I love this thread. Pure tire porn.
Outstanding first post, Ben. Welcome to the Portal, and thanks for this in depth review. You hit all of the questions I was contemplating. I have KM2s on my Jeep, and am considering changing to the Toyos for the reasons you list (same size). Be sure to post a follow up after you hit some snow and other challenges.I recently switched from KM2 to M55. Although I only have a few hundred miles on the M55, I think I can make some useful comparisons between the two tires because my KM2 were not worn out before switching them. The KM2 had about 13,000 miles on them, and I swapped them out primarily because I was concerned about accumulating sidewall damage. They had some scary-looking cuts in them, although they did not ever actually fail. I do a lot of backcountry travel solo and it is not a practical risk to drive on four damaged tires. I made some comparison photographs using my spare tire which had zero miles on it.
I see the M55 as one of the best choices in 255/85R16. In other sizes, there's more choices. The KM2 would have been a better bargain. They are $100 less expensive per tire. For a highway user, I am sure they will get more miles from the M55, but for my use, the snow and ice performance are the only clear advantage I can hope for. Nevertheless, off road they are not disappointing at all. I don't see a disadvantage compared to the KM2 except possibly in mud -- and the KM2 was not an awesome mud tire anyway. I'm happy with the M55 and I expect to get even happier as fall and winter set in over the next couple months. I don't expect any of my trail companions to swap to the M55. They'd have to give up their 37's and 40's. For a narrow 33, I don't see what more one could expect.
Outstanding first post, Ben. Welcome to the Portal, and thanks for this in depth review. You hit all of the questions I was contemplating. I have KM2s on my Jeep, and am considering changing to the Toyos for the reasons you list (same size). Be sure to post a follow up after you hit some snow and other challenges.
I think you are on the mark with your comments... And I too drive often in windy conditions.I was looking at M-55 on a jeep JKUR. I noticed the 18" has a 33.6" OD, and the 16" has 33.3" OD (I think). I drive a lot of windy roads so the 18" version could possibly help handling, + a tiny bit taller? but the 16" I imagine could be a bit more comfy of a ride? The harshest riding jeep can't be much worse than a modified STI or EVO.
Yeah but they sure look good new! These only have a few thousand miles on them.Good timing bumping this thread... Just yesterday I was at my local Les Schwab store for some tire mounting and while waiting, found myself looking at the M55 tread pattern yet again.
It's unlikely I'll run a set again anytime soon, but I still like them and see how this old design can still work great as a simple, old-style commercial traction. Since I like deep lugs and won't run shallow tread, I can’t get over the center stone guard reducing the tread depth down the middle of the tire, it will make the half-life of the tire much shorter for those who don't run lower tread depths. And I prefer a little more void overall… Still, the M55 is still a good tire, and if I was in need of tires while on the road I’d not hesitate to buy them.
Everyone tells me I need bigger tires, and while a little extra ground clearance would be nice, the tire options are somewhat reduced. So I certainly could have gone up to 35" with the popular and fashionable suggestions in the overland world without any truck mods, or something in between like a 285/75R17, but I decided that proven toughness and reliability was more important.
I just ordered M55's today. It doesn't seem like the fashionable choice, but it certainly does seem like the wise choice for my needs.
Thanks again to everyone here for sharing your experiences!