By Ian Marshall
OFF road, on road – Yokohama HPT maintains its Geolandar four-wheel-drive radials offer a tyre for every application.
Yokohama of Japan – the sixth largest tyre manufacturer in the world – specialises in the replacement section of the high performance tyre market and, on its own admission, is a relative newcomer to the UK 4 x 4 sector.
The company enters the market with three new tyres, the Geolandar M/T and A/T, and the AVS V801.
Developed in parallel with the companys rally tyre, the M/T is aimed at the user wanting a high degree of off-road performance, yet still requiring acceptable levels of on-road characteristics – wet handling, low noise and a reasonable speed capability.
Effectively, a tyres tractive capability comes from its ability to efficiently disperse water mud and slush. And on this score, the M/T claims to achieve this through use of a 32deg block uni-directional tread pattern – not unlike the tread of a tractor tyre.
As an added refinement, the tyres centre groove incorporates a step formation inner tread block design, claimed to increase dispersal and improve traction.
Three sizes of Geolandar M/T are offered, with prices starting from £80/tyre.
The step formation inner tread block design is also a feature of the companys Geolandar A/T, a tyre intended for the user looking for high levels of traction for off-road use, combined with good on-road performance.
Other characteristics designed to enhance the tyres all-terrain ability includes an asymmetrical block tread pattern with twin grooves to disperse water on hard surfaces.
Available in 18 sizes, Geolandar A/T prices start at about £75/tyre.
The AVS V801 comes out of Yokohamas high-performance stable and is for the 4 x 4 driver who only goes off-road when parking on the grass verge.
A low-profile tyre designed specifically for high-speed tarmac driving, it features a V-shaped directional tread pattern claimed to give high levels of handling on dry surfaces and efficient water dispersal in the wet.
Prices for the nine strong range start at about £104/tyre.
FARMERS WEEKLY had the opportunity to compare the performance of the Geolandar M/T and A/T on the road and around a demanding off road course in the forests of north Wales.
On tarmac, noise levels from both tyres were no more intrusive than those experienced in a standard saloon car. And, although conditions were not demanding, their road holding and handling characteristics sprung no surprises.
In the forest, the A/T handled nearly all the mud and gravel slopes and hills, failing only on the steepest, most rutted areas.
But even these could not stop the M/T, which went on to negotiate a section of the course considered by many to be impassable on conventional off road tyres.