A new tire review from forum member Richard Howard, one of DezertDimes.com’s new Frontpage Editors!
We all go in search of the perfect tire. For your trail rig, your daily driver, for your wife’s rig, for your tow rig. There are many different choices and styles. For me one of the best tires I have ever found for a compromise between DD and off road prowess has been the Wild Country XTX Sport Radial. I’m so happy with this tire, I’m going on set 2, and about to buy set 3!
This is a 50,000 mile rated all-terrain tire, designed for a quiet ride, good on and off road handling, and long life. The tire size I am running is a 31×10.50/15’s. I am running one set on my stock Ford Ranger wheels, and the others on a set of Jeg’s 15×8 inch Baja-8 style wheel.
Mud handling is competent. These tires do a fairly good job of removing the mud from in between the lugs, and give a good sense of grip and tire spin when in the mud. The tread profile on the side really helps give some extra bite in the mud. Now I have been defeated in the mud with these tires, but that was mostly due to my “I can go anywhere I want!” mentality, that really isn’t what I can do!
As for the sand, these tires were great, offering great traction in even the loosest sand that I could find. I was tooling the Dunes, in Florence, Oregon, and the only reason I couldn’t get anywhere was lack of power, these tires climbed with the best of them, and let me go anywhere. I was only aired down to about 20 psi, and they had plenty of flex to give me the extra float and bite I needed in the sand. Mind you, I was running in a stock 97 Ford Ranger 4×4. I spent most of my time in 2wd, and only switched to 4wd when I ran out of momentum and had to back down a hill, as these were mounted on my four wheel drive.
Rocks are not this tires forte. But they are very comparable. Aired down to about 15 PSI, they had plenty of side bite with the aggressive tread pattern, and spread out well over the surface of the rock and allowed the truck to easily climb up and over whatever I pointed the vehicle at. I have had better tires in the rocks, but I wouldn’t hesitate to take these tires down the meanest rock, they do a very good job at resisting punctures on the tread and the sidewalls.
I owned these tires for a year while I lived in Montana, with some of the meanest snow storms you have ever seen. On ice, they weren’t king, but they would never leave you stranded. In powder snow, I was blasting through the deepest stuff, following a highly modded Toyota. Truly not much more fun then watching these tires throw snow and keep the traction when you needed it!
Most of these tires’ life was spent on the road however, daily driving duties, rain, towing, empty, you know the drill. These tires offer a quiet ride, you do hear them, but compared to a BFG All-Terrain, they are more silent running down the road. These tires do an amazing job of pushing water out of the way, as I live in Washington, and for a short time I was in Tennessee, and South Carolina, where the storms can down right dump rain, these tires never have lost traction. It was only when I was really trying to break loose, that I finally got them to kick out, and believe me, that took a LOT of trying. Towing was probably the hardest thing these tires saw in their life with me, and even with a full bed, and a 3500 lb trailer in tow, aired up properly showed very little side wall flex. The track very straight down the road, and don’t follow the grooves in the road to badly, I attribute this to a lot of sidewall bite that helps them stay on track and keeps them climbing out of whatever you throw at them.
All in all these are a great tire. I have taken them everywhere, and then some. The tires currently mounted to my Ford, are approaching the 50k mile mark, and still have life left in them. The only issues I have ever have had with these tires was due to the wheels loosing a weight, or the misalignment on the truck. Because of the strong showing on my four wheel drive truck, I have also decided these would be a great tire for my two-wheel drive truck as well. These tires are offered in a variety of sizes, and can be had up to a 35 inch tire. I purchased them from my local Les Schwab Tire Center, and they are also available at many sources online. A big thanks to Les Schwab for their awesome customer service; and Davis Blosl working for Les Schwab, a close friend of mine that also is my go to guy for all things tires, suspensions and brakes.