Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP vs Baja Boss A/T

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Both the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T and the Baja Legend EXP are powerful hybrid tires, meaning, they are more biting off-road, compared to all-terrain tires, whereas, their on-road performance is more comfortable compared to mud-terrain tires. But how do these tires compare next to each other? Well, let’s find out!

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A T
Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A T

Being a tire engineer, form my perspective, the

Tire Sizes

The Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP features 41 sizes in 15 to 20 inches having following specs:

  • Speed ratings: Q only.
  • Load ratings: C, D, E and F.
  • Weight range: 45 to 75 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 18.5/32″ on all.
  • 50k miles warranty on all sizes.
  • No winter rating is seen on any.

On the other side, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T, comes in 59 total sizes ranging form 15″ to 24″, and all of them have following specs.

  • They have speed ratings of Q and T.
  • Load ratings of SL, XL, D, E and F (no C).
  • Weight ranges from 36 lbs and goes up to 90 lbs.
  • Tread Depth: Either 16/32″ or 18.5/32″.
  • Sizes having section width above 12.5 inches don’t get to have 3pmsfr (others do).
  • And LT sizes have 50k warranty (where others, 60k).

Read detailed review of Mickey Baja Boss A/T: https://tiredriver.com/mickey-thompson-baja-boss-at-review/

Tread Structure

The Mickey Baja Boss A/T features a more aggressive design in comparison. Let me explain how.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A T
Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T doesn’t feature staggered shoulders, instead, each of its shoulder lug is serrated on itself.

The tire features 4 rib design featuring 2 ribs in the middle creating 3 longitudinal channels.

Now in the middle, the ribs are made different form one another, and that’s what makes this tire’s tread asymmetric, and more biting.

On one rib, you would find blocks with very weird structure, having chamfered sides, off-set edges, and full depth interlocking sipes.

Whereas on the other, you get all these features form the other rib, combined with an array of longitudinal and lateral slits.

These ribs together make an interconnected web of grooves, which are filled with stone ejectors.

Though these triangular ejectors are mainly noticed on the wide shoulder grooves.

The shoulder lugs are elongated, having notches, and thick rectilinear siping. Moreover, they join up to a more aggressive sidewall lugs in comparison.

On the other side, the Mickey Legend EXP features a very unique design.

Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP 1
Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP features a more smoother tread design.

Starting form the middle, the symmetric tread features 2 ribs in the middle, each carrying similar 3 unique lugs one after another, making an interlocking structure with each other.

Moreover, these lugs are pretty closed up together, well, compared to outer ones. And this offers decent footprint to be contact with the road as the tire rolls resulting in directional grip, whereas the sharp edges, and chamfered sides provide off-road bite.

The tread is also pretty self cleaning, as these smaller interlinked grooves join up with the outer circumferential channels which then link with the wider shoulder tread voids.

Speaking of which, the shoulder lugs are bigger in comparison and are made more aggressive as they get to have full depth notches and staggered outer edges combined with sidewall lugs.

Dry Performance

The evaluation of tire traction on dry surfaces encompasses several critical parameters, which are used for determining overall performance metrics.

These include steering feedback times and lateral traction, alongside directional grip, which accounts for acceleration and deceleration capabilities. I’ve discussed them all in 2 different topics (see below).

Directional Grip

Since its the straight moving grip of a tire, it highly depends on the central part of the tread, (I mean there are other factors too, but both tires are similar there).

As the tire moves stright, the weight on it concentrates on the middle, and how well lugs connect with the surface from there is highly crucical for overall directional grip.

That’s why with superior frictional interaction between a tire and the road, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T offers better overall grip. The tire demonstrates a closely knit pattern at its central region, with two ribs contributing to a primarily road-focused design and facilitating three longitudinal channels.

In contrast, the Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP, even though is also pretty closed up in the middle too, compared to shoulders, still features more voided up design relatively.

That’s why you see lacking performance here, though its not by a lot. Our tests show that the tire only stopped 4 feet longer on average.

Handling

The lateral traction, or sideways grip, of a tire is critical for overall “handling” and is typically quantified using g-forces, and measuring lap times (on average).

And here the Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP is taking the lead, as the tire incorporates a more minimalistic shoulder design, comprising merely of sipes and minor notches at the edge.

This basically allow the tire to make a better contact with the road. And with stability as well.

I mean all its shoulder lugs are reinforced with foundational supports, enhancing the tire’s handling stability.

So why is the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T lacking here?

Well, first off, its tread features eat away a lot of rubber that could have been in contact with the road. And with softer overall tread compound, combined with its larger weight, the lugs face a lot more bending, as the tire corners.

This causes the tire to encounter more of the under, and over steering, resulting in prolonged steering response times.

Wet Performance

The pivotal factors when assessing performance in wet conditions are the tire’s resistance to hydroplaning and overall grip.

Let’s start with the grip.

Grip on Wet

The degree of a tire’s grip on wet surfaces largely depends on siping.

Siping refers to the slits in the tread, which effectively disperse water. They basically contract/expand and suck water particles in, so the rubber can connect with the relatively dried up surface.

And yes, this also tells that those sipes need the flexibility to function properly.

That’s why in the case of Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T, with its interlocking siping, which requires minimal energy to contract and expand, takes the lead.

Moreover, the tire also features a relatively more pliant tread compound, so sipes don’t have to do so much work (when they contract and expand).

Both these factors allow for superior braking and handling capabilities.

On the other side, the Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP employs a harder compound with limited siping, particularly on its shoulders.

While it does offer ample siping in the middle of the tire, the absence of an interlocking sipe design slightly diminishes its efficacy, overall.

Hydroplaning Resistance

A tire’s resistance to hydroplaning is determined by its ability to efficiently expel water from its tread.

And that is done by the help of grooves.

(Basically grooves throw out majority of water, while sipes work on the rest remaining water particles).

Now both tires offer a pretty voided up structures, where they offer interlocking lateral and longitudinal channels. So hydroplaning is barely an issue with them.

But still if you have to pick one, you should know, that the Baja Boss A/T demonstrated slightly better curved aqua results in comparison.

Tread Noise

Tread noise primarily originates from the constant compression and decompression of air within the grooves and sipes of the tire’s tread.

Basically here, the impact of air particles hitting the tread walls, is what’s creating noise.

Now here, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T gets to be louder.

Even though both tires are almost equally voided up from the shoulders (where air comes in predominantly), the design of Baja Boss AT creates louder in-groove resonance.

This resonance is basically the echoing of the noise. So you can say, the generated noise gets amplified/louder.

On the other side, the Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP employs superior pitch sequencing technology, where its air particles hitting its tread blocks create different tones, and those cancel out each other.

So bottom line, the Legend EXP is quieter.

Snow Traction

Evaluating a tire’s winter performance entails assessing its grip, acceleration, and handling capabilities in both light and deep snow conditions, as well as on ice.

And here, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is one of the best performing tire, in the all-terrain categroy.

The tire’s tread design is basically very effective in trapping up snow particles, promoting snow-on-snow contact which enhances traction.

This strategy is commonly employed by off-road tires to improve traction, regardless of whether the snow is deep or shallow. And its significant, because snow sticks better on snow compared to rubber.

Furthermore, on icy terrains, the tire’s numerous biters help it grip the surface more effectively, compared to Legend EXP.

Off Road Traction

Off-road traction encompasses various terrains including mud, sand, and rocks.

Mud

Mud is considered the most challenging terrain for tires, requiring optimal cleaning grooves to prevent accumulation of thick material within the tread.

And here although both tires are very impressive, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T still takes the larger piece of the pie, and this is due to a couple of key factors.

First, its voided design allows ample space for dirt and mud expulsion.

Second, the presence of multiple ejectors effectively break down mud for easier expulsion.

I mean, each shoulder lug on this tire features six of these triangular stone ejectors.

Furthermore, the sharp biters on the central lugs assist in disintegrating the mud, facilitating its lateral or longitudinal removal.

On the other side, the Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP, despite its impressive wavelike structure of grooves in both longitudinal and lateral channels, struggles with mud expulsion through its shoulders due to their compact nature.

I mean its still pretty great, don’t get me wrong, but compared to Baja Boss A/T, you see slightly lacking maneuverability on it.

Rocks

Rocky terrain has a lot of challenges. You have small rocks/gravel, and then you get big rocks, where climbing abilities are needed.

And so experiencing all these terrains, one can clearly se, how the Baja Boss A/T is a superior pick.

With numerous stone ejectors, the Baja Boss A/T offers superior handling and braking abilities on gravely roads, resisting any sharp stones and dirt particles to get lodge in the tread.

Moreover, the tire also features a superior lateral and longitudinal grip, allowing for faster rock climbing capabilities.

On the other side, the Baja Legend EXP, does not offer as many stone ejectors, and although it’s traction is pretty great, its missing features on its sides. I mean it’s shoulders and sidewalls aren’t that aggressive. Plus its not that durable too with just 2 ply sidewalls.

Sand

Traction on sandy terrain also presents unique challenges that, apart from driving skills, require specific tire characteristics. These include light weight, provision of paddles or scoops, an optimal tread footprint, and a robust bead lock.

And all of them basically provide the tire with floating abilities, as sinking on sand means game over.

Now having said that, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T, although, equipped with rim locks and capable sidewall lugs, still falls short in this terrain due to its heavier weight and sharper sides, which tend to dig into the sand, impeding directional control.

On the other hand, the Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP, with smoother edges and a slightly lighter structure, offers better performance values, especially on sandy slopes.

To Sum Up

In conclusion, both the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T and Baja Legend EXP offer distinct advantages and disadvantages across different terrain types and driving conditions.

The Baja Boss A/T stands out for its superior traction in muddy and rocky conditions, owing to its self-cleaning design and numerous ejectors. However, its heavier weight hinders its performance on sandy terrains.

The Baja Legend EXP, with its packed shoulder design, encounters difficulties with mud expulsion. Nevertheless, its lightweight structure and smoother edges enhance its performance in sandy conditions. It also offers quieter ride and fuel efficiency due to its harder tread compound.

Ultimately, the choice between these two tire models will depend on the specific driving conditions and performance priorities of the individual driver.

2 thoughts on “Mickey Thompson Baja Legend EXP vs Baja Boss A/T”

  1. You may want to double check the sidewall plys on the EXP. I have them in 35×12.5R20 load range F and they still only have 2 ply sidewalls.
    This does not bode well for heavier diesel powered 2500/3500 trucks. The roll from flexion in the sidewalls makes the truck feel very top heavy. Similar to driving a boat.
    It is unfortunate that manufactures seem to hide sidewall construction. Since most tires are ordered online these days. Having this information readily available would help consumers make more informed decisions without having to see the tire in person.

    Reply

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