If you’re planning to buy a new set of all-terrain tires for your vehicle, Wrangler Duratrac and BF Goodrich KO2 are likely among the ones you’re considering.
Well, if you have shortlisted the two tires, you must already be aware that both of them are great for off-roading. They feature aggressive designs perfect for driving across different terrains in any season.
Of course, this makes the choice a little difficult, for you’d always want to give your car the best tires. We will be evaluating both tires to weigh the pros and cons and see which one is a better option.
Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac – an overview
Although Goodyear initially launched the Wrangler Duratrac as a tire meant for commercial use, it has grown into a popular daily-use tire due to its amazing performance.
With raised blocks, deep grooves, and a three-peak mountain snowflake rating, it’s truly an impressive tire. The Wrangler Duratrac has a lot to offer when it comes to driving on rough terrains, which has contributed to its popularity.
BF Goodrich KO2
Coming to the BF Goodrich KO2, we find that this tire is mostly available for light truck sizes. Regardless, it’s a versatile tire suitable for a wide range of applications.
Like the Duratrac, this one has appeared as a top-rated tire model in the market and boasts superb performance. The manufacturer has designed the tire meticulously, blending the design principles of an all-terrain tire and a mud tire. This tire boasts a three-peak mountain snowflake rating too.
Wrangler Duratrac vs BFGoodrich KO2 comparison
Now that we have an overview of both the tires in question, let’s check out how they fare against each other in the competition. It’s time for an in-depth evaluation based on different relevant parameters:
The Duratrac puts up a more aggressive appearance than the Goodrich KO2. Although it’s an all-terrain tire, its design makes it look more like a hybrid.
The sidewall design is particularly aggressive, with widely spaced lugs. These bulky sidewalls significantly enhance the tire’s ability to provide traction on off-road terrains.
The tire features two shoulders, one of which has slightly scooped edges. The shoulder blocks feature wavelike siping patterns, just like the remaining tread blocks.
The gaps between the shoulder blocks form stone ejectors, which will help protect the tire from damage when driving on rock or gravel. Hence, it’s quite clear that the Wrangler Duratrac is a powerfully designed tire built for rough terrains.
As for the BF Goodrich KO2, the sidewalls aren’t as aggressive in their design. However, it looks more elegant and revealing than the Duratrac.
This tire comes with irregularly shaped and elongated shoulder blocks that have traction notches on the inner edges. The blocks join together to form shoulder-sidewall armor, enhancing the steering performance of the tires.
The slightly angular siping on this tire, together with the deep notches and cuts on the blocks, greatly enhances its grip on the road. Unlike Duratrac, which has a wavelike siping pattern on the blocks, this tire features straight sipes.
The Goodrich tire also comes with two types of stone ejectors – rectilinear ones in the lateral channels and small, triangular ejectors in the longitudinal voids.
If you’d like to give your off-roader a more combative and aggressive look, the Wrangler Duratrac is a better choice. On the other hand, the BF Goodrich K02 is ideal for those who want a mix of elegance and robust design.
If you’re going to tackle off-road terrains, you need tires that can sustain the wear and tear. This is why durability is an essential aspect of any all-terrain tire.
Regular tires would be prone to punctures and chipping on such terrains. Thankfully, both Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac and BF Goodrich KO2 are quite good in this regard and boast superb damage resistance.
The E-rated Wrangler Duratracs used to come with three-ply sidewalls, making them impressively sturdy.
However, Goodyear made some adjustments to the tire’s internal structure to improve the ride comfort and ended up removing the 3-ply feature. However, it’s still a highly durable tire that can tackle rocky terrains seamlessly.
However, the Duratrac is no match for BF Goodrich KO2 when it comes to durability. The latter has the strongest side walls among all the AT tires in the market, thanks to the CoreGard technology. This technology increases the durability of the sidewall by 20%, rendering it almost invincible to damage.
Both tires are very durable, but the Goodrich KO2 is the winner here. You’ll love the sturdiness and damage-resistance of this tire if you’re an aggressive off-road driver.
Alongside durability, you should also evaluate the tread life of a tire you’re considering for heavy-duty or off-road applications. While there are other all-terrain tires with better tread life than Wrangler Duratrac or Goodrich KO2, these two are still quite decent.
All versions of Goodrich KO2 deliver almost the same tread life, as the sidewall design remains the same. The tread life of the Duratrac varies with its size.
This tire’s narrow pattern and higher load range make it a great choice for heavy-duty performance like towing or hauling loads. On the other hand, Goodrich KO2 boasts a tougher and more chip-resistant material.
Let’s now evaluate the on-road performance of the two tires in dry weather conditions. As you might be aware, there are three different parameters used in the evaluation of a tire’s dry performance:
- Dry traction: Traction is crucial to a tire’s performance, for poor traction can cause the vehicle to skid or go out of control. Both Duratrac and Goodrich KO2 offer impressive dry traction, but the large void area ratio of the former gives it a little advantage.
- Steering response: Poor steering response can make your vehicle harder to control, which is often an issue with all-terrain tires. The large void areas and heavy internal structures of these tires greatly inhibit steering response. Thankfully, you can get a decent steering response from both Duratrac and Goodrich K02. They both have their perks in this regard – Duratrac is lighter while Goodrich KO2 boasts a higher contact area.
- Cornering stability: BF Goodrich KO2 offers much better cornering stability than Duratrac, thanks to its powerful sidewalls. Sturdy sidewalls are necessary to keep the tire in shape when turning corners at high speeds. The two-ply sidewalls of Wrangler Duratrac put it at a disadvantage here. On the other hand, a Goodrich KO2 will always deliver impressive cornering stability even for heavier vehicles.
With that said, it’s quite clear that Goodrich KO2 offers better dry performance than Wrangler Duratrac. Whatever it lacks in traction is compensated by its impressive cornering stability.
Let’s see how these two tires fare on wet roads. Regardless of what type of tires you’re buying, wet performance is a crucial factor. All-terrain tires tend to suffer from relatively poor wet performance, as the tough material prevents them from getting a good grip on wet surfaces. The two primary indicators of wet performance are wet traction and hydroplaning resistance.
- Wet traction: Although the two tires are fairly close in terms of wet traction, Duratrac is slightly ahead of Goodrich KO2. Duratrac’s tread notches allow better grip on wet surfaces than the straight notches on Goodrich KO2’s treads.
- Hydroplaning resistance: While a set of Duratracs will give you better wet traction, BF Goodrich KO2 will help you resist hydroplaning better. This is because the shoulder block design of the latter allows faster evacuation of water.
Considering the importance of hydroplaning resistance in ensuring a safe ride in rainy weather, Goodrich KO2 is a safer choice. Especially if you drive at high speeds, hydroplaning can pose a major hazard on wet roads.
When buying new tires, you should also consider their winter performance. The competition is very close between Duratrac and KO2, but let’s break it down to evaluate. The three key indicators of a tire’s winter performance are:
- Ice traction: The slippery nature of ice makes it extremely hard to get traction. This problem is especially true for all-terrain tires, due to their stiff compounds and small contact patches. BF Goodrich KO2 wins the competition due to its smaller voids and compact patch area.
- Light snow: As heated tires turning on light snow melt the snow into water, light snow performance isn’t very different from wet performance. This makes Goodrich KO2 better for light snow, due to greater hydroplaning resistance.
- Deep snow: Both tires come with a three-peak mountain snowflake rating, which means they can handle deep snow effectively. While the deep tread grooves of Wrangler Duratrac offer a distinct advantage, so does Goodrich KO2’s staggered shoulder design. Either of the tires will be a good choice for driving on deep snow.
While Goodrich KO2 is a slightly better choice, Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac is also available with studs. The studded version of the tire delivers better performance on icy roads. However, if you’re looking for an all-terrain tire that you can use in any season, you’ll be better off with BF Goodrich KO2.
Both Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac and BF Goodrich KO2 shine at off-roading, and either of them would a solid choice. However, the two tires don’t aren’t equally good at all terrains – their designs enable them to excel on different terrain types. Let’s see how the two tires fare against each other on different off-road terrains:
Rock: If you’re looking for the best tire for rock crawling, Goodrich KO2 is a great choice. The rugged tread design allows it to conquer rocky terrains without much trouble.
Thanks to the serrated shoulders and the tough sidewalls, the tire doesn’t take much damage from driving on rock and gravel. Duratrac isn’t bad either – its tread design offers more lateral traction than its competitor. However, Goodrich KO2 is a better rock crawler overall.
- Mud: When it comes to mud driving, Wrangler Duratrac dominates the competition. Its deep tread design and wide grooves help deliver better loose ground traction and self-cleaning capability than Goodrich KO2. Still, the Goodrich KO2 offers decent mud traction and stability.
- Sand: The Wrangler Duratrac is an amazing tire, but it’s far from being your best choice for driving on sand. There’s even a chance that driving on the sand with a set of Duratracs might get you stuck. On the other hand, Goodrich KO2 is one of the best tires for sand driving and you can drive at top speed without any issues.
- Gravel and dirt: Thanks to their robust tread designs, both tires perform very well on gravel and dirt. However, the high void area ratio of the Wrangler Duratrac makes it better for driving on such loose ground terrains.
As we can see, both tires are beasts when it comes to off-roading. You’ll have to decide between them depending on your off-roading habits and where you plan to drive.
Road noise is a problem with most all-terrain tires. Designed for optimal off-road performance, the treads are rather noisy when driving on paved roads.
This is because of the large void areas on these tires – the airflow within the gaps generates the noise. As for Wrangler Duratrac and Goodrich KO2, both boast decent noise reduction.
BF Goodrich KO2 comes with small, well-spaced tread blocks that ensure reduced noise levels. The narrowed center section of the Duratrac helps to block the noise to some extent, but the deep-seated treads make it noisier than the Goodrich KO2.
The enhanced durability of the BF Goodrich KO2 comes at a price – comfort. The ride comfort offered by a tire depends on its sidewall stiffness and compound material.
Goodrich KO2 is sturdier in both aspects, which significantly reduces the tire’s flexibility and shock-absorbing ability. Duratrac, on the other hand, has more flexible sidewalls and softer material.
It can absorb much of the vibration and provide your vehicle with extra suspension. This makes Wrangler Duratrac a more comfortable tire to drive on.
Let’s now have a look at the warranty coverage on the two tires. While both Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac and BF Goodrich KO2 come with a treadwear warranty of 50,000 miles, it doesn’t apply to all sizes of the former.
Only the normal-size Duratrac tires have this mileage warranty; the LT and floatation sizes don’t. The two tires have the same workmanship warranty and uniformity warranty – six years on workmanship and the first 2/32 inches on uniformity.
Goodrich KO2 is the winner in this aspect as you’ll be getting a mileage warranty regardless of the tire size. However, it doesn’t make a difference unless you’re going for an LT or floatation-size tire.
Which one do we recommend?
Well, now that we’ve evaluated both tires in detail, you can see why they are so popular among off-roaders. They are among the best all-terrain tires and deliver impressive performance on tough terrains. Before we declare the overall winner between the two, let’s compare them side-by-side in the table below.
|Point of difference||Winner|
|Durability||BF Goodrich KO2|
|Comfort||Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac|
|Road noise||BF Goodrich KO2|
|Snow performance||BF Goodrich KO2|
|Mud performance||Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac|
|Sand performance||BF Goodrich KO2|
|Rock performance||BF Goodrich KO2|
|Gravel and dirt performance||Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac|
|Dry performance||BF Goodrich KO2|
|Wet performance||BF Goodrich KO2|
|Warranty||BF Goodrich KO2|
Analyzing the table above, we find that Goodrich KO2 beats its competitor in most aspects. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should choose it over Duratrac, for Duratrac has its advantages too. Goodrich KO2 is an extremely sturdy and aggressive tire with superb performance both on and off-road.
On the other hand, Duratrac performs better on mud and dirt while also ensuring a more comfortable ride. As mentioned earlier, it’s also a better option for vehicles used for towing and hauling.
While the KO2 beats it in terms of snow performance, the difference is small. The fact that Goodyear has optimized different sizes of the Duratrac with suitable sidewall designs is a great advantage too.
We recommend both of them as superior all-terrain tires with their respective strengths and weaknesses. You need to pick between the two as per your driving habits and preferences.
If you are after an aggressive appearance, superb loose ground performance, and improved ride comfort, Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac is a better choice.
On the other hand, Goodrich KO2 stands out as one of the sturdiest AT tires and offers better on-road performance. Depending on your needs, either of the two can be a great investment.