NEW YOKOHAMA GEOLANDAR G003 TIRE
After a ten-year hiatus in building a new mud terrain tire, Yokohama had to ‘Go Strong’ in order to gain our attention. You are about to read some bold talk that deserves a hard-assed Canadian tire test – the kind where you virtually set out to destroy a tire.
“The M/T has it all: intimidating good looks, superior strength, proven performance and excellent traction in all on- and off-road terrains, from everyday highway driving to attacking steep, jagged rocks; muddy trails and desert sand”, said Andrew Briggs, Yokohama Tire senior director of tire business and product planning.
Yokohama says the toughness comes from their new Geo-Shield construction. Higher profile sidewall blocks give the tire a very aggressive look, protect the sidewall from damage, and improve traction whenever they can claw into the terrain – think mud, sand, rocks – that reach towards your rims.
True to many new tread designs it also incorporates alternating shoulder blocks for improved traction to pull you out of ruts, and built in stone ejectors to keep the voids clear.
Yokohama says they’ve designed the optimal tread block-to-void ratio for the best traction while their sipe design has resulted in shorter stopping distances on wet roads.
A new high-density tread compound has extended tread life, and in combination with in a flatter profile, they say they’ve decreased tread wear. While they don’t offer a tread wear warranty (no mud terrain tire I know of comes with one) they do offer a 30-day money-back trial pledge – a satisfaction guarantee.
Time will tell as we continue to rack up kilometres on the tire.
Yokohama actually declares that ‘a quiet, on-highway ride while maintaining offroad performance’ is due to their advanced variable pitch tread. ‘Quieter’ may be accurate, but no mud terrain tire including the Geolandar M/T G003 is quiet on the highway. Our first on-the-pavement drive after switching out the all-terrain Mickey Thompson A/T Deegan 38’s proved that, as you could literally feel the Geo M/T’s aggressively spaced tread blocks contacting
the road as we started to roll. Then the telltale hum of perfectly balanced mud terrain tires reached our ears as our speed increased.
They may be the quietest mud terrain tires currently on the market, as Yokohama says independent testing shows them to be 2.3dB quieter than the competition. The trouble is that amount is almost imperceptible to 50-year old ears like mine. But that shouldn’t deter you. If you want a quiet tire you shouldn’t be looking for a mud terrain, if you want great off-road performance – you should. Yokohama offers the tire in 37 sizes on 15"-20" rim diameters.
So is it just eye candy or is it the best new mud-terrain tire? We weren’t able to test the off-road or wet braking performance as the dry, desert conditions in southern BC created smoke, forest fires, and an Extreme Forest Fire Danger rating - not rain drops. Stayed tuned next issue as we find the limits of these tires off-road.
Price as tested for LT295/70R17 $278.44 USD/tire. www.yokohamatire.com
The shoulder blocks are staggered to bite into ruts and gain traction, and also have their own ‘Z’ tread in the side.
Functional sidewall armour protects and provides an aggressive look.
Large siped blocks provide wet and dry braking traction, while the large voids shed water, mud, dirt and sand.
Forest fires prevent off-road testing.