Kumho Road Venture AT52 vs Goodyear DuraTrac

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Both Kumho Road Venture AT52 and the Goodyear DuraTrac deliver exceptional performance on-road and off-road, thanks to their symmetric tread pattern. Yet, it often requires lots of time and effort to make the right decision when it comes to these two especially, speaking from experience. So let me save you some time.

Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac
Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac

As a tire engineer, my tests show that the Kumho AT52 is a better tire to have on both wet and dry highways. This is because it offers superior lateral and directorial traction, fuel economy, tread life and overall comfort. On the other side, if you are mostly planing to stay off-road, you can’t go wrong with Goodyear Duratrac. This goes especially for muddy and sandy terrains.

Tire Sizes

Out of both, the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac comes in total of 15 to 22 inches rims, having following specs.

  • Weight range: 35 to 68 lbs
  • Speed rating: Q, S, P, and T
  • Load ratings: SL to F
  • Tread depth range: 16 to 18/32″
  • 3PMSF and M+S ratings available on all sizes
  • 50k miles tread wear warranty (on P metric sizes only)

Detailed Review of Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac: https://tiredriver.com/goodyear-wrangler-duratrac-review/

On the other side, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 provides you with 15 to 20 inches rim diameters with following specs:

  • Weight range: 30 to 63 lbs
  • Speed ratings: Q, R, S and T
  • Load ratings: SL to F (similar to it’s counterpart)
  • 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

Detailed Review of Kumho AT52: https://tiredriver.com/kumho-road-venture-at52-review/

Outer Construction

There are two main parts to look for here, the middle part of the tread and the shoulders, discussing that, let me start things off with Goodyear Duratrac.

Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac
Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac

In the middle:

  • Lugs are smaller here (compared to shoulders).
  • They carry wave like sipes (full depth) and sharp edges.
  • All of them have reinforced foundations as well, think of it as the lugs sitting on a secondary rubber layer.
  • They create interlinked grooves connecting the wider outer longitudinal channels.
  • These outer grooves have mini tread pattern of their own, which Goodyear calls, tractive technology.

On shoulders:

  • Lugs are bigger here, and they also have reinforced foundations, so they run in pairs.
  • Siping pattern is more aggressive here.
  • Although the image above does not show the LT sizes, those sizes have stud-able shoulder lugs for winter traction.
  • Lastly towards outer edges, the lugs are serrated, and they create sidewall lugs of thicker proportions.

On the other side, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 is a less aggressive tire.

Kumho Road Venture AT52
Kumho Road Venture AT52

Let me divide this tire’s tread in to two areas as well.

In the middle:

  • In the center most, you can see U shaped lugs, which actually join together to each other from underneath, forming S shaped blocks.
  • With this wider rib, the tire provides on-road dry grip, where the full depth sipes help with wet traction.
  • The surrounding ribs on the other side, also give out similar features, offering biters which provide off-road traction.

On shoulders:

  • Shoulder lugs are separated by the wider circumferential outer grooves, the central lugs make (besides other 2).
  • These lugs are less aggressive, and carry rectilinear sipes instead.
  • And their outer margins are not staggered.
  • Though they still make stepped edges, and N shaped sidewall lugs.

Internal Make-Up

To handle the rough conditions, off-road tires are given with stronger rubber and durable internal construction.

That’s why both of these tires come up with 2 ply polyester casings, reinforced with 2 layers of nylon (on top).

Though still, the Goodyear Duratrac still shows better durability as it features 1 extra cap ply of nylon and it’s sidewall lugs are thicker.

Highway Performance

An all-terrain tire’s dry performance is closely tied to its longitudinal grip and cornering abilities, and it’s important to understand both these dimensions. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Dry Grip

Dry grip or directional grip measures the rolling traction of a tire on straight roads. That’s why it gets measured with braking distances (mostly).

Having said that, comparing both tires, the Kumho AT52 shows up with faster stopping capabilities. It comes with a more packed up lugs arrangement, having longitudinal alignment, so they get to roll (straight) with greater ease.

The Goodyear Duratrac on the other side, can’t offer good enough contact patch to connect with the road, so naturally grip here gets limited.

Dry Handling

The handling and lateral traction of a tire in a cornering scenario is largely influenced by the ground-to-outer shoulder lug contact, as the entire weight (a tire carries) gets transferred towards there.

That’s why with crowded lugs on Kumho Road Venture AT52, you get better handling times (average laps).

And to nobody’s surprise the Goodyear Duratrac is lacking here, and by a huge margin, I should add, as the highly voided shoulders on this tire can’t form as consistent of a contact as its counterpart.

Steering Response

Steering communication, or sensitivity, is an important performance metric, that determines how easy it is to maneuver the tires. And it depends on the lugs flexibility.

With compacted structure, harder rubber compound, and solid reinforced foundations, the Kumho RV AT52 does not permit it’s blocks to bend a lot during turns (mostly).

Whereas the Goodyear Duratrac with it’s highly voided, unsupported lugs, can’t resist that. So you get to see slower steering response on this tire (as it goes through greater over and under steering).

Wet Grip

Siping and flexibility are the critical components for maximizing wet road grip. And they both go hand in hand. Meaning, one is useless without the other.

That’s why out of both tires, even though you get a much more on-road aligned structure with Kumho AT52, the overall wet performance is still seen a little better on Goodyear Duratrac.

The tire comes with a softer tread composition which allows sipes to flex with more ease. And with interlocking pattern on these sipes, they are very resistant to getting stiffen up even with extreme cornering and braking, for example.

The Kumho AT52 on the other side, does not provide such a pattern, especially on shoulders, so it shows up with slower handling times.

Winter Traction

The assessment of winter traction involves several variables like grip, acceleration, lateral traction, and stability. All these performance metrics are judged on different snow and ice surfaces.

After testing these tires over and over again and averaging their data, I’ve concluded that Kumho Road Venture AT52 does better overall, when it comes to packed up snow, or you can say on-road snow, as well as little bit of ice.

Whereas, the Goodyear DuraTrac handles off-road snow and deeper terrains much better, thanks to its Tractive grooves, having biters on the base. They trap the snow particles and make snow to snow contact, which renders superior friction values.

Though on packed up snow, it shows more slippage, comparatively, even though its also rated with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating just like its competitor.

Nonetheless, if you wish to increase traction there, its a good thing you have the stud adding option available on Duratrac (though, only on LT sizes).

Off Road Performance

Some off-road terrains are easy to handle, while others are a true test. Let’s evaluate all of them, starting with my favorite, sand.

Soft Sand

On sand you just need to keep one thing in check. Is you tire “floating” enough.

This is because on this terrain, sinking means game over, and its the best recipe of getting stuck.

That’s why with sharper outer edges, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 takes the back seat.

Goodyear DuraTrac on the other side with it’s supple tread composition produces better contact patch with lowered air pressure, where its sidewall lugs further enhance that ability. So it brings about better footprint connectivity with the sand, enhancing overall grip.

Muddy Tracks

The Kumho Road Venture AT52 is a lacking tire on this terrain, as it’s not so great with escaping the mud out of it’s grooves, mostly laterally (with it’s lugs, longitudinally arranged and joined up from underneath).

So by restricting sideways flow of thick mud, the tire gets packed pretty easily, in comparison.

On the other hand, the Goodyear DuraTrac with its spacious outer longitudinal rings of grooves, offers a more effective evacuation of the mud. The tire is actually so great, that I couldn’t help, but ranking it in my list of top all terrain tires, for this.

Rocky Terrains

In my personal experience, the top performing tires on rocky surface are those having a lot of biters, along with powerful sidewalls (both form inside and out).

And although both tires offer 2 ply sidewalls, providing similar durability, you at-least get thicker lugs on Goodyear Duratrac. These not only protect the tire better by pushing sharp objects aside, but also render better traction with lowered air pressure.

Moreover, the tire also features bigger groove mouth in the middle, which renders stronger bite on the rocky surface.

Kumho Road Venture AT52 on the other side, can’t offer as powerful of a grip, mostly when it comes to multiple angles. This is because its lugs are only arranged vertically.

Also Read –
Are A/T tires good for rocks: https://tiredriver.com/are-all-terrain-tires-good-for-rocky-terrains/

Fuel Economy

The amount of fuel a tire uses can be impacted by its rolling resistance, which is determined by factors like the tire’s weight and its ability to move on to the surface.

Kumho Road Venture AT52 features a lighter tread compound and with longitudinal orientation of the ribs, the tire results in greater fuel efficiency.

It’s lighter structure is distributed more evenly, on closely arranged lugs, and with their streamlined orientation, the tire rolls (on highways), more easily.

Goodyear DuraTrac on the other side, comes with greater weight, which creates greater rolling friction, and it’s softer tread compound enforces its lugs to bend more, causing a lot more wastage of energy.

Road Noise

Noise originates from the flow of air, and Kumho Road Venture AT52 with such closed up shoulder lugs (where most of the air comes through), provides a quieter ride, as air particles have a smaller room to hit around.

Moreover, the tire also yields superior pitch sequencing. It basically has a very precise geometry of the lugs which generates different sound frequencies and can cancel out each other, dampening overall noise levels.

The Goodyear Duratrac on the other side, is one of the loudest all-terrain tires, where its wobbling sound is even heard even with windows all the way up, and music on, especially above 45 mph.

Its in-groove resonance is simply too high, as it’s softer tread composition reflects off the noise way more, comparatively.

Bumps Absorption

The on-road comfort is two parts. One, how stable is the ride during cornering, braking and acceleration. And two, how well its able to act as a secondary suspension.

For the stability part, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 feels a lot better. And I’ve already discussed this in its dry performance section, how its better when it comes to steering response.

Though still, what’s surprising to see, subjectively, the Goodyear DuraTrac feels more springy (on bumps).

The tire’s softer tread rubber, with greater depth offers a lot of room for vibrations to settle down, while its supple compound ensures better on and off-road absorption to the shocks.

Side Note: If you are wondering how tread depth plays a role here, look at it this way. More rubber thickness would mean there is more cushion between you the shocks of the road.


Out of both tires, its not a surprise to see Kumho Road Venture AT52 providing better performance on roads, in terms of traction in both wet and dry environments, fuel consumption, tread life and winter grip.

Whereas on Goodyear DuraTrac, shines off-road in all types of rugged terrains, including rocks, sand and even mud (where Kumho doesn’t stand a chance).

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