4WD MODIFICATIONS - TYRES & WHEELS
Kumho Tyre Australia has announced the launch of a new mud terrain tyre for the 4WD Ute and SUV market. The new MT71 replaces the previous two Kumho M/T tyres.
The new Kumho Road Venture MT71 has premium off-road performance priority and has undergone more than two years’ development. It was launched in North America in late 2019, in time for the winter season.
The Road Venture MT71 is available in 27 sizes.
“The Road Venture MT71 is a cornerstone product for Kumho because it will deliver the highest level of performance at a truly competitive price and will, we believe, redefine the serious 4WD tyre market,” said Kenny Chun, national marketing manager for Kumho Tyre Australia.
The MT71 replaces the previous MT51 and KL71 M/T tyres (below):
The Road Venture MT71 has been designed with multiple sizes and specifications, on multiple vehicle platforms across the world; not just one size and one type of vehicle,” said Kenny Chun.
The MT71 has an aggressive tread design for climbing performance and off-road traction, enhanced durability with extra cut and chip resistance and excellent highway safety and stability.
Carcase construction incorporates seven integrated steel and fabric layers; two steel cord layers and two nylon puncture-protection plies, making it one of the most robust mud-terrain tyres in the market, Kumho claimed.
“During pre-launch testing, the product scored well in slick-rock traction, forward traction, front path stability, side-bite ability, side-slope traction and a wide range of additional performance dynamics,” Mr Chun added.
MT71 is also said to deliver significant on-road noise reduction, compared with competitor M/T tyres, thanks to the design of its packed centre blocks and dual-pitch tread design. The tread pattern utilises fluid mechanics analysis for enhanced water and mud dispersal.
The MT71 is available in a range of diameters and sizes from 14 inch to 17 inch, spanning the majority of popular fitments in the 4WD market.
OutbackTravel Australia scored a test set of MT71s and we started checking them out in rural NSW, when the Covid-19 travel restrictions were lifted in July 2020.
Our 5000-kilometre initial test took in freeways, secondary bitumen, gravel, sand, mud and rock climbs, and we’ll continue testing these new tyres for the next few months.
Initial impressions are that the Kumho Mt71s are the best-performing M/T tyres we’ve ever tested; mainly because of their terrain flexibility.
We expected them to be noisy and harsh on highways and they weren’t. We expected them to skate around on slick bitumen and concrete, but they didn’t. We thought they’d have odd behaviour under heavy braking and they just gripped like mad.
On stretches of steep, wet track we could run the old 75 Series in two wheel drive – ‘open’ rear diff as well – without any slippage at all, while our mates with A/T-equipped utes needed 4WD and traction control to avoid wheelspin and directional changes.
In soft sand, with appropriate pressures, they performed like A/T tyres and didn’t churn up the sand like we thought they might.
Our original intent was to run them for this trip and then move them to a ute that spends nearly all its time off-road, but we’re going to keep them on our own ute and check out their behaviour in day to day work, on varying surfaces, to see how they wear.
Initial findings are that the Kumho MT71 seem to be more general-use tyres than any other M/Ts we’ve evaluated. Watch this space for our progress reports.