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    All-Terrain (AT) Tyre Comparative Test at Calder Park Raceway

    December 01, 2022

    At Bob Jane T-Marts we strive to independently offer recommendations to our customers based on their driving style and needs. 4x4 and off-road capable SUV's remain a large part of new vehicle sales in Australia as these vehicles represent a large part of the Australian weekend lifestyle. It is not surprising then that there is a large selection of tyre brands out there that are competing for a share of the all-terrain tyre market in Australia.

    As Australia's largest stockist of wheels and tyres, Bob Jane T-Marts recently took a selection of the top tyre brands they stock and put them through a series of tests to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of these brands. To assist with documenting the tyre test, Bob Jane T-Marts invited drive.com.au to the process and put together the video that is seen in the article. It is important to note that the test was conducted independently from any of the tyre brands and the tyres were taken out of stock from local Bob Jane T-Marts stores, which means they represent tyres that any consumer would have purchased on any given day, as well as brands that are commonly recommended by the Bob Jane T-Marts store network in Australia.

    This test focusses on all-terrain tyres as this is commonly one of the first changes made to a 4WD or off-road SUV, however it is also noticeable that there is a mud terrain tyre present in the results for testing on the bitumen. The inclusion of the mud terrain tyre was deliberate as it was important to show the on-road characteristics of a mud terrain tyre when compared to all-terrain tyres. It is common for customers to understand the on-road handling characteristics of mud terrain when choosing them based on looks instead of drive style and/or application. The mud terrain would have been an obvious winner in the off-road test category so it was omitted from this test and the overall results in order to show the overall categorisation of all-terrain tyres in the comparison.

    Testing included a braking comparison of tyres both in dry and wet road conditions, a slalom lane change activity designed to illustrate an evasive maneuver in everyday driving conditions, a slalom course designed to test the tyres grip levels and flex and a short off-road course designed to get a feel of off-road capability off the bitumen. The test location was Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne.

    A single test driver, Bob Jane T-Marts CEO Rodney Jane conducted all testing blind, which means he did not sight the tyre brand and pattern on the vehicle before conducting each test. To facilitate quick changes of tyres and randomisation of fitment, two identical Isuzu D-Max LS-U vehicles were used and all tyres were pre-mounted to 17-inch Monster Off Road Wheels.

    Tyres Tested in size 265/65R17

    As the primary test driver, Rodney Jane explains what he is looking for when testing the tyres back to back as this feedback was an important part of the overall calculations used in determining the final score for each tyre in each test: "What we’re doing is a blind test and we're looking to see how different tyres behave in different circumstances. What we're really looking for is what the grip levels are like in different circumstances, dry and wet conditions, and we’re also looking to see how they handle in fast turning lane shifting circumstances, and then generally feel what they’re like off-road". Data was collected during the test using a VBox as well as checking and recording distances within a consistent and controlled environment. In addition to the data recorded, the test driver provided subjective feedback on characteristics of the tyres that were taken into account when calculating the final scores. Once all the elements of the test were lined up, the team set about running the vehicles in back to back tests while recording the results:

    Lane Change Results

    Tyre Score
    Yokohama Geolandar A/T GO15 (120/117R) 13
    Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697 (116S 8PLY) 12
    Falken Wildpeak AT3W (116T XL) 12
    Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain (112T) 12
    Yokohama Geolandar X-AT GO16 (120Q) 12
    BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 (120/117S) 11
    Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac (112S) 11
    J-Trax A/T (116S) 10
    BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3 (120/117Q) 9

    * Testing was conducted with a professional driver in a closed circuit environment with varying weather conditions. Additional factors were taken into account in determining the final score for the test.


    Slalom Results

    Tyre Score
    Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697 (116S 8PLY) 13
    Falken Wildpeak AT3W (116T XL) 12
    Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus (112T) 11.5
    Yokohama Geolandar A/T GO15 (120/117R) 11
    BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 (120/117S) 11
    J-Trax A/T (116S) 9.5
    Yokohama Geolandar X-AT GO16 (120Q) 8
    BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3 (120/117Q) 8
    Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac (112S) 6

    * Testing was conducted with a professional driver in a closed circuit environment with varying weather conditions. Additional factors were taken into account in determining the final score for the test.


    Dry Braking Results

    Tyre 60km/h 80km/h 100km/h
    Yokohama Geolandar A/T GO15 (120/117R) 9.9m 20.2m 34.2m
    Falken Wildpeak AT3W (116T XL) 10.4m 23.1m 34.6m
    Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus (112T) 11.4m 21.4m 36.1m
    J-Trax A/T (116S) 9.6m 23.6m 37.4m
    Yokohama Geolandar X-AT GO16 (120Q) 11.8m 23.6m 36.4m
    Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac (112S) 12.6m 23.0m 36.3m
    Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697 (116S 8PLY) 11.6m 20.7m 39.4m
    BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3 (120/117Q) 12.0m 26.2m 38.6m
    BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 (120/117S) 12.7m 27.2m 40.0m

    * Testing was conducted with a professional driver in a closed circuit environment with varying weather conditions. Additional factors were taken into account in determining the final score for the test.


    Wet Braking Results

    Tyre 60km/h 80km/h 100km/h
    Falken Wildpeak AT3W (116T XL) 12.8m 24.0m 39.1m
    Yokohama Geolandar A/T GO15 (120/117R) 14.5m 24.8m 39.8m
    Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus (112T) 13.5m 24.6m 41.4m
    J-Trax A/T (116S) 13.9m 24.9m 41.4m
    Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697 (116S 8PLY) 14.6m 26.0m 42.9m
    BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3 (120/117Q) 14.2m 28.8m 47.1m
    Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac (112S) 14.1m 28.4m 48.3m
    Yokohama Geolandar X-AT GO16 (120Q) 16.1m 30.9m 44.5m
    BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 (120/117S) 16.1m 34.2m 49.6m

    * Testing was conducted with a professional driver in a closed circuit environment with varying weather conditions. Additional factors were taken into account in determining the final score for the test.


    As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The infographic below demonstrates the differences in stopping distances between dry and wet road conditions as well as the exponential effect speed has on stopping distance:

    4wd-test-stopping-distance-graphic-jpg

    Off-Road Results

    Tyre Score
    BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 (120/117S) 22
    Falken Wildpeak AT3W (116T XL) 20
    Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697 (116S 8PLY) 18
    Yokohama Geolandar X-AT GO16 (120Q) 18
    Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac (112S) 18
    J-Trax A/T (116S) 17
    Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus (112T) 17
    Yokohama Geolandar A/T GO15 (120/117R) 16

    * Testing was conducted with a professional driver in a closed circuit environment with varying weather conditions. Additional factors were taken into account in determining the final score for the test. The BFGoodrich KM3 was not included in the off-road test.


    Conclusion

    Tyre
    Falken Wildpeak AT3W (116T XL)
    Yokohama Geolandar A/T GO15   (120/117R)
    Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain   Plus (112T)
    Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697   (116S 8PLY)
    J-Trax A/T (116S)
    Yokohama Geolandar X-AT GO16   (120Q)
    BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2   (120/117S)
    Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac   (112S)


    At the end of the day, the dark horse Falken Wildpeak AT3W impressed the most throughout it's test run, it impressed on the bitumen and was a comfortable and assured tyre in the off-road run. The Yokohama Geolandar G015 stood up to its popularity as a well balanced all round option while the more aggressive patterns stood out in the off-road runs as expected. At the start of the day the team knew that having a range of top tyre brand tyres on the test would result in a close contest, and the strengths of the various tyres shone through in various runs, which demonstrates that all the tyres on the test are all capable options that can be stocked and recommended by Bob Jane T-Marts stores for 4WD owners in Australia. The key is understanding the balance between looks and strengths and making the right decision for your 4WD.