Gary Carving a Krawler
now, you may have seen or heard of BFGoodrich's latest test tire,
the Krawler. For over 30 years, BFG has been providing some of the
best tires in motorsports. The All Terrain and Mud Terrain tires
have been staples in the off-road arena for years and have undergone
only slight changes over their entire history. What that says is
that BFG is committed to intense research and development and they
don't produce a tire until it's really ready. The latest KO and
KM versions of these tires are proof of this committment.
for some time now, as the sport of rockcrawling has become more
extreme, drivers have yearned for something more aggressive. BFG
had nothing to offer them so they many a customer was lost to other
manufacturers. Not conent to continue this trend, BFG has been working
diligently to come up with a more aggressive tire than the Mud Terrain
KM. Enter the BFG Krawler.
by Gary Enterline of Michelin, BFG has been surveying four-wheelers
at events around the country over the past year. We found Gary questioning
participants in Alabama last year during a Superlift 4xAdventure,
where he had a poster board with various tire patterns. The survey
asked questions about which pattern would have the most traction
and other similiar queries. One question asked whether or not the
participant would be interested in carving their own tread patterns
or not. This was a tip-off of what was to come.
The Evolution of a Krawler tire
began hand-carving tire blanks in his back yard with a hot knife.
He carved several sets with different patterns until he settled
on a few to try out. The original thought was to possibly sell a
basic pattern to the public and let them carve them however they'd
like. The current trend is to pick one tread pattern and produce
that once they find the right one.
BFG has been trail-testing various tire treads in various parts
of the country. The latest version, the "GI Joe," has
been given to hand-picked four-wheelers to try out in their home
areas. The tires are 37x12.50 and are mounted on 17" Raceline
Monster rims. The tires are being tested on some of the toughest
terrain the US has to offer and they will also be found at some
of the extreme competitions and the Moab Easter Jeep Safari.
goal of the tests, of course, is to see how different rubber compounds
do on different terrain. Once they are well-used, the tires will
be studied and tested for wear and chipping of the lugs. If all
goes well, we may find the Krawler being produced next year. Other
sizes will certainly become available once production begins.
GI Joe pattern. This pattern is currently the leading tread
design for the project.
(Four X Doctor) tests the Krawler at Tierra Del Sol. (Photo
by Tony Bothwell)
Krawler tire ready for carving