Kenda Klever RT Review

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The Kenda Klever RT is a solid off road tire, where the RT in it’s name stands for Rugged Terrain, meaning the tire is a hybrid, carrying bulky shoulder lugs of a mud terrain tire and central blocks having features of all terrain.

Kenda Klever R/T
Kenda Klever R/T condition after 20k miles.

Being a tire designer, it’s performance matched my theory when I studied this tire’s structure. The Kenda Klever R/T provides you with a very strong 3 ply sidewalls, with thick lugs on top and staggered shoulder blocks. All of these help make this tire one of the best ones out there on rough paths especially on rocks. On highways, however, you would have to compromise a little bit, but I guess that can be overlooked considering it’s a budget pick, providing a good value overall.

Tire Sizes:

Kenda Klever R/T comes in a total sizes of 33, where it offers between 15 to 24 inches (rim sizes).

For Your Info: Only one is available in 16 inches: LT235/70R16, and none are available in 19 inches.

Powerful load ratings are available in C, D, E, F, while the speed ratings are available in either Q or R.

Learn all about speed ratings here.

Lastly taking about tread depth, half of the sizes come with 17/32″, while the other half come with 19/32″.

Tread Appearance:

RT (rugged terrain) tires are pretty aggressive, and the Kenda Klever RT is no exception.

Kenda Klever R/T
Kenda Klever R/T reminds me of the tread of Nitto Ridge Grappler (another example of RT tires).

Let’s start with it’s shoulder blocks and go towards the middle.

On sidewalls, the tire offers good enough lugs, and they cover a good real estate, increasing overall tread print capability when pressured down.

The shoulder blocks are staggered and have wild gaps in between where stone ejectors are also seen.

These stone ejectors are after every block and they vary in shape slightly, consecutively.

All these blocks have straight horizontal full depth sipes, they are not too many in number and only a few on shoulders have an interlocking design.

Moreover, all shoulder blocks have stud-able lugs (for improving winter traction).

Dividing with wide circumferential grooves, the middle area of the tread carry 4 ribs surrounding each other and making an X shaped grooves.

These X shaped grooves are although not as wide as the outer channels, they are still pretty broad for even a rugged terrain tire.

In other words, the tire is more aligned towards mud terrain (and that explains it’s mud performance, as you’ll see).

Here besides the 2 sideways ribs having full depth notches, all carry similar features with similar horizontal siping (again full depth).

Toughness Review:

Durability is based on the tire’s internal make-up, and the rubber composition on top, so let’s talk about these first.

The Kenda Klever R/T forms a very robust architecture with a base casing of 3 ply polyester.

This casing gets strengthened with belts made out of steel, and 2 of those run on top, which further get layered with 2 more plies of nylon (cap plies) on which the chip resistant rubber sits.

So the tire provides quite some durability.

Moreover, Klever RT also has a strong bead protecting shields on the sidewalls which further adds to it’s toughness.

For Your Info: If you haven’t checked out my list of top all terrain tires, I’d recommend you do that first, before moving on the the performance section below.

On Road Performance:

On pavements, the traction is mostly considered with 3 things in mind, the tire’s response, the grip, and handling capabilities.

Let’s talk about both of these one by one.

Steering Response:

Being an RT, the steering response suffers a little bit, as the tire under steers slightly, creating a lag between the input and the tire’s feedback, so the wheels communication becomes limited.

But this is seen more on wet tarmacs compared to dry.

As in dry conditions, with minimal tread features on outer blocks, Kenda provides satisfactory lateral traction, improving response times by a lot.

Additionally, it’s deep biters also provide a good amount of lateral stability, as it becomes quite vocual with the steering, but only at slower speeds, that’s because going above 40 mph, you are going to start feeling these tires a lot.

Traction on dry roads:

The dry grip of a tire is conditional on the treads exposure with the surface. The more the tire meets the road, the better the friction, which means better grip.

In case of Kenda Klever R/T, the tire does not offer considerable contact patch with the road, so the overall grip is limited.

The tread void of the tire is almost as large as of any mud terrain tires, so very less rubber meets the road.

Dry highway Handling:

The handling of the tire depends on the sides. That’s because when tire rolls on corners, most of the weight is put on there, and a firm contact with the road is made.

Now although the Kenda Klever R/T has very wide lateral grooves here, the tire still makes a good enough traction (for a R/T), as it’s shoulder blocks have minimal tread features.

Moreover, the staggered design also provides biters which aids things further.

Wet Performance:

Wet performance is divided in to two parts, where one is the wet grip which depends on the tread’s construction and the overall siping.

And the second, is hydroplaning. Let’s talk these both.

Wet Traction:

The Kenda Klever R/T provides all weather rubber having a nice mixture of silica in it’s new gen tread. This provides this tire with the needed stretchability.

So slits of the sipes get to open and close smoothly, slurping water in and showering it out as the tire moves over.

But still the tire’s wet grip is not good enough, as there aren’t many sipes on it’s tread. So you are going to face a lot of slippage.

Moreover, the straight siping are not as effective as during braking and handling these sipes become rigid and don’t provide efficient water cleaning, so don’t drive this tire without your traction control off.


Hydroplaning is when a tire floats on water and its a crucial part of overall wet traction.

To avoid this, grooves are made on the tread which provide channels for water to leave out.

In case of Kenda Klever R/T the tire has wide enough interconnected grooves from where water can effortlessly pass through.

So the tire offers good enough float speeds (compared to other R/T tires).

For folks who still did not understand float speeds, it’s just the max speed with which tire can roll over water without “floating”.

Snow Performance:

Kenda Klever R/T is not 3 peak mountain snowflake rated, but that does not mean it can’t perform well on snowy terrains, as this is only a snow acceleration rating and it has nothing to do with handling and grip.

So although the tire does have a hard time on light snow, on deeper snow, it performs decent traction, as with wider grooves, it’s able to trap in a lot of snow, which get further packed in by the tire’s bulky weight.

So the tire is able to make snow to snow contact (which provides better friction, and hence traction).

Moreover, you can also enhance the traction further (on ice and snow) by adding studs on the shoulders, where you can add 15 of these.

Tread Wear:

When it comes to tread’s life the tire’s compound and weight are the most important factors to consider.

The Kenda Klever R/T provides you with a spongy rubber compound which is soft and prone to wear (especially on roads, where off road the cut resistant tread provides better efficacy).

This softer compound rubs on the surface with more force/friction as the tire is also quite heavy (with its 3 ply polyester casing), so a lot of rolling resistance is produces which affects the tread wear.

Overall, it’s overall mileage is not going to impress you, as even with the tire’s larger tread depth , the tire still wears quickly (deeper tread takes more time to wear).

For Your Info: This tire does not offer any kind of tread wear warranty.

Ride Quality:

As the tire tends to get more aggressive, it’s on road comfort starts to become limited, that’s why the on road tires (like all season and touring tires), provide you with the most comfortable ride.

Then comes all terrain tires, which are more aggressive then passenger tires, but not as much as the mud tires.

The R/T tires, like the Kenda Klever RT, come right in the middle of these two, all terrain and mud terrain, so the comfort of this tire, where its better compared to a mud tire, is still not as good as an all terrain tire.

Now, having said that, let’s discuss it’s noise and comfort.


Comfort of the ride simply put, is dependent on the tire’s ability to soak up the bumps. So here the tire’s structure is considered. If a tire is stiff, you would really feel the road underneath, and if it’s soft the bumps would get dissipated off nicely, but then again softer tread also becomes prone to wear, so companies have to find a nice balance in between.

The Kenda Klever R/T although yields a rigid 3 ply ester construction, it still attributes a softer rubber layer on top, which provides a good enough job of absorbing the imperfections of the road nicely.

With a decent tread depth (which puts a thicker rubber layer on top), the tire also provides nice off road comfort levels as well.

Tread Noise:

Noise is just air particles hiring the walls of tread voids, and mostly this air comes in from the shoulders.

Now since the Kenda Klever R/T offers a lot of gaps there, there is a lot of real estate area for air to move around and hit the walls with more force.

And although the tire offers variable pitch technology, it’s still not able to dampen the noise effective (this technology basically provides variations in the tread which makes different sound frequencies, and they try to cancel out each other).

For Your Info: Most comfortable all terrain tire in my experience is the Yokohama Geolandar G015 (review).

Off Road Traction:

Off road, things although get tough, it’s no problem for this tire, as it can handle pretty much all kinds of tough terrains, including mud.

Let’s discuss all these challenging terrains.

Rock Traction:

My go to tire for rocks has always been Nitto Ridge Grappler (review), but after experiencing this tire and what it’s capable off, I am not sure anymore, as it’s rock crawling abilities are pretty cool.

Out of all the hybrid tires I’ve reviewed, some of the best ones out there for rocks are Mickey Thompson Baja Boss AT (review), Maxxis Razr AT811, Toyo RT, and of course Nitto Ridge. And I’m adding Kenda Klever R/T to this list.

The tire’s staggered shoulders provide a huge gripping power, and it’s lugs on sidewalls, offer you with a very confidence inspiring climbing abilities (especially when you lower down the air pressure).

Just drop pressure to a lower PSI, and watch this tire go.

Muddy Terrain Performance:

Mud requires efficient self cleaning, as you can’t run a tire which gets packed with mud.

The Kenda Klever R/T is a very capable tire which keeps it’s tread clean even in deep mud.

It’s wide grooves in the middle which link with the lateral gaps of shoulder blocks clear out mud very fast. (sideways mud evacuation is very significant for traction).

Klever also offers powerful staggered shoulders and lugs on sides and both of these push the mud backwards to provide on ward driving force.

Sand Traction:

Sand is a pretty tough terrain where you need a lot of driving skills along with a good tire.

And a good tire here is the one which offers, enough tread print, smaller weight and softer outer architecture.

So it makes sense why Kenda Klever R/T struggles a little bit here especially when on slopes, where it’s larger weight doesn’t allow it to have efficient forward momentum.

But with lowered air pressure, the tire’s sidewall lugs and staggered shoulders enhance the tire’s footprint which helps the tire a lot in traction.

Also, you can go very low (pressure) on this tire, as it comes with powerful rim locks which keeps the tire in place, so you don’t have to worry about its bead rolling off.

Lastly, leave with this:

The Kenda Klever R/T comes right in the middle of All Terrain and Mud Terrain tires, so the tire is also called a hybrid besides Rugged Terrain.

Other popular tires in the RT category include Duratrac, Nitto Ridge Grappler and Toyo RT, and compared to these all, this tire provide satisfactory dry grip but lacks on wet pavements.

Klever RT is also not 3PMSF rated but offers good traction on deeper snow which can be enhanced with its stud-able lugs .

Lastly, talking of comfort, it’s okay-ish, if you can bear the noise.

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