Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus vs BF Goodrich KO2

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Both Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus and the BF Goodrich KO2 are all terrain tires which provide satisfactory overall performance. These tires have been there for quite a while now and are mostly used in Trucks, Jeeps, and Crossovers and even full sized SUVs. Let’s see how they hold up against each other.

BF Goodrich KO2 All Terrain
The sidewall lugs of BFG KO2 are embedded with traction notches which provide off road traction (under low tire pressure).

Let me start things off with a bottom line:

Being a tire engineer, in my opinion, the Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus provides a very decent traction values on dry roads, with an acceptable performance on wet. It checks all boxes including fuel economy and even tread wear. But the tire lacks in the comfort area which seems odd, as its tread focuses on highway performance. In comparison, the BF Goodrich KO2 provides superior off road experience with more durability and aggressive sidewall lugs, and on roads, the tire is very quite and smooth with it’s consistent design. Lastly, both tires are simply great on snow, and both of them are branded with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating and M+S,

Before moving forward, it’s recommended that you go through the following detailed reviews (it’s going to help with a lot of things).

Tire Sizes

Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus comes in 16 to 20 inches, (with less overall sizes in comparison).

The speed rating on these sizes are limited to R,S, T and H. (Learn about speed ratings). And, Load ratings are only available in XL, SL, D and E.

Weight range for this tire goes from 29 lbs (seen in 225/65R17 102H SL) and goes up to 60 lbs (for LT 315/70R17 121/118S E.

If I talk about tread depth, most of the sizes come in 13/32″ and a few come in either 15/32″ or 15.5/32″ (which is highest seen).

On the other hand, the BFG KO2 offers 90 sizes (15 to 22″ rim sizes).

Speed ratings here are seen in either R or S or Q, while the load ratings vary from C to E, where the lightest tire has 35 lbs of weight and the largest is 67 pounds.

Tread depth on all sizes is 15/32″, but there are 4 exceptions where it’s 13/32″, those sizes are:

  • 215/65/R16
  • 225/65/R17
  • 245/65/R17
  • 255/55/R18

Tread Appearance

Both tires are pretty aggressive in the middle, but the KO2 takes the cake with more aggressive shoulder blocks and sidewalls.

BF Goodrich KO2 is more aggressive on it’s sides compared to middle.

BF Goodrich KO2 lays out staggered shoulder blocks with traction scoops and sidewall lugs which promote off road gripping (especially under low tire pressure).

All shoulder blocks have full depth notches on them, along with 3D siping, and together they exhibit amazing lateral traction on and off road.

These blocks are surrounded with 2 different types of stone ejectors, where the conventional ones are seen between lateral grooves, and the triangular ones are seen up front.

Moving towards the center, the tread here gets separated by a very irregularly shaped longitudinal grooves.

Here, 3 ribs are seen with full depth sipes and biters, & with them KO2 makes a very harmonious pattern.

On these blocks, the full depth sipes fracture down all the way, and split them up, enhancing surface traction, especially off road.

Pirelli Scorpion AT plus
All blocks on Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain plus have foundations underneath which they call groove cones.

The Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain plus, on the other hand, is seen with P and S shaped blocks in the middle (as in initials for Pirelli Scorpion), though the intended P looks more of a J, but they are not for show.

All these blocks have full depth interlocking 3D sipes, and sharp edges, full of twists and turns, and these provide efficient biting abilities.

The rubber composition of the tire, although is a little softer, these blocks provide firm stability as they are strengthened by foundations underneath them.

If we move towards the sides, a lot of common features are seen (with the central blocks).

The all have foundations underneath, and carry similar siping as well as notches.

However on edges, the tire features staggered shoulder which are engraved with tread voids on their outer extremity.


One of the most durable tire out there, in the category of all terrain tires, is the BF Goodrich KO2. The tire simply amazes you with it’s tough inner construction.

It consists of 3 ply polyester casing (think of it as a tire’s skeleton). This cover then gets wrapped with 2 steel belts strengthened by 2 layers of nylon.

The steel belts don’t cover the sidewalls, but the nylon wrapping, as it’s spirally wound, adds strength to a good extent. As it’s sidewalls get to be 3 ply polyester + 2 ply nylon.

Such a robust construction is mostly seen on mud terrain tires (which are made purely for off road adventures).

The Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain plus, provides you with conventional inner construction, with 2 ply polyester casing, running 2 steel belts on top and 2 ply nylon (which don’t cover the sidewalls).

So, out of the two, the tire is not as strong as the KO2.

Wet Performance

The two most significant factors to consider on wet roads are traction, and hydroplaning. Let’s discuss them both one after another.

Wet Traction

The Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus is not going to disappoint at all here. It’s superior wet grip is linked to it’s overall softer tread composition and numerous full depth sipes.

These sipes also have an interlocking pattern, so during cornering and braking, when the tread gets under pressure, they (as well as blocks) don’t get stiff, as their slit opens up from one side and close from the other.

The softer tread composition of the tire also helps provide further flexibility to these sipes so they can suck water beneath more efficiently.

On the other side, the BF Goodrich KO2, although offers full depth sipes, they are not as interlocking, so while cornering they stiffen up more.

And the tread of the tire is not soft to begin with. So things don’t go well for this tire here.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Aquaplaning resistance basically tells, how efficient a tire is in removing water from it’s grooves.

It’s significant as the with better water evacuation capability, there would be less water for sipes to handle, so indirectly, the tire affects wet traction.

Both tires although don’t perform adequately, the BF Goodrich KO2 takes the lead (by a small margin). It offers more tread depth (on average), and has broader voids which expel water out faster.

Traction on Dry Roads

The Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus provides a very decent gripping abilities under dry conditions as well.

It’s softer rubber sticks on pavements very nicely and provide a superior combination of softness and stiffness, as all softer blocks have strengthening foundations underneath as well.

On the other side, the BF Goodrich KO2 is not able to hold up as much, in comparison. This is mostly because its tread is not able to provide sufficient rubber to road contact, which naturally limits the grip.

Nonetheless, it offers a very uniform design and with it’s stiffer tread, it’s stability on pavement is still satisfactory enough.

On Road Noise

I don’t know what it is with Italian brands, but they make noisier tires. And Pirelli Scorpion AT+ is not an exception.

I mean despite being such an on road oriented tire, you still hear a slight hum with a vibrato, even with a well cabin-insulation.

But the tire is still an improvement over it’s older version, as they made it’s tread’s contact patch a little more round, and the due to slight increments in block sizes, variable pitches cut the sound wave down to a good extent.

But still the BF Goodrich KO2 is quieter in comparison. As it provides better variable pitch technology, a stiffer tread and a uniform design.

Recommended Read: Are all-terrain tires noisy?

Winter Performance

Winter traction is a tricky one, and in order to provide better abilities, all terrain tires try to plant in some features of winter tires, and out of them, most significant include, having a softer compound, strong biters and overall narrower tread or section width.

The Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus possess all these features, where it’s softer rubber with high silica density, does not get affected by freezing temperatures. And it’s several biters hangs on to the snow for a good while.

Moreover, with narrower section width, the tire puts more pressure on the surface and lodges snow in it’s grooves, providing snow to snow contact.

On the other side, the BF Goodrich KO2 is also a very good tire on snow. And the only problem with it, is its stiffer construction, but other than that, it’s a nice all rounder tire for this terrain and so it’s also 3 peak mountain snowflake rated just like it’s competitor.

Learn all about 3PMSFR here.

Fuel Efficiency

When it comes to A/T tires, they are mostly (in)famous for consuming a lot of fuel. But these two tires do exceptionally well, especially when their aggressive design is taken in to account.

Out of these two tires in question here, the Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus provides better efficacy. The tire has a very low rolling resistance, so it provides superior fuel economy. In fact, it’s one of the best in all terrain category, where the most fuel efficient, is the Firestone Destination AT2, and in comparison, the Scorpion AT plus is just negligibly off.

The fuel consumption of the tire is basically, highly dependent on the tire’s weight, and Scorpion is a very light tire, as majority of it’s sizes stay under 40 lbs.

On the other side, the BF Goodrich KO2 with stronger inner construction weighs more, which is no surprise, and this lowers down the fuel efficiency, as with more weight, the rolling resistance increases significantly.

Recommended Read: Do all-terrain tires show worse gas mileage?

Tread Wear:

Tread wear and fuel efficiency are both linked by rolling resistance, so greater the fuel economy, the greater the tread life, and lower the rolling resistance.

That’s why out of the two tires, the Pirelli All Terrain Plus provides you with better mileage.

Due to tire’s less overall weight, it puts less pressure on the surface, and so it’s tread does not burn off too quickly.

But surprisingly, the BFG KO2 isn’t too far off, as the tire shows almost similar tread life span. This has to do with it’s harder rubber, which is less prone to wear.

The tire also provides 2/32″ more tread depth on majority of its sizes, so with that, more time is taken to rub off the rubber down.

Recommended Read: Do A/T tires wear faster?

Off Road Performance

Alright, so up till now, you have seen, how durable and aggressive the BF Goodrich KO2 is. But is that enough for satisfactory performance off road? Well, there’s more to that, as off road, terrains vary.

So let’s consider all these terrains.

Mud traction

If you are planing to go on muddy terrains with an AT tire, make sure you have a backup plan, as these tires don’t do so good there.

In fact, that’s one of the main reasons why Mud Terrain tires exist in the first place.

Muddy terrains need tread which are capable of faster cleaning and both these tires aren’t so good at it. But still out of them, the BF Goodrich KO2 is slightly better.

KO2 has staggered shoulder blocks to its advantage, which provides it with bigger traction scoops. The concave shaped engravings on the sides, combined with slanted sidewall lugs, scoops the mud out backwards, and try to provide a forward-pushing force as a result.

But the tire’s interlocking design in the middle is not good at escaping the mud, in fact it’s quite opposite so even with shoulders, the tire is not good enough.

On the other side, the Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus has the same story, and the tire does not provide big enough traction scoops on the sides as well.

Recommended Read: Are A/T tires good on mud?

Sand Traction

Ever wondered why paddle and bubble tires do so good on sand? It’s because on this terrain, you need more rubber to road contact. That’ why it’s always recommended to pressure down tires on sand.

Now the good thing about the BFG KO2 is that, it’s rim lock is very sturdy, so you can run this tire with extremely low pressure without worrying.

The bad thing, it’s inner construction makes it heavy, and the aggressive sides of the tire emphasis a lot of digging, which is not good on sand. You don’t want to dig in, you want to move forward.

Pirelli Scorpion AT+ has the advantage of being lighter, but the tire’s sidewall lugs don’t provide as much footprint when you air it down, plus, it’s doesn’t provide a stronger rim lock.

So overall, even though, KO2 is not that effective on sand, it’s better here.

Recommended Read: Are A/T tires good on sand?

Traction on Rocks

On rocks, durability counts, and so you can never go wrong with BF Goodrich KO2. It’s the toughest A/T tire that you can get. And so it’s inspires confidence, as rocky terrains are filled up with thorns, pointy logs, and of course sharp rocks, which are very much capable of piercing the sidewalls (which is the weakest part of the tire).

But still, in defense of Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus, the tire does offer a softer compound which is good at sticking, so a good friction is made that way, plus you also get numerous biters as well. But the tire lacks in the lateral traction in comparison, and this component is highly needed on rocks, as with less sideway traction, the tire can slip off and sometimes can even overturn your vehicle.

Furthermore, KO2 also has the advantage of sidewall lugs, which when pressured down provide better biting abilities. It’s lugs are slanted and have deep sharp slits in them, which act as biting notches off road.

What’s the verdict?

The Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus is a good tire but only if you stay on highways more. The tire’s light weight provide amazing fuel efficiency, and tread life, and overall, it’s quite effective on both on and off road traction.

But the tire lacks durability wise, and that’s where the BFG KO2 comes in. This tire lacks on roads, but really puts up for it off road in all types of rugged terrains.

And for snowy terrain, I’ve really no problem with either of these tires, and both of them are 3 peak mountain snowflake rated.

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