Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697: product test

Bridgestone’s tough all-rounder excels on both dirt and tarmac.

Bridgestone Dueler AT 697 tyres
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I’VE HAD the Duelers beneath my GU Patrol for a solid 14 months or so.

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They’ve provided solid service on the sandy tracks of Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in the Victorian Mallee country; they’ve tackled some fabulous sandy runs on Stockton Beach at Port Stephens; traversed the rocky and rutted tracks of the Avon River; hit up the Murray River’s mud at Echuca and the challenges of the Dargo High Country; and, of course, the daily drive in suburbia.

Nissan GU Patrol on Stockton BeachWith the rubber installed, the odometer has ticked over 12,000km. They’ve travelled across all types of terrain and shown no signs of excessive wear.

When I took the GU in for a tyre rotation, the depth gauge discovered 4.5mm wear on the front tyres and 3.5mm wear on the rears. The tyres have pleasantly surprised as a daily driver. They’re quieter than expected and also grip and handle well. In the wet they’ve performed much better than the old A/Ts that were on their last legs.

I have no complaints when off-road either. On High Country tracks – as well as on the when wet, grease-like tracks along the Murray River near Echuca – they performed brilliantly. Where the tyres surprised me was on sand – on a Stockton Beach NSW run they performed excellently.

Bridgestone Dueler AT 697 tyres testedNow, let’s be honest, my faithful 3.0-litre GU Patrol is many things, but a power-laden, sand-chewing beast it’s not. We dropped pressures to 17psi and away we went.

It didn’t have any issues on the sand at all, and I even managed to perform a snatch recovery of a 2015 Triton. I also secured bragging rights by rescuing my mate Brad’s Pajero from a particularly soft patch.

It’s time to start considering the Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697 or the M/T 674.

CONSTRUCTION

THE Dueler A/T 697 is the ultimate 4WD tyre, designed to withstand Australia’s harshest conditions. The tread pattern design has been optimised for increased puncture resistance, and the dual compound tread features improved heat durability to cope with the harshest summer day.

Bridgestone Dueler AT 697 tyresThe super-tough boots are cut-and-chip resistant, feature a protective ply for an added layer of protection from staking, utilise two heavy-duty, high-tensile steel belts, and have an advanced shoulder-block design to improve NVH.

MUD OPTION

With its aggressive design, Bridgestone’s Dueler M/T 674 meets the demands of tough off-road driving – even through the heaviest of mud. Bridgestone reckons the tyres have been designed using 3D technology to deliver superior off-road performance and durability.

Bridgestone Dueler AT 697 tyres offroadThey also offer improved wear for better mileage, an advanced rubber compound to improve cut-and-chip resistance, and excellent braking performance. Other key features include improved grooves and buttress design for better grip in heavy mud; 3D shoulder lugs for durability, traction and handling; and a redesigned tyre footprint for improved wear balance.

 

 

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Stu Jones
Journalist

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