Head-To-Head: Pro-Line BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2 vs. Traxxas BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A

Pro Line recently introduced their version of the BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2. The tires are molded in Pro Line’s M2 (medium) compound and come with their molded, closed cell inserts. The tires are a direct replica of the full scale tire, down to the sidewall lettering. When I first saw these tires, I knew I had to try them as I am a BFG fanboy of sorts and I love the look of that tire. My immediate thought was, “How will these compare to the S1 BFG’s from Traxxas?”

I have had a set of those tires in S1 (soft) compound for quite a long time and I have used them on everything from an SCX10 (surprisingly they work well as a crawler tire) to my LCG 2wd to a HCG Slash 4×4. They are good tires; I can see why Traxxas includes them with the Platinum Edition 4×4 as they are a good upgrade over the stock compound. They are the softest tire that Traxxas offers for SC trucks and look really nice with their white sidewall lettering and scale replica tread.

I tested both sets of tires on my HCG Slash 4×4 and LCG 2wd, both of which have 4300kv 4-poles and run on 2s. The tires were tested on the same surfaces back to back for the closest comparison that I could achieve. I ordered a new set of S1 compound BFG’s for this test as I wanted this test to be as accurate as possible. Pro Line was kind enough to send me a complete set of KR2’s for this test. Whether I paid for the tires out of pocket or not had no bearing on my results. All data and results are representative of 30 hours of testing on multiple surfaces over the course of two weeks.

OUT OF THE PACKAGE: Both the Traxxas S1 BFG’s and Pro Line KR2’s were pre-glued to wheels and the glue jobs on both sets were spot on with no runs, drips, or gaps. I had no issues with either brand coming un-glued during testing.

ASPHALT: I have a textured concrete driveway that is more abrasive than a tennis court surface and offers excellent traction. I have a hard time with drift cars on this surface because of how much grip it offers! The Traxxas Mud Terrains have really good forward bite but the sidewalls lack support and allow the tread to roll under during cornering which causes unpredictable handling and leads to a lot of traction rolling. The roll is nearly impossible to catch as it comes on so sudden. I attribute this to the soft inserts that Traxxas uses not being able to support the sidewall during hard cornering.
The Pro Line tires surprised me here. I expected amazing traction out of the bag but they just would not hook up at all. With the 4×4, I could transition drifts without losing momentum. I found this really odd as I have ran other M2 compound PL tires on this same surface with great results. The same traction issues were noted on every surface I tried them on that first day. I was concerned that something had gone wrong with the tires so I gave Pro Line’s tech support department a call and asked what was going on. They informed me that the BFG tires needed up to eight packs worth of run time to achieve their full traction potential. After the first pack of running on the textured concrete the tires were still as shiny and new looking as when I had first pulled them out of the bag. I ran a total of 10 packs through the truck on those tires over two days of testing and they improved every pack. Now the traction is above what I expected. Forward bite is excellent, pulling wheelies in both the 4×4 and 2wd, and braking was strong and controllable as well. Where I was most surprised though was when turning; the tires didn’t want to hook and roll like the Traxxas units did despite having more tread on the sidewall. They would pitch the truck onto two wheels if pushed too far but the roll was much slower and more predictable and could often be caught before the truck went onto its lid. This is where the molded closed cell inserts really shine. The 2wd was less prone to this rolling than the 4×4 due to its lower center of gravity but exhibited similar handling traits. Overall the Pro Line KR2’s outperformed the S1 Mud Terrains by a sizable margin on textured asphalt. In addition to performing better, they also exhibited less wear than the soft S1 tire and still have 90% of their tread left.

GRASS: The S1 tires do well here. They don’t have as much sidewall tread as the PL tires and don’t catch surface irregularities as often. They slide in corners more but don’t catch and roll the truck as frequently. Forward traction is okay, not great, but not bad either. The tires perform better on the 4×4 than the 2wd which has more power than the two drive wheels can handle. The 4×4 will spin all four tires from a stand still but hook up quickly.

The KR2’s have more forward traction and more grip during cornering but had a tendency to grab in corners and traction roll. I attribute this to the sidewall tread that is more pronounced than on the Traxxas tires. These lugs provide a lot of grip and sometimes that grip is more than the chassis can handle. The KR2’s still perform better all around than the S1 Mud Terrains as long as you keep an eye on your corner speed.

LOOSE DIRT: The Traxxas S1 compound works really well in loose, damp dirt. It is able to bite into the surface and gives predictable performance both in acceleration and braking as well as cornering. The tires would slide a little (which prevented traction rolling) and then hook and go in the next direction you point the truck. The 2wd fared nearly as well, just with more oversteer from the lack of driven wheels.
The Pro Line KR2’s performed at their best in this scenario. The large tread blocks bite into the loose surface and propel the truck forward with so much grip it would pull wheelies (not a bad feat for a 4×4). In corners the inserts kept the tires from rolling under and the sidewall tread added even more cornering grip. Both the 4×4 and 2wd were easier to drive on this surface using the PL tires and I didn’t have to make the walk of shame once during all of my testing (which was five half-hour packs in each truck).

HARD PACKED DIRT: Neither tire did well on this surface. They both had a hard time biting into the terrain and would merely skate on top. The Traxxas tires were slightly easier to drive here, mainly thanks to their soft compound and smaller siped lugs that are able to put more pressure on the ground over a smaller area. They did poorly on the 4×4 and were completely useless on the 2wd. The track (if you can call it that, it was abandoned years ago and has not seen any maintenance since 2007-ish) is very hard dirt with a loose silty layer on top and I have not found a tire yet that works there. I do not fault either tire for this, it is just a bad surface to drive on.
The Pro Line’s would not hook up over 1/4 throttle in the 4×4 without breaking traction. The large tread blocks and firm inserts just couldn’t find traction on this surface. The 2wd was uncontrollable; each application of the throttle, no matter how minute, would result in the truck facing the direction in which it had came. Again, these tires were not designed for this type of surface so this is not surprising.

WEAR: Both sets of tires held up well during testing (which was a total of about 30 packs on each tire) and neither show excessive wear. The Pro Line KR2 is molded in one of their firmest compounds (M2) and despite this performed extremely well on most surfaces. After the lengthy break-in process the KR2’s show little signs of wear. The S1 Mud Terrains wore in a similar fashion but provided less overall traction in nearly all situations.

PRICE: The Traxxas S1 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A’s (part #5873R) have a MSRP of $28 per pair and are pre-glued to satin chrome wheels with red faux beadlock rings. The wheels are designed for Slash 2wd rear and 4×4 front and rear.
The Pro Line BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2 tires (part #10123-13) come pre-mounted to black Renegade wheels and have a MSRP of $44.95 per pair, including molded closed cell inserts and also fit the Slash 2wd rear or 4×4 front and rear.

ADVANTAGE: Traxxas. Caveat: While the Traxxas tires are quite a bit cheaper, you do get less for your money. The tires do not perform as well and the closed cell inserts in the Pro Line tires are an upgrade over the stock Traxxas inserts.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The Traxxas BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A is a good looking, good performing tire. The S1 compound helps it to find grip on a multitude of surfaces and the price is low for pre-mounted tires and wheels. The inserts could be better and the compound could be softer (it is claimed to be a race tire compound, after all) but all in all it is a good tire. The Pro Line BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2 is a better performing tire that lasts longer, has more scale detail, includes better inserts, and is made in the USA. The price is a little higher, but you do get what you pay for. After nearly 30 hours behind the trigger with both sets of tires, I can say that I am impressed with how well the Pro Line tires performed. They may take a little time to reach their full potential but when they do, they are an impressive tire.

Here are the Pro Line BFG’S after 15 hours of running:

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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Links: Pro Line KR2 https://www.prolineracing.com/tires/…tires-mounted/
Traxxas S1 Mud Terrain https://traxxas.com/products/parts/5873R