4WD MODIFICATIONS - TYRES & WHEELS
We’ve been checking out a test set of Falken Wildpeak LT245/70 R17s on the OTA Team’s HiLux. Early impressions are that these tyres are well worth considering.
The Falkens have run 12,000km so far and have been faultless. We bedded them in with metro and highway driving for 6000km and then took them on a bush trip from the OTA office in the Southern Highlands of NSW to halfway across Australia: the South Australian town of Kimba.
From Kimba we headed northwest into the Gawler Ranges for a week’s driving on various road and track surfaces: low and high speed dirt and gravel, sand and bulldust and, finally, the rocky trails that lead to the top of the Ranges.
While there we had a giant rain storm to settle the dust, moisten the lovely red clay road base and fill the deep ruts with a rich, red sticky goo that
made driving conditions interesting at times!
However, the side lugs on the Wildpeaks did their job and we climbed out of slippery situations quite easily.
At the 12,000km mark the tyres were showing negligible wear, showed no signs of cutting or chipping and hadn’t suffered a puncture.
Tyre noise was very low, grip on all surfaces, including slick, wet bitumen, was excellent and ride quality was very good.
Second stage testing
For the second part of our durability testing we escaped the OTA office and headed to Lake Eyre, Oodnadatta and the Painted Desert, then down to the Flinders Ranges via Kingoonya. This ensured that we would cover a wide verity of road surfaces and conditions.
As we expected, based on our testing up to this point, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W’S performed exceptionally well, handling everything that we put them through.
On this trip we had a good mix of high-speed corrugated dirt roads, stony and gravel roads, wet sticky red clay and very soft, deep sand tracks.
Our conclusions so far are that on and off road handling in both wet and dry conditions is excellent and the wet weather breaking on bitumen is good. On-road tyre noise remains very low.
New tread depth was 13mm and wear with 25,000 km travelled so far is an average of only two millimetres and the wear pattern is even across the tyres.
There are still no signs of chipping or cutting and we still have not had any punctures (touch wood).
Are we impressed so far: yes. Would we buy these Falken Wildpeak AT3W tyres based on our current findings: yes.