Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T vs BF Goodrich KO2

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Both the BF Goodrich KO2 and the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T are labeled as all terrain, but the Baja Boss A/T is a little too aggressive to be considered all terrain, the tire comes in between MT and AT. Such tires are also called rugged terrain, or sometimes just hybrid tires. Let me tell you how that makes the difference between the two tires.

BF Goodrich ko2 ta all terrain
Personally, I am a fan on wide lettered sidewalls on BF Goodrich KO2.

Being a tire engineer, in my opinion, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T offers a very durable 3 ply polyester construction and has wider outer channels which are capable of self cleaning in mud. But the most highlighting feature of this tire is it’s snow traction, that’s why the tire is severe winter rated. The BF Goodrich KO2 on the other hand, also rated with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating, but the tire lacks slightly in comparison. But it’s still more durable off the two and is well suited for highways.

Technical Specs

Starting with BF Goodrich KO2, so this tire is now coming with 91 total sizes, (they just added another one to the list), and they are available in 15 to 22 inches wheel diameters.

All sizes have speed ratings seen in S, R and Q, and load ratings are available in C, D, E and F, so basically the whole range.

Though still the tire does not weigh too much, as it ranges form only 35 lbs, and goes up to 67 pounds.

Talking about tread depth, almost all sizes get to have 15/32″, with the exception of 4 sizes, 215/65/R16, 225/65/R17, 245/65/R17, and 255/55/R18. They have 13/32″.

Moving on to the other tire, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss AT provides 15 to 24 inches wheels (59 total sizes). And they come in speed ratings of only either Q or T.

While the load ratings stay between, SL, XL, D, E and F (there’s no size with C load rating, for now).

The weight of the tire ranges from 36 pounds and goes up to 90 lbs.

And for tread depth, the sizes are either seen with 16/32″ or 18/32″.

Moreover, like the KO2, you get 50k miles warranty for LT sizes, though Baja Boss A/T offers 60k for P metric sizes as well.

(Make sure you know, how to read tire sizes).

Tread Appearance:

The Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T features a visually striking asymmetrical tread pattern that renders 3 circumferential grooves for efficient self-cleaning capabilities.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A T
With a more random placement of lugs, the Mickey Baja Boss A/T provides greater bite in comparison.

All these vertical grooves are interconnected with lateral channels to further enhance off-road traction.

There are actually 2 “almost similar” ribs in the middle, as they both carry two different blocks of similar shapes, sipes, notches, and chamfered edges, though on one rib, the blocks additionally feature longitudinal and lateral slits/in-groove biters on them, as well.

These slits within the blocks create the appearance of separate, divided sections, but they are actually part of a single block. And this arrangement allows the tire to provide excellent biting power on rough terrain, and create a “more random” structure.

Additionally, the two longitudinal channels containing the central blocks are wider than the central one, creating a jagged groove design.

And all blocks on the tire feature 3D full depth sipes, including the shoulders, which are serrated to improve lateral traction.

The tire’s sidewall lugs are also noteworthy, as they are large and provide additional grip on rocks and sand when the tire’s pressure is lowered. Finally, the tire has numerous stone ejectors, including triangular ones in the central part of the tire, to help clear away debris.

On the other side, if we take a closer look at the BF Goodrich KO2, we can see that this tire also features a very unique design, offering three interconnected ribs that form a complex web of grooves.

BF Goodrich KO2 T/A All-Terrain
BF Goodrich KO2 interconnected grooves are very efficient in self cleaning off itself from light dirt and mud.

These grooves are strategically placed to provide maximum off-road traction/self cleaning abilities, where dual stone ejectors further aid to that.

Moreover, with consistent pattern, the tire also stays pretty stable on roads as well, in both wet and dry conditions.

The interlocking pattern provides stable on-road grip, whereas the full depth sipes everywhere are helpful for wet traction.

Though as these sipes also provide flexing abilities too, being full depth, they can split open the blocks and provide off-road bite with them.

But most of that bite still comes from its aggressive shoulders, I mean just look at them!

They have slanted notches, irregular shapes, have bold stone ejectors in between and are staggered forming thick enough mud scoops on the outer edges. In short, they give out a complete off-road traction package.

Same goes for the tire’s sidewalls, where these lugs join together, and provide slanted pattern, with deep biters formation in between, yielding epic traction values (especially with lowered air pressure).

Fuel and Tread Usage

Both fuel and tread efficiency is seen better on lighter tires, having a firmer rubber to road contact.

That’s why with a lighter construction, and closed up lugs, the BF Goodrich KO2 emphasizes less pressure on ti’s lugs, and they don’t rub off with the surface with too much friction, keeping rolling resistance at bay.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T on the other side, weighs up to 90 pounds. And it’s softer compound combined with more tread depth accounts for greater flexing of the lugs.

So more weight negatively impacts the tread life, and the bending of the lugs wastes energy, that could have instead be consumed in to the rolling of the tire, lowering fuel economy.

Tread Noise

Tread noise is produced with air particles hitting the walls around the tread.

And since most of that air comes in through the shoulders, its explained why Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is a louder tire in comparison.

BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side, provides, slightly closed up shoulder lugs (in comparison) and it’s harder compound does not create a lot of groove resonance, as seen on Baja Boss A/T (which is a fancy way of saying, the tire produces less echoing of the noise inside the tread).

Internal Structure

Both tires really deliver when it comes to durability no doubt.

This is because, bot of them have internal construction of 3 ply polyester casing and 2 running steel belts made of high strength cords.

Moreover, where BF Goodrich KO2 has spirally wound nylon cap plies on top, the Mickey Baja Boss A/T features thicker 3rd layer of it’s polyester casing (having high density of material added for additional strength).

So overall its a tie between both.

Wet Performance

Wet performance is not an expertise of all-terrain tires, but these Mickey Thompson is really impressive here still.

Two things are fairly important here, grip and hydroplaning, as they are need to clear water out, otherwise, there would be no traction.

Lets check them out.

Wet Traction

The BF Goodrich although offers a lot of sipes, they are not as effective, because of their stiff nature.

Sipes basically need to flex, and with that, they literally suck water in their slits by creating vacuum.

The Baja Boss A/T not only offers a pliable tread, but full depth interlocking siping as well, so it clear out water in a more effective way, enhancing directional and lateral wet grip.

Hydroplaning

With higher speeds, a tire may float on water, and this is called hydroplaning.

To avoid this tire needs grooves, and here since both tires are pretty bald to have any issue with that. Still if you have to go with one, I’d stick with Mickey Thompson, as it’s malleable lugs provide better negative pressure differences when gushing water out of it’s tread.

Dry On-Road Performance

Both tires are although pretty aggressive, they don’t compromise a lot when it comes to dry traction. Let me divide this section in to the following.

Directional Grip

The directional grip of a tire depends on the central portion of the tread. And a tire making better contact with the road from there produces better results.

That’s why out of both tires, you get to see shorter stopping distances on BFG KO2 (which is how this grip gets calculated).

The Mickey Thompson A/T on the other hand, is although packed up compared to it’s shoulders, it’s still features wider grooves in comparison, so the overall grip gets compromised. Though it’s not by a lot as its lugs are longitudinally oriented, and they roll better on highways (compared to other rugged terrain tires).

Steering Response

With a harder compound, the BF Goodrich KO2 provides a better efficacy here.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T basically is a lot more heavier, where it’s biggest size goes up to 90 lbs (compared to 67 lbs on KO2).

This pressurizes its lugs to flex more (than needed), and the tire is not able to create a good enough under/over steering balance.

On the contrary, the BFG KO2 features firmer lugs placement, which get to provide a more stable grip, and with it, steering feedback, that’s why the tire also gets to have a greater speed rating, and handling performance.

Handling

When a tire corners, it’s shoulder lugs bear the most (shifted) weight on them, that’s why the BF Goodrich Ko2 providing better rubber to road contact form it’s shoulders provide a better lateral traction in comparison.

The Mickey Thompson A/T on the other side, being a rugged terrain tire, with mud-terrain shoulders, don’t provide as much connection with the surface with such wider grooves, so naturally lateral grip gets compromised here.

Mud Traction

On mud you need two things, faster evacuation, so tires don’t get packed, and paddling.

And both tires are neck to neck here.

Although you get a better evacuation capabilities with wider grooves of Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T, it’s missing mud scoops and biting sidewall lugs don’t provide as better a paddling efficacy as the KO2.

The BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side has properly staggered outer margins, and sidewall lugs which scoop more mud out of it’s way, throwing it backwards and generating forward momentum as a result.

Grip on Sand

On sand you have ensure, tire would not sink. And that’s the reason why out of both tires, you see a better performance on BF Goodrich KO2.

The tire is lighter, has more section width to it and provides sidewall lugs covering a larger area, which with lowered air pressure provide better contact patch to meet up with the sand.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T on the other side, is more biting towards the edges, and tries to sink in.

Traction on Rocks

Rocky terrains demand 3 things, driving skills, grip at multiple angles, and durability.

And although its a tough decision between these two tires here, overall I believe the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is a better pick overall. Let me explain why.

This tire features a lot more biting edges form middle and shoulders/sidewalls. The central asymmetric structure provide not only full depth siping (like its competitor), but you also get chamfered edges, notches, and in groove biters.

And on sidewalls, you get biters that you mostly see on mud-terrain variants. That’s why this tire is able to pull off some serious grip.

BF Goodrich KO2, is although having similar durability and pretty gripping sidewall lugs, it’s symmetric pattern lacks a hair in comparison (speaking for all LT sizes, on average).

Winter Performance

Both these tires are a versatile option for many different types of terrain and weather conditions including snow. This is because their tread is designed in a way to hang on to the snow particles in their wide grooves, and make snow to snow contact with it.

It’s worth noting that snowflakes have a unique interlocking design that creates better friction when they come into contact with each other, which is why snow-to-snow contact is more effective than rubber-to-snow contact.

The BF Goodrich KO2 with it’s hook shaped design easily grabs the ground and it’s full depth sipes, also split open the blocks (where needed), providing additional efficacy to it.

Though still out of both tires, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is a better tire to have.

This is because the tire has a narrower tread, and it’s rubber is more thermo-adaptive, meaning, even with freezing temperatures, its notches/biters stay more flexible to chew on the ground compared to KO2.

Summary

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is although more aggressive in comparison it still manages to provide better grip on wet roads in comparison. And at the same time, it shines in most of the off-road terrains, including rocks.

But what really impresses you about this tire is its winter traction.

The BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side, provides superior dry grip (on roads, but lacks in wet), a better fuel and tread economy, and a superb ride quality (where most of it comes form noise dampening).