the Goodyear® Wrangler
After nearly a decade long run of the extremely popular
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R, the engineers at Goodyear
finally updated it's line with the Goodyear's Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar.
Although the tire carries forward the well known name of
its predecessor, the Kevlar is not the same Wrangler
MT/R by any means. Completely redesigned for
strength and multi terrain supremacy while maintaining
quality handling on the paved road. Goodyear
accomplished this by creating a new asymmetric tread
design that blends multiple tread patterns into a single
footprint and increased it's sidewall puncture
resistance strength by a reported 35% over the previous
generation MTR with the addition of a third ply layer of
Kevlar. Use of Kevlar is new to offroad mud
tires. Kevlar, registered trademark for a
high strength para-aramid synthetic fiber, is light
weight, very strong and puncture resistant. Most
notably known for use in personal body armor such as
combat helmets and ballistic vests because of its high
tensile strength-to-weight ratio, it is 5 times stronger
than steel on an equal weight basis. Kevlar was first
commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement
for steel in racing tires. When used in the
offroad tire, this translates into a more markedly more
durable tire pound for pound when compared to other
similarly plyed aggressive mud tires.
One of the
key characteristics of an offroad tire is the durability
to survive the offroad's abusive elements.
This is where the Goodyear Kevlar excels. The
3-ply Dupont Kevlar sidewalls use an advanced opposing
cord angles creating much improved sidewall protection
over standard 3-ply sidewalls resisting punctures and
cuts. Additional wrap-around tread adds even more
resistance to the elements. Many users as well as
publication trail testing attest to MTR Kevlar's
sidewall durability to the point of being considered
bulletproof. While our testing didn't involve some
of the extreme terrain of the rocky regions around the
country that would have put the sidewalls to the test,
we do run these tires through trails that have been
known to slice a sidewall. One location in
particular would be the coal regions of PA where broken
shale can become dagger-like and puncture not just
sidewalls but weak tread. A good year and a half
of trail runs in these areas have not phased the MTR
Kevlars on these vehicles.
Long Lasting Treadlife
DuPont Kevlar reinforced
sidewalls help increase sidewall
puncture resistance by 35%
Goodyear Sidewall Penetration Energy
- LT285/70R17 LR-D-65 psi.)
Mud is another challenge that
frequently presents itself in many areas of the
country. While the extreme mud tires on
the market force buyers to compromise between a
good mud performer or a tire with good on-road
manners, Goodyear struck a balance with the
Wrangler MTR Kevlar tire. The unique
asymmetric multi purpose tread pattern has
specific tread sections that were designed for
specific terrain with the outer lugs giving
great traction in mud, loose dirt and snow and
the inner tight tread giving the tire a decent
ride on the road.
Hardworking wraparound tread
helps to deliver sidewall traction
in deep mud, sand, and rocks.
Outer lugs and void channel mud away
from the center of the tire
improving self clean out.
Silica rubber provides superb
off-road and wet traction. Advanced
mudflow geometry is self-cleaning
and enhances mud traction.
Snow & Mud Performance
had the pleasure of a couple of winter seasons in the PA
mountains riding on Goodyear Wrangler MTR Kevlars.
On several occasions we were fighting our way through
20+ inch snow drifts and pushing our way through the
trails in snow well above 1 to 1½
feet of snow with little trouble finding traction.
Compared to the other tires along for the winter trail
runs including the Super Swamper SSR's and the
Mickey-Thompson-Baja-MTZ, the Kevlar's performed the
best without question.
Spring and fall presented many
opportunities to get the Kevlars muddy. Just like
in snow the Kevlars found traction easily and cleaned
well. We never had a problem with mud caking up in
Rock Crawling Performance
One of the trails that we recently
started navigating is a loop along the back property
line. Cut out as an access road by a 26 ton
bulldozer, the trail is nothing but rocks and boulders.
If it wasn't for the fact that the trail was recently
cut wider than the first pass that was made by the
bulldozer, there would be locations where it was
impassible due to the size of the boulders and the
break-over angles. Now we can choose our lines and
make it through. Aired down to about 18 psi, the
Kevlars still felt stiff in the sidewall. 18 psi
was the lowest we had air down to mainly to make it over
some of the break-over angles with the rocks. The
silica rubber compound though got great grip on the
rocks. Even though there was some wheel spin on a
few occasions and some sidewall abrasions, the rubber
held together very well. No chipping or gouging.
The season after, they felt better with sidewall flex at
about 20 psi so the years worth of driving seemed to
loosen them up a little. Over-all a great tire on
Innovative asymmetric tread design
helps provide aggressive off-road
traction and enhanced handling on
On-Road & Wet Weather
Once again, the asymmetric multi
purpose tread pays dividends with on-road handling even
in wet weather. The large outer lugs as well as
the tight inner lugs have sipes, which are the slits
seem within the lug. Sipes give additional
traction biting edges that really aid when the road is
wet compared to non-siped mud tires. Handling is
positive with very little vague floating feeling of many
larger mud tires. Road noise is on the low side
for a mud tire. With a driving distance of about
250 miles one way we had put several thousand miles on
our Kevlars. So far tread wear is next to nothing
as far as we can tell and we are glad to hear that many
users are getting a great number of miles out of their
MTR's, up above 25,000 with plenty of tread to go.
Though the tires were on the expensive side, there is no
regrets and would recommend them and probably buy
another set when these wear out.
Definitely a top notch mud tire.
For more information see
Goodyear's description of the Wrangler MT/R Kevlar.