Falken Wildpeak MT01 Tyre Review

Falken Wildpeak MT01 Tyre Review

The last thing I claim to be is a tyre loyalist. Some people get a good run out of a set of tyres and stick with them for years to come, but I like to mix it up a little and try out the new and exciting stuff on the market. Which is why, when the Cooper ATR’s on the Patrol were getting a bit low and slipping around like a set of skates on ice; I decided to give the new Falken Wildpeak MT01 mud tyres a go.

The features of these tyres look comparable to some of the other big name brands. They include a 3 ply sidewall they name “Duraspec” which features an additional two high ply turn ups for an extra layer of protection. The centre tread blocks have a stepped design which is supposed to help with stability on the road and prevent the tread from holding stones, and of course they have the typical aggressive sidewall lugs that make muddies so effective. The going rate for a set of tyres of this size in a well-known brand seems to be between $300 to $400 each. The Falkens are only a couple of months on the market and came up on special at $270 AUD fitted and balanced.

I’ve chosen the same size that came off it, 265/75 R16 which is between 31 and 32 inches in the old sizing. Why not a 285/75? That’s what most four wheel drivers would go for, and it’ll fit easily on a Patrol. But no, I want to retain the fuel economy that comes with driving a 3 litre Patrol as much as possible.

Upon rolling out of the tyre shop, my first impression is that these tyres are impressively quiet! Although I do realise that muddies get noisier with age. The handling is a little sloppier than the old ATR’s, but that’s to be expected. With a trip to the Holland Track only 3 weeks away, I set about trying to rack up 1000km of driving before abusing the tyres off road. I read once that you need to give new tyres 1000km for the tread to compress, or they will tear chunks when you head off road. I am inclined to believe this after my last set of tyres tore to shreds on their first adventure. Those were only 200km new!

The Holland Track is a punishing one for tyres. One vehicle in our convoy destroyed all four highway terrain tyres. So I was keen to see how the Falkens came out the other end. In fact, over the whole 2000km two week goldfields trip I didn’t get a single torn lug, puncture or even a scratch on the sidewalls! Traction was impressive as expected, plenty of mud out there and these treads had no problem clearing themselves. They were hard to unsettle on high speed gravel too, and while stopping power was not as good as previous aggressive all terrain tyres I’ve owned; I didn’t hit any trees, so I guess that’s a pass!

Unfortunately, I have suffered the loss of nearly an entire lug right down to the tyre casing. This occurred a while after the goldfields trip at Sandy Cape, I suspect somewhere over the rough limestone. I did everything right, pressures down around 18PSI and a careful driving style; so I can’t really explain that! It has only happened in this one place though, so I’m going to write that off as misfortune. Aside from this, I’m very happy with this tyre! Coming up to 15,000k’s old now, they are still looking great; although that big old hum on the highway has now set in.

 

My final word: They are bloody tough and offer tons of traction. Costing only a little more than awful no name tyres, I reckon they are a bargain.

Alex

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