The 255/85R16 Tire Official List

I'm copying this post that I wrote for another thread, as it is relevant here. It's essentially a review of my experience with the BFG Mud-Terrain KM2 in the 255/85/16 size. I've had them on my 2008 Tacoma for about three years. I hope someone finds my experience helpful.

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I run the BFG Mud-Terrain KM2 255/85/16 on my 2008 Tacoma, with stock steel rims like the kind that comes with the underbed spare. I absolutely love the tire because they provide additional clearance and I like the tall, skinny look. I've never actually used them in mud (who wants to clean up the mess?), but they perform extremely well in tough desert rock conditions at reduced pressures (<20 PSI). Though they are a "mud" tire, they're great performers on rock and have held up very well.

But there are downsides to this size tire, some of them significant. Some of the issues I've experienced are related to my particular tire (BFG Mud), but many come back to the fact that this is a very tall tire:

1) I wish I'd weighed my old tire/rim combination so I had a comparison, but I'd venture to say that my new BFG Mud setup is probably a third again heavier. Maybe more. They are very chunky tires, with lots of rubber. So if you want a lighter tire, the BFG Mud is not for you.
2) Climbing hills at highway speeds is a problem. This is a tall tire, and you'll soon recognize the need for a regear. Like, within the first five miles. I need to switch my gearing from 3.73s to 4.88s, which would address that issue, but that's a big expense that I haven't gotten around to yet. I only use my truck for trips, so its not like its something I have to deal with every day.
3) Towing capacity has decreased, based on the gearing issue noted above. Pulling a little utility trailer to the dump is fine, but anything more than that would be a no-go.
4) Braking ability took a hit. Safe braking distances have definitely increased, and I carefully keep my distance from vehicles in front of me. There's not much that can be done about that, and I'm not sure if that's a function of the increased weight (likely) or the larger diameter.
5) The BFG Mud is very noisy, especially when new. It's very noticeable, especially in the back seat where there is less sound deadening insulation. Folks back there have a hard time hearing conversations up front.
6) Fuel mileage. Tacomas have never been known for getting great mileage. With the stock tires and the usual list of modifications, I never broke 18 mpg. Now I'm down to about 14 mpg, which is clearly ridiculous, though it is admittedly self-inflicted. A regear would probably help that too, but there's no getting around the fact that I'll still be trying to turn a lot more weight.
7) The diameter is too large for the spare to fit in the stock underbed location. That is, unless you want to reroute your exhaust and do a bunch of other fabrication. $$$/PITA. As a result, I still have my stock spare under there, which isn't the end of the world, but its not ideal, either.
8) These tires will wear terribly if not rotated religiously and if proper alignment is not maintained. They just aren't as forgiving as a smaller tire when it comes to misalignment and infrequent rotation, and you really need to stay on top of it. I rotate mine at every oil change (5,000 miles), and get the wheels balanced and the front end aligned once per year. Doing that has kept the wear quite even. Four of these babies represents an investment of $1,000 to $1,200, depending on where you purchase, so spending $100 each year for an alignment and balance is a good investment.

So I'd advise approaching this particular tire and tire size with caution, as there are significant tradeoffs. Regardless of the tire brand you purchase, the 255/85/16 is a substantially taller tire, and the reduction in power and fuel economy is a real thing. Otherwise, they're great. Happy tire hunting.


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I think those are mostly issues with moving to a larger tire size, not necessarily related to the skinny tire size - in fact I think having the skinny tire size on actually mitigated a lot of those issues over moving to a 285 size tire.
 

Dipodomys

Observer
I think those are mostly issues with moving to a larger tire size, not necessarily related to the skinny tire size - in fact I think having the skinny tire size on actually mitigated a lot of those issues over moving to a 285 size tire.
I agree, and I've never liked wider tires for that reason. A wider tire would have been even nosier, heavier, and more prone to wear. These tires provide additional height without as many of those disagreeable consequences. The 255/85/16 is about 33.1 inches in diameter when new, and about 10 inches wide. That's compared to the 30.6-inch tires that were on the truck from the factory. 2.5 inches is a sizeable jump in diameter, with predictable consequences. A regear will help address some of the highway performance and fuel mileage concerns, but won't fully eliminate them. For every action there is a reaction...I think I heard that somewhere.
 

crazysccrmd

Observer
I’ll be looking at the Mastercraft Courser CXT for my next tires. It’s hard to beat $670 for a new set of tires, especially if they perform as well as people say.
 
We installed the 255/85r16 Mastercraft Courser CXT this week. First time I have been able to make it out of the driveway in 2wd this winter. We have spent some time in wet slushy snow, mud and highway. We do have some increased road noise over the old highway tires that were on there but nothing like a traditional mud terrain. We are taking a trip to Seattle this weekend and will be able to report back on loss in MPG but it feels like a pretty light wheel and tire combo. The 4.0 has plenty of power for our needs even with stock gearing. We have been impressed so far with performance and very happy with the price. We spent less than 800 and free shipping from amazon.

We will continue to update as we spend more time on them.
503933503934
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
We installed the 255/85r16 Mastercraft Courser CXT this week. First time I have been able to make it out of the driveway in 2wd this winter. We have spent some time in wet slushy snow, mud and highway. We do have some increased road noise over the old highway tires that were on there but nothing like a traditional mud terrain. We are taking a trip to Seattle this weekend and will be able to report back on loss in MPG but it feels like a pretty light wheel and tire combo. The 4.0 has plenty of power for our needs even with stock gearing. We have been impressed so far with performance and very happy with the price. We spent less than 800 and free shipping from amazon.

We will continue to update as we spend more time on them.
Can we get an update?? :)

Just wondering if they got louder after a few thousand miles as most tires do, and what your thoughts are after finishing out the winter. These tires are my choice for replacing the ST Maxx's on my TJ this summer. I don't need the 3-ply carcass of the Maxx's on the Jeep, and I'm sure it'll appreciate a lighter set of tires...
Thanks!!
 

TernOverland

Supporting Sponsor Ternoverland.com
Can we get an update?? :)

Just wondering if they got louder after a few thousand miles as most tires do, and what your thoughts are after finishing out the winter. These tires are my choice for replacing the ST Maxx's on my TJ this summer. I don't need the 3-ply carcass of the Maxx's on the Jeep, and I'm sure it'll appreciate a lighter set of tires...
Thanks!!
I have run this tire extensively on ice and snow with great results. The center blocks were siped though, and that makes a difference. They are a softer ride than the Maxx's I am running now, and neither tire has even had so much as a flat. Another option is the Dick Cepek Extreme Country. It's another Cooper variant with the 2 ply sidewall. I am siping mine now and will have them mounted soon. They shave a full 8 pounds off the Maxx. Really nice looking tire. Looking forward to a lighter construction on my Tacoma than the Maxx.
 

austintaco

Explorer
I ended up getting the KM3’s at NTB. Compared to the same size 255/85/16 KM2’s the contact patch is not as wide, but it seemed like the road ride was much smoother. One tire/wheel did take 7 weights on the side, but I am going back to find out how they balanced them.
 

austintaco

Explorer
I think they have been available for a month or two in limited supply. I think they are readily available now. The Yokohama MT is about $40 less per tire, but hardly any reviews, and none in this size. I had such a good experience with my KM2’s over 6 years and 45K that I went with the KM3.
 
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