Author Topic: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T  (Read 86621 times)

arveetek

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Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« on: January 05, 2014, 08:17:24 PM »
April 2013

     In April of last year, I was in need of some new tires for my 1995 Chevy 2-door Tahoe.  I had taken this truck from a soccer-momís SUV to a serious Sport Utility Vehicle, using it for all kinds of new activities, including Overlanding.  The tires that were nearing the end of their life-span were the discontinued BF Goodrich Long Trail Radial T/A, a tire that I have had great success with in the past.  In fact, these were the 3rd set of Long Trails that I had purchased.  While great in strength and tread life, the Long Trails were lacking in grip and off-road abilities.

   Since I was spending more time off-road than before, I started leaning towards a true mud-terrain tire.  I still spend a lot of time on the highway, with a 45 mile round-trip to work every day, so long life was also important to me.  Of course, isnít that what we all want: the most aggressive off-road tire that lasts forever?  Naturally, most mud-terrains arenít known for long tread life, but tire technology seems to be improving, as several tire manufacturers are now starting to offer tread life warranties on some of their mud-terrain products.

   While trying to decide what tire to purchase, a deal fell into my lap: a set of Kenda Klever M/T tires in the perfect size: LT285/75R16, with only a hundred or so miles on them.  If you are like me, you have probably never heard of Kenda tires.  Apparently they are quite well known for their bicycle, motorcycle, and ATV tires.  They have recently spread into the automotive and light-truck market:

http://www.kendatire.com/en/automotive/suv-light-truck/klever-mt/



   Upon first glance of these tires, I was quite impressed!  The tread looked quite aggressive, and the tread blocks were large with a lot of depth.  I was a little hesitant at first, since I was unfamiliar with the manufacturer.  I was also concerned about noise and tread life.  I had never run such an aggressive tire on a daily driver before.  My Jeep TJ has some mud-terrains with similar tread patterns, but on a Jeep, once youíre above 45 MPH, you canít really hear much anyway.  I was also concerned with the fact these Klendas are made in China.  In my line of work in the RV industry, we have fallen prey to many poor trailer tires being built in China.

   However, I decided the deal was too good to pass up, so I purchased the tires and installed them on my Tahoe on a set of 16x7 Toyota OEM steel wheels.  Instantly, the Tahoe was transformed from a mild-mannered grocery getter to a serious machine that means business!



Before





After





   Upon driving home after installation, I was quite impressed with how smooth the aggressive tires rolled.  I had no balancing issues, and I was able to cruise 70mph on the interstate with no issues at all.  One of my main concerns was also squashed: the noise level wasnít bad at all.  Of course, noise is a very subjective issue.  I was able to hear the tires, but it was a gentle hum, and not an annoying drone.  I soon discovered that I actually looked forward to driving the Tahoe more in order to enjoy the experience of driving a machine with true mud-terrains as the shoe of choice.







   The Kenda Klever M/T in size 285/75R16 is a load range E tire, 10-ply, with 7 plies on the tread and 3 plies on the sidewalls.  They are rated to carry 3750 lbs per tire at 80 psi.  I have found that 40 psi is a perfect pressure for on-highway use on my rather portly Tahoe.



   Stay tuned as I keep you updated on tread life, how they work on and off-road, and overall experiences with the Kenda Klever M/Tís.

Casey Flint

« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 08:51:26 PM by arveetek »
1995 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbo diesel, 4L80E auto, NV241, 3.42's, Eaton ADL in rear, 285/75R16 BFG TA K02's on Toyota steelies, Roadmaster Active Suspension in rear, 1" crank in front, Westin brush guard

Slaw ninja

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 08:30:36 PM »
Great looking shoes...great review...interested to hear about tread life rolling forward.
"Where we're going, we don't need roads." -Doc Brown, 1985

2009 JK Rubicon Unlimited

arveetek

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 08:34:56 PM »
Great looking shoes...great review...interested to hear about tread life rolling forward.

Thanks!  Hang around a few minutes and find out!  :D

Casey
1995 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbo diesel, 4L80E auto, NV241, 3.42's, Eaton ADL in rear, 285/75R16 BFG TA K02's on Toyota steelies, Roadmaster Active Suspension in rear, 1" crank in front, Westin brush guard

arveetek

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 08:50:07 PM »
Update: January 2014

   I have had the chance to take the Tahoe out on two major Overland trips since installing the Kenda Klever M/T tires back in April.  I must say I am quite pleased with the performance and durability of these tires!







   The Kendas grip exceptionally well, especially when aired down to around 22 psi for my general backcountry/overland trips on rough roads and forest trails.  I have also had the chance to try them out on several snowy roads recently, and the grip is fantastic.  Even on the highway in heavy rains, the Kendas stick to the pavement.  Not bad at all, especially for a mud-terrain.  In fact, I havenít found anything that the Kendas donít do well.







   I am extremely pleased with the way the tires are wearing, especially when subjected to miles and miles of rough, gravel roads.  No chunking, no unusual tread deformations, and really no visible wear to speak of.  The rubber compound on these Kendas is especially tough.  The tread blocks are not squishy, unlike the compound I have seen on some other brands, especially like what is used on the Treadwrights.







   A few weeks ago, however, I started noticing some unusual wear on the right front tire.  I then discovered that the lower ball joint in that corner is failing.  I then realized that I had put over 8900 miles on the Kendas without rotating!  I had meant to rotate around 5000 miles, but got distracted.



Close ups of worst tire wear at 8900 miles:









     As you can see above, there is still plenty of tread life left after 8900 miles.  This is the only tire that had wear, and was starting to emit that "slapping" sound that mud-terrains can omit when not rotated properly.

   So, with nearly 10,000 miles on the tires as of January 2014, the only visible wear I have detected can be attributed to a failing ball joint.  I have rotated the tires, and now the tires are all wearing evenly again, and the slapping sound has gone away.  I do not have a tread depth gauge, but to me, the tires still look like new.  I am very, very pleased with the performance, wear, and tread life of the Kenda Klever M/T, and can recommend them with full confidence.

   Check the prices on the Kendas, and you might just decide they will be the next tire you purchase!

Casey Flint
1995 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbo diesel, 4L80E auto, NV241, 3.42's, Eaton ADL in rear, 285/75R16 BFG TA K02's on Toyota steelies, Roadmaster Active Suspension in rear, 1" crank in front, Westin brush guard

jeeps4fun

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 02:21:39 PM »
:(.  No 18"

Looks like I'm still on the Toyo AT II as the front runner

Glad u are liking the Kenda

arveetek

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 03:20:44 PM »
:(.  No 18"

Looks like I'm still on the Toyo AT II as the front runner

Glad u are liking the Kenda

The Toyo AT II was on my short list as well.  I think it would be a good choice.

Casey
1995 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbo diesel, 4L80E auto, NV241, 3.42's, Eaton ADL in rear, 285/75R16 BFG TA K02's on Toyota steelies, Roadmaster Active Suspension in rear, 1" crank in front, Westin brush guard

arveetek

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 01:47:21 PM »
My friend and co-worker Gary was so impressed with the Kenda tires on my Tahoe, he ordered a set for his Taco:







He ordered them from Amazon in size LT245/75R16.  I believe his total with local installation was $569 for all 4.  He's really pleased so far.

Casey
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 01:49:09 PM by arveetek »
1995 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbo diesel, 4L80E auto, NV241, 3.42's, Eaton ADL in rear, 285/75R16 BFG TA K02's on Toyota steelies, Roadmaster Active Suspension in rear, 1" crank in front, Westin brush guard

jeeps4fun

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 10:51:45 PM »
Dang. That's about the cost of 2 of the TOYOs. But the Kenda doesn't come in my size :(

arveetek

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 07:46:40 AM »
Dang. That's about the cost of 2 of the TOYOs. But the Kenda doesn't come in my size :(

Yep.  Makes these tires VERY attractive.  Too bad they don't come in your size.

Casey
1995 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbo diesel, 4L80E auto, NV241, 3.42's, Eaton ADL in rear, 285/75R16 BFG TA K02's on Toyota steelies, Roadmaster Active Suspension in rear, 1" crank in front, Westin brush guard

faredo

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2014, 11:50:31 AM »
Be careful, check the middle of this thread. dont know how often this happens but definatly a case to be aware of.
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/wheels-tires/153145-anyone-ever-hear-these-2.html

Jayston

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 01:00:17 PM »
Be careful, check the middle of this thread. dont know how often this happens but definatly a case to be aware of.
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/wheels-tires/153145-anyone-ever-hear-these-2.html


Not saying he did something wrong, but I've seen that happen when you run a low tire for long periods of time at high heat.

faredo

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 02:04:39 PM »
Be careful, check the middle of this thread. dont know how often this happens but definatly a case to be aware of.
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/wheels-tires/153145-anyone-ever-hear-these-2.html


Not saying he did something wrong, but I've seen that happen when you run a low tire for long periods of time at high heat.




One of our Tire techs (30+ years on tires) was visiting the office today and and i pulled him in to see what he thought of the photos. I just said, "what caused this" and his exact words were, "Dumb ass ran them low and dove to fast on it". So about word for word your response 

Jayston

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 07:33:10 PM »
Be careful, check the middle of this thread. dont know how often this happens but definatly a case to be aware of.
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/wheels-tires/153145-anyone-ever-hear-these-2.html


Not saying he did something wrong, but I've seen that happen when you run a low tire for long periods of time at high heat.




One of our Tire techs (30+ years on tires) was visiting the office today and and i pulled him in to see what he thought of the photos. I just said, "what caused this" and his exact words were, "Dumb ass ran them low and dove to fast on it". So about word for word your response


Good to have my thoughts verified! I see this on our trailers... More than I want to.

Shocker

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2014, 07:30:01 PM »
Thanks for the review! First post here and was wondering if you were sure that the 285's were 3 ply sidewall. I am looking for new shoes for VanDOOM.

Thanks!

Jayston

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Re: Long-Term Tire Test & Review: Kenda Klever M/T
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2014, 08:12:50 AM »
The load range E 285)75r16 are 3 ply sidewall.