Breaking the ice, with rubber

Toyo open county MT

Writing an ‘About’ paragraph was difficult enough but it’s first iteration is up and hopefully describes (albeit a fraction of) my personality, motivations and reasoning behind keeping an overlanding blog.        But what about a real post?….

As timing would have it, I have been considering new tyres for the 76 for a while, despite purchasing a second spare for a trip earlier this year <remind me to insert a trip report link here, when it exists>

On a second set of Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tyres but feeling a little vulnerable with their sneaky move to a 2ply sidewall (first set purchased were 3ply) and Chinese manufacturing (as noticed on our recently purchased 2nd spare). Zero punctures and plenty of kilometres, sealed or not, they have done us very well. But – what if there was better? And what about the sidewalls?

Another factor of consideration was moving to a ‘skinny’ 33″. Which is both legal in Australia on the OEM wheels (Wranglers were 285/75) and promises less wear and tear on the CV and wheel bearings.

Oh, and the more traditional ‘old school’ look of skinnier tyres on the 76 promised to look sooooo good, and outside the growing norm of 35″

Given the options were slim in Australia much of our research lean towards Toyo Open Country MT. Made in Japan or US, they provide the 255/85/r16 profile we were so keen to try, and over engineered sidewalls. Given the 76 is no longer driving the daily commute the concept of an 80/20 tyre was now an option also.

This is by far not a review, but merely first impressions. After the jaw dropping giddiness of the once again, leaner looking Cecil (yes, I named the LandCruiser) in the Toyo workshop hoists we promptly took our old tyres home to sell and drove to the nearest State Forest to test them out. Hooray for daylight savings.

Highway – track well, quietly humming (Goodyears were around 45% worn out and roared)

Corrugations – the heavy insulated feel of 26psi mud terrains on hard packed corrugated gravel was heavenly to be honest, granted it was only half a dozen kilometres.

Rocky water crossing and washed out tracks – faultless grip and I think I could feel a better command of steering with the narrow profile, the urban u-turn later that night certainly felt good.

Fingers crossed, first impressions last, because I am impressed…. and that Toyo continue to import these. We were lucky enough to get 6 of the first 24 imported to Australia.

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