BFGoodrich KO2 vs Falken Wildpeak AT3W
Author: Alexi Rafferty
December 25, 2020
When it comes down to picking the right tire for the right vehicle, for the right application there is no doubt that there is an overwhelming amount of high quality, high performing tires out in the market today, especially in the all-terrain category.
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First, when looking at tires we need to consider our own individual applications and uses for the vehicle that we're going to be installing the tires on. Is it a work truck that hauls heavy trailers and occasionally goes off-road but longevity and durability are the main factors here. Is it a weekend warrior Jeep that is used as a daily driver and traction performance and long-lasting tread life is important?
Are you using our four by four as an overland rig? And you need a tire to stand up to the variety of conditions like weight carrying capacity, off-road and on-road traction and performance, resistance against trail damage like cuts and punctures.
This vehicle could also be a daily driver that may never see dirt unless it's someone's crackled driveway but this daily driver may be in an area that sees five months of winter, For example, with varying snow and icy conditions, there are so many variables out there and that is why it can be a challenge in finding the right tire for the right conditions.
Let's take a close look at the BFG KO2 and some of the characteristics and benefits starting with their huge selection of sizes and types. When I say types, the KO2 is available in C, D, and E load ranges, which can be filtered on our site by load rating in the filter options. For example, if we take a light truck, 285/70R17 the C load range offers a max load pressure at 50 PSI of 2,775 pounds per tire with a six-ply sidewall.
Whereas the E load is up to, 3095 pounds at 80 PSI with a 10 ply sidewall plus they're available in the R speed rating; S Q and T speed rating as well, similar to the Falken Wildpeak except for the Wildpeak also has an additional S L rating to signify that they’re for dual rear wheel applications.
For sizes, the BFG has this category captured with 87 different sizes for six different wheel sizes, from 15 inches up to 22-inch wheels compared to the Wildpeaks which have 66 available sizings four wheels from 15 inches up to 22 inches in size.
The Falkens offer a 55,000-mile limited tread life warranty whereas the BFGs offer a 50,000-mile warranty but also for six years from the date of purchase. Whichever comes first.
Another reason for comparing the BFG KO2 with the Wildpeak AT3W is, that they both are three-peak snowflake rated, meaning that these have met stringent requirements set forth by the US tire manufacturers association and the rubber association of Canada to identify the passenger and light truck tires that provide a higher level of snow traction and meets required performance criteria to be considered severe snow rated tire.
So that way you guys can feel confident in the snow or on the ice with both of these tires.
Now, what we did is we made sure to obviously compare the same size tires in the same load rating. So both of these are gonna be the 285/70 on 17-inch wheels, and then both are C rated. So that we can compare exactly what the differences are in the KO2 compared to the AT3W.
Starting with the obvious looks of the tire, you can tell right away that these have angled saw blade side biters that do give the tire a pretty aggressive appearance. There's a bunch of different siping.
They have multi-varied shoulder blocks here to help scoop some of that mud out. They have different angled C shaped tread blocks. And sometimes one of the noticeable features between different tires when comparing them is the inflated tire size itself. Now the BFG KO2 comes in at 32.8 inches in its inflated size and so does the Wildpeak AT3W which is pretty cool that they're identical that way. The other thing is the BFG KO2 does have a six-ply sidewall.
Let's go take a look at the Falken Wildpeaks. So first things first when looking at the Falken Wildpeak AT3W as you notice there is a little bit of difference obviously, in the design of the tire, especially the side biters. They still have this sort of angled side biter that looks somewhat like a saw blade. It's sort of directional how it's angled up like that. But you do have a little bit of extra traction there with these side biters.
And then, and then another thing that I noticed too on the Falken Wildpeak which I found kind of interesting is that they do have cooling fins which always makes me kind of question, why are they there? Was his tire heating up at one point? So they had to add the fins in there or is it just an extra precaution if you are running low air pressure for example, and maybe they put them on here to help dissipate the heat, but you don't see that on any other tire out there that I know of. So either ingenious or a design flaw, I'm not really sure.
The other thing too is you can tell right away that the shoulder blocks are designed a little bit differently. They still have the larger shoulder blocks on the outer edge of the tire and then the scattered or, or staggered inner tread blocks along the center of the tire to help cut down on that road-noise, plus plenty of siping to go through all the tread blocks, just like the KO2.
The tread depth on the Falken Wildpeak is actually 18 compared to whereas the KO2 was 15. You do get a little bit more tread depth, on the Falken Wildpeaks which can be an advantage if you're trying to kick out some mud or sand or snow or whatever it may be. Plus you do get a little bit more tread life because if you have taller treads, there's more to wear down too. This also has the six-ply sidewall, just like the KO2.
Now with that said, let's go ahead and let's compare pricing. Now that we have identified most of the key differentiators between the KO2 and the Wildpeak and for many of us the most important thing to look at is the difference in their price.
Now, if we had a passenger rated 285/70 17 the Wildpeak would be $100 less for a set of four coming in at just over $1,000. But because we have the C load range for both tires in the light truck sizes, 285/70R17. The Wildpeak AT3W comes in at just over $1,200 for a set of four, compared to the BFG KO2, coming in at just over $1,100 for a set of four.
For some, 100 bucks may make or break the deal in deciding between the two, but for others, it may be the reputation of one over the other or what tires will be used for what, or even maybe because your buddy runs one of these tires or one of these tires and swears by them.
Whatever the case may be, we hope this blog has helped you out in one way or another in deciding what your next purchase is gonna be from, Trailbuiltoffroad.com. And if any of you are running either the BFG KO2 or the Falken Wildpeak AT3W let us know how you like them or even if you guys have any questions on either of these tires, just let us know in the comments below.
And remember that when you get a wheel and tire package from TrailBuilt, you will not only save on that package, but you will also get free shipping and free mounting and balancing too. Finally, we also offer as low as 0% APR financing. Happy shopping!