You will need a rugged tire when driving over rugged terrain and BFG KM2 Vs Nitto Trail grappler are two great alternatives for people who will both use their vehicle as daily transportation and to have fun on unpaved roads. These tires are highly rated and available in varying sizes as well to match with your vehicles. For those currently confused about which to install next, let’s see what you can expect from the two and decide which seems to fit in the application the most.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- What to Know About Mud Tires
- What are BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler
- What are the Features of BFG KM2
- What are the Features of Nitto Trail Grappler
- How are BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler on the Road
- How are BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler for Off-Road
- BFG KM2 Vs Nitto Trail Grappler
Just like how you will need a performance tire when driving fast on hard tarmac, we will need proper off-road tires as well while mudding. Off-road tires can be a mud tire or maximum traction tire and all-terrain depending on how they want to drive their vehicle on. Usually we are already satisfied with a good set of AT tires but for the more serious application a mud tire is probably necessary. This is because the sticky and soft material can render the tire useless in such conditions if not designed properly.
In general the typical mud tires are those mostly driven on the road and occasionally in mud so you will see a similar pattern as well on the unit despite the treads or blocks on an MT can be up to one inch deep. They are still useful on the road while working good too on mud to carry wherever your vehicle is driven into. The more serious mud tire can have a tread depth as thick as 1.5 inches to help the tire crawl out of the pool of mud quickly.
Mud tires can have different widths as well depending on the type of mud you will be driving in such as narrow tires will be best when paired with a soft layer of mud on hard bottom since they can cut through the top layer and gain traction from the solid base. Wide tires on the other hand will help you stay afloat of the surface and is better for mud with thick consistency. Wide tires are also specifically useful for loose terrain like sand since it keeps the vehicle on the surface and paddle.
Talking about mud tires, what you will notice first from the unit is probably how they look. Many truck or SUV owners are attracted to how they look in order to improve the appearance of the vehicle but these lugs and voids are designed to deliver the required performance across applications. Since mud can be soft or sticky, they tend to get in between the lugs, filling the void and making the surface slick, losing the initial traction.
This is why they have large chunks and wider voids to keep the tire clean and maintain grip. But, we also have to pay attention when cleaning the tire to air down it so the voids will eventually channel down the mud away more effectively from the center of the tire. If the void is full of mud and the vehicle can’t move, we will need to clean it manually before being able to gain the initial traction.
About BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler
There is so much about mud tires aside from the aggressive look and it is best to always try to match the set of tires with the application. Mud tires benefit users who are often going off-road and meeting sticky or loose terrain but if you only go out there occasionally, we do think an AT will offer a more balanced advantage both on and off the road, especially if this is used as your daily driver as well which is most likely driven on city road or highway.
If you are here then we assume a set of mud tires is a must and most tire manufacturers have the option ready, including BFGoodrich and Nitto. Both of them are famous names on the off-road section because they carry some very popular off-road tires in the collection. Price wise they are pretty affordable too, but usually the BFG tires are more of a budget option and this by no means their tires are less reliable since it is not the case.
Depending on the application, there are some reliable options from the brands such as the famous BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler. As for KM2, this tire has been around for quite some time already so most people are probably familiar with the line, and while it sounds similar, the MT is very different from the KO2, which is also one our favorites. You can check the comparison in our previous BFG KM2 Vs KO2 here as the latter is an AT model, making it more versatile.
Similarly, the Trail Grappler is also an MT model from the Nitto family and this is similar to the Ridge Grappler while being a different type of tire altogether. The MT is claimed to have aggressive off-road performance while keeping the quality of road tires and this makes the tire run quiet for better comfort. Both tires seem to be working really well and capable of handling various typical terrain with ease, including mud while staying reliable too when on regular road.
BFG KM2 Features
The KM2 tire is quite an old option from the line but it is very good at performance and handling. The compound was inspired by the Krawler T/A KX symmetric design with deep and self-cleaning independent tread blocks and linear transverse flex zones to give the tire flexibility required for tackling off-road hurdles when aired down and used at low-speed. The internal construction is made of Krawler TEK sidewall and casing with three components from aggressive sidewall lugs, cut and chip resistant compound, and TriGard casing.
The overall design is optimized for more biting surface as well as sidewall protection and resistance to bruising the tires due to rocks and rough terrain. The single bead wire is continuously wrapped multiple times into desired strength to provide for the tire to overall increase the uniformity and ride quality.
Nitto Trail Grappler Features
As you can see, the design for Trail Grappler is kind of similar to KM2 with independent large blocks all over the tire’s surface. Nitto uses 3D computer simulation to systematically adjust the size, shape and position of the tire’s blocks in order to produce an off-road tire with higher noise reduction ability at street speeds and comfortable on the high-way. The sidewall is also optimized with 3-ply and high turn-up construction which gives you the extra layer of reinforcement for puncture resistance.
To make sure the tire is performing best on paved roads, Nitto makes sure their tires are all uniform and for the all-terrain performance, the Trail Grappler has reinforced shoulder grooves that are ideal for on-road application without compromising the stiffness of this tire.
BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler on Road
Now for the most important part, let’s see what BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler can offer starting from the on road application. Both of them are working really well on the road that we do think they can be AT tires as well if you are driving on pavement for most of the day. The dry grip is similar for both tires and they are very reliable but probably a bit heavier than the stock. Steering and response are not an issue too at a higher speed.
What’s a bit different is probably the wet road performance because here we do think the Trail Grappler is slightly more grippy, probably due to the more flexible tread blocks or the tread design itself yet, KM2 is still confident as well in both dry and wet traction. As for the noise, we don’t really notice much difference from the two; there is still road noise but none of them are to the level of annoying.
BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler for Off-Road
Next is for the off-road performance and both BFG KM2 and Nitto Trail Grappler are as expected very impressive here. As you can guess, their best part is on mud since here the tire shows the capability of an MT unit. They can crawl on water or mud with ease while effectively channeling the water and liquid out of the surface. The large gaps between the tire’s blocks also help by keeping the tire clean throughout the journey.
We are not sure how they work for sand such as driving on the beach but for the rest of typical off-road application the two are very similar. Most MT or AT can work really well on rocks or hard packed gravel and you don’t have to worry about them in this area. For snow however, the latter seems to be less slippery on heavy or light snow applications.
BFG KM2 vs Nitto Trail Grappler
Both tires are good options if you can find the sizing from their collection. They are working well on both paved and off-road, making the tires versatile as your daily and adventure partner. The difference is very slight however, such as how the Trail Grappler handles wet roads slightly more grippy than KM2 or the snow application which seems to be one of the weaknesses of KM2. Comfort wise they are great on the road and confident to drive with.
|BFG KM2||Nitto Trail Grappler|
|- More affordable||- Expensive|
|- Less sizing||- More sizing options
|- Good on-road performance||- Better wet and snow traction
Wes should choose based on which seems to meet the application the most but personally we recommend KM2 because the tires are more affordable than many others, including the Trail Grappler but if you don’t mind about the pricing, the latter seems to work slightly better.