Kumho Road Venture AT51 vs AT52 vs MT51

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The Kumho Road Venture AT52 replaced AT51, and both of them are all-terrain tires, whereas the MT51 comes in the mud-terrain category. Let’s see what key differences all of them have.

Kumho Road Venture AT51
Kumho Road Venture AT51 although had some issues, they are now fixed with the newest AT52.

Sizes Available

The Kumho Road Venture AT51 (review), comes in 15 to 20 inches with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: R, T and H
  • Load rating: SL, XL, C, D and E.
  • Weight: 32 to 68 lbs.
  • UTQG: 540 A A.
  • Tread depth: 13 to 16/32″.
  • Warranty: 55k miles for Non LT sizes
  • Winter ratings: only M+S

The Kumho Road Venture AT52 (review), provides you with 15 to 20 inches rim diameters with following specs:

  • Speed ratings: Q, R, S and T.
  • Load ratings: SL, XL, C, D, E and F.
  • Weight range: 30 to 63 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 13 to 16/32″ (mostly seen with 16/32″).
  • Ratings: 3PMSF and M+S rated.
  • Warranty: 50k miles for LT, and 55k for P metric sizes.

The Venture MT51, lastly, comes in 15 to 18 inches rims, with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: Q only.
  • Load rating: C to F.
  • Weight: 40 to 70 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 18/32″ on all.
  • Treadwear warranty: None.

Tread Structure

With the Road Venture AT52, the Kumho went back to the drawing board to fill out all the flaws of it’s predecessor. This tire is now better able to provide a mixture of traction with it’s tread. Let me explain how.

Kumho Road Venture AT52
Kumho Road Venture AT52 comes with better full depth siping and in-groove notches, rendering much better bite.

So in the middle part of the tread, there are 3 ribs seen.

The middle most rib has U shaped lugs, but since they are joined up with each other, they form “S”, altogether.

With longitudinal orientation of these lugs, and wider structure, they get to provide great directional grip on pavements, (as that kind of traction depends on the central blocks).

While the surrounding blocks are a little smaller, yet they carry similar features of in-groove notches, sharp edges, and full depth sipes, allowing for traction in both on/off road worlds.

Though shoulder lugs are less aggressive, as they’re missing with notches.

Nonetheless with their outer stepped edges, and N shaped sidewall lugs, you still get ample traction, with lowered air pressure, compared to AT51, anyways.

Speaking of which, the Kumho AT51 has a completely different design.

Kumho Road Venture AT51
Kumho Road Venture AT51 features a single rib design in the middle.

Even though this tire also consists of a total of 4 ribs, it’s central tread design is very odd.

These lugs are hourglass shaped (if you will).

They have full depth notches and siping to them, along with in-groove biters (seen on every other block).

The surrounding blocks are elongated longitudinally, and have S shaped lugs, though still have in-groove notches in them.

Moving towards shoulders, lugs are smaller here, relatively, but have similar tread features, like seen in the middle, except that the incisions in them are longer.

These lugs also don’t form proper mud scoops, though, you can say, each lug here is staggered on itself.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the beast of a tire, the Kumho Road Venture MT51.

Kumho Road Venture MT51
The Kumho MT51 is the most aggressive tires here, and it shows.

This tread showcases a very unique combination of triangular lugs surrounding, the somewhat rectangular blocks, in the very middle.

All of them have sharp off-set edges, notches and V shaped sipes (on them).

And together they make a very intermingled map of grooves, running in all directions.

The shoulder lugs are the biggest, as can be clearly seen in the image.

They also have reinforced foundations underneath, notches facing the middle, off-set edges, and full depth siping.

And towards outer edges, each blocks is staggered on itself.

Moreover, these blocks also have wider lateral grooves in between where bold stone ejectors are placed.

And you see very thick sidewall lugs, further moving out.

Snow and Ice Traction

The Kumho Road Ventrure AT52 is a better tire to have, considering all types of snowy conditions.

But why does AT52 excel over AT51?

Well, simply put, the tire features a tread pattern which is able to pick up and trap the snow particles. These later contact the ground, and yield superior frictional values.

This is because snow likes to stick more on other snowflakes, instead to rubber.

And although this feature helps a lot more on fluffy terrains, the tire also does better on ice too, thanks to its numerous in-groove notches combined with interlocking sipes, which chew on packed up snow with greater force.

In contrast, the AT51 featuring relatively larger voids, and missing with necessary notches and biting edges, can’t offer similar traction values.

And that especially goes for the MT51, though this tire can offer snow cooping abilities, like it deals with mud, throwing back the stuff, and creating forward momentum.

Wet Traction

In terms of wet performance, overall efficacy largely depends on the tread siping. These sipes basically soak up water particles in their slits, and allow the rest of the biters to grip.

Now comparing all tires, the tests clearly shows that the Kumho Road Venture AT52 has a better wet braking and handling abilities.

And it makes sense as the tire comes with the highest number of sipes, which are also interlocking (so under harsh cornering, these sipes remain flexible).

The Road Venture AT51 ranks second in this category, still outperforming the MT due to its sipes that offer greater flexibility and improved water evacuation capabilities.

Dry Grip

Typically, tires with a high void ratio or bald appearance struggle to maintain grip. Therefore, it’s logical that the highly-voided Kumho Road Venture MT51, isn’t able to do so well, in this regard.

In contrast, the Kumho Road Venture AT51, designed as an all-terrain tire for diverse usage, offers compactly arranged lugs, ensuring superior rubber-to-road contact.

And its interlocking lugs supply the needed stability along with braking and acceleration capability.

Though, however, comparing the two tires, the Kumho AT52 still gets to outperforms its predecessor, mainly because of its more streamlined lugs.

With longitudinally aligned lugs, its simply allows for a smoother straight-line rolling, relatively.

Dry Handling

A tire’s handling efficacy hinges on the delicate equilibrium between tread flexibility and shoulder lug design. Together they tell you about how well the tire connects with the road, while cornering.

In this regard, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 distinguishes itself as a notable contender, outperforming the rest of its sibling.

Its smoother and relatively more compact shoulder blocks, supply greater contact patch to meet with the road, while as its lugs are underpinned by reinforced foundations, you also get the needed stability.

The AT51 comes in 2nd, whereas the most lacking tire here, is of course the Road Venture MT51.

They fall short due to their greater tread voids, and flexible tread compound with absence of foundational supports. So their lugs bend a lot more and lead towards either oversteering and understeering, limiting steering feedback.


Off-road terrains demand high durability from tires due to their unpredictable and harsh conditions. Here, the key to a tire’s toughness lies in its internal construction.

Take the Kumho Road Venture MT51, for instance. It stands out for its strong internal structure, combining a 3-ply polyester casing with two steel belts, all reinforced by two nylon cap plies. This sturdy construction allows it to excel in demanding off-road conditions.

The other two A/T tires don’t stand a chance here with their 2 ply sidewalls.

Muddy Trail Performance

On this thick slimy terrain, you need prompt self-cleaning and efficient scooping tread lugs in a tire.

And in this context, to nobody’s surprise, the Kumho Road Venture MT51, leads the way with its highly voided structure.

The wide gaps between its interlocked lugs provide numerous pathways for mud to exit from the tread quickly.

While its staggered shoulders with thicker mud scoops allow the tire to cut through dense clay, propelling stuff backwards and creating a stronger forward momentum, relatively (which is a demonstration of Newton’s third law).

Unfortunately, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 and AT51 struggle on this terrain due to their limited ability to eject mud from their grooves.

The AT51 still does better here I mean, as it’s still a little bit more voided, but the AT52 with such packed up interlocked lugs, mud simply has nowhere to escape.

Sand Performance

On sandy surfaces, effective flotation and paddling are main dimensions. That’s why digging on this terrain means Game Over!

Having said that, despite being the heaviest variant, the Road Ventrure MT51 still gets to outperform its less aggressive brothers.

The tire basically has thicker sidewall lugs, which expand out covering a larger area (with lowered air pressure). And this allows for larger contact patch to meet up with the sand, thus improving flotation capabilities.

The Kumho Road Venture (both) all-terrain tires, on the other hand, can’t do the same, especially when it comes to AT51 where proper sidewall lugs are missing.

So yes, you can say out of these A/T tires, the AT52 is better, as the tire features a lighter built, along with quite mold-able sidewall lugs.

Rock Climbing

Traversing rocky terrains requires more than mere grip, as it’s actually about engineering of the lug design and grooves which can offer grip in all directions. This goes especially when it comes climbing rocks, where you need a combination of both lateral and longitudinal gripping.

Now out of all tires, its not a surprise to see the Kumho MT51 again taking the lead, with it’s powerful X shaped grooves providing traction from all sides.

Moreover, it has thicker sidewall lugs, and shoulders, which enhance traction with reduced air pressure, further add to that.

In comparison, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 and AT51 can’t deliver as potent a grip, particularly when it comes to multiple angles, since their lugs are only vertically arranged.

Moreover, these tires are also lacking the needed durability, as they only have 2 ply sidewalls, compared to MT51’s 3 ply construction.

Road Noise

Noise primarily arises from air. The air particles mostly entering through the shoulder voids, hit the tread walls, and the impact is what’s tread noise.

So it makes sense why the Kumho Road Venture AT52, with its tightly configured shoulder lugs gets to be relatively quieter on roads.

Additionally, this tire features superior pitch sequencing, which involves a meticulous geometry of the lugs that generates various sound frequencies.

And these frequencies/tones then try to cancel out each other, further dampening the noise.

The Kumho AT51 on the other hand, although better than the mud terrain variant, of course, gets to lack, mainly because of the larger in-groove resonance its tread produces.

Fuel Consumption and Tread Longevity

A tire’s fuel efficiency can be affected by its rolling resistance, which is influenced by aspects such as the tire’s weight and its interaction with the surface.

And here, simply put, the Kumho Road Venture AT52, with its lighter tread compound and longitudinally oriented ribs, yields better fuel economy.

Its lighter structure is distributed evenly across closely arranged lugs, and combined with their streamlined orientation, the tire rolls more, you can say, effortlessly on highways.

On the flip side, the Kumho Road Venture MT51 demands more energy expenditure.

It’s greater weight pushes its lugs to bend against the road a lot more, and that molding of the lugs uses up fuel energy, that could have been used in to the rolling of the tire.

And here of course, the AT52 is again coming in the middle.

Take Home Points

So there you have it. A detailed comparison of the Kumho Road Venture family members is made. So let me conclude by summarizing the key points.

Now out of all, the Kumho AT52 is the clear winner on both wet and dry roads, in terms of traction.

Though the tire also features better performance values in other on-road metrics. It’s fuel economy and tread life is acutally one of its best feature, and out of all, the tire also features a quieter ride.

So, yes, you can say, the newer tire is actually better in almost all sections.

But yes, off-road is where the MT51 is coming alive.

It’s thick X shaped voids not only provide superb mud cleaning abilities, but they also offer a multi-directional grip on rocks.

And on sand, the tire’s thick sidewall lugs provide the best traction, of course with lowered air pressure.

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