Kumho Road Venture AT51 Review

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Kumho Road Venture AT51 is a mild all terrain tire designed for SUVs, CUVs, and pickup trucks. This tire is for someone who stays on highways most of the time, and it provides a great traction with a very budget friendly price tag.

Kumho Road Venture AT51
Kumho Road Venture AT51 sidewall lugs don’t offer satisfactory bite off road.

Being a tire engineer, from my perspective, the Kumho Road Venture AT51 is a decent tire which is meant to be stayed on road mostly. It offers a great dry grip and lateral stability where although it lack slightly in the braking grip, offers amazing handling values. Wet grip is also above average, but where this tire shines the most is on snow, that’s why it get 3 peak mountain snowflake rating.

Internal Make-Up

The durability of this tire is quite impressive as most budget options are not seen with what this tire has to offer, internally (which determines tire’s toughness).

The inner construction of this tire provides you 2 polyester cord casing (which is a norm), and these are layered with 2 steel belts (again it’s average).

But these are then spirally wound with nylon reinforcements.

So although the tire offers 2 ply sidewalls, they are powered by nylon covering or as they say “Kumho’s ESCOT Casing Technology”, so you can run this tire with lowered pressure off road with more confidence (compared to other A/T tires in it’s category).

Tread Features

Kumho Road Venture AT51 offers a very unique tread, as I haven’t seen this on any other tire.

Kumho Road Venture AT51
Kumho Road Venture AT51 has dumbbell shaped central lugs which supplies braking and acceleration traction on a straight path.

Let’s start things from the middle, here the tread has ribs covering the majority of the area.

There are 2 unique blocks of dumbbell shaped, where one is divided in the middle, though still joined together by rubber underneath.

Both ribs have notches towards outer edges and full depth siping in all directions.

These ribs make wide circumferential and lateral channels which meet the outer ribs which are pretty closed up in comparison.

Speaking of which, these outer ribs are divided in to two, where on one, you see S shaped blocks and the other you can consider as shoulder lugs.

Both of them feature full depth notches and biters, though they lack a lot in overall siping, so it’s wet handling suffers a little bit (as you’ll see in the section below).

The outermost area of the tire can be seen by scrolling on top of the page, here the lugs are somewhat staggered, you can say (each block is serrated on itself), and the outer sidewalls are not impressive (speaking form off road traction point of view).

Tire Sizes

Kumho Road Venture A/T51 comes in 15 to 20 inches, with load ratings of SL, XL, C,D, and E, so the tire’s weight fluctuates form 32 to 68 pounds.

Talking about speed ratings, they only go up to T, where some sizes are also seen with R. This is very low for all terrain tires, as some of them even have up to H. So you can say the tire lacks in the overall traction department, and it’s not able to go above 118 mph.

Moreover the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) of the tire 540 A A, which is also average. You can find about it on Tire Rack.

The tire comes in either 15.6/32″ or 13/32″ for it’s tread depth, on all it’s sizes (to give you a reference, the BF Goodrich KO2 offers 15/32″ on all its sizes, so it’s enough). You can review that tire here.

Lastly, all its sizes come with mileage warranty and winter ratings, but more on that in their respective section, let’s start with the tire’s on road performance first.

Ride Quality

Ride quality is basically linked with overall comfort and the tread noise, let’s talk noise first.

Noise is just air hitting the tread to generate unwanted sounds.

The Kumho AT51 deals with sound nicely with it’s closed up shoulder lugs (as sound enters from there mostly).

By restricting the movement of the air, a lot of noise gets dampened down. But with open tread in the middle the little bit of air that comes in creates a buzzing sound, which is increases with speed.

On the other side, if we talk about comfort, which has to do with overall absorption of the shocks, the tire is just average.

It’s rubber is although soft enough, it still a little firm, where you start to feel minor bumps at higher speeds.

For Your Info: According to my research, the most comfortable all-terrain tire is the Yokohama Geolandar A/T, check it’s review here, https://tiredriver.com/yokohama-geolandar-g015-review/

Highway Performance

On pavements, the tread of the tire matters a lot. The balder the tire is, the rougher the ride gets. That’s why with off-road tires, the overall grip, steering response and handling is not that impressive.

But how are all these factors on this tire? Let’s find out.

Dry Grip

For dry grip the middle part of the tread is considered, to see how much contact would be made with the surface the tire is on.

So as Kumho Road Venture AT51 provides an open design in the middle, the directional grip of the tire gets limited.

That’s the reason why maximum speed rating that you get on this tire is only up to T (where average all-terrain tires come with much more than that).

If you don’t know what these letters represent, learn them out here (it would not even take up a whole minute to get them).

Dry Handling

When it comes to handling, the focus is on the sides of the tire, as they make the most contact with the surface. And here the Kumho Road Venture AT51 provides better efficacy.

The better handling performance of the tire has to do with continuous ribs (on sides). These provide a better rubber to road contact, (especially comparing things in the middle).

That’s the reason why the tire offers such great steering response as well. Though it can improve its wet traction overall.

Wet Performance

Wet performance has a major part in hydroplaning, while the other is traction.

Let’s talk these both.

Wet Grip

Kumho Road Venture AT51 offers better siping in the middle so here it’s better in acceleration and braking. And at the same time, with little to no sipes on shoulders, and a closed up design there, the cornering traction gets limited, as water is not removed from there as easily.

You can say it does the exact opposite here of what it does on dry asphalts.

Although the tire still has few rectilinear sipes over there, the overall water removal process is slow, and less the water gets removed, the more the burden on the siping. This basically has to do with hydroplaning.


As water is not compressible, if not evacuated it makes a thin layer in between the tire and the surface, so all traction is lost.

Speed is the main cause of this, and that’s the reason why hydroplaning resistance is measured with float speeds (how fast you can go over water).

Kumho Road Venture AT51 although offers a good hydroplaning resistance on straight roads, with open tread voids in the middle, on curves the tire lacks slightly.

In other words its curved aquaplaning resistance is not good enough. That’s because the water is not able to squeeze out sideways.

Winter Performance

Kumho Road Venture AT51 is branded with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) and M+S so this tells us that the tire is at least 25% better than average all season tires.

But the 3pmsf only tells us about the acceleration, as this rating is not about other performance factors such as snow handling and gripping.

There, the tire does pretty good in handling but lacks in braking.

The opposite is the case when the snowy terrain starts to get deeper. On deep snow, anything above a feet, the tire’s directional stability and grip enhances, whereas it starts lacking in lateral traction.

Off Road Performance

Off road there are 3 main terrains to consider, rocks, mud and sand. Let’s talk about them all.

Sand Traction

Kumho Road Venture AT51 is a lighter tire where it ranges from 32 lbs and goes only up to 68 pounds, so it does okay on slopes.

And due to the tire’s softer rubber compound, lowering air pressure also does wonders for it.

I like the fact that the tire is not very prone to digging, and focuses on forward momentum, which is what sand tires are designed to do.

So overall with lighter sandy terrains, you can not go wrong with this tire, though the missing sidewall lugs could have improved it’s traction a lot.

Mud traction

On muddy terrains you need a tire which is capable of escaping the thick dirt out in time.

If it’s not able to leave, it would attract other mud particles, get packed, and would loose all traction.

Kumho Road Venture AT51 offers a very weird tread pattern where it’s central tread’s area is more open compared to it’s sides, so although mud can leave the tire longitudinally, there’s no sideways evacuation.

Moreover, as seen in the design section, the tire does not offer traction scoops on sides (no staggered shoulders with concave shaped engraving, and no sidewall lugs), so mud cant be paddled out efficiently.

Traction on Rocks

Kumho Road Venture AT51 is just an average tire on rocky terrains.

It’s durability is average with just 2 ply sidewalls, on which it’s lugs as I talked about above are non existent, so you don’t get the flexing grip with lowered air pressure.

Nonetheless, the tire does great when climbing on rocks as it offers good enough directional grip. So if it’s a straight climb the tire is okay, but if you are at an incline sideways, the tire is prone to slippage, especially in wet.


Kumho Road Venture AT51 is an average all rounder all-terrain tire, which is although not going to impress in any area of performance, it’s not too bad either. It’s directional grip is lacking on dry pavements, whereas it’s handling is average.

And on wet, it’s the opposite, it’s handling is not as good as it’s braking and acceleration.

It’s snow performance Kumho is capable enough to earn 3 peak mountain snowflake rating.