think the BF Goodrich KO2 has a slight upper hand with its more aggressive shoulder blocks with bigger mud scoops, that would help the tire get out of light mud in a slightly better way.

Take Home Points

The Grabber ATX is better of a performer on dry roads, but lacks slightly in lateral traction, this is felt more when things get wet, even off road. But the tire other than that provides pretty decent traction values on all sorts of terrains, including snow, where it’s significantly better than it’s bigger brother.

The BF Goodrich KO2 however, still remains a champ, when it comes to durability. Sure, the Grabber is outperforming this tire in a lot of key areas, but with 3 plys sides with 2 extra layers on top, the KO2 still provides the toughest sidewalls that you can get with all terrain tires.

7 thoughts on “General Grabber ATX vs BF Goodrich KO2”

  1. Agreed with most of the review, your research and note were on point.
    I have had three pair of BFG Ko2s and always had balance problems and uneven wear problems with them, I change to the Grabber AT3’s and now am on my 5th set and have to say this is the best AT tire I have ever owned. I currently drive a 2021 Tacoma and have 110,000 miles on it with about 30,000 of those off road, mainly trail and Overlanding and MOAB twice a year.
    I’ve never had a flat of side wall tear with either brand and living in Utah the Snow is a factor that the Grabber has done very well in.
    Thanks again for a great article and just review.

    Dan

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  2. I’ve had the BFG KO2 10 ply rated tires in the past and really liked them for their year around traction even in the extreme winter cold of the arctic where they weren’t used as a weekend warrior type tire but dealt with mud, rock, snow and ice driving year in year out. The downside to running them on a heavy Dodge diesel truck was that the tread just disappeared off them and they wore very quickly. Fast forward to today and I’ve now had the Grabber ATX 10 plies since 2020. I don’t think they are quite the tire traction wise the KO2 is but they are definitely right there in the same class. However the reason I tried them is to see if they have better tread life which they do, in three years they haven’t worn down as quickly as I experienced with the KO2s and for that reason they get my nod of approval. I realize that isn’t going to be a deciding factor for a lot of people but it is for me all things considered. When you’re driving on either gravel or rutted snow packed roads most the time anyways you don’t notice other things like tire balance to much because the roads are generally rough anyways. You want traction and durability.

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    • Thanks for sharing mate. Grabber ATX is pretty great when it comes to wear. In fact, I added it to my list of “top A/T tires”, just because of that very reason.

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  3. Just took off my K02 with 86,000 miles. Too worn for another winter. Rotate every five thousand and watch air.

    Great in the snow in WI.

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  4. I have Generals on my 2001 Ranger 4 wd and the grabbers do everything I ask of them around my property, they get overall great traction in n about any situation including pretty good snow amounts. I have BFG K02’s on my f250 super duty diesel and they do just as well but have a lot of weather cracks that I never see on the Grabbers. I think about 45000 is gonna be the most I get from BFG’s but it is heavier for sure. Never had a flat on either set or a tear or puncture, tough to pick a winner

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