Rubicon tires / highway driving

cdahl383

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I'd like to hear from some Rubicon owners how the stock knobby tires do on the freeway at 70-80mph. I'm looking to get a Jeep Wrangler this winter and really love the overall look of the Rubicon, but given how I have a 55 mile one way commute to work that's mostly freeway, I'm wondering how noisy those tires will be at higher speeds as well as general ride quality.

So far I'm set on either a Sport with the Altitude package or the Rubicon (both 4 doors). I prefer the looks of the Rubicon, but don't want to regret that with tons of cabin noise from the tires every day to and from work. Appreciate any input!
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Senator71

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I've just switched the 18" rims with relatively road biased Bridgestone Duelers on my Sahara for a set of 17" KO2s on Rubicon rims. I only did it Monday and haven't driven more than 10 miles at a stretch, but some of that was at highway speeds, and frankly it's quite bearable to me. Admittedly, I don't have a 55 mile each way commute, but I only have a soft top as well so it would definitely be quieter with a hard top. Frankly for me part of Jeep ownership is about how the Wrangler looks so i'm prepared to take a bit of a drop in ride quality and increase in noise for that appearance. My wife's car is a 2018 Range Rover HSE which admittedly is like driving in an arm chair and can probably do 80% of what the Jeep can do off road (and yes I am one of the few people who regularly used to take my RR off road when I lived in the UK). Notwithstanding the RR as an option, there are very few occasions when I choose the RR over the JL.

I'm not sure if this is your first Jeep, but I had a JK Willy's edition for the last 4 years. That had the Rubicon wheel and tire package. The JL is a huge step up in comfort and civility.

Here's a pic of my newly upgraded Sahara just cos I like looking at it!

HGZHGz79S5SWG13eB5OQnQ.jpg
 
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cdahl383

cdahl383

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So the Rubicon has two potential stock tire options: BFG KO2 or the Falken M/T (late 2019/2020MY). Which one are you referring to?

As for the KO2, they're fantastic on the highway. I have no complaints about the smoothness or noise and regularly drive 80+mph.
It looks like they come standard with the BF Goodrich off road tires. There is a white letter option (don't care for that) and a mud terrain tire. I'd probably just get whatever the stock tires are that come on it. It looks like BF Goodrich tires in the system though when I go to set up an order.

That's good to hear!

This is what I'd like to get, or something similar anyway...

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.jpg
 
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cdahl383

cdahl383

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I've just switched the 18" rims with relatively road biased Bridgestone Duelers on my Sahara for a set of 17" KO2s on Rubicon rims. I only did it Monday and haven't driven more than 10 miles at a stretch, but some of that was at highway speeds, and frankly it's quite bearable to me. Admittedly, I don't have a 55 mile each way commute, but I only have a soft top as well so it would definitely be quieter with a hard top. Frankly for me part of Jeep ownership is about how the Wrangler looks so i'm prepared to take a bit of a drop in ride quality and increase in noise for that appearance. My wife's car is a 2018 Range Rover HSE which admittedly is like driving in an arm chair and can probably do 80% of what the Jeep can do off road (and yes I am one of the few people who regularly used to take my RR off road when I lived in the UK). Notwithstanding the RR as an option, there are very few occasions when I choose the RR over the JL.

I'm not sure if this is your first Jeep, but I had a JK Willy's edition for the last 4 years. That had the Rubicon wheel and tire package. The JL is a huge step up in comfort and civility.

Here's a pic of my newly upgraded Sahara just cos I like looking at it!

HGZHGz79S5SWG13eB5OQnQ.jpg
Nice! That's a sharp looking Jeep!

I want to get the hard top, so I've heard that is much quieter inside than the soft top is.

I agree, the Rubicons certainly look badass! I guess that's what I really want, so I should probably just get that and be done with it. I was debating on getting a Sport, which also looks cool, but the Rubicon looks are just perfect to me.

This will be my first Jeep. I've heard the newer models ride and handle a lot better than the older ones, so that's good to hear. I did drive my sister in laws and brother in laws several years ago, I think she had a 2013 and his was a 2014 or 2015. They were fun to drive, but hers was a 2 door so it was a bit more bouncy with the shorter wheelbase. The 4 door seemed to have a much better ride.
 

mike_b_81

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I have the KO2’s and drove about 3000 miles to CO and back this summer, they were great, no noticeable road noise.
 

Neanderthalman

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Nice! That's a sharp looking Jeep!

I want to get the hard top, so I've heard that is much quieter inside than the soft top is.
I don't find the wind noise any less with the hard top.

What is definitely quieter with the hard top is noises from *other* vehicles, or reflection of your own noise when going under a bridge.

It's still not "quiet" though.

As for the actual question, I have a JLUR with stock KO2s and they're surprisingly civil at high speeds.

As an added bonus, the KO2s are snow rated - don't need a second set of snow tires for winter. That fact really helped me bridge the (minimal) cost difference between the sahara and rubicon. I got so much more for only a couple thousand.
 

Senator71

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This will be my first Jeep. I've heard the newer models ride and handle a lot better than the older ones, so that's good to hear. I did drive my sister in laws and brother in laws several years ago, I think she had a 2013 and his was a 2014 or 2015. They were fun to drive, but hers was a 2 door so it was a bit more bouncy with the shorter wheelbase. The 4 door seemed to have a much better ride.
While I wouldn't say that the JL has the ride quality of a premium sedan, there are no excuses needed for buying one now as a daily driver. You couldn't really say that about my old JK, which always had to be prefaced with "when you consider what it can do off road, the on-road manners aren't THAT bad".

One thing you might want to consider, given that I see you're in MI, is I'm not sure how well the KO2s perform in snow or serious standing water. The old tires on my JK were terrible as they were BSW Off Road tires with no siping. I believe the KO2s are much better but you should ask someone who has had them through a mid-west winter.
 

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cdahl383

cdahl383

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While I wouldn't say that the JL has the ride quality of a premium sedan, there are no excuses needed for buying one now as a daily driver. You couldn't really say that about my old JK, which always had to be prefaced with "when you consider what it can do off road, the on-road manners aren't THAT bad".

One thing you might want to consider, given that I see you're in MI, is I'm not sure how well the KO2s perform in snow or serious standing water. The old tires on my JK were terrible as they were BSW Off Road tires with no siping. I believe the KO2s are much better but you should ask someone who has had them through a mid-west winter.
I'm not sure what the KO2 tires are then I guess. Here's the choices in the system...

upload_2019-9-19_13-9-19.png
 

Maverick909

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Mt's are great on the road for noise and handling so far
 

sanman357

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I'd like to hear from some Rubicon owners how the stock knobby tires do on the freeway at 70-80mph. I'm looking to get a Jeep Wrangler this winter and really love the overall look of the Rubicon, but given how I have a 55 mile one way commute to work that's mostly freeway, I'm wondering how noisy those tires will be at higher speeds as well as general ride quality.

So far I'm set on either a Sport with the Altitude package or the Rubicon (both 4 doors). I prefer the looks of the Rubicon, but don't want to regret that with tons of cabin noise from the tires every day to and from work. Appreciate any input!
I have the Bfg K02s on my Rubicon. The only time sI hear the tires at all, are during aggressive acceleration and hard braking. It makes a grippy sticky sound. And even then you have to be looking for it to hear it. With the K02s wind noise will drown out any tire noise. And when I upsized to the 315/70-17 K02s on my stock wheels nothing changed. Great tires for a daily.

93A1B2C3-88BA-452A-BA22-DD4530936F7C.jpeg
 

ToolMan514

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I don't find the wind noise any less with the hard top.

What is definitely quieter with the hard top is noises from *other* vehicles, or reflection of your own noise when going under a bridge.

It's still not "quiet" though.

As for the actual question, I have a JLUR with stock KO2s and they're surprisingly civil at high speeds.

As an added bonus, the KO2s are snow rated - don't need a second set of snow tires for winter. That fact really helped me bridge the (minimal) cost difference between the sahara and rubicon. I got so much more for only a couple thousand.
I was going to write a full comment, but Greg here has already said it. KO2s are great on the highway, once you tweak the tire pressure to your liking (~34 psi?) depending on how much weight you carry stock. The hard top with an aftermarket head liner will be much better for that much highway driving, but that's just my opinion.
 

jessedacri

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No complaints here - I usually drive an hour plus on the highway at 70mph to get to Big Bear or Hungry Valley to go wheeling.

Coming from an Audi S5 prior to this, the BFGs and the whole Jeep drive like a dream and is much more civilized than I expected it to be. I honestly have just as much fun and comfort on road as I did in my Audi.
 

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Bfg ko2 all terrains on my JL are the perfect tire. Have done multiple long trips, snow, mud, sand, ice, etc. Only that stops me is ground clearance and getting buried in super deep snow.

I put the same tire on my wife's lexus GX470, same experience. Just as quite as the Michelin ms2 we had on it before, and much better rain and snow traction.
 
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