TESTED: FALKEN WILDPEAK TYRES
FRESH RUBBER FROM THE FALKEN WILDPEAK RANGE.
JAPANESE tyre company Falken has a full range of rubber to suit 4x4s and SUVS, from high-performance road tyres to heavy duty muddies. However, it’s the Falken Wildpeak range that will appeal to most 4x4 owners. The Wildpeak range comprises highway, all-terrain and mud-terrain models, and we’ve been playing with the recently updated Wildpeak A/T3W all-terrains and MT01 muddies.
The Wildpeak range was developed following countless victories for Falken customers at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, USA, when it was a gravel road to the top. The Falken brand is still widely used by top American competitors in off-road racing and rock crawling.
THE Wildpeak A/T3W is the latest generation of all-terrain tyre from Falken and follows the trend of being a more aggressive AT tyre. Bigger and more open tread blocks and protrusions on the upper shoulders for added protection are just some of the features that give the A/T3W the tough tyre look so many enthusiasts who don’t want an MT tyre seek.
But it’s not all about the look. Those chunky tread blocks feature supports and ramps to maintain tread stability when cornering on sealed and gravel roads, all while allowing an open enough design to eject mud and rocks from the tread. Likewise, the 3D sipes interlock to add stability while still getting water away from the tread face in the wet. A unique silica compound enhances both traction and tread-wear to create a great all-purpose 4x4 tyre.
The benefits of an all-terrain over a mud-terrain tyre include improved on-road ride and handling, plus they’re a much quieter tyre. The A/T3W excels here, delivering a quiet and comfortable ride with predictable stability and braking performance.
That stability at speed is maintained on gravel roads, and the aggressive design will get you over most obstacles and protect against punctures when off-road. The A/T3W conquered a particularly snotty hill climb in our Ranger with relative ease.
The Wildpeak A/T3W is available in a range of popular sizes to fit 15- to 18-inch wheels – which is handy.
FOR those who genuinely need a mudterrain tyre, the Wildpeak MT01 is the Falken muddy that benefits the most from years of off-road competition development. A three-ply ‘Duraspec’ sidewall with an extra two-ply that wraps around protects against the harsh impacts of rocks, sticks and other nasties that threaten to puncture tyres in the bush when off-roading.
Like the A/T3W, the rugged tread blocks of the MT feature steps to support the tread and maintain contact patch when cornering for improved handling and braking on wet, dry, sealed or dirt roads. Ridges between the tread blocks are there to help eject rocks and mud that would otherwise press through the tyre and puncture it.
Tyre noise and road manners aren’t up to the standards of an all-terrain or highway tyre, but the tread pattern of the MT01 has been optimised to deliver the best on these fronts without compromising off-road ability. When the going gets real tough, the side lugs at the upper edge of the tread shoulder are designed to take full advantage of low tyre pressures and provide extra grip.
We took the Wildpeak MT01 through some mud and rocks and found it delivered what it promised. We only dropped to 20psi and it crawled nicely over rocks, squirmed through the mud, and cleared itself quickly with a bit of wheel speed.
The Wildpeak MT01 is available in a range of popular off-road sizes to fit 15to 20-inch wheels.
Check them and the Falken range online at www.falken.com.au.
WILD PEAK A/T3W
The MT01 benefits from years of off-road competition.