Kumho Road Venture AT52 vs BF Goodrich KO2

Leave a comment

Kumho Road Venture AT52 and the BF Goodrich KO2 are powerful off road (all-terrain tires), that are above average on rough terrains, though they still deliver a great performance on smooth tracks. But which one comes out on top when compared side-by-side? By the end of this article, all your questions will be answered. Let’s begin!

BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain T/A
BFG KO2 looks sporty on 2000 Jeep

Having thoroughly studied and analyzed these tires, I can tell you that the Kumho Road Venture AT52 conquers a major part of on-road performance. It brings better wet and dry grip, fuel efficiency, and overall comfort. The BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side, provides a superior durability combined with biters, so its much better on rugged terrains. Though it could use some sand traction.

Sizes Facts

The Kumho Road Venture AT52 comes with following specs.

  • Tire comes in 15 to 20 inches rims
  • 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 BF Goodrich KO2 has following.

  • 90 sizes in 15″ to 22″
  • M+S as well as 3PMSF rated
  • Speed Ratings: R, S, or Q
  • Load ratings: C to E
  • Weight range: 35 lbs to 67 lbs
  • Tread Depth: 15/32″ on all sizes
  • Warranty: 50k miles on all

Tread Structure

The BF Goodrich KO2 stands out from the crowd with it’s unique interlocking pattern.

BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain T/A
BF Goodrich KO2 makes more aggressive shoulder blocks compared to central blocks.

In the middle, the tire features 3 main ribs containing worm like blocks, forming a web of grooves running in all directions.

All these lugs are equipped with full depth interlocking sipes and notches allowing grip in various directions off-road.

(Sipes are actually full depth, so they split open the lugs, offering gripping bite in all directions).

Towards outer edges, you get to see things going even more aggressive.

Here you see very biters shoulder lugs with 2 different kind of slanted notches.

They have serrated outer edges and as they join together on the sidewalls, you get to have highway stability combined with off-road traction.

Moreover, although not visible here, the tire offer dual stone ejectors.

Kumho Road Venture AT52
Kumho Road Venture AT52 features a more closed up lugs arrangement in comparison.

Let me start things off form the middle part of this asymmetric tread.

So here, you get to see 3 ribs, making 4 circumferential channels.

The middle most rib is formed by U shaped blocks (joined with each forming S shaped lugs).

They carry full depth interlocking sipes and have sharp offset edges.

Same is the case with outer ribs, they carry similar in groove notches, sharp edges and sipes, though lugs are a bit smaller in comparison here.

Moving towards the shoulders, they are the least aggressive with rectilinear siping pattern, and offset edges (facing the middle).

While on the outer edges, they carry stepped sides (not staggered), and N shaped sidewall lugs.

Internal Structure

The durability of off-road tires is a vital aspect in ensuring optimal performance on “sharper/puncturing” terrains. And so to handle that, A/T tires are given with cut/chip resistant rubber, and solid internal plies.

Yet, you still get a stronger build on BF Goodrich KO2, as the tire features 2 extra plies in it’s internal construction.

Kumho Road Venture AT52 comes with 2 ply reinforced casing with 2 steel belts and a single cap ply of nylon, where the KO2 has 3 ply polyester casing and 2 nylon plies.

Recommended Read –
Are A/T tires harder to puncture: https://tiredriver.com/are-all-terrain-tires-harder-to-puncture/

Tread Wear

Tread life is a result of the interplay between rolling resistance, tread depth, and composition. That’s why tires with deeper tread voids and a stiffer composition experience slower wear.

This explains why both tires are so similar here.

The Kumho Venture AT52 although features a softer compound which wears faster, it’s still saved by it’s slightly larger tread depth (taking more time to reach down to 2/32″, which is the legal limit).

In comparison, the KO2 comes with harder composition, but with more weight and less tread depth, it’s overall mileage comes down to similar levels.

That’s why on both tires you see 50k miles warranty (on LT sizes).

For Your Info: The General Grabber ATX (review), gives you the most tread mileage overall, when it comes to top-tier all-terrain tires.

Highway Capability

To accurately evaluate the dry performance of an all-terrain tire, we need to consider traction, steering, and cornering ability. Let’s delve into the specifics of each of these elements.

Directional Grip

The tire’s rolling resistance is what tells you about the directional grip. And here the middle section of the tread holds a significant impact, as it gets to have the most weight concentration on it.

And so it makes sense why the Kumho AT52 with continuous running central most rib (explained in the design section), provides you with better grip on straight running roads/highways.

BF Goodrich KO2 on the other hand is not able to make consistent enough contact with the road, though it’s directional traction is still a lot better especially when you consider it’s lateral efficacy.

Lateral Traction

The ability of a tire to handle turns, known as lateral traction, primarily depends on the outer ribs.

And so as the Kumho Road Venture AT52 comes with more packed up shoulder lugs, it supplies better connection with the road during cornering, and with it, the grip.

BF Goodrich KO2 on the other hand, lacks with it’s aggressive outer edges, as the lugs there with irregular shapes, and full depth notches don’t offer a smooth connection with the ground.

Though the tire is still not that bad, considering how stable it is. But that has to do with it’s steering feedback.

Wet Performance

A tire must have both siping and flexibility to achieve a solid grip on wet roads. This allows for faster evacuation of water from the tire tread, limiting overall slippage.

The Kumho has made some serous advancement in this area, it’s older version didn’t offer effective enough siping, but now with Road Venture AT52, you get a superior silica composition and full depth siping having all the needed flexing.

That’s why comparing to KO2 you get shorter (wet) braking distances and handling times here.

BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side, not only has a harder skin on top, it’s dual compound, means it gets harder with wear, so even with it’s full depth siping, you would not get the similar performance, and it would also further negatively affect wet traction as the tire would wear.

Though the tire is great with the 2nd part of wet traction, hydroplaning.

It’s network of channels allows for good enough water removal capabilities (through the grooves), and it shows up with similar hydrplaning resistance compared to Kumho AT52.

Ride Comfort

Overall, being a more on-road oriented tire, the Kumho AT52 gets to be more comfortable.

It’s closed up shoulder lugs don’t allow too much air particles to come and hit around (which generates noise), and so you get a quieter ride.

And since it’s compound is softer, it’s better able to soak up the bumps of the road, in comparison.

Recommended Read –
Do A/T tires cause vibrations: https://tiredriver.com/do-all-terrain-tires-cause-vibrations/

Snow Traction

Although both tires are 3 peak mountain snowflake rated, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 gets to be better when it comes to “on-road” snow traction.

The tire’s in-groove biters and numerous sipes grip on the hard packed snow with more friction.

BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side, does better when it comes to deeper snow.

Traction Off Road

Off-road terrains can pose different challenges, with mud being particularly demanding and requiring specialized tires, while gravel and dirt roads can be easily navigated. That’s why I’ve decided to cover all of them individually.

Sand Traction

Out of both of these tires, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 provides a better sand traction, which may seem surprising to some, as usually more aggressive tires like the KO2 usually get to be better.

Though in case of BF Goodrich, the tire has stiffer sidewalls with spirally wound nylon plies, and even with lowered air pressure, the sides are more biting and prone to digging in comparison.

And digging is the worst enemy of sand traction.

Recommended Read –
Are All-Terrain Tires Good On Sand? : https://tiredriver.com/are-all-terrain-tires-good-on-sand/

Dirt Filled Roads

To ensure a safe and successful off-roading experience on gravely roads, it’s necessary to have self-cleaning grooves.

And with a more on-road oriented design, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 is not as capable.

BF Goodrich KO2, on the other side, provides wider grooves, which are also embedded with twin stone ejectors providing better grip during braking and cornering on gravel and dirt filled roads.

Mud Performance

The performance of all-terrain tires in mud can be limited by narrow grooves, which struggle to remove mud quickly. A tire with self-cleaning abilities and wider grooves can provide improved traction and stability in these conditions.

With vertical arrangement of the lugs on Kumho Road Venture AT52, where you see the central most rib, continuous, without proper lateral gaps, the overall sideways evacuation of mud becomes very restrictive.

Whereas on KO2, you get multiple channels, form where mud can leave out (in all directions) with less hindrance.

Rock Climbing

A tire that is suitable for rocky terrains should have a tread compound that is soft enough to conform to the surface and provide traction, as well as durable sidewalls to resist punctures.

And although the Kumho AT52 gives you flexing lugs, there’s aren’t as many biters that can grip on to the rocky surface.

Where on KO2, you get hook shaped blocks, and more aggressive shoulders providing better efficacy.

Moreover, it’s thicker lugs yield better climbing traction with lowered air pressure.


Kumho Road Venture AT52 overall is better on-road tire, though off-road you do get one area where it beats it’s counterpart, and that is sand. With the newer tire, Kumho added some really unique sidewalls which provide that traction.

And on roads, you get better dry and wet grip, fuel economy and comfort, though tread life is same on both.

BF Goodrich KO2, on the other side, features superior traction on rocks, provides ample mud traction, and on-rods, its dry grip and noise dampening abilities aren’t too far off form its competitor.

Leave a Comment