LT265/65R18/E KO2 vs 265/65R18/SL Wildpeaks - sidewall strenght?

kga1978

Member
Hi all,

I'm going to change the OEM Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure With Kevlar tire (265/60R18/SL) on my 2017 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and I'm looking to get a slightly bigger (65) tire with a stronger sidewall - issue being that the trails I run in the Sierra (e.g., Coyote Flat) keep blowing out my sidewall. I have either the KO2s in mind or the Wildpeaks - with the former being an E rated tire (10 ply) and the latter being SL (4 ply).

I have been leaning towards the Falken's for a while, since people seem to love those and they're five pounds lighter and a fair bit cheaper (I need six tires). However, since sidewall strength is important to me, should I really rather go with the BFGs? Any major difference in sidewall strength between the two? (and my current OEM tire?). I have been asking at Discount Tire, Tire Rack, etc., but they don't really seem to have any insights here (I typically get - "they're basically the same, go with the more expensive option...").

Thanks in advance.
 

blubullett

New member
If sidewall strength is important to you then the E-rated BFG's have to be stronger then the SL-rated Falkens. The BFG is rated for 3305lbs a tire and the Falkens only 2601lbs a tire. I own the Falkens and honestly don't care for the BFG's at all but if you are looking for sidewall strength I don't see how going with an SL-rated tire would be a good idea.
 

OSV

Adventurer
amazon has some of the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tires at a pretty good price right now.
 

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MichaelK10

New member
E rated tires definitely resist punctures much better than SL tires. The KO2 is a good all around tire, too.

I run a small fleet that sees alot of dirt roads, and don't think I've see any rock punctures on our LT tires; it's a matter of time before our vehicles on SL tires get a flat.
 

kayadog

Adventurer
You can get a Ridge Grappler in XL for a little less than the BFG and it should have a stronger sidewall than you are currently running. I'm getting the same size Falken AT3W SL for my WK2 but I don't have any issues with punctures.
 

kga1978

Member
You can get a Ridge Grappler in XL for a little less than the BFG and it should have a stronger sidewall than you are currently running. I'm getting the same size Falken AT3W SL for my WK2 but I don't have any issues with punctures.
Yeah, I noticed there was an XL for the Ridge Grappler. Not really familiar with Nitto tires, but maybe I should look a little closer into those. I'd love to get the Falken's, but it sounds like they're probably not the best given the need for a strong sidewall (E rated just seems a bit overkill :))
 

gspfunk

Member
The Falkens come in an LT, as well. Also, I read that the Falkens (P rated) actually have a thicker sidewall than other P tires due to the way the tire is made. This is why they weigh more than other, same-sized P tires.

I’ve been happy with my Ridge Grapplers so far. Never got close to getting stuck in several situations I thought I could.
 

vintageracer

To Infinity and Beyond!
I have had several sets of Nitto's. Always run great with good traction and wear like iron. They are expensive and worth it to me!
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Comparing an LT to a P rated tire is an apples/oranges comparison.

Your stock size of 265/60/18 is 30.5" nominal diameter

265/65/18 would be 31.6" nominal diameter for an increase of 1.1" diameter or .55 sidewall height.

If you can go 1/2" bigger in diameter (a total of .7" sidewall increase) you can get the Wildpeak in 275/65/18 (32.1" diameter) in an LT rated tire. That would also give you a slightly wider tire.

My F-150 has 275/65/18's as the standard size and it seems that there are a LOT of options in that tire size.

I'm an admitted Falken bigot, had them on my Suburban and I think they're a great value for the money and a great alternative to the KO2. In terms of price, the difference is not great, the Falken's are ~$20/tire cheaper.

I've already decided that when my Goodyears wear out I'll replace them with Wildpeaks.
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
Loving my Falken AT3Ws. KO2s are a very dated tire design. People buy them because that's all they know. I'd try to find a modern E range AT that does what you want.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I just went from an E-rated KO2 235/85R16 to an LT E-rated A/T3W 265/75R16. The BFG has a 3-ply sidewall and the Falken 2-ply and the Falken is about 4 lbs heavier. The Falkens were immediately noticed by a third party neutral observer (my wife) as "riding better" even though I had them at 40 psi. I ran the BFG normally at 35 psi and the Falkens at 35 felt really soft to me. Next summer's wheeling will be interesting. I never actually cut through a sidewall on my BFG but they took some serious wear and tear, which has been my experience with E-rated BFGs, they are pretty tough for street tires.
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
I just went from an E-rated KO2 235/85R16 to an LT E-rated A/T3W 265/75R16. The BFG has a 3-ply sidewall and the Falken 2-ply and the Falken is about 4 lbs heavier. The Falkens were immediately noticed by a third party neutral observer (my wife) as "riding better" even though I had them at 40 psi. I ran the BFG normally at 35 psi and the Falkens at 35 felt really soft to me. Next summer's wheeling will be interesting. I never actually cut through a sidewall on my BFG but they took some serious wear and tear, which has been my experience with E-rated BFGs, they are pretty tough for street tires.
Rather than guessing at pressure why don't you use the inflation charts readily available?
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Rather than guessing at pressure why don't you use the inflation charts readily available?
What's that going to tell me? The BFG chart starts at 35 psi to get 1,700 lb/tire (6,800 lbs total) and the Falken chart at 35 psi rates these tires at 1,910 lbs each (7,640 lbs). My truck weighs 5,800 lbs loaded. So I use a chalk test to make sure I don't wear them too abnormally and the touchy-feely meter so decide they ride and handle "OK". I could probably linearly extrapolate and it'll tell me I suppose to run 26 psi or something, which doesn't seem right.

For comparison Toyota installed P-rated BFG Rugged Trails in 265/70R16 on my truck and recommended 29 psi in front and 32 in back. That represents a load of 2,216 lbs in front and 2,326 lbs in back. Using that guideline I should be running my Falkens at 40 psi and 45 psi respectively.
 
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Bayou Boy

Adventurer
What's that going to tell me? The BFG chart starts at 35 psi to get 1,700 lb/tire (6,800 lbs total) and the Falken chart at 35 psi rates these tires at 1,910 lbs each (7,640 lbs). My truck weighs 5,800 lbs loaded. So I use a chalk test to make sure I don't wear them too abnormally and the touchy-feely meter so decide they ride and handle "OK". I could probably linearly extrapolate and it'll tell me I suppose to run 26 psi or something, which doesn't seem right.

For comparison Toyota installed P-rated BFG Rugged Trails in 265/70R16 on my truck and recommended 29 psi in front and 32 in back. That represents a load of 2,216 lbs in front and 2,326 lbs in back. Using that guideline I should be running my Falkens at 40 psi and 45 psi respectively.
Use the Toyo chart. Those charts are actually produced by the TRA and are consistent across manufacturers. The Toyo chart has pages telling you how to calculate based on your factory ratings and pressures. The chalk test is guessing as well.


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Bayou Boy

Adventurer
Use the Toyo chart. Those charts are actually produced by the TRA and are consistent across manufacturers. The Toyo chart has pages telling you how to calculate based on your factory ratings and pressures. The chalk test is guessing as well.


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Btw. You will almost always need considerably more pressure moving from P-metric tires to LT tires. The P-metric tires simply handle more weight at a certain pressure than same size LT tires do.


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