Torture Testing Tires on 400 Miles of Baja

October 16, 2014 Reviews : Behind the Wheel By Photo by Bradley Hasemeyer

The Baja 1000 is one of the most grueling races in all of motorsports. Running nearly the entire length of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, drivers haul ass for 24 hours on motorcycles, production vehicles, trucks and buggies across some of the most varied terrain in the world. BFGoodrich’s original K0 tire was “born in Baja” — so it seemed like the perfect place to test their new version, the K02 All-Terrain tire. Despite being loaded with features like locking 3D sipes, stone ejectors and side-biter lugs, it was the 20 percent tougher sidewalls that came in handy during the climbing, careening and cussing that comprised the 400 miles of Baja terrain.

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It’s tough to test a tire when the wheel travel on the buggies is 18 inches; but there were enough jagged rocks and gut-busting bumps to know these tires are just as crazy-tough as the terrain. After three days driving through rivers, deserts, silt, boulders, wide-open fields and narrow trails, it was tough to tell whether the K02s last twice as long on gravel or have 19 percent better traction in snow as BFGoodrich claims — but one thing was for sure: at any moment’s notice in the Mexico’s backcountry, a cow, a car or a kid could jump right in front of your buggy, which is why instructors advise testers to drive at about 80 percent of their skill level to leave a slight cushion for such unexpected happenings.

After nearly 400 miles, two breakdowns and a few close calls, it was home sweet home — back over the American border. In a few weeks, some of the craziest and most skilled drivers on the planet will hit these trails — many of whom will be run K02s and live to tell about it.

Bradley Hasemeyer

Who am I? I am someone who believes that people's profiles for online dating sites are not who they are but who they think they are. So I'm trying to factor that into what I say about me. I am someone who keeps learning about who I am. I am curious, childlike and quick-witted. My three weaknesses are anything clothes, cars or culinary related. I grew up in Tennessee but now reside in the wonderous city of Los Angeles doing millions of different things. I'd rather be good at a lot of different things than the best at one - so DJ house parties, have a boutique catering company, perform stand-up comedy and travel whenever possible. What I love about GP is that it's about being the best man we can which means evolvoing, learning about ourselves and those around us. I am passionate about life - sharing it, making it, living it. I'm stoked about you joining us on this journey. Word up.

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