Nitto Ridge Grappler vs BFG KO2

So, you’ve decided to enter the world of off-roading. If you have got yourself an off-road vehicle or SUVs like a Jeep, or even a truck, you definitely need the right tires for the job.

Of course, all tires were not created equal and you have tons of different options: On-road, off-road, and the best of both worlds: all-terrain.

The all-terrain tire can be taken on normal roads on your way to your kids’ soccer game and off-road into the harsh unforgiving desert.

With the Nitto Ridge Grappler and the BFG KO2 being both excellent contenders for the all-terrain tire championship, let’s take a look at which one will win!

What Are All-Terrain Tires?

Nitto Ridge Grappler vs BFG KO2

All-Terrain tires are the tires you can install to your SUV or truck to take it off the road, and still use it on the road whenever you like. They’re useful if you are into hiking, safari, or if you simply like to go to the great outdoors.

The key element of all-terrain tires is that they can drive on pretty much anything: mud, sand, snow, dirt, you name it, it drives on it.

While some people will prefer to go for the entirely off-road tires if their car is being mainly used for off-roading, the all-terrain tires are perfect for the everyman driver.

Now, do you need to buy all-terrain tires? It depends. Some people think that you should only buy all-terrain tires if you’re going off-road, but not necessarily.

Obviously, if you ARE going off-road, you need them, but if you never go off-road, it’s best to stick to normal tires. So, if you’re going to spend an adequate amount of time on-road and off-road, they’re a great choice. Here’s why:

  • Better Traction: All-terrain tires have an open-tread design with bigger channels between each tread, allowing the catching of sand, gravel, and any debris that comes in the car’s way. This makes sure that the car doesn’t slip and slide all over, and maintains its stability throughout the ride.
  • It’s Good Year-Round: If you live in a snowy environment like Canada or up north, you likely have to switch between your summer and winter tires each season, which can be an unnecessary hassle. With all-terrain tires, they work both in summer and in winter, so you can save yourself the trouble. Whether it’s dry, wet, or freezing, they adapt to the rough weather and environment.
  • Better Sidewalls: If you need to carry a heavier load, then the all-terrain tires will definitely help you out, with their improved sidewall reinforcement. So, if you’re going on a trip or you carry a lot of loads, such as in a truck, for work, then you definitely need to get yourself a pair.
  • Higher Durability: Obviously, if a tire can go on rough gravel and mud, then it’s tougher and more durable than your normal tire. So, say goodbye to little bottlecaps tearing up the rubber, as the all-terrain tires are much thicker, with stronger piles and tread. The pattern itself is designed so all those tiny damaging elements just get caught and wicked away as you drive.

It’s important to differentiate between all-terrain tires and all-season tires, however. All-season tires are meant to be used in any season under any weather, but for normal cars and everyday drivers on normal roads.

The all-terrain tires are designed to work both on-road and off-road and to handle harsh terrain. The biggest difference is in the tread pattern, as all-terrain tires have a more aggressive and tough pattern meant to tackle anything it encounters on the road. On the other hand, all-season tires just look like every other normal tire. 

What Cars Take All-Terrain Tires?

There are three main cars where you’ll find the most sets of all-terrain tires: Trucks, SUVs, and RVs. If a car is a four-wheel drive, you may also find a set.

This is because these cars tend to carry the heaviest loads and do the toughest work: Whether hauling goods or equipment, driving large families, or acting as an entire homemade to be driven.

So, does that mean you should add them to an SUV? Not quite, either. If you have a massive tank of a Jeep but all you use it for is driving to work on paved roads and going to the grocery store, then you don’t really need that kind of tires.

Nitto Ridge Grappler vs BFG KO2 – Which Is Better?

Toyo, which is the company that makes Nitto tires, and BFGoodrich have both been in the tire game for a long time, and it’s definitely a heated competition.

The Toyo Tire Corporation was founded in 1945, and they have consistently produced tires of the highest quality.

Toyo is the parent company of Nitto, perhaps their most famous all-terrain tires, and they are even used in competitions on the track. You will find a lot of people on Nitto’s side, specially mustang fans.

On the other hand, BFG has been in the tire game long before being acquired by Michelin in 1990, and their tires are the go-to for off-roading.

BFG tires can withstand anything you throw at them, especially in the rough conditions, weather, and roads. As for the battle between the Nitto Ridge Grappler and BFG KO2, let’s see!

The Nitto Ridge Grappler

The Nitto Ridge Grappler

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The Nitto Ridge Grappler is all about reinforced strength and tread. It aims at reducing the maximum amount of tread and making sure nothing stands in its way.

It incorporates a “stone ejector”, which wicks away any small rocks or stones on the ground. The Nitto Ridge Grappler is actually not 100% an all-terrain tire, but more of the child of an all-terrain tire and mud-terrain tire.

With the Grappler, you get a hybrid pattern, shoulder lugs, and step block edges. The Grappler is also quiet and comfortable, which is always a plus with those heavy-duty cars and tires. The zigzag pattern bites edges for traction.

The BFG KO2

BFG KO2

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What is better than Nitto Ridge Grappler? The BFG KO2 is your classic and ideal tire for off-roading, it makes use of the latest advances in technology to be your “modern” tire, with technology such as CoreGuard, designed for resisting bruises and cuts with sidewall rubber.

The KO2 also has 3-D sipes, giving you a long-lasting life and even a 50,000 mile-warranty from the ge-go. Because it’s so good for off-roading, you get an excellent grip, even though it’s not the best on the sand.

The serrated shoulder design definitely helps, and its forte is its traction on mud, snow, and its sidewall strength.

Now that the quick introduction to both fighters is over, let’s get to the real fight, category by category:

Durability

Both the KO2 and the Ridge Grappler are durable, with their strengthened sidewalls that will save their sides. If you have to pick one, the BFG KO2 might be your better choice in that regard, even though all-terrain tires are generally not as durable as mud tires.

This goes to show how special this version is. The CoreGuard and Tri-Guard technology, and tread design definitely lend a hand here, since they add such reinforcement.

With the Grappler, the stone ejectors and block foundation keep the tires steady and stable and prevents the tires from going crazy and dancing all over the road.

Off-Road Performance

Off-road performance is really the major deciding factor if you’re taking these cars out. When it comes to off-road, the tread is all that matters.

The BFG KO2 will blow your socks off on snow and slippery roads. Both tires have creative designs and treads, with the Nitto Ridge Grappler having the zig-zag and shoulder grooves.

The step block edges also give a major boost off-road. On the other hand, the BFG KO2 has a more irregular design that’s definitely better off-road than it is on-road.

Because the Nitto Ridge Grappler has soft compounds, we have to give the win to the BFG KO2 with its 20% additional sidewall strength.

On-Road Performance

Okay, maybe you are planning on spending a large chunk of your time on-road, which is totally acceptable.

First of all, it’s important to note that the Nitto Ridge Grappler is quieter, which blocks a lot of road noise because of the hybrid tire compound and tight treads.

So, does that mean the KO2 is super noisy? Well, it’s about the same as any off-road tire, so if you’re used to that, it’s fine, but if you want something completely quiet, then go for the Nitto Ridge Grappler.

Are Nitto Ridge Grapplers good on the highway? Absolutely. When it comes to the performance on paved roads itself, then the Nitto Ridge Grappler also takes the win because of its better tread.

Comfort

We’ve already mentioned that the Ridge Grappler is less noisy, and it’s quite comfortable too since mud-terrain tires are generally more comfortable.

The zig-zag grooves, pitch tread block, and reinforced block foundation all work to create a smooth ride with great steering and stability.

On the other hand, you may be surprised by the comfort level of the KO2, despite being an all-terrain tire. Yes, while it doesn’t have much noise suppression, it has an interlocking tread design which makes it more comfortable on road.

Traction

Here is what everything comes down to in tires. Both the KO2 and Ridge Grappler have an outstanding grip on the road with their tread designs.

Both tires will give you excellent handling on mud and highways, with the Grappler’s stone ejector technology and the KO2 mud ejection technology.

However, we’ll give the win to the KO2 because of how well it does on slippery roads, ice, and snow. Remember those 3-D sipes? They really up the ante when it comes to snow and traction in general.

Steering and Stability

Steering is always directly linked to the sidewalls, so the KO2 will give you superior steering with its stiff sidewalls and CoreGuard technology.

As for stability, we also have to give it to the KO2 because of its lighter weight. However, some reviewers have noticed some problems with balance with the BFG KO2, so keep that in mind.

Who Will Last Longer?

How many miles do Nitto Ridge Grapplers last? You can expect your Nitto Ridge Grapplers to go up to 60,000 miles or even more with proper care.

The way you handle your tires and take care of them will ultimately decide how long the tire will last, but 60,000 is a good ballpark.

What about the BFG KO2? The KO2 might last a little bit less, actually. It depends on whether it’s on-road or off-road. With off-road, you can get around 40,000 miles out of it regardless of the type of terrain.

With on-road driving, however, that number can go a bit higher to 50,000 miles. Remember, the BFG KO2 does come with a 50,000-mile warranty and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

Price

At the end of the day, the price may decide everything if you’re on a strict budget. The Nitto Ridge Grapplers are actually more expensive, even though the KO2 might have some better features for different environments. Still, it’s up to you to decide given the features and what you’re going to use them for.

See Also: Nitto Trail Grappler vs Ridge Grappler

Conclusion

Both tires are excellent choices to add to your car or truck. They’re both actually quite similar, and the more similar they are, the less huge the choice is going to be since you will be getting high-quality performance from both with no issues.

If you’re going off-road more, then choose the BFG KO2, but if you’re going on-roads more, then go for the Nitto Ridge Grappler. Both tires have excellent traction, though the KO2 might be superior.

As far as comfort, the Nitto Ridge Grappler will be less noisy and more comfortable off-road. As for durability, the BFG KO2’s advancements in technology prove to be more durable.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you and your choice but if we had to make a recommendation in general, it would be the BFG KO2.

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