Review: Pro-Line BFGoodrich KO2 2.2″ Tires

I have been running a narrowed Proline Badlands 30 Series tire on my Baja Bug since I built it and it works great. Its narrow profile fits the theme of the truck and the tread pattern gets traction everywhere. The problem that I run into is that the tire is over 10 years old and the rubber is getting hard and dried out. I looked around at all of the SC tires on the market and nothing really suited the project so I spoke with Proline and we decided to try something a little out of the box. The 2.2″ BFGoodrich KO2 had the height and narrow profile that would suit the truck without being too tall. They stand at 5.43″ tall and 1.80″ wide and are molded in Proline’s G8 crawler compound. The tires include standard open-cell foam inserts that are full sized to support the entire carcass. I ran more than 20 packs through these tires on every surface imaginable and after ten hours behind the trigger I am really impressed with how well these tires coped with going fast. I mounted the tires to a set of RPM Revolver 2.2″ wide offset crawler wheels as they are the only 2.2″ wheel that will fit on a Slash 4×4 as well as the Baja Bug (a 2wd) and I plan to use them on another project soon as well.

ASPHALT:

Wow these tires hook! I was afraid that these tall tires would squirm around under acceleration and fold over during cornering but they held up much better than expected. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of sidewall to these tires and there is no getting around that fact (at least not without using a firm insert) but these tires do surprisingly well. If one were to use a closed cell insert or a two stage insert instead I believe that would help in higher traction situations. The truck is very stable under braking and doesn’t move around without provocation.

LOOSE DIRT:

The BFGoodrlich KO2’s have a more closed tread design that most SC tires and therefore don’t penetrate into a loose surface as well. They tend to slide on top of silt and dusty hard-pack and it makes for an interesting driving experience. Think more drifting and less point and shoot track driving. This is simply not what these tires are designed for but it is still fun to drive the truck like this.

HARD PACK/GROOVED CLAY:

On these higher grip, clean surfaces, the KO2’s behave similarly to driving on asphalt. They steer well when the front tires are on the ground, but keeping them there can be a chore. The forward traction is impressive, due mostly to the amount of tread on the surface at any given time. The side bite isn’t as harsh as you might expect either. When entering a corner too fast the truck will bicycle but it is fairly easy to catch.

ROUGH TERRAIN:

This is where this tire shines. The rougher the surface, the more the KO2 likes it. It will bite into rocky, rooted, nasty surfaces like no other SC tire does. I would even go so far as to say that these tires outperform the Badlands in this category (and that’s saying a lot coming from me). I took the truck to the trail that I usually run my trail trucks on and gave it a rip. It was an entirely different driving experience, watching the truck blast across the roots like they were ramps. When the truck would get to the rock gardens it was a little rougher going. Obviously a new set of tires isn’t going to make a 2wd Slash into a rock crawler but they do give you the ground clearance you need to clear some fairly large obstacles. I was able to drive up a large, smooth rock inclines (simply straight up, no articulation) and the tires never slipped. It surprised me how far the truck was able to climb without losing grip and sliding back to terra firma. I am going to mount these up to my 2.2 Clod next to see how they do on a real crawler.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS:

These tires are impressive. They were never designed to do what I have been doing with them but they never gave up. They could use a set of firmer inserts for this application (the softer inserts will conform to the rocks though) but that’s all that I would change for a go fast truck. If I were to do this again, I would cut the back bead to fit a 2.2/3.0″ diameter wheel which would open up my wheel choices since the RPM wheel is the only 2.2″ wheel that works on the 4×4.

Overall I am thrilled with how this experiment turned out. The tires grip on nearly every surface that I used them on and have worn well (they still have around 80% of their tread left). I love how they look on the Bug and they are not so tall that they put an unusual strain on the motor or drivetrain. I would recommend this tire to anyone wanting to build a Slash MT or has a need for a scale tire.

Item #10122-14
Link: https://www.prolineracing.com/tires/…n-truck-tires/

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