Kenda Tires is adding to its Klever brand of off-road tires with the launch of its next-generation mud-terrain tire that promises maximum traction in off-road environments. SEMA Show attendees received a sneak peek of the tire – the Kenda Klever M/T2 KR629 – at Kenda’s booth, both in a standalone display that showed off the tire’s tread design and on a 1969 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser from Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers.
“The market is looking for a premium performance, value-priced product in the M/T segment,” said Brandon Stotsenburg, Kenda’s vice president of automotive. “We compare it directly against great competition and Kenda delivers.”
The Klever M/T2 is a second-generation tire that features Kenda’s T3 Triple Threat sidewall, an optimized tread compound and interlocking tread blocks for aggressive off-road performance, Kenda says. The tire’s compound is formulated for superior chip and cut resistance, and its tread design includes mud and stone ejectors along with scalloped shoulder blocks, which Kenda says enhance the tire’s grip and aesthetics. With a symmetric tread design and new compound, the Klever M/T2 offers wet and dry handling with off-road traction.
Stotsenburg said the tire replaces the eight-year-old Kenda Klever M/T KR29 and is slated to be available in the late spring/early summer of 2022.
“We will be at a value price point,” he said, emphasizing Kenda’s tagline of “premium performance at a value price” with the tire. “The margin of opportunity for dealers will be better than the competition.”
To achieve its performance characteristics, the M/T2 underwent rigorous testing in different environments, both on- and off-road. After its first iteration, Kenda’s team made adjustments based on test results to walk away with a stronger product.
“This product, because of its off-road nature, takes longer to do final testing because we have to go through all the off-road testing plus the on-road in different types of environments – sand, mud, bayou mud, Northeast and Midwest dirt, mud, rocks – all of those need to be tested at maximum inflation pressures and if you’re airing down for off-road to ensure the tire stands up in both.”
The M/T2 marks a significant milestone for Kenda, as it’s the last tire that will be turned over from its original product screen, Stotsenburg said. That means that it is the last of its product lineup to enter into a second generation and be made at its Kenda American Technical Center in Akron, Ohio.
The Klever M/T2 will initially be available in 30 sizes with load ranges of C, D, E and F and will fit 15- to 20-inch rim diameters. Kenda said flotation sizes will also be included. Stotenburg added that the M/T2’s size lineup complements the size lineup of Kenda’s other light truck and off-road product.
For aesthetics, the tire will feature stylized raised black letters, and Kenda said it will offer select sizes in raised red letters. The M/T2 is slated to be available in late spring/early summer of 2022.