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My Kumho MT51s have now carried my Prado just over sixty thousand kilometres, considering where I’ve been, I’m suitably impressed. What stands out is I’ve only suffered one puncture in all that time. Yep, that’s all, and even then, the cause of the puncture took another three thousand kays before becoming a problem. The other stand out is where I’ve taken these bad boys.

As a travel writer, I get to explore some amazing places, and most of the time these journeys are tough on tyres. In the past couple of years, I’ve tackled some of the toughest desert tracks like the Talawana and the Gary Highway, unsealed tyre chompers like the Gibb River and Kalumburu Roads.

I’ve crawled up High Country tracks such as Zeka Spur and King Billy, enjoyed some deep sand on Dirk Hartog Island and the Madigan Line in the Simpson Desert. Then there are the thousands of kilometres of blacktop travel to get to the good tracks.

The Kumho MT51s have proven to be robust with excellent durability. The strength of the carcass construction is obvious with twin steel belts, polyester casing, jointless nylon cap ply and three-ply sidewall, in all conditions. The tyre compound itself provides a cut and chip resistant tread.

More about that one puncture. I scratched the sidewall just below the side biters, on my way into a secluded waterfall off the Kalumburu Road. I noticed it while airing back up. The scratch was only one centimetre long and not deep, so I kept an eye on the pressure over the next couple of days, over which no air was lost.

I totally forgot about it until my TPMS started beeping on the rough and tumble Madigan Line in the Simpson Desert. I was losing air slowly from the scratch so just pumped the tyre back up to 18psi and kept going until we camped. One tyre plug and the leak was sealed, lasting until it was fixed properly by Tyrepower on my return home.

They’ve been to hell and back and ready to take on more

6O,OOOKM OF TORTURE TESTING MY KUMHO MT51’S

GEAR

WORDS & IMAGES BY GLENN MARSHALL

ABOVE With pressures low, the Kumho’s side biters help protect the carcass on the sharp limestone rocks

BELOW In desert country, a thick sidewall is a must

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Wear and Tear
I’ve been impressed by how the tyre has handled the wear and tear. I’ve suffered a couple of chips in the shoulder notching thanks to the Victorian High Country and a little more wear on the toe due to the way the wheel alignment was set when the new suspension was fitted. Otherwise, the tread wear is consistent with the kilometres travelled.

I still have a good grip on the highway, even in wet weather and great traction on unsealed roads. Sand is still the tyres biggest weakness, but that’s because it’s a mud tyre. I just reduce my pressures a little more and drive more conservatively. I have noticed the road noise has increased as the tyre has worn, but not enough to annoy.

BELOW Deep, soft sand is the tyres nemesis, but lower pressures make the going easier

I am happy with the wear over the last 60,000km

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Top shelf

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Product Disclosure: Three years ago, Kumho Tyres Australia supplied me with all my tyres as sponsors; however, this has not influenced my review. 

5. Under pressure
I always run the recommended pressures for the different surfaces:

  • Highway 38 to 40psi
  • Gravel/unsealed 26 to 28psi
  • Off-road: 20 to 22psi
  • Sand: 15 to 18psi

4. Staying aligned
Whenever I get work done on my front end, whether it be suspension or steering or replacing bushes, I get a wheel alignment. This allows for even wear on the front tyres.

3. Easy on the loud pedal
Spinning tyres increases wear and increases tear, so I try hard not to allow the adrenaline to increase the lead in my right boot.

2. Always monitor your tyres
I suffer OCD with my TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) being active. I’m constantly checking the pressures AND the temperatures of my little black doughnuts as they roll over again and again.

LEFT Everything looks perfect here // RIGHT An alarm and visual signs indicate a possible problem with a tyre

1. Consistent rotations
Yep, I’m almost religious when it comes to tyre rotations every 10,000km. I do it myself on most occasions however I also take it to Tyrepower every now and again so they can check the tyre balances as well. With two spares, I always do a six-tyre rotation.

How do I care for my tyres?

GEAR

WORDS & IMAGES BY GLENN MARSHALL

They’ve been to hell and back and ready to take on more

6O,OOOKM OF TORTURE TESTING MY KUMHO MT51’S

My Kumho MT51s have now carried my Prado just over sixty thousand kilometres, considering where I’ve been, I’m suitably impressed. What stands out is I’ve only suffered one puncture in all that time. Yep, that’s all, and even then, the cause of the puncture took another three thousand kays before becoming a problem. The other stand out is where I’ve taken these bad boys.

As a travel writer, I get to explore some amazing places, and most of the time these journeys are tough on tyres. In the past couple of years, I’ve tackled some of the toughest desert tracks like the Talawana and the Gary Highway, unsealed tyre chompers like the Gibb River and Kalumburu Roads.

I’ve crawled up High Country tracks such as Zeka Spur and King Billy, enjoyed some deep sand on Dirk Hartog Island and the Madigan Line in the Simpson Desert. Then there are the thousands of kilometres of blacktop travel to get to the good tracks.

The Kumho MT51s have proven to be robust with excellent durability. The strength of the carcass construction is obvious with twin steel belts, polyester casing, jointless nylon cap ply and three-ply sidewall, in all conditions. The tyre compound itself provides a cut and chip resistant tread.

More about that one puncture. I scratched the sidewall just below the side biters, on my way into a secluded waterfall off the Kalumburu Road. I noticed it while airing back up. The scratch was only one centimetre long and not deep, so I kept an eye on the pressure over the next couple of days, over which no air was lost.

I totally forgot about it until my TPMS started beeping on the rough and tumble Madigan Line in the Simpson Desert. I was losing air slowly from the scratch so just pumped the tyre back up to 18psi and kept going until we camped. One tyre plug and the leak was sealed, lasting until it was fixed properly by Tyrepower on my return home.

ABOVE With pressures low, the Kumho’s side biters help protect the carcass on the sharp limestone rocks

BELOW In desert country, a thick sidewall is a must

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

I am happy with the wear over the last 60,000km

Wear and Tear
I’ve been impressed by how the tyre has handled the wear and tear. I’ve suffered a couple of chips in the shoulder notching thanks to the Victorian High Country and a little more wear on the toe due to the way the wheel alignment was set when the new suspension was fitted. Otherwise, the tread wear is consistent with the kilometres travelled.

I still have a good grip on the highway, even in wet weather and great traction on unsealed roads. Sand is still the tyres biggest weakness, but that’s because it’s a mud tyre. I just reduce my pressures a little more and drive more conservatively. I have noticed the road noise has increased as the tyre has worn, but not enough to annoy.

BELOW Deep, soft sand is the tyres nemesis, but lower pressures make the going easier

Roller 
Drawers
Barrier +
Divider
Roof
Console
Top
shelf

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Product Disclosure: Three years ago, Kumho Tyres Australia supplied me with all my tyres as sponsors; however, this has not influenced my review. 

5. Under pressure
I always run the recommended pressures for the different surfaces:

  • Highway 38 to 40psi
  • Gravel/unsealed 26 to 28psi
  • Off-road: 20 to 22psi
  • Sand: 15 to 18psi

4. Staying aligned
Whenever I get work done on my front end, whether it be suspension or steering or replacing bushes, I get a wheel alignment. This allows for even wear on the front tyres.

3. Easy on the loud pedal
Spinning tyres increases wear and increases tear, so I try hard not to allow the adrenaline to increase the lead in my right boot.

2. Always monitor your tyres
I suffer OCD with my TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) being active. I’m constantly checking the pressures AND the temperatures of my little black doughnuts as they roll over again and again.

ABOVE Everything looks perfect here // BELOW An alarm and visual signs indicate a possible problem with a tyre

1. Consistent rotations
Yep, I’m almost religious when it comes to tyre rotations every 10,000km. I do it myself on most occasions however I also take it to Tyrepower every now and again so they can check the tyre balances as well. With two spares, I always do a six-tyre rotation.

How do I care for my tyres?