New Rubber From BFGoodrich: The Winter T/A KSI

    Posted by JDs Drive about 10 months ago
    This has been a weird winter. Normally you can depend on Canada’s capital city Ottawa to have a ton of snow in February, but the continual freeze/thaw cycle for the past couple of months have created challenging conditions for ANY tire. “Not all tires categorized as “winter tires” perform equally in every condition winter presents” says Sabrina Garofalo, Country Operations Marketing Manager for BFGoodrich Tires Canada “As we well know, winter conditions do not only require traction or grip, but also handling or cornering in the snow, as well as on icy, wet and dry surfaces. It’s important that the consumer picking out winter tires looks at the tire’s performance in all these winter conditions”.

    Which is why BFGoodrich has brought us to Ottawa to test their new winter tire, the T/A KSI Winter.  

    About 68% of Canadians use winter tires (surprisingly low number if you ask me!!) But if you live in Quebec it’s mandatory that you have winter tires installed.  The evidence is there; if you have those Snowflake approved installed it decreases your chances of getting involved in a collision. Even insurance companies are jumping on board by giving insurers a discount when they install winters. Expensive? Sure, but so is replacing the entire front fender of your car.

    So about 32% of Canadians don’t use winter tires. These are the people you see stuck on the side of the road, facing the wrong way in a ditch and causing a 50-car pile-up on major highways; I see it first hand as a local news camera operator. When I get called to a large collision and start assessing the situation, it amazes me how many people involved have their all-season or low profile performance tires on. 
    The new Winter T/A KSI is directional

    This is why the winter tire business in Canada is huge. Unlike the old Winter Slalom KSI, which was non-directional and S-speed rated, the new Winter T/A KSI is directional and T-speed rated. What this means is a directional tread pattern is designed to roll only in one direction and can only be rotated front to back. The directional tire really helps you keep better control of your vehicle. This was apparent on the Ottawa track when I did the ice braking exercise; the BFG Winter T/A KSI stayed straight and stopped faster than the competitors. Also the directional tire helped bring the car back on track through snow/icy conditions.  The new tires will give the driver more confidence on the road when facing severe weather conditions.
     


    So what have the BFG engineers and chemists done to make a better winter tire for the new typical Canadian winter? First of all a new compound; The BFG engineers decided to add more silica to the tire – Silica is basically sand mashed into rubber. Which is why the winter tires have better grip. More features that help with our nasty and cold Canadian winters are high sipe density (those crooked little squiggles on winter tires that aid with grip), saw-toothed groove edges, and casing protectors, which help pop out rocks and salt that gets stuck in the tire. 

    Considering just a few millimetres of rubber is the only contact between you and the road; it is important to have a tire that keeps on working though truly crappy road conditions.
     
    After a morning of pounding cars around icy curves, I felt more confident in the BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI than the competition. When you’re out shopping for that next winter tire, ask the tire expert about this new rubber from BFGoodrich which will be available in September.

    Tags:
    BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI, Tire Review, Winter Tires

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