Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT vs BF Goodrich KO2

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Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT and the BF Goodrich KO2 are all-terrain tires, that offer amazing off-road traction and smooth performance on the road. They may not be good enough in all performance areas, but if you know where they excel, they can be the perfect pick for you. Let me give you a hint!

BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain T/A
BF Goodrich KO2 slanted U shaped lugs are pasting a large sidewall’s area, promoting off-road bite.

With years of experience in tire engineering, I can say with confidence that the BF Goodrich KO2 is a better tire to have for off-road terrains, especially rocks. And on-road, it gives superior traction on snow (rated with 3 peak mountain snowflake), and it’s pretty great with fuel and tread life, though lacks in the comfort department. The Mickey Thompson Deegan A/T on the other side, does great on-road in all areas (except for winter grip), you get superior dry/wet traction, comfort, and fuel/tread economy.

Available Sizes

On the other side, the Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 A/T provides you with 35 total sizes in 15 to 22 inches, having following specs:

  • Speed ratings: R, S and T
  • Load range: SL, XL, C and E only
  • Weight range: 30 to 63 lbs
  • Tread depth range: 12 to 17/32″
  • Warranty: 55k miles for LT, and 60k for non LT sizes

The BF Goodrich KO2 has following features, on it’s 90 sizes coming in with 15 to 22 inches.

  • 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
  • Winter ratings: M+S & 3PMSF
  • 50k miles warranty

Review this tire here: https://tiredriver.com/bf-goodrich-ko2-review/

Tread Structure

BF Goodrich KO2, as its not a MT like Deegan 38.

BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain T/A
BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain T/A

This tire gives you 3 worm like blocks in the middle, and together they make an interconnected structure of grooves connecting outer wider longitudinal channels.

These lugs are equipped with full depth sipes, and notches, and these split open when the blocks flex off-road providing traction on all kinds of surfaces.

And although the consistent design does great on dry roads as well, the sipes aren’t that effective when it comes to wet.

Towards shoulders the tire gets to be even more aggressive.

Here you see wider lateral gaps in between with bold stone ejectors.

And on blocks there are full depth notches facing towards the middle, whereas on outer margins, there are mud scoops and powerful sidewall lugs.

For Your Info: The tread contains two different types of stone ejectors, where the triangular ones are place strategically inside the grooves, while the conventional ones are in between the shoulder lugs.

On the other side, you get a slightly less aggressive design with Mickey Deegan All-terrain. Let me explain how.

Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT

The tread actually features a very on-road oriented design with 3 longitudinal ribs in the middle forming 4 circumferential channels.

All these ribs have blocks with reinforced foundations, and are placed very close to each other forming smaller tread voids.

So naturally they get to provide a larger contact with the road, as the tire rolls.

The shoulder lugs are also pretty packed up together, especially when comparison to KO2, and these don’t carry as thick of a mud scoops on outer edges, nor their sidewall lugs are thick enough.

Internal Structure

To perform effectively in off-road environments, off-road tires are given with strong inner construction, though as durability is an expertise of KO2, you still get a tougher tire here.

It provide you with 3 ply polyester cover, twin belts and 2 spirally wound cap plies.

The Deegan 38 AT on the other side, is a weaker tire, as it only has 2 ply sidewalls, and a single nylon cap ply. Moreover, it’s sidewall lugs are also not that thick, nor they cover as much bead area as the KO2.

Dry Traction

There are two main dimensions of dry performance, grip, and handling.

The better the tire’s connection with the road, the better the grip, that’s why out of both tires, the Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT being so on-road oriented provides you with better overall traction values.

It’s central most rib is made (almost) continuous, and all the rest of the blocks have solid reinforced foundational supports, providing shorter braking distances on tests (which is how mostly, directional grip gets measured).

BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side, although features a very uniform arrangement of the lugs, it’s rubber to road contact is still not as great in comparison.

And in terms of handling, as the shoulder lugs matter (along with the tire’s weight and flexing of the lugs, which tell you about the steering response), the Mickey Deegan AT, again takes the upper hand.

It’s lugs although have a softer composition, with closeness, and (slightly) lighter weight, it gets to provide better quality of connection with surface.

The BF Goodrich KO2 on the other side offers way more aggressive shoulder lugs, and their tread features, especially slanted notches take away a lot of tread rubber that could have been in contact with the road.

Moreover, with more space part blocks, they are more susceptible to a lot of flexing, despite having a stiffer compound. This causes under-steering at first, as the tire corners, followed by over-steering, reducing overall steering response times and handling efficacy.

Wet Performance

A tire’s grip on wet roads is strengthened by the inclusion of siping and flexibility in its tread design. The combination of these features leads to efficient water evacuation, ensuring a safer driving experience.

And so it makes sense why you get a superior gripping abilities on Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT “in comparison”, even though the tire is not great compared to other (similar) on-road oriented tires, like the Cooper AT3 (review).

It’s just the BF Goodrich KO2 is really disappointing in the wet, and that’s only because it’s so great almost in all other performance areas.

Although it features ample sipes, they are not at all flexible enough to create suction for the water particles coming underneath.

Moreover, the tire also features dual compound, where it’s rubber gets even more rigid with wear, so in terms of wet traction, the KO2 does not age too well.

Fuel Usage

Fuel is largely associated with the tire’s weight, and tread structure.

And both tires are really impressive. But of-course with much less aggressive tire, you’d see a better fuel economy on Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT, but the surprising thing is that BF Goodrich KO2 isn’t lacking here by much.

Where’s harder compound let’s its wet traction suffer a lot, it’s really great for fuel efficiency, as they don’t let the blocks bend too much (during cornering mostly), and waste (fuel) energy.

Tread Wear

The tread wear also depends on the tire’s rolling resistance, and here again, both tires are very similar, which is not so great for Deegan AT (being more on-road oriented), but definitely a good thing for such an aggressive tire like the KO2.

The BF Goodrich KO2 even with it’s 3 ply polyester casing, isn’t that heavier, as one would expect. Comparing heaviest sizes on both tires, there’s only a difference of 5 pounds.

So it’s lugs get to bear too much of a pressure on them.

Moreover, as explained earlier, the tire’s compound is also pretty hard (in comparison), so it’s wear rate is slower.

Though in terms of warranty, the KO2 gives 50k miles, whereas the Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT comes with 55k (and 60k for P metric sizes).

Check Out –
Do A/T tires wear faster?: https://tiredriver.com/do-all-terrain-tires-wear-faster/

Ride Quality

To evaluate the quality of a ride, two crucial components must be considered – the tire tread noise and the tire’s effectiveness in handling road imperfections through its tread composition and structure.

I’ll examine each of these factors in more detail.


The comfort level of a tire on the road is a function of its ability to handle road imperfections, and since the tire’s “composition” is a crucial factor, the Deegan A/T gives you a smoother ride, with it’s fluffier compound.

Moreover, it’s also has more tread depth (on average), comparatively, so more thickness of rubber is given to the on-road bumps to tune down before reaching the steering wheel.

The BF Goodrich KO2, isn’t able to provide both of these things, and with spirally wound cap plies, it’s ride (especially while cornering), feels a lot more bumpier.

Quietness of Ride

The noise from tires is due to air flow, mostly through the shoulder grooves of the tire’s tread, leading to air particles impacting the walls of the tread and producing sound.

So although BF Goodrich KO2 being a balder tire gets to be slightly louder, it’s not by much.

That’s because it handles the noise generation with it’s superior variable pitch technology. Meaning, it’s lugs are designed in a way, that noise rendered with them create different frequencies (at different parts), and they dampened down each other.

Winter Performance

Winter traction is where things get interesting, as it’s really worth noting that the tread of BFG KO2 having a harder rubber compound, still doesn’t get further stiffen up with freezing temperatures.

And it’s 3 rib structure, interlocking with each other, is great at grabbing on to the snow particles, while its shoulders staggered traction scoops, throw the fluffy snow backwards to create forward momentum. So the tire is great with both on-road snow and deeper terrains.

This is unlike the Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT, which is not symbolized with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating like the KO2.

Mud Traction

All terrain tires, are generally not so great with mud, but since there’s a wide variety of these tires, with these two fitting an as a perfect example for that, it makes sense why KO2 is a much better tire here.

It’s dual stone ejectors expel any lodged mud, while the rest of it (more) easily flows out through the interlinked network of grooves.

In comparison, the Deegan AT simply gets packed up with mud even on lighter terrains, so, there’s really no competition here.

Same goes for rocky terrains.

On Rocks

Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 AT does not features strong enough internal construction (on 2 ply polyester casing), and there are missing sidewall lugs.

These sidewall lugs provide amazing traction capabilities (with lowered air pressure), on KO2 and with staggered shoulders, they get to bite in to the rocky surface providing ample lateral traction.

Though you do get a few biter in the middle on Deegan AT, but they are still no match to the hook shaped grooves of the BF Goodrich KO2.

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

Desert Performance

The key to driving successfully on sand is to reduce tire air pressure, in combination with a tire that features a lightweight build and soft tread pattern.

All of these basically ensure the tire stays afloat on this soft terrain.

Though the BF Goodrich KO2 with it’s stiffer sidewalls is not able to provide good floating abilities, it’s saved by it’s wider sidewall lugs, which spread out, by decreasing the tire’s air pressure, and reducing chances of sinking.

In comparison, you don’t get any lugs on sidewalls on Deegan AT, and so it makes sense why this tire is disappointing on deeper sandy terrains, though you can still take them to the beach.


I have basically compared apples and oranges here, on one end, there’s a very aggressive and popular tire, the BF Goodrich KO2, providing you with undoubtedly, amazing traction on all sorts of off-road tracks.

The tire is also pretty great with fuel and tread life, and in terms of comfort and wet traction, although it loses a few marks, it makes up for it with it’s dry performance.

On the other side, the Deegan A/T features a better performance on both dry and wet roads, and the tire is great with fuel, and gives slightly better tread life. Though it could use some winter traction.

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