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Kumho's new MT51 over more than 20000km in the Australian outback Kumho torture tested the new MT51 over more than 20000km in the Australian outback

Kumho has turned to the harsh Australian outback to provide the real life test laboratory for its all-new mixed terrain tyre the Road Venturer MT51. Kumho put the prototype MT51s through an outback torture test in 2014 for final testing and proving ahead of final validation and sign off for production.

Using a convoy of four wheel drives across an extensive outback test course the new Kumho MT51 was also directly compared against the top selling mud terrain tyres from other brands. The new MT51s have now been released on the Australian market following the extensive testing and are available in many different sizes and a full range of wheel diameters.

According to Kumho Tyre Australia's marketing and training manager David Basha, the Australian outback was seen as an important test location to ensure the performance of the MT51 was proven in the toughest conditions.

"The MT51 is clearly going to be an important tyre for Kumho in Australia as well as other important markets around the world, so having an independent, validated and properly documented test across extremely harsh conditions," said David Basha. "We invited some of Australia's most experienced outback drivers and testers to test and assess the new MT51 and the findings were even better than we had hoped for," he added. "The MT51 has the opportunity to win a big share of a very important and valuable sector of the tyre market here in Australia and we believe that it will prove to be the new standard setter in the mud terrain market," he said.

Kumho invited some of Australia's most experienced off road drivers headed up by esteemed four-wheel drive journalist Allan Whiting to torture test the new Kumho MT51 in the Australian desert. The fleet cover almost 20,000 kilometres in an intensive test program with continuous measuring and gauging of performance, tread wear and damage along the way.

New Kumho MT51 Thread

Constant back-to-back testing against opposition brands provided a measure for the performance of the MT51 and despite the most rugged conditions there were no punctures and no tyre failures in ambient surface temperatures that topped 50 degrees Celsius. As well as covering vast distances on outback dirt roads Kumho engineers rendezvoused with the test team in the outback centre of Broken Hill to complete more intensive back to back performance tests including tarmac braking, hill climbing grip and side slip grip levels. The result was a positive affirmation of the design and engineering that has been poured into the new Kumho MT51.

The MT51 delivered better braking performance stopping almost two metres shorter than the next best performing opposition tyre from 80 km/h on dry tarmac. It also outperformed the opposition in hill climbing tests providing better grip to outdistance the opposition while in side-slip tests the MT51 stayed on track, better resisting slip than the established mixed terrain tyres.

According to Allan Whiting, long time outback driver, journalist and publisher of the  Outback Travel Australia website,  the testing proved interesting and surprising results.

"The Kumho engineers said they wanted the tyres tested before release and we took three vehicles and found the worst stoniest roads we could across Western NSW, South Western Queensland and the far north of SA," said Whiting. "We pounded the MT51s over the rough and stony desert roads alongside some popular competitive makes and I didn't think there would be much difference, mixed terrain tyres are mixed terrain tyres, but in reality there was a world of difference," he said.

"We also did a range of tests with Kumho Engineers at the end of the driving test and took the new Kumhos up a loose stony hillside and I didn't think they would perform any differently to the opposition but they bounced less and grabbed more," he added. "We also did a series of heavy spike stops from 80 km/h on stony gravel roads and also on high grip bitumen and I expected more block damage but they performed very well with minimal tearing," he added. "In other tests we found a precarious hill side and took the Kumhos and competitor tyres across a slope with a fixed steering wheel angle and found the Kumhos had more lateral grip in these conditions than the competitor tyres did," Whiting said.


Its clear that the new Kumho MT51 will become the new standard in mixed terrain 4x4 tyres providing the outback adventurers and workers the sort of rubber that will perform in all conditions, providing dependable tyres that they can rely on in the harshest places anywhere on earth.


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