Nankang N889 Mudstar Review

Nankang N889 Mudstar Review

  • Dry 80%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 85%
  • Comfort 70%
  • Noise 70%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 77%
I was talking to the guys at the local tire shop about the Nankang N889 Mudstar tires. Someone was quick to point out the Mudstar was better than a comparable mud terrain tire costing upwards of $300 each. But with the N889 Mudstar, you only need to pay half that amount.

But price should not the only consideration when choosing new tires for your vehicle. In terms of looks, the Nankang N889 Mudstar is on top of the heap. The large and aggressive tread blocks are sure to improve the rugged go-anywhere stance of your SUV or pickup truck.

The guys at the tire shop were able to hook me up with a customer who drives a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 motor and 6-speed manual tranny. The Jeep was riding on aftermarket 17-inch wheels and Nankang N889 Mudstar tires. In fact, the Jeep is being sold by the owner so he can make room in the garage for a new family-oriented SUV.

I agreed to help the owner to find a buyer for his Jeep in exchange for a lengthy test drive. We shook hands before he gave me the key to his off-road SUV. The next day, I brought my cousin along for the ride. He was saving money to fuel his off-road passion and needed a new ride that is capable of tackling more challenging terrain. He took a particular liking to my test vehicle since it is equipped from the ground up with all the mods required to tackle the most demanding off-road terrain.

But first, we need to review the performance of the Nankang N889 Mudstar tires.

Nankang N889 Mudstar Review: Features

The Nankang N889 Mudstar M/T is a mud terrain tire for off-road vehicles and 4x4 pickup trucks. The tire is designed to provide unwavering levels of traction on all types of road conditions, even on deep mud or snow.

The tire is equipped with extra-large and aggressive tread blocks to offer better grip and traction on a variety of on-road and off-road terrain. The tire is also equipped with a rigid shoulder and sidewall design to provide better riding comfort and better control. The tire also has large and open tread voids to effectively flush out water and mud from the face of the treads.

The tread blocks on the Nankang N889 Mudstar are not only meant to provide ruggedly handsome good looks and superior traction. The tread blocks also benefit from variable pitch technology to reduce the noise levels of the tire when driven on smooth tarmac.

Nankang N889 Mudstar Review: Test Drive

We took the Jeep out for a whole weekend of testing to find out if the Nankang N889 Mudstar is capable of brilliant off-road performance and refined on-road manners.

I’m not what you would call the biggest fan of Jeep vehicles because I find them too uncivilized for the real world, but driving it off-road instantly made me a fan.

Dry Traction

The Nankang N889 Mudstar tires felt stable and secure as we navigated over dry patches of rough roads.

There were sharp stones, loose vegetation, and a moderate sprinkling of sand but the tires were unfazed by the potentially hazardous elements.

We took the Jeep for a high speed run on the highway to find out if dry grip is as good off-road as it is on-road, and we weren’t disappointed at all.

If not for the fuzzy and disconnected steering feel of the Jeep, the vehicle would have felt better when driven on well-paved roads.

Wet Traction

The Nankang N889 Mudstar tires had no problems dealing with soaking wet pavement. The tires were also magnificent as we climbed over a muddy hill.

Wet tarmac posted no problems for the tires as we never felt the tires broke traction even as we were pushing the Jeep to higher than average speeds.

Snow Traction

Since the Nankang N889 is a proper mud tire, we were confident it can handle more than 2-inches of snow.

We were able to safely steer and stop the Jeep even on deep snow. In fact, our test vehicle felt relentless as we were able to go over roads that were deemed unpassable.

Comfort

When it comes to comfort, it is sort of a mixed bag. The tires felt busy when driven on smooth and paved roads, but the comfort levels are better when driving over uneven patches of rough terrain.

The tires also felt a bit stiff in the city, although potholes and minor road undulations can be attacked with utmost confidence without unsettling the vehicle.

It is hard to complain about the ride comfort if you are behind the wheel of a rugged off-road vehicle, but it is good to know the Nankang N889 Mudstar was able to deliver a bit more comfort when we needed it most.

Noise

The Nankang N889 Mudstar is not the quietest mud tire I have personally tested so far, but it’s not as bad as other cheap alternatives.

You will hear tire roar on the highway at anything above than average speeds, and the tires will also make themselves known if you drive aggressively on tight city streets. But given the low price point of the N889 Mudstar, I would have to say that refinement is above average.

Treadwear

The owner of the Jeep bought the Nankang N889 tires before the start of the winter season. The tires were still good as new at the time of this review.

There was no evidence of damage or accelerated wear on the treads, but we did find a few scuff marks on the sidewall of the rear tires. We asked the owner about this and he told us the scuff marks were a result of aggressive driving on his previous off-road excursions.

Conclusion

The Nankang N889 Mudstar mustered good traction on all road surfaces while offering higher levels of comfort and grip on the most demanding off-road terrain.

Kenda Klever M/T KR29 Tire Review

Kenda Klever M/T KR29 Tire Review

  • Dry 80%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 85%
  • Comfort 75%
  • Noise 70%
  • Treadwear 70%
  • Overall 80%
Mud tires are expected to perform admirably on the most challenging off-road terrain, including deep snow. Few people will expect a mud tire to behave like a touring tire when driven on paved roads. It’s a compromise that all people are willing to expect when they buy a set of mud tires for their pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles, and hardcore off-road machines.

But the Kenda Klever M/T KR29 wants to be different. Similar to the capabilities of the Kenda A/T, the M/T is supposed to retain all the ruggedness and go-anywhere capabilities of a mud tire with a mild sprinkling of on-road refinement. Considering the price point of the Kenda Klever A/T, all of this sounds too good to be true, or is it?

In this review of the Kenda Klever M/T KR29, I wanted to find out if the bold and ambitious claims of on-road refinement are really true. I was expecting the tires to perform flawlessly on muddy and challenging terrain, but how can the tires cope in terms of high-speed driving, comfort, noise, and wear?

Kenda Klever M/T KR29 Review: Features

The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 is a heavy-duty mud tire designed to cope with the demands of off-road pickup trucks and SUVs. The tire is constructed using an improved and more durable tread compound to promote toughness and outstanding durability in all types of off-road driving applications.

The most apparent feature of the Kenda Klever M/T KR29 are the radiated shoulder lugs. This feature will serve to increase traction on sand, mud, or snow, even of the tires are deflated to a lower tire pressure. The shoulder lugs are also designed to be self-cleaning to constantly maintain traction even on wet and thick mud.

The aggressive and chunky treads are equipped with sipes to increase the biting edges on the tread surface. The tire is constructed with a double-steel belted design to promote durability with lasting and even tire wear.

Kenda Klever M/T KR29 Review: Test Drive

My test vehicle for this Kenda Klever M/T KR29 review is a 2012 RAM 1500 SLT Quad Cab equipped with the 4.7-liter V8 gasoline motor and 6-speed automatic transmission. My test vehicle is bone stock except for the aftermarket 17-inch wheels and Kenda Klever M/T KR29 tires. I was excited to get cracking since this is my first time behind the wheel of a RAM pickup truck.

Dry Traction

The tires felt confident in the dry. Acceleration and braking were strong even as I hauled the heavy truck to a full stop from average speeds. The steering also felt precise and communicative despite the size of my test vehicle. I never imagined the steering of the RAM to be similar to a sporty SUV, but it seems the tires had a lot to do with how the steering feels when driven on dry, paved roads.

Wet Traction

It would be foolish to pilot the RAM at high speeds on a wet road, but the tires felt relentless as I sped on an empty patch of slippery tarmac peppered with water puddles and loose dirt. The tires felt they can take more than just a slight drizzle. I didn’t feel the tires were breaking traction even as I drove over muddy and rocky terrain, either. When it comes to wet and dry traction, the Klever M/T KR29 is one of the best I have tested considering the lower price point of the tires.

Snow Traction

Traction in the snow is highly impressive, too. The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 tires gave me the assurance that I can safely navigate over deep snow. I was able to test the tires on roads covered with more than 3 to 4 inches of snow and I never felt the tires were hunting for traction even as I was a bit too aggressive with the throttle and steering. Overall, the tires felt good on snow and ice.

Comfort

The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 tires are not the epitome of highway comfort. The ride actually felt a bit stiffer than I was expecting but it wasn’t too bad to give me backaches during my test drive. The suspension felt unsettled when you’re driving at high speed, but the ride will settle down once you traverse over a rough patch of road. If this sounds like the tires are more comfortable on the off-road than on smooth roads, you are correct.

Noise

Kenda claims the Klever M/T KR29 will roll quietly on paved roads, and they weren’t kidding. However, don’t expect the tires to be as silent as a mausoleum. The tires were a bit more subdued than the other mud tires that I tested, but the road noise and tire roar will intensify as you pile on the speed. In all fairness, the tires were indeed muffled at slow speeds, and that’s impressive.

Treadwear

This is where the problem starts. The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 tires fitted to my test vehicle were only about 4 months old (average of 2,500 or so miles) but there were already signs of accelerated wear on the chunky treads. Even though the wear pattern wear pattern was evenly distributed across the face of the treads, I find it hard to believe that the tires are capable of lasting 60,000 miles, which also happens to be the tread wear warranty offered on the tires.

Conclusion

The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 comes highly recommended despite the short tread life. If you are really bothered by this, you should consider the price of the Klever A/T and compare it with the top name brands. Prices start at around $140 to $150 each, which is less than half of what you can expect to pay from a similar set of mud tires from other famous brands.