WITH A reputation in off-road motorsports for being tough, durable and reliable – as well as winning our 2018 all-terrain tyre test – we were keen to test the Maxxis RAZR mud-terrain tyres for ourselves.
Those results were achieved using the Trepador bias-ply competition tyre and AT700 all-terrain tyre, and we were after something for our Ford Ranger that would fit between these two extremes. We needed a strong and durable tyre for on- and off-road use that would be just at home on Simpson Desert sand dunes as it would be on sharp and shaly Flinders Ranges’ tracks or muddy High Country climbs, as well as hauling on the highway in between off-road locations.
BUYERS' GUIDE: 4x4 Tyres
Online research into the popular mud-terrain pattern, LT construction, 4x4 tyres showed plenty of positive reviews for Maxxis’ MT772 RAZR muddy, so we had the crew at Competition Tyres in Murrumbeena fit a set of LT285/70R17 RAZRs to the KMC Addict 2 alloy wheels we’d fitted to the Ford.
Maxxis describes the RAZR as an aggressive mud-terrain derived from the company’s experience in off-road racing. Featuring a dual-cord body and deep tread for both traction and durability, it would be ideal for our Ranger. The aggressive sidewall tread not only looks the part but is designed to protect against punctures and give great grip in mud and slush. The RAZR is available in 22 popular sizes right up to a monster
40 x 13.3-inch jobbie, and they are all made in LT construction for added durability.
The first thing we noted about the RAZR tyres when they were fitted to the Ranger was how great they looked and how quiet they were. Sure, we expect them to be quiet when new, but these aggressive muddies were quieter than the all-terrains we’d been running on our Land Rover Discovery. With 10,000km of highway and outback use now on them, they are a bit noisier but still well short of other mud-terrain tyres we’ve been running lately at similar kilometres. In terms of on-road noise, the RAZRs are more akin to an aggressive all-terrain tyre than a muddy.
On gravel roads the RAZRs deliver straight and stable tracking at speed, and they instil confidence in the way they turn in and bite into the loose road surface. The stone ejectors between the tread blocks are obviously doing their thing, as getting rocks caught in the tread hasn’t been an issue – keeping small stones out of the tread reduces the chances of them being pushed in further and puncturing the tyre carcass.
Depending on the load in the tray we’ve been running the tyres at 36 to 38psi on the highway, and they don’t feel too harsh. On outback gravel, I like to drop by around 10psi to improve the ride quality and protect further against punctures. The RAZRs bag out nicely at lower pressures, lengthening the contact patch for better floatation over soft terrain. I was running them at 18psi for most of the sandy Hay River Track, only dropping them to 14psi when we reached Big Red and saw other drivers struggling on the dune faces. To take on one of the steeper lines up the west face of Big Red, I dropped them down to 12psi and the Ranger powered straight up with confidence and didn’t dig in as the speed dropped.
Since the Simpson Desert trip, the Ranger has spent 10 days touring on the harsh, rocky tracks and roads of the Flinders Ranges and still shows no signs of punctures (touch wood). There’s no evidence of chipping in the tread, which is a problem for many tyres in these conditions, and there’s just the smallest evidence of rounding off on the block edges. A full tyre rotation is due and should balance that wear out, and we’ll see what effect that has on road noise.
Tyre wear is measuring at an average of 3mm across the tyres, which means these RAZRs won’t be high-mileage tyres and we’ll be well and truly looking to replace them around the 40,000km mark. With the excellent performance of the tyres so far, we’re in no hurry to get rid of them and are still keen to try them out on some muddy tracks, once the High Country tracks re-open for summer.
AVAILABLE FROM: www.maxxistyres.com.au
RRP: From $255 (each)
WE SAY: Quiet, tough, grippy and great value for money.