Kumho MT51 mud terrain tyre 10,000km report

By Evan Spence 6 Min Read

Tyre reviews are funny things. Which is why I’ve decided to not call this a review. You see, I’ve done just over 10,000km on the Kumho MT51s I had fitted up by the team at Bob Jane Penrith. And I must say, those 10,000kms have been trouble-free. Which you’d expect. 

The reason I don’t want to call this a review, is because I haven’t tested these tyres to their absolute limits yet. I don’t know how many kilometres I’ll get out of them before they’ll need replacing. So I’ll be sure to check back in a few years, for a full review, when I have the data. 

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However, it is safe to say that I have formed a very strong opinion of the Kumho MT51s in the 10,000kms I’ve driven on them. So far the signs are incredibly positive. But I kind of knew that already… This is actually my second set of these tyres, I ran them on a GQ Patrol previously and had a great run out of them before I sold the vehicle. Basically, I saw no reason to not run them on the FJ Cruiser. 

How are they wearing? 

My suspension is definitely on the way out, so I would have expected some weird wear patterns on the front of the tyres. But nope. Both the front and rear tyres are wearing nice and evenly. 

After 10,000kms, it looks like I’ve worn out about 2mm of tread. When new, I measured 14mm of tread depth, and now I’m down to 12mm. While these might seem like a bit, it’s really not. When tyres are new, the rubber will compress as well as wear out. So it’s perfectly normal to see this. I have since done a full rotation and will rotate these tyres regularly to get the most out of them, and I will take tread measurements at each rotation because I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to tyres. 

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Are they loud?

Not really. My roof rack is louder than the tyres, and I don’t think that’s loud. You can hear them, I’ll say that. But it’s not intrusive or a roar. Honestly, considering how aggressive the tread pattern is, I thought they’d be louder than they are. This is my only (road-registered) car, so it gets driven to the shops, on the highway and on all our off-road adventures. And the noise has never been brought up by my better half. Naturally, they will get louder as they wear. So far – I’m impressed. 

On-road performance 

Fitting these tyres has increased my fuel consumption. But I’ve also gone up a size to 285x70r17. The last time I checked, when fully loaded and towing a small camper trailer, my FJ Cruiser was using around 14L per hundred kilometres. Before fitting the tyres, and without towing, I was using around 12L per hundred. I’m happy to wear that increase, for the increase in off-road performance I’ve gained. 

In terms of grip, an FJ Cruiser is hard on tyres, being a rear wheel drive vehicle with a sprightly petrol 4.0L V6 engine. I also live in the Blue Mountains, which has crap road surfaces with many corners. We’ve also had an insane amount of rain of late. And I’ve not had a single issue. They are handling better than I expected so far, and I feel confident even in bad conditions. The Kumho MT51s has a nice grippy tread compound it seems. 

Where have you been off-road? 

In those 10,000ks I’ve been to the Turon River, Stockton Beach, Pebbly Beach  (twice – love that place), the Snowy Mountains and every few days I take the dog out for a walk at our local 4×4 track. I’ve taken the Kumho MT51s through sand, mud, rocks and gravel. No snow yet, sadly, but I’ll hopefully change that soon. 

Being a mud terrain tyre, they have been awesome in the sloshy Blue Mountains terrain. This is truely the conditions these tyres excel in. I’ve had no issues on sand, and find they bag out nicely at 16psi. Zero punctures, chips or cuts to report on also. 

What’s next? 

The next time I’ll be checking in, is when I’ve worn these tyres down to the point they need to be thrown out. I’ll be keeping the Kumho MT51s on my 4×4, and have no interest in swapping them out. Well, I might go to a bigger tyre, but that’s a discussion for another day.

For more info, check out Kumho’s website by CLICKING HERE.



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